Cary News

SAS partners with Amazon

Business software giant SAS has teamed up with Amazon to make it easier for its customers to take advantage of the economics of cloud computing.

Cary-based SAS announced Tuesday that it has collaborated with Amazon Web Services, by far the largest cloud computing platform, to improve customers’ ability to use SAS software via Amazon’s cloud service.

“I think it’s going to lower the barriers of entry for customers to experience and use SAS, particularly if they are already using Amazon Web Services,” said Scott Van Valkenburgh, senior director of global alliances at SAS.

SAS customers use SAS business intelligence and analytics software to analyze their operations and predict trends. That includes products that helps customers take advantage of the power of big data.

SAS offers its own cloud service that enables customers to avoid investing in costly hardware to run the company’s software. Or customers can hire SAS experts to run complex analyses for them over the cloud.

That business has been “growing like mad,” Van Valkenburgh said.

The collaboration with Amazon, however, provides SAS customers another route to cloud-based computing.

“We’re allowing a lot more choice for customers ... to support what their needs are,” Van Valkenburgh said.

Operating SAS software over the Amazon cloud might be especially attractive to companies that already run other software, or store their data, through Amazon. SAS’s cloud-service is limited to SAS software.

“Many companies can offer things through Amazon,” Van Valkenburgh said. “But not many companies have invested in partnerships ... that figure how out to do it better.”

The deal demonstrates that SAS “is serious about cloud,” Van Valkenburgh said. “Cloud is incredibly important.”

To underscore that point, SAS also announced that it has created a Cloud Innovation Council – a group whose membership includes chipmaker Intel as well as system integrators and software companies – that aims to help its customers find innovative ways to take advantage of SAS over the cloud.