SAS, the leader in customer intelligence, announced it will deliver a significantly enhanced version of its marketing automation solution in the second quarter of 2004. Forrester Research Inc. recently reviewed and validated the new version of the SAS Marketing Automation solution. The changes in the upcoming release are so significant that in their report, "SAS Shakes up Marketing Automation," Forrester analysts Elana Anderson and Eric Schmitt noted that the new software solution will provide SAS with the potential to disrupt the marketing automation software market and seize a leadership position.

SAS Marketing Automation is sophisticated software that allows marketers to significantly shorten the time required to implement campaigns. As a result, they can focus their time where it matters most – securing new customers and increasing revenue.

SAS spent two years talking to hundreds of customers, prospects and industry analysts around the world to collect business requirements and understand best practices to design an intuitive new graphical user interface (UI). In 2003, SAS spent $250 million on R&D to support the reengineering of the solution's entire infrastructure.

Highlights from the Forrester Research Inc. report include:

  • The new version of SAS Marketing Automation will give marketers embedded SAS analytics that, according to Forrester, bring deep integration with the SAS analytical tools - the same tools that are already a standard in many direct-to-consumer marketing environments today. These world-class analytics empower marketers and business users to leverage their customer data and deliver true customer intelligence to drive proactive marketing programs.
  • SAS undertook an extensive user interface overhaul to set a new industry standard. Many different versions of the UI were tested by marketers until SAS was satisfied that all stakeholders in the process, from the IT department through to the campaign manager, could accomplish any task intuitively. As a result, Forrester noted in its report, the product is more appealing, easier to use, and incorporates best-of-breed data visualization capabilities.
  • The new SAS Marketing Automation solution has been engineered to address the most urgent issues facing marketers today, including the need to comply with the new customer privacy legislative requirements. SAS Marketing Automation will support this process by providing central control over metadata, business rules and data management logic. The new SAS apps infrastructure creates a single point of management for user roles and data access rights, and simplifies the deployment of global contact rules,said Forrester in its report. Additional compliance capabilities supported by SAS Marketing Automation include a full extensible and powerful campaign process activity breakdown to help individual campaign managers adhere to campaign management processes – a first in the industry.

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