''SAS Enterprise BI Server includes components such as Web Report Studio, OLAP Server, Web OLAP Viewer for Java, Add-In for Microsoft Office, Information Delivery Portal, Information Map Studio, Enterprise Guide, and Integration Technologies,'' says Dan Vesset, an analyst with IDC, an industry analyst firm based in Framingham, Mass. ''Because of its background in advanced analytics, SAS is able to present to the market a compelling solution that combines advanced analytics with a broad portfolio of other related business analytics software.''
Just as SAS Institute Inc. of Cary, N.C., came in well ahead of second place, the Sun StorEdge 6920 by Sun Microsystems Inc. of Santa Clara, Calif., claimed second place by a large margin. Mountain View, Calif.-based Kazeon Systems Inc.'s Kazeon Information Server IS1200 took the third spot, followed by Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple Computer Inc.'s Xserve G5.
As noted by IDC, the SAS Enterprise BI Server includes a wealth of business intelligence (BI) capabilities, including metadata management, advanced analysis, integrated analytics, metadata management and application development. A portal/dashboard, for example, enables casual users to gain a high-level view of comprehensive information with the ability to drill down. Data can be rapidly queried, explored and manipulated. Instead of the use of complex terminology, analysts say advanced analysis capabilities are delivered in easily understood terms.
''Decision makers in organizations need timely access to relevant information so they can make decisions that move the business forward,'' says Christina McKeon, business intelligence marketing manager at SAS. ''Half the battle in making decisions can be just getting the appropriate information. BI software gives timely access to relevant information.''
SAS has many customers in areas affected by recent legislation, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and Sarbanes-Oxley. APEX Management Group of Princeton, N.J., for example, is a healthcare consulting and insurance services organization using SAS Enterprise BI Server on an Intel platform
''The data-curious in my organization now have the capability to ask more complex questions,'' says Jody Porrazzo, Ph.D., director of econometric risk strategy at APEX. ''With very little training, they get to the heart of the problems they research much more rapidly than ever before. Something that used to take weeks to do, in terms of collecting the data, cleansing the data, generating insights and presenting the results, now takes only a day or two.''