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SAS Expands On-Demand Software Lineup

The new software-as-a-service analytical applications are backed by hosted data warehouse systems.

Business intelligence vendors have been slow to provide their software on an on-demand basis, but they're making up for lost time. SAS Institute on Tuesday unveiled business intelligence, anti-money laundering, and supply chain and marketing analysis applications as software-as-a-service offerings.

SAS has sold its SAS Solutions OnDemand: Web Analytics product as a service for five years, and last year it generated $20 million in sales, according to the company. Most Web site analysis software from vendors such as Coremetrics, Omniture, and WebSideStory is provided on an on-demand basis, unlike the rest of the business intelligence market.

Last month Business Objects began offering its Crystal Reports reporting software on an on-demand basis, allowing businesses to develop reports and upload them to the site to make them available to managers, employees, and people outside the company.

SAS is going beyond that with SAS Solutions OnDemand: Business Intelligence, Supplier Relationship Management, Marketing Automation, Veridiem MRM, and Anti-Money Laundering. Along with providing the applications as a service, SAS is building and hosting data warehouses that collect the data used by the on-demand software. The systems can collect data in real time and make it available for immediate analysis, although most data is collected on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis, says Richard Roach, senior director of SAS Solutions OnDemand. SAS is already hosting some 100 terabytes of data for customers of its Web Analytics software and pilot uses of its applications.

Businesses can spend months building a data warehouse and accompanying analytical applications in-house, and avoiding those long implementation times is the major driver behind the demand for software-as-a-service systems, Roach says. The new on-demand products can be used by small, midsized, and large businesses, he says.

SAS Solutions OnDemand: Business Intelligence helps businesses analyze customer, operational, and financial data. OnDemand: Marketing Automation manages marketing campaigns and other marketing activities, while OnDemand: Veridiem MRM analyzes data to determine the return on investment from those activities, including advertising, promotions, direct mail campaigns, and the Internet.

OnDemand: Supplier Relationship Management analyzes spending on raw materials and other supplies, while OnDemand: Anti-Money Laundering monitors financial transactions to help financial services companies reduce the risk of illegal money-laundering activities and comply with regulations.

The services are available now, with pricing based on such factors as the volume of data and the number of data sources involved.

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