SAS Innovate Convention Showcases Investments, Partnerships, and Benchmarks


The SAS Innovate convention drew a world crowd this week in Orlando. The analytics pioneer unveiled new R&D funding plans, new and continued partnerships and integrations, and a benchmarking examine that explored the efficiency, scalability, and prices of its SAS Viya AI and analytics platform.

A important theme of the occasion was lowering prices and inefficiencies to optimize enterprise: “Over the previous few years, we’ve got been examined in surprising methods, from a pandemic, mistrust in provide chains, workforce shortages, monetary instability within the banking sector. And thru that have, we gained a brand new appreciation for resilience. We noticed firsthand the significance of working with velocity and agility. Organizations want expertise that permits them to benefit from the info, fashions and workforce they’ve,” mentioned SAS CEO Jim Goodnight in the course of the opening session.

Investing $1 Billion in Analytics

The corporate introduced it’ll make investments $1 billion over the following three years to proceed growing superior analytics options for particular industries together with banking, authorities, insurance coverage, healthcare, and retail. These options will run on SAS Viya, the corporate’s cloud-native, massively parallel AI and analytics platform.

SAS CTO Bryan Harris chats with CEO Jim Goodnight on stage at SAS Innovate in Orlando. (Supply: SAS)

The newest funding builds on a earlier $1 billion funding in 2019 and consists of direct R&D and {industry} advertising and marketing. The {industry} options will allow information scientists, statisticians, and enterprise analysts to leverage AI, machine studying, and analytics to be used instances like fraud detection, public well being and security measures, enhanced affected person care, and manufacturing optimization.

“The billion-dollar funding in our options is de facto about how we help the unimaginable work for our information scientists, statisticians, and builders who’re actively working with {industry} consultants like consultants, system engineers, cloud architects, advertising and marketing, and others. It’s about bringing the entire package deal collectively in order that our clients get the advantage of our funding to assist them cut back time to worth for our software program,” mentioned CTO Bryan Harris in a press convention on the occasion.

Increasing Partnerships

The corporate featured new and continued partnerships and integrations in the course of the convention.

“SAS is partnering otherwise than we ever have earlier than with expertise firms that complement our core AI and analytic capabilities. And for us, it’s about two firms working collectively to ship the suitable capabilities for our clients, on our analysis {dollars}, not in the course of a contract with the shopper. It’s about us working proactively getting the integrations proper and delivering unimaginable outcomes from these two applied sciences coming collectively,” Harris mentioned in the course of the press convention.

(Supply: SAS)

SAS says its companions will play a key function within the rollout of its newest industry-specific options. One instance companion is Microsoft. SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure will embrace Azure confidential computing capabilities due to AMD EPYC processors with safe encrypted virtualization expertise.

In an interview with Datanami, CTO Harris mentioned this partnership took place when SAS seen a big intersection between its buyer base and Microsoft’s cloud clients, significantly within the monetary companies {industry}.

“One of many greatest dangers of shifting from on-prem to the cloud is that this concern of compromised information, unencrypted information, particularly in that house,” mentioned Harris. “So, Azure confidential computing permits information to be utterly encrypted all the best way. For the uncommon second you need to unencrypt and compute one thing, it decrypts and calculates after which re-encrypts.”

The brand new confidential computing capabilities will quickly be out there within the U.S., the Netherlands, and Eire, with a wider rollout deliberate for later, the corporate introduced.

One continued partnership highlighted on the convention is with SingleStore, supplier of a cloud-native, distributed SQL database that helps each transactional and analytic workloads in the identical engine. SAS Viya with SingleStore allows the superior AI and machine studying analytics of SAS to be executed instantly in opposition to relational database tables in SingleStore. Harris defined the combination prevents expensive and inefficient information replication in the course of the computation of analytics workloads. A streaming protocol permits information to be streamed into the in-memory engine and repeat streams as wanted with out storing the complete set in-memory.

(Supply: SAS)

“We’ve constructed this extremely revolutionary streaming protocol that permits us to not have to copy the info and in addition execute analytics and AI at very, very excessive speeds. They will additionally, like SAS, run on-premises, which is necessary standards for why we partnered with SingleStore, as a result of they permit us to satisfy our clients the place they’re with the place they’re on their cloud journey,” Harris mentioned.

Harris went on to clarify: “We’re additionally shifting our analytics down into the database. So, if you wish to rating information in a database, you need to rating it, pull it out, deliver it to the engine, take a look at the rows on it, rating it, possibly put a worth to it. Effectively, what we’re doing is we’re taking our analytic fashions, shifting them down into the database, after which really scoring native to the precise compute node of the database, which suggests we reduce all this information motion, and we really can rating it and batch at very, very giant scales.”

Benchmarking the Full Analytics Lifecycle

The SAS Innovate convention additionally unveiled a brand new benchmarking examine that discovered the SAS Viya platform is, on common, 30 instances quicker than industrial and open-source alternate options and scales higher with bigger and sophisticated information. The examine was carried out along side The Futurum Group which in contrast SAS Viya to an unnamed industrial, cloud-based information and AI platform, in addition to open supply alternate options like H2O and SparkML.

The benchmarking additionally discovered that Viya is, on common, 49 instances quicker than a Spark-based information and AI platform throughout all algorithms, information sizes, and workloads, and even discovered that in some instances, Viya is as much as 326 instances quicker. The examine additionally confirmed Viya scales higher than alternate options with bigger and extra advanced datasets, and that for mannequin coaching on greater than 300 million information factors, Viya outperforms the alternate options and was the one platform to proceed scaling. Lastly, cost-effectiveness was additionally thought of, and the examine concluded that customers can decrease prices by greater than 86% with Viya in comparison with the examined alternate options.

(Supply: SAS)

Knowledge scientist and AI skilled Marinela Profi is the product advertising and marketing supervisor for information science and open supply at SAS. She sat down with Datanami to interpret the benchmark examine and defined how organizations transitioning to the cloud usually face enormous prices because of the coaching, growth, and implementation of AI fashions. These prices are affected by the selection of algorithms and mannequin coaching options, and this examine proves that some algorithms are quicker and extra scalable, Profi asserted.

Profi says the primary differentiator of SAS is its containerized structure primarily based on Kubernetes which is cloud-native and cloud-portable, in addition to the corporate’s in-house R&D that’s centered on optimization for the cloud. Profi informed Datanami that the Futurum Group is at present engaged on a technical report within the curiosity of constructing this benchmark utterly clear and repeatable.

Profi commented on the design of the benchmark, noting that it takes into consideration your entire analytics lifecycle from information to choices, which she sees as a key distinction in comparison with different benchmarking: “The best way that the Futurum Group determined to design the benchmarking was to think about all the things that occurs from the second you load the info to the second that you just rating the mannequin,” she mentioned. “We did your entire analytics lifecycle. We loaded the info, we did some pre-processing of options, we skilled the mannequin, we noticed the accuracy after which we scored that mannequin on new information.”

(all the things doable/Shutterstock)

Profi says SAS is at present exploring additional funding into the benchmarking world with plans to increase the benchmark to cowl decisioning and person productiveness in each mannequin growth and UI. For instance, measuring effectivity for various customers and the variety of on-screen actions required to execute duties.

“I consider that that is the start of an thrilling benchmarking space that we’re setting, and I’m very pleased with how daring SAS is being in making this primary step into this benchmarking and I can’t wait to do extra,” Profi mentioned. “It’s a duty for all of us, particularly industrial and open supply platform suppliers, to repeatedly show in a clear method their capabilities and the way they’re higher– not simply with the messaging, but in addition validating it. So, I’m actually enthusiastic about this benchmark. I consider it’s step one in the direction of one thing actually huge and supplies our clients a tangible device to select.”

Keep tuned for extra protection of SAS Innovate.

Associated Objects:

SAS Touts One-Click on Entry to Viya on Azure Cloud

SAS Broadcasts Partnership with SingleStore

Why Is SAS Going Public?

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