SAS Joins Forces With SAP On Big Data

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SAS and SAP are to work together on developing in-memory data analysis, allowing administrators to take advantage of real-time big data analytics

SAP AG and SAS announced a partnership aimed at advancing in-memory data analysis capabilities for businesses across industries.

The two companies are teaming up to create a joint technology and product road map designed to leverage the SAP HANA platform and SAS analytics capabilities.

Real-time data analysis

By incorporating the in-memory SAP HANA platform into SAS applications and enabling SAS’ advanced analytics algorithms to run on SAP HANA, decision-makers will have the opportunity to leverage the value of real-time data analysis within their existing SAS and SAP HANA environments. The announcement was made at SAP TechEd conference, held from 21 to 25 October in Las Vegas. However, SAS officials unveiled the news to members of the press at a SAS Media Day event in Cary, North Carolina on 22 October, including a phone Q&A with SAP officials in Las Vegas.

SAP_grad_R_minSAP and SAS are leaders for in-memory platform technology, advanced analytics and business applications. The collaboration between SAS and SAP is expected to harness the power of combined platforms while helping eliminate data movement, duplication and reconciliation. It will also enable massive parallelisation of computationally intense workloads, all in-memory, enabling new big data solutions that could not previously be delivered.

Russ Cobb, vice president of product marketing and global alliance channels at SAS, said the two companies have actively competed in the past with their in-memory and big data analytics strategies.

“We’ve been taking a lot of our in-memory analytics technology and pushing it into our high-performance platform,” Cobb said. “Meanwhile, HANA has been interesting – first, as an in-memory database and now as an in-memory database and development platform.”

The in-memory functionality is designed to improve data scientists’ productivity by accelerating model development, iteration and deployment. The single environment for business applications and advanced analytics is expected to also vastly simplify IT landscape, help reduce costs and deliver real-time performance.


“As we started digging into HANA, we saw a lot of synergies and realised it’s very complementary to what we’re doing,” Cobb said. “We have a fairly large joint customer base and have been getting requests from them to do something like this.”

“The partnership of SAS, the market-leading advanced analytics provider, with SAP will simplify big data and analytics efforts by reducing data movement and allowing for faster decision-making,” Henry Morris, senior vice president of worldwide software and services research at IDC, said in a statement. “It can be more efficient to move the model to the data than the data to the model. This relationship will significantly drive value to joint customers.”

SAS and SAP plan to execute a co-sell pilot programme to engage select joint customers to validate SAS applications running on SAP HANA. The goal of this programme is to build and prioritise the two firms’ joint technology throughout 2014, in particular for industries such as financial services, telecommunications, retail, consumer products and manufacturing.

The applications are expected to target business areas that require a combination of advanced analytics running on an in-memory platform that will be designed to yield high-value results. Such opportunities exist in customer intelligence, risk management, asset management and anti-money laundering, among others.

Joint delivery

Ingo Brenkmann, senior development manager at SAP, said the deal is about providing value for both SAS and SAP customers. “We were looking at emphasising the models built on SAS on top of SAP HANA.”

“Combining the power of the SAP HANA platform with SAS advanced analytics applications is the first wave of innovation we plan to deliver to our joint customers,” Bill McDermott, co-chief executive and member of the executive board of SAP AG, said in a statement. “With the powerful capabilities that the two companies plan to deliver jointly, the opportunities are endless.”

In-memory functionality allows businesses the ability to handle large data sources while also supporting real-time analytics.

“SAS and SAP can help companies manage the massive volumes of information they are constantly dealing with and make sense out of it,” Jim Goodnight, SAS chief executive, said in a statement. “Between our two companies, we have the expertise and the products to help ensure that our customers can see and act on the power of performing advanced data analysis within their database and not outside of it.”

“We’re looking at all ranges of analytics and where we can apply those in big data environments, such as customer service, customer intelligence, risk management and other places,” said Russ Cobb, vice president of product marketing at SAS.

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Originally published on eWeek.