NEW YORK and CARY, NC, Feb. 17 /CNW/ - Accenture (NYSE: ACN) and SAS plan to expand their strategic relationship by jointly developing, implementing and managing next-generation predictive analytics solutions, a first for both companies.
As part of the expansion, the two companies intend to jointly invest in the development of solutions focused on industry-specific predictive analytics applications, starting with the financial services, healthcare and public service sectors; as well as cross-industry solutions in the customer and enterprise management domains. They also plan to begin delivering sophisticated analytical capabilities as a managed service.
In forming the Accenture SAS Analytics Group, the companies intend to bring together Accenture's extensive industry and functional business knowledge with SAS's market-leading analytics solutions and capabilities to help companies and government organizations understand and implement predictive analytics solutions. Predictive analytics takes the information made available through standard analytics today and combines it with more sophisticated statistical modeling, forecasting and optimization techniques to anticipate the impact on business outcomes.
"Our enhanced relationship with SAS is a key element of Accenture's strategy of aggressively addressing the opportunities around the next generation of analytics," said William D. Green, Accenture's chairman & CEO. "Companies that use predictive analytics to derive actionable insights from data and then use those insights to shape decisions, can improve business outcomes and substantially outperform competitors over the long term."
Jim Goodnight, Chief Executive Officer at SAS, added, "In our long experience providing analytic insights to our customers, we've never seen leaders so readily adopting analytic approaches across their organizations. The Accenture SAS Analytics Group will help these companies take their business results to the next level by applying best-of-breed predictive analytics and best practices to complex questions and decisions. Together, we will deliver a high performance analytic platform combined with management and industry expertise that is platform-independent, so organizations can leverage their existing IT infrastructure."
According to Henry Morris, senior vice president for IDC's Worldwide Software and Services, a leading technology industry research firm: "This move meets a pressing need in the marketplace. What is in very short supply are experts who are familiar with analytic techniques and know how to apply them to industry-specific decisions. The Accenture SAS Analytics Group would bring together the market leader in advanced analytics software with the industry and applied analytics expertise of a global services firm. This alliance would address the expertise gap by making more industry-specific analytic solutions available with project-based or managed service delivery. The combination of Accenture and SAS should accelerate adoption of predictive analytics across a broad group of organizations in major centers around the world."
The Accenture SAS Analytics Group plans to initially focus on developing a series of predictive solutions for the financial services industry, including banking and insurance; healthcare services, including payer/provider and pharmaceuticals; as well as the public sector, in areas such as federal and human services. In addition, cross-industry functional solutions are expected to start with customer acquisition and retention, as well as enterprise analytics.
Plans also call for the formation of joint analytics showcases in multiple locations, starting with Chicago, London, Milan and Shanghai, where the companies intend to demonstrate their new industry and functional predictive analytics capabilities to clients.
"During previous downturns, companies that thrived used data insights to produce lasting competitive advantage," said Dave Rich, managing director, Accenture Analytics "Companies today can use predictive analytics to gain deeper insight that has not been previously obtainable, allowing decisions to be made more quickly and business performance to be improved."
According to new Accenture research, two-thirds of senior managers in the US and UK say their top long-term objective is to develop the ability to model and predict behavior, actions and decisions to the point where individual decisions and offers can be made in real time based on the analysis at hand. The Accenture SAS Analytics Group will enable businesses and government entities to significantly improve their decision processes for better, more accurate business outcomes.
Accenture and SAS have successfully worked together for more than 10 years on more than 100 global clients and across a variety of industries. Joint clients include: Norway Post, Safeco Insurance in the US, Italy's Snam Rete Gas, and UBS, the global financial services firm.
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with more than 176,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world's most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. The company generated net revenues of US$21.58 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2009. Its home page is www.accenture.com.
SAS is the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. Through innovative solutions delivered within an integrated framework, SAS helps customers at more than 45,000 sites improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster. Since 1976 SAS has been giving customers around the world THE POWER TO KNOW(R).
The Canadian subsidiary of SAS has been in operation for 21 years. Headquartered in Toronto, SAS employs 254 people across the country at its Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec City and Montréal offices. www.sas.com
 "Accenture Analytics Project: Summary Report," 2009.
SOURCE SAS Canada
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