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Channel is delivering for SAS

It has been just shy of two years since SAS turned to the channel to help drive growth and already partners are having a real impact

Back in March 2014 big data analytics player SAS decided that the time was right to turn to the channel and use partners to broaden its market reach.

The firm had enjoyed decades of selling direct to large enterprises but with the demand for business intelligence starting to be felt more keenly in the SME space the firm looked to establish a channel partner programme.

At that point the firm operated a 95% direct strategy but since then has been looking to change the balance, with more business going via partners.

That plan seems to be going well with the vendor just releasing its 2015 numbers with a specific reference to the important role that partners are now playing in its business.

SAS revealed that last year partners "influenced 30% of new sales and nearly half of SAS’ largest deals, and the SAS channel is making a bigger impact than ever".

The role of distributor Arrow was also singled out for mention with the distie getting a pat on the back for signing up more than 150 resellers.

For the last year SAS reported a 6.4% climb in revenues to $3.16bn, with new software sales increasing by 12%. The UK & Ireland recorded 11% year-on-year growth in total software sales revenue, which made it the best performing country across Emea.

"We managed to achieve this strong revenue growth by listening to and working with our customers so we understood exactly what their business challenges were – often working with them as a strategic partner rather than simply being a software vendor," said Mark Wilkinson, SAS regional vice president – Northern Europe and Russia/CIS.

"We’ve been able to tackle sometimes complex business issues through use of analytics in areas such as customer intelligence, risk and fraud. The UK & Ireland is now very well placed to deliver in 2016," he added.

The firm continued to find that financial services, government and insurance were the main verticals that were driving its revenue last year.

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