The announcement was made today during the Virtual SAS Global Forum 2020. Like other technology vendors during the COVID-19 era, SAS has taken its annual conference from face-to-face to online.
Jay Upchurch, SAS Executive VP and CIO, states "Microsoft and SAS have enjoyed a collaborative relationship for many years, but this partnership shapes the future of analytics.”
“It is the 'empowered cloud' - together we're accelerating the power of AI for everyone,” he said. “Analytics and AI in the cloud can shape a new operating system for digital transformation.”
Along with Microsoft Azure becoming the preferred cloud provider for SAS Viya, Microsoft and SAS will build integrations across Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft 365, and Microsoft Power Platform. SAS solutions will also appear in the Azure marketplace.
While Microsoft already offers Microsoft Azure Machine Learning Studio, and similar capabilities, “Microsoft recognises the strength of the models SAS has built over the years, the line of business solutions such as predictive risk and predictive churn, and at a tool-level being able to provide our data enrichment capabilities like natural language processing and outliers within Power BI,” Upchurch said.
For example, Microsoft and SAS are already empowering customers with solutions that help them capitalise at scale on the vast amount of data being generated by the Internet of Things by combining Microsoft’s Azure IoT platform with SAS’ edge-to-cloud IoT analytics and AI capabilities. Currently, the Town of Cary, NC, is using a joint IoT offering from Microsoft and SAS to power a critical flood prediction solution.
"Localised flooding is something all communities experience, and ours is no exception," said Nicole Raimundo, Cary's Chief Information Officer. "Using sensors, weather data, SAS IoT analytics and the Azure IoT platform, we expect to increase situational awareness of rising stream levels, predict where flooding might occur, and improve our emergency response through automation. Cary is also proud to be able to share this data with our neighbouring communities to help them better serve their citizens."
Other use-cases might see SAS Viya, Azure Synapse and Power BI all used seamlessly to load and enrich data, create models, deploy them, and provide reporting and visualisations.
“SAS and Microsoft have a shared vision of helping customers accelerate their digital transformation initiatives. We both understand that it is about the enrichment of data and improving lives through better decisions,” said Oliver Schabenberger, SAS Chief Technology Officer and Chief Operating Officer. “Partnering with Microsoft gives customers a more seamless path to the cloud that provides faster, more powerful and easier access to SAS solutions and enables trusted decisions with analytics that everyone – regardless of skill level – can understand.”
Supported with joint co-selling and go-to-market activities, additional SAS products and solutions will begin rolling out later this year. This will enable SAS and Microsoft customers to address some of their most critical and complex analytical challenges while fostering continuous innovation. SAS is also committed to using Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365 to power its internal operations.