V3 readers have voted SAS as the best pure-play business intelligence (BI) vendor in the market, allowing the firm to triumph over its rivals at the 2011 V3 Technology Awards on Friday.
SAS UK professional services director Kevin Meachen collected the award for the company, which was selected from a shortlist of six BI vendors including QlikTech, Actuate, Tibco, Informatica and Information Builders.
"We are very proud to win this award. For many years SAS has been recognised by the industry and analysts, but we place particular value on this award as it comes from the public vote," said Meachen.
"We are thrilled that SAS customers have turned out and voted for us. This is a fantastic demonstration of their support and belief in the value of our products and services."
SAS has been in the BI industry for years but has always distanced itself from competitors because of its focus on deep analytics and predictive intelligence. However, Meachen recognised that SAS is facing more competition in this area.
"BI used to be about the process of analysing historic data. The fact that we won the BI award means the rest of the world has finally caught up with us and BI has a new meaning," he said.
Meachen insisted that SAS will maintain its position in the market by continuing to focus on innovation and investing heavily in research and development.
"Also part of the reason we do so well is because we are privately owned. This allows us to make long-term investments and long-term plays," he said.
Meachen explained that SAS will also carry on producing industry specific software. "We will continue to focus on the industries of retail, banking and insurance. We will also continue to expand our integrated marketing propositions," he said.
But Meachen added that SAS will make a master data management (MDM) "thrust" next year.
"MDM is software that is more industry generic. We will either launch new products in that area or grow our market share," he said.
Next year SAS will also concentrate on providing the industry with more customer stories of businesses performing big data analysis. Meachen acknowledged that such best practice case studies are missing from the market.
"Part of the problem is that when customers buy our products and solutions, what they do with them is competitive, and so they don't necessarily want to share the information with the wider public," he said.
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