With enterprise customers unwilling to commit to big expenditures because of the unstable economy, SAS is making its Viya analytics suite available on Microsoft’s Azure Marketplace to help enterprise users access all features of the suite in a pay-as-you-go model.
“The availability of Viya on the Azure Marketplace gives enterprises the option to run the suite with a single click and in a pay-as-you-go model," said Jay Upchurch, CIO at SAS. "These options make for a perfect way to combat any headwinds around economic uncertainty in the future."
Another reason to put Viya on the marketplace, according to SAS, is the growing trend among enterprises to buy software from marketplaces rather than from vendors.
A recent report from software marketplace G2 pointed to changes in the software buying process and claimed that one factor driving the popularity of software marketplaces was the presence of peer reviews in their user interface.
Viya, as part of the Azure Marketplace, will include an in-app learning center to help support onboarding, SAS said. Other Viya components will include SAS applications such as Visual Analytics, Visual Statistics, Visual Data Mining and Machine Learning, Model Manager, Studio Analyst, Information Governance, Econometrics and Optimisation.
Pricing will be based on computing resources used, SAS said.
Continued partnership with Microsoft
SAS said its launch of Viya on the Azure Marketplace is an extension of the strategic partnership it announced with Microsoft in June 2020. That partnership, built on SAS integrations across Microsoft cloud solutions for Azure, was intended to enable enterprises to migrate their analytical workloads to the cloud, with Azure as SAS’ preferred cloud provider.
But that preference is not exclusive. Upchurch said Viya will be made available on other marketplaces in the future.
However, enterprises may prefer Azure over AWS and GCP for running analytical workloads, said Matt Aslett, vice president and analyst at Ventana Research.
“Our analytics and data benchmark research shows a slight preference for Microsoft Azure over AWS, which are both more popular that Google Cloud Platform [GCP] for analytics and data workloads among our participants,” he said.
Offering Viya in a pay-as-you-go version on the marketplace could also be seen as an effort to attract smaller customers in contrast to its current customer base of large banks, insurance companies, and pharmaceutical and healthcare firms, said Doug Henschen, principal analyst at Constellation Research.
“Every company wants and needs to attract new customers, and this is a clear effort by SAS to make it easier for customers to start small with something they can deploy themselves, that’s delivered as a service and that they can pay as part of their cloud account,” said Henschen.
In the commercial software space, SAS rivals include Alteryx, Amazon (with SageMaker), Dataiku, Domino Data Labs, Google (with Vertex), H2O.ai, Knime, RapidMiner and TIBCO, said Henschen.
“Microsoft also presents co-opetition with both Azure Databricks and Azure ML," Henschen added. "Another form of competition comes from open-source tools and data science libraries provided by the likes of Anaconda."