There is a significantly large SAS install base even among our "bleed blue" ELA customers. And of course outside of that SAS requires no introduction in this space (refer Gartner).
Customers (I met one such large healthcare customer last week) are at the crossroads with strategy in place to phase out proprietary solutions (SAS/SPSS) and move towards Open source based data science platforms to leverage all the innovation, algorithms, AI happening around the world plus to accommodate the new wave of skills coming off of college in the new era. The issue or impediment or hurdle for achieving this objective is their current investment (skills/statisticians/Phds, models, infrastructure) like SAS. That is where Domino won their hearts and minds and see how they could be a bigger threat going forward (their visualization is on par or superior from the feedback this customer gave)
Little bit more background;
The customer, a good friend of ours - Director of Analytics brought in Domino, IBM, and another vendor to pitch their Data science (open source) offerings in separate occasions to their data scientists across various line of business/ old and new era...) and the feedback we received was that every data scientist loved domino. And the main reason why they felt that way is because of its flexibility in allowing SAS data science specialists to use their own tools - or in other words, Domino for them showed more than just an import export (PMML) approach but a native experience option until they migrate / slowly switch camps to the new approach like notebooks... And you could guess what their background was (predominantly seasoned SAS users, analysts and data scientists). And therefore he said it might be a very hard sell for IBM.
Why is it useful?
A feature like this will help position DSX as a far superior enterprise grade collaborative bridge between old (SPSS, SAS) and the new ( Open Source, Notebooks, R, Python, TensorFlow, Caffe, Seahorse visual spark) tooling & platform paradigms. We are the leader now in the market place and in the eyes of analysts but this would help sustain the position for time to come going forward.
|Who would benefit from this IDEA?||Customer - CDO, Chief Analytics Officer, Marketing, Sales, Operations, Actuarial|
How should it work?
I am going to quote how Domino Labs achieves this integration ;
"Domino users can configure environments to make SAS Studio available in projects. This means SAS Studio will launch and sync back to Domino along with the other Domino-supported tools, such as Jupyter Notebooks and RStudio. "
'"Users can now execute SAS scripts in Domino via web UI and CLI by simply choosing a file to execute, just as they are already able to do with R and Python."