IBM – and other market dynamics – threaten SAS’s utopian employment model
The competitive thrust that really grabbed SAS’s attention came in late July, when I.B.M. announced that it planned to pay $1.2 billion for SPSS, a maker of predictive modeling software. I.B.M. has placed SPSS and Cognos into a new business analytics and optimization group. That business will be supported by 200 scientists, and the company has said it will retrain or hire 4,000 consultants and analysts to work in the group.
“This is the big growth strategy for I.B.M., the company’s next big play for this decade,” says Ambuj Goyal, a computer scientist who is general manager of I.B.M’s business analytics software unit. “SAS comes from the legacy world of statisticians and programmers. The real opportunity is in deploying this technology broadly in corporations.”