Some pending news and posts- It appears that the company SAP is moving closer to major acquisitions. This includes launching more and more applications that are analytical in nature as well coming together in an alliance with hardware major Teradata. Teradata off course is a very close partner to SAS Institute. So could SAP and SAS and or Terdata be moving closer to a major announcement on BI and BA merging.
The open source database movement with Hadoop is the one which can be the real game changer in the managed database industry and AsterData is the company to watch here.
However R with its modular extensions is a different paradigm in language developement and SAS no longer has the nimbleness or flexibity in creating such apps- at the same time it has lost a fair deal of credibility in the young academia (due to R) as well cost sensitive consumers (due to WPS)
The succession issue of Jim Goodnight continues to be the biggest problem for SAS Institute- Jim is not getting younger and his second line is not expected to be of the same class as the Sall/ Goodnight partnership. Of all the major companies in software, Jim Goodnight stood alone in remaining private and thus managed to escape distractions of share prices while building up the franchise. Surviving oil shocks, cold wars, three recessions Mr Goodnight has cared for his local community as well despite being active in SAS and fending off sustained attempts by open source languages.
. An automatic partner for Mr Goodnight should have been Google or even Google Labs with the Brin/Page duo being the top data miners ( commerically) of this generation as Sall/Goodnight were 30 years ago.
SAP may spend a lot of its cash but the supply chain paradigm is best served by SaaS and exemplified by Salesforce.com and Force.com developers.
As the ancient Chinese said- May you live in interesting times.