SAS Shakes Up BI Space With Reseller Effort

After decades of executing exclusively with direct sales, SAS Institute is launching its first reseller program, giving participants access to parts of a product line.

It is offering its partners margins not only on initial product license sales but also on the recurring revenue stream it derives from annual maintenance renewals. If partners meet criteria such as certification and customer-satisfaction goals, they will receive 25 percent of the renewal fee each year on deals they landed, SAS executives said.  Other BI vendors do not give partners a cut of the maintenance fees.

Two dozen resellers have already signed on with SAS since the program’s April launch.

SAS wants its resellers to target midmarket companies with less than $1 billion in annual revenue. According to SAS, the company’s internal sales team will be compensated very competitively on deals done through the channel, receiving commissions on 50 percent of the software’s list price.

SAS aims to sign up 50 partners this year and 150 by the end of next, concentrating on selling to midmarket customers with revenue of less than $1 billion.


* In spite of SAS’s already initially favorably priced BI Server platform with a direct sales force, up take of the R9 platform has been slow. An estimated 90% of SAS revenue comes from renewal revenue, and most of this from its flagship data mining and statistics products. Customers aren’t buying into SAS because the products aren’t best of breed, are difficult to use, are proprietary, and require a large yearly renewal fee. Offering incentives to channels is unlikely to changes this reality.
* Let’s not forget that SAS recently laid off employees, very much against its corporate culture. And, much like the other pure play vendors is trying new ways to bolster growth and remain profitable in the face on intense competitive pressure from Oracle, Microsoft and SAP.

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