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SAS expands data integration initiative; new software, resources and R&D commitment

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, March 27, 2006 -- SAS, the leader in business intelligence, today announced a major corporate initiative to extend its capabilities and market leadership in data integration - the transformation of disparate, poorly connected islands of information into an enterprise-wide environment that provides quality, up-to-the-minute information.

In his book "Simplicity," business management expert and author Bill Jensen indicates that the most conservative estimates show business information doubling every three years, while some estimates say data doubles every year. Data integration is crucial because many large businesses find themselves with operational data - point-of-sale transactions, RFID data, call center interactions and bank transactions, for example - scattered across multiple platforms and variations of technology, making it very difficult to stay in synch across enterprises and harness live data. To tackle the problem, companies have built up a hodgepodge of vendor and home-grown software - such as relational database management systems, ETL, data quality and a variety of data integration systems - that are often incompatible, redundant, and underperforming. Information shared across organizations often is contradictory, inconsistent and inaccurate.

SAS intends to increase its research and development investment in data integration by 15 percent each in 2006 and 2007 to help advance a universal data integration platform that helps companies reduce information management cost and complexity. In 2005 SAS invested 24 percent of its $1.68 billion in revenues in company-wide R&D, a percentage unrivaled among major software vendors.

Today's announcement, which in addition to SAS' expanded financial commitment includes new software and customer resources, is meant to help customers bring together data integration technologies typically needed in real time for operational business applications with technologies needed for business intelligence and decision support.

The announcement came at the annual SAS Users Group International (SUGI) conference in San Francisco, attended by more than 4,000 SAS users from around the world. It includes:

-- Upcoming enhancements to SAS Enterprise Data Integration Server (www.sas.com/technologies/dw/entetlserver/index.html) software with expanded data quality technology for profiling, monitoring, cleansing and verifying data correctness - capabilities aimed at promoting consistent, accurate information and credibility in business intelligence applications.

-- New customer data integration (CDI) technology (www.dataflux.com/Implementations/CDI.asp) that enables companies to intelligently synchronize, consolidate and manage customer information from across an enterprise. This solution supports organizations' efforts to create a single view of the customer across the entire enterprise.

-- A special data integration focus team that deploys at customer sites worldwide to assess their data integration issues and deliver solutions that mesh with their existing systems and deliver quick results. This team works in concert with the hundreds of SAS professionals who support data integration through research & development, education, training, consulting and support.

-- A data integration focus as part of SAS' global Business Intelligence Competency Center (www.sas.com/consult/bicc.html) program, which helps create cohesive enterprise intelligence strategies for better decision making.

-- On-demand Web seminars (http://www.sas.com/technologies/dw/news.html) where professionals interested in improving their data integration systems can expand their knowledge and understanding.

The new data integration technologies and resources from SAS will help companies quickly attain and manage consistent and trusted data throughout the organization. SAS Data Integration offers a comprehensive data integration solution that includes technologies for connectivity and metadata; data cleansing and enrichment; extraction, transformation and loading (ETL); migration and synchronization; data federation; and master data management. These capabilities provide organizations with the flexibility, reliability and agility to respond quickly to new data integration requirements, consolidate vendors, standardize on one integration solution for both operational and business intelligence applications, and reduce the overall cost of data integration.

Intrawest, a world leader in destination resorts and adventure travel, uses technologies from SAS and DataFlux to address its data integration issues. Like many companies in this market, Intrawest was created through a series of acquisitions over many years, but the company had difficulties creating 360-degree view of its customers because Intrawest had never consolidated customer data from the different companies.

Intrawest has consolidated its customer information using data integration software for master data management from SAS and DataFlux to create a more holistic and historical view of its customers. From the time anyone enters one of its resort properties, Intrawest wants to extend the best offer given each customer's particular profile and behavioral information. Intrawest examines all its customer databases, finds duplicate customer information, merges it, and delivers an understanding of its customers with suggestions on how to market to them.

"SAS and DataFlux have helped us track our customers' behavioral patterns and develop a more useful, reliable view of each of our customers," said Anne Donohoe, Director of Customer Relationship Marketing at Intrawest. "Now we can fine-tune our marketing efforts to develop targeted offers that take into account each of our customers' behaviors, lifestyles and values."

"Most organizations struggle because other vendors cannot deliver all the critical elements of a comprehensive, effective data integration solution," said Jim Davis, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at SAS. "SAS Data Integration helps solve a broad range of issues in the enterprise as data volumes explode, further complicated by mergers, acquisitions and the ongoing need to modernize aging systems."

For more information, please visit the SAS Data Integration Web portal. (www.sas.com/technologies/dw/index.html)

About SAS

SAS is the leader in business intelligence software and services. Customers at 40,000 sites, including 96 of the top 100 FORTUNE Global 500(R) companies, use SAS software to manage and gain insights from vast amounts of data, resulting in faster, more accurate business decisions, more profitable relationships with customers and suppliers, compliance with governmental regulations, research breakthroughs and better products. Only SAS offers leading data integration, intelligence storage, advanced analytics and traditional business intelligence applications within a comprehensive enterprise intelligence platform. Since 1976, SAS has been giving customers around the world The Power to Know(R). www.sas.com

SAS and all other SAS Institute Inc. product or service names are registered trademarks or trademarks of SAS Institute Inc. in the USA and other countries. (R) indicates USA registration. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies.



Contacts 
SAS
Bob Chase, 919-531-4327
bob.chase@sas.com

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