SAS Brazil creates all-in-one data analytics offering

The service aims to shave 30 percent off costs related to data initiatives.

SAS is due to launch a new service offering geared at helping Brazilian organizations develop their data analytics projects from scratch or develop their existing initiatives.

The approach dubbed Agile AX  is a world-first for the software firm and aims to deliver a 30 percent reduction in analytics initiatives by providing the skills, infrastructure and tools needed to get projects off the ground.

The service will be supported by innovation centers, due to open in Q1 at the company's office São Paulo. Similar initiatives are due to be launched in Mexico and Colombia in the second half of 2019.

The venues will encompass coworking spaces for clients and partners as well as startup development and an "experience zone", where the company will be showcasing practical uses of analytics and associated approaches such as machine learning and Internet of Things (IoT).

"We want to unburden organizations from the challenges they may encounter during their analytics journeys, which tend to be perceived as resource-intensive when it comes to people, technology and process implementation," Bruno Maia, head of innovation at SAS Latin America, said at a press event this week.

"Clients will be able to bring in their use cases and we will deliver actual data analytics proofs of concept in eight weeks while taking away their concerns around scale and availability," Maia added.

The software firm aims to position Agile AX as a recurring source of revenue. It will be an "add-on" to all its subscription-based and on-premise offerings and delivery will be supported by the company's network of channel partners.

A year of reinvention

SAS posted $ 3.27 billion in global revenue for 2018, stable compared to the $ 3.24 billion reported in 2017.

Latin America accounted for 4 percent of global growth over the last year. The firm said it experienced a "challenging" year in the region due to macroeconomic instability in various markets.

IT buyers then retained budgets and postponed decision making until after events such as the presidential elections in Brazil. As a result, the fourth quarter represented 40 percent of all new deals closed in 2018, with key performers being fraud and security intelligence, data management and IoT.

"Last year was very atypical, it was something we had never experienced before. But [the concentration of revenue in Q4] shows that clients are not avoiding investments in data analytics, it's quite the opposite," said SAS Brazil president, Cássio Pantaleoni.

"[Growing investment in analytics] is great for us, as we cover the whole analytics process. Besides, we have successfully departed from the license-based model towards added-value services that deliver quicker results to clients," he added. "Last year we have reinvented ourselves despite all the adversities and we will continue to do that in 2019."