High-end business intelligence tools specialist SAS Institute is rethinking the architecture underlying its entire product portfolio.
The new Information Delivery Architecture will gradually replace the company's traditional multivendor architecture over the next 12 months as products are migrated, the company said at the SAS user conference in Prague last week.
There are three elements to the new strategy: intelligent storage, incorporating both parallel data and multidimensional storage; intelligent server, which will bring powerful analytical tools down to the server level; and intelligent client, which is directed at PC users, and Java and thin client technologies.
SAS also announced an end-to-end Balanced Scorecard Solution, which brings together all the vendor's products that assist users to interpret data from all sources, including financial, internal processes and customer information.
SAS is also in talks with Hewlett-Packard concerning a possible OEM deal which would allow the latter to bundle SAS software with its OpenView products. However, such a deal might antagonise HP rivals Sun and Digital, which have partnerships with SAS but not reselling agreements.
SAS executives were unwilling to give away too many details on the negotiations, but did confirm that talks were ongoing.
"SAS Institute never closes its doors on anything that could benefit its customers - we look at all possibilities and all vendors," said Alastiar Sim, head of product management and strategy at SAS UK. For example, he said, SAS is beginning to work more closely with SAP following customer requests that the two get closer together.
HP, which has worked closely with SAS in the past on the mainframe and more recently on open systems, was enthusiastic about the potential deal.
"Resources at the two companies have been overlapping and we may have lost out on deals because we do not know everything about each other's business," said Walter Verhoeven, consultant at HP's OpenView software division.
HP's "sales force 11" is dedicated to selling OpenView, and it makes sense to let it sell SAS to the same customers, Verhoeven argued.
Such an arrangement would also let HP sales staff earn commission selling SAS.
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