SAS company profile

Posted March 3, 2011 3:44 p.m. EST

For almost 35 years, SAS has given its customers “The Power to Know.” And, one thing known throughout the world is that the planet’s largest privately-held software company based in Cary, N.C. is the market leader in business analytics.

SAS once stood for "statistical analysis system" and began at N.C. State University as a project to analyze agricultural research. As demand for such software grew, SAS was founded in 1976.

From reporting $138,000 in revenue in its first year being independent, the company has turned a profit annually and saw total revenue for 2010 at $2.43 billion.

SAS was built on the combined strengths of software, domain expertise, and a generation of experience helping customers across organizations, industries, and governments around the globe succeed.

While the company continues to grow, SAS remains true to its long-standing goal of helping customers transform how their businesses work and sustain a culture of fact-based decision making.

Their leading-edge business analytics framework provides customers with a flexible and straightforward path for achieving their objectives and gaining maximum return from their information assets.

Today, SAS has more than 11,000 employees and staffed offices in 55 countries. Together, the company provides software and services to more than 50,000 sites in 127 countries.

As the economy continues on its journey toward recovery, the company continues on the path of success.

Customers are increasingly turning to SAS to manage operations and engage in better risk management.

Software revenue remains strong in several areas, including customer intelligence, credit risk, supply chain and text analytics, attesting that companies striving to survive in a down economy, and succeed in times of recovery and growth, need such solutions to answer complex business problems, spur innovation, and enable success.

It is one of the few companies in the world that has been able to turn a profit every year it has been in business.

With a strong commitment to employees and in R&D (investing 24 percent of revenue in 2010) as well as being debt-free, SAS is not only a Tarheel Titan, but a global titan in technology.


James H. Goodnight, PhD, CEO

At the helm since the company's incorporation in 1976, Goodnight has overseen an unbroken chain of revenue growth – a feat almost unheard of in the software industry.

SAS software originally was created by Goodnight and N.C. State University colleagues to analyze agricultural-research data. Three decades later, it's doing things Goodnight never imagined in his days as a doctoral student in statistics.

"Innovation is the key to success in this business, and creativity fuels innovation," Goodnight once said. "Creativity is especially important to SAS because software is a product of the mind. As such, 95 percent of my assets drive out the gate every evening. It's my job to maintain a work environment that keeps those people coming back every morning. The creativity they bring to SAS is a competitive advantage for us."

And, SAS has been recognized for its culture, which encourages creativity and innovation while helping employees balance work and life. Goodnight said he believes happy, healthy employees are productive employees.

Also outspoken on education reform, Goodnight sees education as critical to the success of people, organizations, and nations. Goodnight himself holds a doctorate in statistics from N.C. State, where he was a faculty member from 1972 to 1976. His passion for learning has since led him to endow several NCSU professorships and make education the focus of SAS' philanthropy.

Together with his wife, Ann, he co-founded Cary Academy in 1996, an independent college preparatory day school for students in grades six through 12, with the goal of creating a model school for integrating technology into all facets of education.

In 2004, Harvard Business School named Goodnight one of the "20th Century's Great American Business Leaders" for his three decades of leading a business that has changed the way Americans have lived, worked, and interacted in the 20th century.That same year, he was named one of America's 25 Most Fascinating Entrepreneurs by Inc. magazine, in honor of the publication's 25th anniversary.

Recently, Goodnight was asked about his best and worst decisions, secrets to success in management, and threats SAS faces. He said his decision to buy an airline was the worst. His decision to open up SAS software was the best.

As for the biggest challenge, Goodnight said, its quality control for all the products SAS is launching.

And, as far as the best way to manage companies? He simply said: Trust people.



Other Key Executives:

John Sall
Co-founder and Executive Vice President

John Boswell
Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary

Keith Colins
Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer

Jim Davis
Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer

Suzanne Gordon
Vice President, Information Technology and Chief Information Officer

Don Parker
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Carl Farrell
Executive Vice President, SAS Americas

Mikael Hagström
Executive Vice President, SAS Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific

Jennifer Mann
Vice President, Human Resources

Name: SAS Institute, Inc.

Ownership: Private


Headquarters: Cary, N.C.

Employees: 11,546 total employees (4,659 based in Cary headquarters)

Key Products and Services
SAS offers comprehensive solutions that targets and solves industry-specific problems and information needs. These are a just few of the hundreds of solutions SAS offers to organizations throughout the world.

• SAS Financial Management
• SAS Human Capital Management
• SAS Customer Relationship
• SAS Curriculum Pathways
• SAS Social Network Analysis
• SAS IT Intelligence
• SAS EIS (Executive Information Systems)
• SAS Risk Management
• SAS Fraud Prevention and Protection
• SAS OnDemand
• SAS Customer Intelligence


Revenues & Profitability

SAS is a stable, financially-sound company. It has turned a profit every year it has been in business and reported $2.43 billion in total revenue for 2010. It also grew its workforce by 2.4 percent last year.

SAS’ revenue growth remains distributed around the globe. SAS is the world's largest privately held software company (prepackaged software), with more than 400 offices globally and more than 600 alliances globally.

The Americas typically account for nearly half of the total revenue; Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) just below it. Of the 127 countries where SAS does business, 83 percent saw growth in software sales in 2009.

Among mature markets, growth rates for software sales remain high in the U.S., the UK, Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands. In developing markets, double-digit percentage gains were achieved over the last two years in most of Eastern Europe, the Middle East, South Africa, and pockets of Asia and Latin America.

Key customers
SAS has customers in 127 countries with more 50,000 business, government and university sites. SAS customers or their affiliates represent 93 of the top 100 companies on the 2010 FORTUNE Global 500 list.

Corporate Awards
Among SAS’ many accolades in the U.S. and abroad over the years, one continues to make headlines every year – well, since 1998.

In the United States, SAS has been named one of FORTUNE magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" every year since 1998, being named No. 1 on the list in 2010 and 2011. Additionally, SAS offices in Australia, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Portugal, Finland, China, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, and Sweden also have received this award – the latter three named the No. 1 best place to work in 2010 and in years past.