SAS Questions and Answers
A reader writes:
With Oliver Schabenberger now leaving SAS, imagine if…you were catapulted into his position.
It would have to be by catapult. Nobody wants that job.
What would you advise SAS to do in order to regain its lost market share and industry lead?
I would advise Goodnight to sell the company and retire.
After that, I would advise SAS to hire new leadership from outside of the company. New leadership can rationalize the product portfolio and take costs out of the business.
SAS market share is gone forever, forget about turning the clock back to 1995.
When people talk about (SAS) reducing their pricing to be more competitive, RStudio Server Pro for Enterprise isn’t as cheap as people think it is.
RStudio Server Pro is $11,950 (annual subscription) for ten users. SAS’s entry product is SAS Analytics Pro. Deployed on a four-core server, licensing costs for AP are about $60K in first-year fees and about $15K in annual renewals. So, over a three-year period, you pay $90K for SAS and $36K for RStudio.
Moreover, R on RStudio offers broader functionality. To match those capabilities, you will need to spend more to add SAS modules. Need native access to Oracle? Oops, that’s another $15K FYF. Need to do time series analysis? Oops, that will be $15K more.
Customers have complained about SAS pricing for years. Fifteen years ago it didn’t matter; there were few enterprise-grade alternatives to SAS. Now there are many.
But simply cutting the subscription costs isn’t the answer. Businesses reduce prices if they think they can make up for lower unit margins with higher volume. SAS has saturated the market for its brand; few customers say they will buy more licenses if SAS cuts the price.
For SAS, price reductions mean revenue reductions. Streamlining the company to reduce the cost structure must come first.
(SAS is) integrating more and more Python/R usage into SAS VIYA and SAS Modeler (sic).
That’s nice. You can run your Python jobs in a Viya container or you can run your Python jobs elsewhere and save a bundle.
What do you think of (SAS’s) recent partnership with Microsoft?
Goodnight tired of losing money running a data center. He shopped the cloud business to AWS and Microsoft; Microsoft offered a better deal. That’s all. It’s a business move.
In any case, “cloud-ready” is a bullshit term. All software is “ready” for the cloud. Enterprises today want cloud-native and platform-agnostic software. They want automated provisioning, auto-scaling, a serverless user experience, and consumption-based pricing.
Whatever you get by partnering with Microsoft, it’s not platform-agnostic.