SAS’ cloud-first portfolio soars with customer success, industry solutions and strategic partners

SAS boldly stakes its future on a powerful cloud analytics platform and AI-driven, cloud-first industry solutions. It’s the analytics and AI leader’s cloud-first approach that eases customers’ digital transformations. And SAS’ cloud momentum is building, where despite the pandemic’s pressure and uncertainty, SAS’ global cloud revenue jumped 19% in 2021. With results like this, SAS is deepening its broad industry portfolio with solutions that support life sciences, energy and martech.

According to McKinsey & Company, 70% of companies using cloud technology plan to increase their cloud budgets. The public cloud computing market is projected to grow to $800 billion by 2024, with implementations across all industries – retail, media, telecom, education, banking, insurance and more.

What’s driving this investment? Forrester Consulting’s new Total Economic Impact study, shows organisations deploying SAS® Viya® on Microsoft Azure can see significant returns in as little as 14-months. In fact, one company more than tripled its investment in three years, results that will be explored during the May 18 webinar, Driving 204% ROI With SAS Viya On Microsoft Azure.

Journey to the cloud

SAS’ cloud-first transformation didn’t happen overnight. Using its decades-long legacy as a bridge to the future, step No. 1 was to develop SAS® Viya® as a cloud-first analytics platform. That endeavour ran in sync with ongoing strategic partnership investments, including Microsoft Azure. More recently, SAS joined new partner Cosmo Tech to fortify its digital twin simulation capabilities.

“We transformed our portfolio to be cloud-native and cloud-portable so customers can accelerate their move to the cloud and expand their use of analytics, machine learning and AI,” said Bryan Harris, SAS Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. “At the end of the day, we want our platform and industry solutions to be a critical part of every customer’s analytic innovation.”

Because SAS is both cloud-first and cloud-agnostic, helping customers manage the complexity of analysing intense data in the cloud is second nature. “Our customers don’t need to stress about data complexity or the details of running analytic workloads in the cloud, because SAS gives them the expertise they need,” said Jay Upchurch, SAS Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer – who also leads the SAS cloud business. “SAS analytics in the cloud gives our customers a distinct advantage, whether they’re using SAS Viya or an industry solution.”

In 2021, SAS realised the most cloud revenue growth from customers Asia Pacific (48% growth) and EMEA (29% growth) – and SAS’ commitment to cloud and AI innovation lives in its customers’ successes.  

SAS Hackathon teams innovate with SAS in the cloud

The SAS Hackathon is an incubator for innovation and a test bed for AI in the cloud. Hackathon teams use SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure, along with open-source tools, to help solve some of the world’s toughest social and economic challenges.

This year’s SAS Hackathon included a team of eight members from South African who competed alongside 69 other team, representing 135 organisations and 75 countries.

The team from South Africa leveraged advanced augmented intelligence to build a solution that included creating models that could be trained to identify lung disease using digital X-rays. Even with limited data sets available the models were able to achieve diagnostic accuracy above 90% – and while for the duration of the Hackathon the team focused on lung diseases, the models have the potential to be scaled up to include other body parts for the same purpose of quick identification, diagnosis and treatment prioritisation.

www.sas.com

[Column] Andrew Cruise: How to create a cloud migration strategy for your business

The benefits of cloud are clear: increased agility and efficiency, longer-term hardware efficacy, and greater security are just some of the perks.

Why, then, has everyone not yet moved their operations to cloud? “Eliminating traditional infrastructure is a major undertaking,” says Andrew Cruise, MD of VMware Cloud provider Routed. “And with all the cloud options available today, decision-making has become more complex.”

With all the noise out there, it’s important to put a solid cloud migration strategy in place. Here’s how to cut through the fog and get on the cloud:

1. Outline your environment

There are, in broad terms, two types of cloud environments: those for development, and those for enterprise. “Marketing has blended the two use cases and confused users,” says Cruise. “Devops is exciting, amazing, cutting-edge. The business usage, less so, because it involves migrating physical workloads to the cloud. Don’t confuse need-to-have with nice-to-have and spend money on something that seems very attractive, but that you won’t really need or use.”

2. Do an audit of your operations

Cloud doesn’t necessarily replace all previous options but is an add-on in the hybrid world of today. Do an audit of your company’s operations and decide what needs to be moved to the cloud, says Cruise. “Some operations might not be suited to cloud for compliance reasons, for example. The decision to move certain operations to cloud depends on your desired outcome. You need to factor in your company’s unique variables for each operation, like cost, complexity, and compliance.”

Then, decide what needs to move to which type of cloud. “Different apps and operations belong in different places,” explains Cruise. “It’s unlikely that every cloud provider is fit-for-purpose for every app, and you need to choose the right environment for the right app. Picking a single platform because you want to keep things simple can mean suffering performance or commercial problems down the line. It introduces complexity to your final solution, yes, but each set of workloads will be in an ideal place.”

3. Start small

This is particularly important for SMEs, says Cruise. “If you move too much to cloud too quickly, it can lead to failed migrations and operational paralysis. Break your operations down into bite-sized pieces and move them one at a time.”

What you decide to move first depends on your needs. “Some migrations, like email or backups, are relatively simple and low risk. This might make sense for some companies. “For others, moving to virtual machines is the smarter choice. VMware Cloud operators, like Routed, are running the same VMware that you’re running on-premises – the same enterprise-grade storage and servers. You get the immediate benefits of performance, reliability, scalability, and flexibility while only paying monthly usage.”

4. Find the right management tools

When it comes to managing all these separate clouds once you’ve migrated, you won’t be able to achieve everything you want to with one management product, says Cruise. “Rather look for specialist management tools. If cost management is your priority or challenge, look for tools that manage costs across a range of cloud platforms. If you want to visualise your usage across multiple clouds, look for a product that gives you that kind of UI. A single management platform that does all the above, and does it well, does not exist. Choose specialist interfaces that do the job properly.”

Andrew Cruise is the managing director at Routed.

Nokia Moves HR Functions to Oracle Fusion Cloud HCM

Nokia has selectedOracle Fusion Cloud Human Capital Management (HCM) to consolidate and replace its Human Resources systems in the cloud as part of its global digitalisation program. Nokia will use a worldwide deployment of Oracle Cloud HCM to manage all HR processes, including recruitment, compensation, and performance management, for the company’s global workforce in its 130 countries of operation.

In 2021, Nokia launched its ‘One Nokia Digital’ strategy to support the company’s competitiveness by digitalising its operations. As part of these efforts Nokia will replace its on-premises HR systems with Oracle Cloud HCM. Nokia selected Oracle Cloud HCM for its ability to standardise HR processes on a common data platform, which will enable Nokia to provide a consistent employee experience across teams and more easily manage and scale HR services globally.

“Optimising employee care and experience is a central part of our people strategy. Our aim is to deliver organisational agility, a seamless employee experience, and efficiency gains that support Nokia’s competitiveness. We are delighted to partner with Oracle because Oracle Cloud HCM provides a strong foundation to build digital experiences with true user-centricity,” said Lisbeth Nielsen, Head of People Experience at Nokia.

“By leveraging best-of-breed solutions like Oracle Cloud HCM, we want to bring Nokia to the next level of digital maturity. The implementation will contribute to increased efficiency and productivity and will provide AI and data capabilities that we can take advantage of to develop business performance and agility,” said Alan Triggs, Nokia Chief Digital Officer.

Oracle Cloud HCM will enable Nokia to connect every process across the employee lifecycle, helping improve decision-making and reduce operational costs. With AI-powered technology such as digital assistants and hundreds of new capabilities added each quarter, Oracle Cloud HCM will also enable Nokia to take advantage of the latest innovations and best practices to operate its business more efficiently and better empower Nokia employees, people managers and HR professionals.

“Nokia has a culture of innovation that has enabled it to lead its industry for years, and with Oracle Cloud HCM it now has an integrated platform, powered by the latest emerging technologies, to support its current and future HR needs,” said Cormac Watters, EVP Applications EMEA at Oracle.

www.oracle.com

www.nokia.com

Scott Bader selects Infor to drive cloud upgrades across three continents including Africa

Cloud company Infor has announced that Scott Bader, the global chemical company, has selected Infor CloudSuite Chemicals. Delivered by Infor Consulting Services via a multi-tenant cloud deployment, Infor CloudSuite Chemicals, including the Infor OS platform, will replace an existing Infor M3 ERP solution. This initial, six-year agreement will help enable Scott Bader to standardise and harmonise a variety of core business functions for 380 users throughout North America, Canada, Europe, Japan, the Middle East, Australia and South Africa. 

Established in 1921, Scott Bader became the first employee-owned UK company during 1951. Now it employs almost 750 people across 7 manufacturing sites and 17 offices globally. Drawing on a century of tradition, it is a leader in the manufacturing of products for the composites, structural adhesives and functional polymer markets, offering a range of technologies and manufacturing capabilities for multiple market sectors. 

Following a thorough review of the market including customer references, Scott Bader chose Infor due to its commitment to cloud, the chemical industry vertical and the planning and production scheduling functionality of Infor CloudSuite Chemicals. As there are plans for third-party software integrations in the future, the superior integration capabilities of the Infor OS cloud operating platform were also a key factor in Scott Bader’s decision. 

Scott Bader chose a multi-tenant cloud deployment running on Amazon Web Services (AWS) to ensure the business can benefit from continual updates whilst maintaining a standardised software with minimal customisations.

The initial phase of the deployment, set to be completed during 2022, will help establish and roll out a set of standardised process templates across Scott Bader globally. This will enable Scott Bader to undertake faster, more accurate reporting across the company, improving decision-making and agility. 

“Seven strategic goals drive Scott Bader,” said Mike Findlay-Wilson, Group CIO at Scott Bader. “These include striving for excellence, developing excellent partnerships with customers and suppliers, protecting our environment and going beyond the demands of compliance. To achieve these goals, our business demands the best processes and an ability to stay continually up to date with the supporting technologies. Therefore, we have chosen to move to the cloud with Infor.”

“Chemicals leaders such as Scott Bader recognise the benefits of our industry-specific functionality in combination with the improvements that deployment in the cloud brings,” said Anwen Robinson, Infor general manager and senior vice-president for UK & Ireland. “This transition to Infor CloudSuite Chemicals is the latest stage in our relationship that will help deliver better planning, scheduling and processes to keep Scott Bader at the forefront of a demanding global market.”

www.scottbader.com

www.infor.com

US Data center operator Flexential partners with Angola Cables to strengthen connectivity to African markets

Leading US data center owner and developer, Flexential has opened their US network to Angola Cables to assist customers in Africa in connecting to 40 key data center hubs across the United States.  

Flexential is a leading provider of data center colocation, cloud and connectivity solutions. The company owns and operates 40 highly redundant data centers, 7 cloud nodes and manages more than 13,000 cross-connects. 

Providing access to Angola’s MONET cable, housed in Flexential’s Fort Lauderdale data center, this partnership will offer customers connectivity via the low-latency, high-capacity South Atlantic Cable System (SACS).  The alliance with Angola Cables will also address the heightened demand from enterprises, service providers, as well as hyperscale cloud providers seeking edge deployments within the US market.  

“Our partnership with Flexential will strengthen interconnection options across southern and West Africa,” said Ângelo Gama, CEO of Angola Cables. Gama says that this high-capacity connectivity is well-suited to serve multiple industries from the oil and gas sector to scientific and academic research.  

“Plugging into Flexential’s extensive network of data centers in the U.S. will benefit our clients in Africa by not only extending their presence and exposure to the highly active U.S. market but will open up further opportunities for enterprises in Africa to establish direct connections with parent companies, subsidiaries, business partners and suppliers across the U.S.” 

Tim Parker, Senior Vice President, Network Strategy at Flexential said that their focus is on building and expanding trusted relationships.  “Through this agreement we are collectively able to extend our managed services and tailored IT and data center solutions to customers and enterprises on the African continent. Given the significant presence we’re already seeing from customers, including over-the-top (OTT) providers, hyperscalers and Fortune 500 companies in the African region, we’re excited to bring these organizations a new level of international capacity and connectivity via new cross-connect options.”  

Utilizing Angola Cables’ Global Data Center Interconnect solution, customers can now access almost 60 data centers across their global network, which has significant benefits for multinational companies and enterprises that are looking for secure, low-latency connections that can manage large amounts of data and contents, safely and securely.  

“Our arrangement with Flexential presents an ideal solution for managing data traffic and promoting commerce on either side of the Atlantic whilst assisting companies in broadening and expanding their business horizons,” said Gama.  

www.angolacables.co.ao

www.flexential.com