By 19 February 2020 | Categories: news


Even as the economy and some industries struggle there is one sector that is apparently growing and innovating at a rapid base in the face of digital transformation – IT companies. The latest news on this front, since its Analytics Experience last year, is that data and analytics company SAS has announced that it is reshaping its customer-facing structure in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region under the leadership of Riad Gydien, Senior Vice President of Europe, Middle East and Africa.

More specifically, the company explained that Gydien is realigning the region around a customer-centric vision, from sales to deployment, training and value creation. The strategy includes a new Customer Experience Practice under a single leader, which coordinates all customer touchpoints. SAS will be rolling out a similar approach in other regions.

The rationale behind the move, according to SAS, is that brands need to rethink their customer ecosystems to keep pace with empowered consumers and evolving technologies. This was one of the findings from Experience 2030: The Future of Customer Experience, a research study conducted by Futurum Research and sponsored by SAS.

“The key to success for our customers lies in alignment of technology, education, support and services from SAS as well as our partner network. This will provide a seamless and exceptional customer experience,” explained Gydien.

The announcement is not just about SAS’ strategy, it is also about what agile companies need to do in order to succeed in a rapidly digitizing world. The company stressed that as organizations progress in their digital transformation journeys, they increasingly realize that their investments must focus on value creation, not simply on the data and technology itself.

For instance, data science teams were once evaluated on the number of algorithms or models they could create. Now, their impact is measured by the business outcomes these programs support.

“Our customers are facing some incredible challenges: the explosive growth of data, the need to drive near-real-time decisions at massive scale, a multitude of rapidly emerging technologies and a seemingly insurmountable skills gap,” conitnued Gydien. “If organizations are to remain relevant, they must develop the ability to sense, understand and respond to changing market conditions and customer expectations with both speed and agility,” he elaborated.

“Data-led innovation is changing the world, and we are at the forefront, helping customers deploy analytics that lead to better decisions across the enterprise,” added Dave Macdonald, Executive Vice President and Chief Sales Officer for SAS. “Our calling is to support our customers through their digital transformation, and their success is truly a passion for Riad. He is focused on helping organizations apply the most advanced analytics, AI and machine learning techniques to solve their most critical business challenges,” he concluded.

This announcement is the boldest one yet since it announced its $1 billion investment in AI last year. That investment built on SAS’ already strong foundation in AI, which includes advanced analytics, machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing and computer vision. More specifically, it added support for educational and expert services to help with the digital transformation journey, and equip business leaders and data scientists for the future.

If you are wondering what the number one use for analytics is in South Africa, we can tell you this - it is not what you think. Read more on that here. 


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