Software supplier SAS has revised its strategy for its new application suite, taking a broader focus on performance management.
President and co-founder Dr Jim Goodnight told delegates at the company's annual user conference last week that SAS will seek to "dominate" the market as firms start to increase IT spending.
The software underpinning the company's goals is an application suite called SAS 9, which Goodnight describes as the "most significant software release" in its 28-year history.
SAS 9, which has been developed at a cost of about $1bn, includes the SAS Intelligence Platform, a set of integrated software for data integration, business reporting and analytics.
The platform helps firms analyse the huge volumes of data generated by enterprise resource planning applications.
"While a focus on strategy, planning and finance provides the core of an effective performance management system, SAS provides a practical view of how every aspect of an organisation contributes to performance," said Goodnight.
SAS 9 includes a range of industry-specific options, such as tools that help banks comply with Basel II or deal with anti-money laundering regulations.
This has been an integral part of the company's strategy, as it ramps up the number of tools that it provides for a range of customer needs.
"Following the introduction of the Patriot Act in the US, which includes legislation clamping down on money laundering, we developed software to help banks do that," said Goodnight.
Since then, the vendor has added tools to help firms comply with Basel II and Sarbanes-Oxley, as well as to improve the drug discovery process for life sciences firms and many others.
"We've been pigeonholed as a statistics tool for ages," said Goodnight. "But we've evolved along with the needs of customers, just as they've evolved."
SAS said that it has worked hard to prepare for an upturn in the industry, hiring staff during the fallout when programming talent was going cheap. The vendor believes that the pickup is now arriving.
"The outlook for technology is very positive. Businesses are finally loosening their purse strings and reports indicate that spending on technology will rise three to five per cent this year," said Goodnight.
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