A SAS spokesperson has confirmed to this blog that they have invested in the R –Core project to help build next generation algorithms . The new R powered SAS would not be sold as licenses but would be hosted on Amazon EC 2, thus users pay only for the time of usage.The shift to SaaS is expected to boost SAS’s revenue while at the same time helping small consultants and big clients like banks to cut costs.The official announcement had been planned for release during the RUser conference however the announcement was moved earlier due to rumors building up early this week due to leakages from SAS R and D ( called birdie leakages). The size of the investment is expected to be more than 20 million USD , the exact amount is expected to be disclosed later.The R Core team would be using this for much needed investments in GUI development and up gradation of the website besides offering R courses in East European universities. An expectation of an annual prize for R User of The Year is also expected to take place.
Also Jim Davis ,SVP Marketing ,has clarified that he did not mean to demean all business intelligence industry by his remarks at SAS Global Conference that
“ Business intelligence is an over-used term that has had its day, and business analytics is now the differentiator that will allow customers to better forecast the future especially in this current economic climate.Business intelligence doesn’t make a difference to the top or bottom line, and is merely a productivity tool like e-mail.
He clarified that this was just a part of the annual summer marketing campaign and he was just doing his job as marketing person. Which person in marketing does not send messages against the competition,” he pleaded.
In an unrelated development, Anne Milley ,head of strategy at SAS has been appointed leader for video conferencing to cut down on SAS institute’s frequent jet flyer miles.