photo from the NYTimes
The Sunday NYTimes has a very thorough article on how rivals of Cary’s SAS Institute may make the company rethink what’s been called ‘The Good Life’ on its campus.
SAS has built a fantastic reputation of being of the best companies to work for with its 35-hour work weeks, on site day care and health care, and its relaxed attitude towards the parallels of life and work. But, with competitors like IBM running on the heels of SAS’s patented “business intelligence software”, SAS and chief executive Jim Goodnight may need to shift some of its practices to stay ahead. One of these changes includes SAS’s “move toward the Internet model of software delivery”. Cloud computing will definitely be one of the big buzzwords of 2010. This could be one of the best moves SAS could make at this point of change.
SAS invested heavily in research and development, and even today allocates 22 percent of the company’s revenue to research. The formula has paid off in steady growth, year after year. Revenue reached $2.26 billion in 2008, up from $1.34 billion five years earlier.
Yet the company also faces the classic challenge of being the innovative pioneer — enjoying rich profit margins but facing new competition from rivals seeking to gain market share with lower prices and substitute technology.
In the last two years, the major software companies have scooped up companies in the business intelligence market. Among the larger moves, SAP bought Business Objects for $6.8 billion, I.B.M. bought Cognos for $4.9 billion and Oracle picked up Hyperion for $3.3 billion.