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SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure to deliver 204% return - study

By Jessie Chiang
Tue 17 May 2022

The Forrester Total Economic Impact (TEI) study has found organisations using cloud-based analytics and data management software SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure can see a 204% return on their investment over three years.

The study conducted by Forrester Consulting emphasises the value of customer investments in SAS Viya on Azure, including millions of dollars in net present value and a 14-month payback period.

Forrester interviewed nine decision-makers at six customer organisations using SAS Viya on Azure to understand the benefits, costs and risks associated with their investment. 

The customers were from various industries, including government, manufacturing, financial services, IT professional services and banking.

The study found before implementing SAS Viya on Azure; interviewees noted that barriers to data access and disparate data sources made it difficult and time-consuming to build, deploy and manage AI models. They also faced other issues, including the inefficiencies and high costs of on-premises analytics infrastructure.

However, after using SAS Viya on Azure, interviewees addressed these challenges and saw improved overall productivity and performance, according to the study. 

The interviewees found there was a faster time to market for analytics insights, improved model building and testing operations, and cost savings from no longer using on-premises analytics infrastructure. 

The study says with a strong three-year, risk-adjusted total value of these benefits, the investment plays a key role in improved organisational decision making and overall success according to customers.

SAS executive vice president and chief information officer Jay Upchurch says many organisations currently experience obstacles on their path from data to decisions.

“Our strategic partnership with Microsoft aims to simplify this process to improve trusted decisions and accelerate innovation,” he says.

“This study shows we are jointly delivering on our promise and providing immense value to our customers, including cost reduction, increased time to value and improved productivity for data scientists and analysts across industries.”

Since SAS and Microsoft announced a partnership in 2020, they have continued to find new ways to serve joint customers’ cloud migration needs. 

This includes using streaming IoT data and advanced analytics to help maintain COVID-19 vaccine integrity to providing fast, personalised customer service based on real-time analytics.

SAS says the two companies have also launched a range of new industry-specific services, such as SAS Cloud for Intelligent Planning as a part of the Microsoft Cloud for Retail and SAS for Improved Manufacturing Quality for the Microsoft Cloud for Manufacturing.

SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure specific services include:

  • SAS Event Stream Processing, Azure IoT Edge and Azure IoT Hub to act on real-time insights
  • SAS Intelligent Decisioning with Power Automate to empower enterprise decisions
  • SAS Model Manager with Azure Machine learning, which removes barriers organisations face as they put more AI models into production.

Microsoft vice president of global ISV commercial solutions Alvaro Celis says SAS Viya on Azure gives customers better insights with less time, cost and complexity to help accelerate time to value.

“This enables Azure customers to address their most critical analytics challenges to drive innovation,” he says.

SAS says the full TEI study findings will be shared at a SAS and Microsoft webinar with guest speakers from Forrester on May 18. 

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