Analytics company SAS is investing $1 billion in AI over the next three years through software innovation, education, expert services and more. The decision builds on SAS’ foundation in AI which includes advanced analytics, machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing (NLP) and computer vision.
Educational programs and expert services will equip business leaders and data scientists for the future of AI, with the technology, skills, and support they need to transform their organizations.
“At SAS, we remain dedicated to our customers and their success, and this investment is another example of that commitment,” said Jim Goodnight, CEO, SAS. “With our innovative capabilities in AI, SAS helps businesses deter damaging fraud, fight deadly disease, better manage risk, provide exemplary service to customers and citizens, and much more.”
The $1-billion investment in AI will focus on three main areas: Research and Development (R&D) innovation where SAS continues to build on the success of its global AI efforts; education initiatives addressing customer needs to better understand and benefit from AI; and expert services to optimize customer return on AI projects.
SAS is investing in R&D innovation in all core areas of AI, with a special focus on making it easy for users with different skill levels to benefit — from business experts to data engineers to data scientists. SAS is embedding AI capabilities into the SAS Platform and solutions for data management, customer intelligence, fraud and security intelligence and risk management, as well as applications for industries including financial services, government, health care, manufacturing, and retail.
SAS continues to partner with innovative companies and leading technology providers like Accenture, Cisco, Deloitte, Intel, and NVIDIA. This work brings the latest advances and practices in AI and machine learning to customers and ensures SAS AI technologies perform optimally in customers’ hardware and cloud environments.
“The reason SAS tops the revenue list for advanced analytics for the last five years is that SAS solutions are built on a foundation of machine learning and deep knowledge of analytics. These are part of SAS’ DNA,” said Dave Schubmehl, Research Director for Artificial Intelligence at IDC. “Combining SAS’ knowledge and technology with its continued push to innovate in computer vison, NLP and deep learning will drive further adoption of AI across multiple industries. And it will help companies interested in AI – whether early in their AI and analytics life cycle or more mature.”
Customer Education and Development Initiatives
Customer education and development initiatives such as the new SAS AI Accelerator Program will focus on helping organizations and professionals get AI-ready at any level. SAS will offer tailored curricula to help organizations improve their AI skills. This will include e-learning like the SAS Academy for Data Science, and in-person training in AI technologies, best practices and more.
Certification programs that help analytics professionals and data scientists earn the valuable credential of SAS Certified Professional in AI and Machine Learning. This will make them even more marketable to companies seeking AI talent.
The SAS Analytics Center of Excellence, a group of PhDs and advanced experts in AI, machine learning, NLP, computer vision, optimization, simulation and related data science skills. These SAS experts are dedicated to supporting customer AI implementations — from well-established applications to first-of-a-kind innovation.
Resources and talent are also part of the investment. SAS will augment its AI expertise through additional resources in Professional Services, Centers of Excellence, Education and R&D.
AI and Analytics in Action
As the latest addition to the SAS smart campus project, SAS’ newest headquarters building, a 420,000 sq. ft. tower which hosts the new Global Education Center uses the latest innovations in AI and machine learning to connect performance with business results. The new building features thousands of IoT connected sensors – embedded in chillers, boilers and air handlers – that monitor water and energy use. Through neural networks using SAS Event Stream Processing, the SAS facilities team will track sensors and systems performance in real time to enhance predictive maintenance (identifying equipment problems before they become major) and optimize energy and water usage. Underscoring SAS’ commitment to sustainability, nearly half of the new building’s power is supplied by the adjacent SAS Solar Farm.