SAS has formed a life sciences organisation that will operate within its Americas sales division.
The organisation will focus on supporting healthcare providers, health insurers and biomedical companies, which includes pharmaceuticals, said Chris Glass, SAS life sciences strategist.
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"What we see happening in the market is that these biomedical companies, the health insurers and the providers are all getting closer together, so what we're doing is positioning ourselves so that we can facilitate communications," Glass said. "Their conversations are all about data."
What SAS can help customers do is to create and track paper trails for various aspects of life sciences, including clinical drug trials and provide the ability to aggregate data from various sources.
Besides marketing existing software through the division, the company will also develop new products for the life sciences.
While SAS has a history in life sciences, its decision to dedicate a business unit to that area follows a general IT supplier trend that includes IBM, Hewlett-Packard - which became the top IT supplier in terms of revenue after acquiring Compaq Computer - and Oracle, which is a SAS competitor.