SAS builds to accomodate new SaaS offerings

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SAS is building a new cloud computing facility in Cary, NC as part of a long term push to support its new software-as-a-servce (SaaS) offerings and expanded on-demand tools.

The 38,000 square foot facility, to be built on SAS's existing Cary, NC campus, should begin construction this summer. The added data-handling capacity of the new project is expected to help SAS serve growing customer demand for on-demand and SaaS tools.

“There's a significant shift going on in customers' perspectives on where they want to invest and how to invest in business analytics solutions,” explained Keith Collins, SVP and CTO, SAS. “Part of that is reducing the costs of managing a solution.

“If you look at all the hype around cloud computing and SaaS you do see the reality of what customers are looking for, so we believe the time is right to make the investment and expand our capabilities and offer SAS on-demand and SaaS business analytics solutions,” he continued. “The differentiator and the value proposition for us is our business analytics solutions are much different than traditional SaaS.”

SAS has been offering an on-demand product for about four years, but the launch of two SaaS offerings — slated for the second quarter of this year — is new to the business. Collins has high hopes for SAS SaaS; he pointed out that the on-demand service has been growing at a rate of about 30% a year since it was introduced four years ago, and that the upcoming additions are simply a response to what customers are asking for.

“There are two distinct customers that we'll see,” Collins predicted. “One will be the traditional Fortune 1000 who has a business pain that needs to be solved and this is the most cost-effective, efficient, fastest way to do it. Then there will be the new class of small and mid-tier companies that now have the opportunity to us this type of technology and capability around business analytics. We're making it much more attainable for them.”  

Two server farms will be housed in the facility. The first should be up and running by mid-2010. The second will be built as a shell and then added to as needed once server one nears capacity. The facility will be built to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards for water and energy conservation.

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