Much as I'd like to take credit, it's probably more happenstance that statistical juggernaut SAS has been in the news several times over the last week following my recent A SAS Story and Statistical Revolution blogs. But like me, the press hasn't exactly been favorable, adding credence to the claim that SAS is now facing serious threats on several competitive fronts.

In a Sunday, November 22 article in NYTimes.com entitled At a Software Powerhouse, the Good Life is Under Siege, with browser sub-title Rivals Take Aim at the Software Company SAS, writer Steve Lohr chronicles the SAS “story” from its inception in 1976, detailing the evolution of the celebrated SAS work culture that was so positively received by 60 Minutes six years ago. Their enviable business model has also been the centerpiece of Bschool case studies and anecdotes for years. SAS has been essentially alone at the top of the statistical market since 1980, its software at the core of critical predictive analytics work for most Fortune 500 companies. As a consequence, SAS was able to architect a protective “moat” around its business that made financial analysts drool –   and gave the company pricing power it used ruthlessly. But, as Lohr notes, the analytics landscape is changing quickly, and SAS must now change its insular ways to keep up.

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