-- Industry leaders to deliver integrated analytical CRM solutions --
IBM and SAS Institute have announced a new strategic alliance that will deliver comprehensive solutions for analytical customer relationship management (CRM) to customers in specific industries, starting with financial services and telecommunications.
The new alliance, which elevates SAS to the highest level in IBM's partner programme, will enhance offerings to customers and further integrate technologies to provide organisations in these targeted industries with the most complete, reliable and effective solutions available today, for building and maintaining lasting, profitable relationships with their customers. The alliance combines powerful SAS(r) analytical applications and data warehousing technology with IBM's strength in e-business infrastructure, technology, data management and services.
"The market for CRM applications software and services is expected to reach $68 billion in revenue this year and $162 billion by 2005," said industry analyst Bob Blumstein, research director for CRM analytics at IDC. "The IBM and SAS alliance announced today, with its potential for success in leveraging their overlapping customer bases in this huge market, shows the increasing importance of integrating CRM analytics to build a more powerful marketing process."
With enterprise marketing automation software and services from SAS and IBM, the new integrated solution for the financial services industry will enable banks, brokerages and other financial institutions to integrate customer information across all marketing channels and gain true customer intelligence. With this intelligence, these organisations can execute more effective marketing campaigns, deliver highly targeted and personalised messages, and detect and predict significant new sales opportunities. IBM's banking and finance industry sales force will promote the new solution, working closely with IBM Global Services.
The new integrated solution for the telecommunications industry will include SAS Telecom Churn Management and the business intelligence and industry domain expertise of IBM Global Services. The integrated products and services will help phone and wireless companies predict which customers are likely to leave so they can take early appropriate action to retain valuable clients. By gathering and warehousing huge volumes of customer data and applying predictive analytical models, these companies can better understand their customers and anticipate their actions. IBM's telecommunications industry sales force will promote the new solution.
"IBM's alliance with SAS is the first to be sponsored by IBM Global Services, which highlights the true synergy between our two companies' technology and services," said Mike Fuller, global vice president and practice executive for IBM Business Intelligence Consulting & Services. "With the huge volumes of customer data pouring in to organisations from multiple channels -- e-business and e-commerce applications, call centres, Web sites, etc. -- the challenge is to make sense of it all and truly understand customers and what motivates them."
The three year agreement is initially focused on North America, but has been structured to extend to other regions of the world over the next several months.
As part of the strategic alliance, IBM's sales force will promote SAS' solutions to their customers. Not only does this expand the breadth and depth of IBM's offerings in these specific industry areas, but it also will help SAS to achieve its goal of generating new revenues from partners.
"Many organisations lack the expertise to support complex data mining, analytics and predictive tasks, essential for combating churn in the telecommunications industry, or in devising effective marketing campaigns in the banking and financial services industries," said Graeme Woodley, senior vice president for Business Development and Channel Operations at SAS.
"SAS and IBM have thousands of joint customers who have invested in IBM eServers and DB2 to run their operational systems, and rely on SAS solutions to derive intelligence from these systems. Together, IBM and SAS are delivering complete solutions that provide financial services and telecommunications firms with the knowledge to create faster, smarter and more profitable marketing campaigns, and to predict which customers are likely to leave and take early action to retain them. In today's challenging economic environment, leveraging customer data to achieve competitive advantage is more important than ever, and these new joint solutions do just that."
IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate.
For more information about IBM, visit http://www.ibm.com
SAS provides software and services that enable customers to transform data from all areas of their business into intelligence. SAS solutions help organisations make better, more informed decisions and maximise customer, supplier, and organisational relationships. Solutions from SAS, the world's largest privately held software company, are used at more than 37,000 business, government and university sites around the world. Customers include 98 of the Fortune 100 and 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies. For 25 years, SAS has been giving our customers The Power to Know(tm).
For more information, visit http://www.sas.com
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