IBM, SAS Form Joint Consult Practice, Integrate Database And Software

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SAS Institute, Cary, NC, and IBM, Armonk, NY, business intelligence solutions vendors, announced yesterday they are forming a consulting practice, and further developing e-business intelligence solutions that integrate IBM's DB2 database product family and SAS software.


While SAS and IBM have a history of working together, the announcement extends the relationship to IBM Global Services and IBM Software Group, allowing IBM and SAS Institute the ability to jointly deliver complete solutions, including hardware, software and services, to customers.


According to both companies, the three-year agreement between IBM and SAS Institute and the joint development efforts will result in:


* Creation of a consulting practice in the IBM Global Services division specializing in SAS solutions. IBM Global Services will provide the analytical services, systems integration, and industry-specific, e-business intelligence consulting expertise. SAS, on the other hand, will provide software solutions for customer-relationship management, enterprise resource planning, and supplier-relationship management. Consultants will work with joint customers to integrate the decision-support capabilities of SAS solutions with existing transaction systems and other IBM e-business applications.


* Tighter integration of SAS solutions and DB2 Universal Database. Currently, more than 2,700 sites and 1,900 companies and organizations are running SAS software and DB2 Universal Database.


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


"With this agreement, SAS Institute and IBM are providing e-business intelligence solutions to help companies analyze their data and use the knowledge to drive strategic decisions," said Ben Barnes, general manager, IBM Global Business Intelligence Solutions. "With joint solutions from IBM and SAS Institute, information-driven e-businesses will quickly differentiate themselves."


The announcement is the latest in a select group of strategic relationships forged by IBM as it refocuses its partnering efforts to provide e-business applications. Recent announcements have included partnerships with other leading software providers such as Siebel Systems, San Mateo, CA, and SAP AG, Walldorf, Germany.


In addition, last fall, IBM tapped business intelligence as its next wave of e-business, officially designating BI as a major IBM initiative. This announcement came at PartnerWorld 2000, IBM's largest annual event for its business partners that is taking place in San Diego this week.
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