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SAS and SAP - an important match

Den Howlett Profile picture for user gonzodaddy October 22, 2013
SAS and SAP are partnering. While there are few details today, this is interesting since it has the potential to become a potent force in areas like real time fraud detection.

While colleagues will concentrate on other things, I zoomed in on the SAS Institute and SAP partnership referenced in the SAP TechEd keynote. This has the potential to be both a fascinating and potent partnership. So what's the deal?

Like anything else, much depends on the person you talk with. My spies elsewhere say that Dr Goodnight, CEO SAS Institute positions it as "A 90-120 day co-marketing pilot programme - i.e. there is no general availability right now on product. It's basically a toe in the water with customers."

A SAS Institute engineer added some nuance. SAP and SAS have been figuring out where each party's technology fits. The way I am hearing it, SAP will provide HANA as the database in common accounts. That makes complete sense. For its part, SAS is working out where the math gets performed. This is important. Do they have customers today? Yes, but no-one is going public as it is early days in the technical development cycle.

Venture Beat says:

SAP and SAS will build and prioritize the bilateral technology throughout 2014, co-selling solutions as part of a pilot program that will focus on financial services, telecommunications, retail, consumer products, and manufacturing.

Both SAS and SAP have in-memory technologies. SAS Institute has been running real time applications for many years, notably in areas like fraud detection, which is where I have seen them most visible. They do of course provide much more in the business analytics arena.

SAS have more PhD data scientists than you can throw a stick at and have been doing extreme predictive analysis for many years. In fact SAS was stuffing its technical bench with data scientists long before the terms 'big data' and 'data scientist' became fashionable. SAP on the other hand is relatively new to the game but has been touting massive parallelization and scale out capability.

Beyond that, there is little more to say except that this is definitely one to watch. I would like to think this represents the kind of partnership that brings out the best of both vendors' capabilities. History shows that isn't always the case. Even so, I suspect this is one situation where it makes more sense to partner intelligently than score marketing points.

Disclosure: SAP is a premier partner and part funded my trip to TechEd

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