SAS and Accenture Join Forces on Analytics

SAS has teamed up with Accenture to fight the threat created by IBM and Microsoft. According to SAS, this expanded SAS and Accenture partnership will accelerate clients’ business results with predictive analytics. SAS and Accenture are already working together, and current deal is an extension of their co-operative efforts.

IBM announced its new Business Analytics and Optimization service line earlier and since then there were speculation of Accenture moving closer to SAS. SAS might have chosen to remain independent and fought with competitors like SPSS, FICO and InfoCentribity, but Microsoft and IBM seem too heavy for the Analytics Tool Giant.

Microsoft has started providing Data Integration and Business Intelligence package along with its Data base system, MS SQL. MS SQL 2008 has Integration and Analytics service packages. This is no where close to what SAS and FICO has built in terms of Algorithmic Advancement, but it is preferred by IT Teams as it comes as a package with Database System. Same for IBM as well.

The other challenge is from SAP. After the acquisition of Business Objects, the company has nicely integrated OLAP and MIS Reporting in all its ERP packages making life difficult for other vendors to enter up the value chain for the clients.

Most of these Software Vendors entered Analytics from the base. They started providing Data Management Solutions, moved to Data Integration, OLAP and MIS Reporting, while finally landing at all integrated advanced Analytics solutions.

FICO came down the value chain from Analytics Consulting and Advanced Analytics products like Model Builder (Predictive Analytics Software), and  Triad (Business Rules Engine). FICO’s superiority can hardly be challenged in terms of its high end products sophistication as it uses techniques like Linear Machines, Neural Network and Support Vector Machines together coupled with intelligent decision processing engine that Mutates at different level of processing. This makes them stand at much higher level, but the company is losing business mostly due to lack of product focus and efficient marketing.

Analysts believe that after Mark Greene, an Ex-IBM verteran, became FICO CEO in 2007 the company has improved in both of these fronts and are trying to bring an integrated EDM Platform very soon. This might again change the game in the Analytics and BI Space.

Things are getting interesting. SAS and Accenture partnership will surely help both of these companies, but it is not free of challenges. They are threatened seriously, and from all angles.

Official Statement from SAS (taken from Email received from SAS News)

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