Analysis of SAS Institute and IBM Intelligence Alliance

  • Written By: M. Reed
  • Published: January 31 2000

Event Summary

"At IBM's PartnerWorld 2000 in San Diego this Monday (24Jan00), SAS Institute and IBM will announce a new business intelligence relationship that will include the formation of consulting practices focused on SAS solutions, and further development of e-business intelligence solutions that integrate IBM's DB2 database product family and SAS software.

The announcement between the two business intelligence leaders is the latest in a select group of key strategic relationships forged by IBM as it refocuses its partnering efforts to provide world-class e-business applications. Recent announcements have included partnerships with other leading software providers such as Siebel Systems and SAP AG.

The agreement between IBM and SAS Institute and the planned joint development efforts will result in:

* Creation of a consulting practice in IBM Global Services specializing in SAS solutions. These consultants will work with joint customers to integrate the powerful decision support capabilities of SAS solutions with existing transaction systems and other e-business applications.

* Closer integration of SAS solutions and DB2 Universal Database to enhance performance for all IBM server platforms, including Netfinity, AS/400, RS/6000, NUMA-Q and S/390.

* IBM Global Services' access to a wide range of SAS Institute solutions for business intelligence, data warehousing, and decision support.

The relationship will initially focus on three primary areas where IBM and SAS Institute will offer end-to-end solutions to enterprise customers. IBM Global Services will provide the analytical services, systems integration and industry-specific consulting expertise. SAS Institute will provide software solutions for Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and Supplier Relationship Management (SRM). IBM and SAS Institute plan to more tightly integrate and thus enhance performance of DB2 Universal Database and SAS software."

Market Impact

The existing customer base for IBM DB2 Universal Database should be strongly interested in this development. The ability to access solutions for customer relationship management and extended supply chain solutions should be especially intriguing. We believe that the combination of SAS's strong business intelligence solutions and IBM's global sales and consulting forces will make a powerful combination. The question for customers will be whether this is just a marketing alliance or an actual combination of powerful products at the code level, allowing customers to seamlessly integrate the products.

User Recommendations

Customers investigating CRM, ERP, and SRM solutions should give a strong look at the combined IBM/SAS solution. Questions that the vendors should be asked include:

How tightly will the code bases of DB2 and the SAS products be integrated?

What increases in database throughput to DB2 on MVS will be provided by this integration? (i.e. how will database throughput be improved?)

Will IBM's consultants be trained and certified on this solution set before they work at customer sites?

What vertical markets are the vendors intending to focus on given their statement of "industry-specific consulting expertise"?

IBM has stated that it is "refocusing its partnering efforts to provide world-class e-business applications". What is the long-term direction of this program?

Is this just marketing hype about a joint venture or an actual product and consulting combination?

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