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SAS R&D India is the largest R&D center outside the SAS Headquarters: Dr Rama Jayanti, Center Head, SAS R&D India

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SAS R&D India is an extended arm of SAS and an integral part of the growth strategy that SAS has adopted. In a detailed interview, Dr Rama Jayanti, VP R&D and Center Head, SAS R&D India, shares with us the significance of SAS India’s R&D Center, while highlighting how the Indian team has contributed to the global innovation efforts of the company

Some edited excerpts:

Tell us about the Global innovation that SAS has driven from India through R&D efforts in Data and Analytics?
SAS R&D India forms an integral part of the larger global SAS R&D team. Over the years, the center has been instrumental in positively impacting the bottom and top line for the company through delivering innovative solutions. To name a few:

• Demand Sensing – With COVID-19 disrupting the supply chain, there was a need for enhancing the short-term demand forecasting. The team studied the market dynamics and worked with the field and customers to build a Cloud Analytics Quick Start for Retailers. This solution enables retailers to forecast demands by using innovative forecasting techniques.
• Life Cycle Pricing for Retail and Consumer Packaged Groups (CPG) Companies – The pricing engine for promotion and markdown is developed in Pune in collaboration with SAS teams based in our Headquarters in Cary.
• Analytics for Internet of Things (AIoT) – This solution offers a high-degree of configurability thereby enabling enterprises to gain insights about their manufacturing cost and quality, reduce warranty risks and costs, and improve overall production yields. By using the advanced analytics platform that SAS offers, the solution provides superior root-cause analysis, quality data management, early warning analytics, and streaming analytics.
• Risk Modeling and Regulatory Capital Management – Both these solutions are developed in Pune, and have won the best risk technology award in their respective categories.

How does SAS R&D collaborate with SAS and drive the R&D efforts across the data and analytics spectrum?
SAS R&D India is an extended arm of our headquarters and an integral part of the growth strategy that SAS has adopted. We collaborate with other R&D teams, product managers, field consultants, technical support, and cloud operations to deliver innovative solutions to the market.

Our collaboration is at multiple levels with various cross-functional teams. We collaborate with product management to analyse requirements and customer’s use cases. The usability team helps us enhance the user experience and the documentation development team helps us publish the customer-facing documentation. The field services and R&D teams ensure timely delivery of the solutions, and project management ensures successful execution of the projects.

On the R&D front, our teams can be broadly categorized in two focus areas —core platform and solutions. We have five teams that are focused on solutions and three teams that are focused on core platform. The key products from the Pune office include Retail solutions, Risk solutions, IoT solutions, Customer Intelligence (CI) solutions, and features in core platform and analytics. In addition, our teams build customer-focused solutions that are based on the needs in the region. They also partner with the field and the R&D team to deliver specific use cases that are based on market demands.

Can you share some of the key work being done at the SAS R&D Center in India?
SAS R&D India focuses on these key areas: CI 360 ( built to deliver purpose-built, intelligent marketing for today’s modern enterprises), Retail Analytics (lets you apply analytics to every step of the customer journey for better connections and deeper insights.), IoT Analytics(Advanced analytics solutions with embedded AI and machine learning to enable you analyze a variety of structured and unstructured IoT data sources), Risk Modeling and Decisioning(a solution that supports the full analytics life cycle from data preparation to model development, validation, deployment, decisioning and monitoring), Regulatory Capital Management (helps compute regulatory capital measures with a single, end-to-end risk management environment), and Platform Services (a cloud native AI, analytic and data management platform that supports the analytics life cycle, enabling teams to turn data into insights).

How have the R&D solutions helped SAS drive market share? What has been the impact?

Being an integral part of the global R&D team since its inception, the SAS R&D India team has contributed to the development of all the key solutions in varying capacities. That said, across different solutions, the greatest impacts have been for the Risk, Retail, and IoT solution portfolios.

Our Risk Management solutions have a very strong presence in Banks and Financial Institutions globally as well as in India. SAS is the only vendor to earn a Top 5 rank in the Chartis RiskTech100 each year since its 2005 debut. SAS won in three solution categories – Risk and Finance Integration, IFRS 9 and Trade-Based AML – for 2022 and was a category leader for Model Risk Management in 2021.

SAS also bagged Three Prestigious Risk.net Risk Technology Awards across Regulatory capital management, Consumer credit modelling and IFRS 9.

Similarly, our AIoT solutions have consistently recorded growth and products such as SAS Grid Guardian AI have been honoured with industry awards such as the Product of the Year Award from IoT Evolution World in 2022

How has the R&D team in India grown over the years? What have been some of the significant achievements?
SAS R&D India is the largest R&D center outside of the SAS Headquarters in Cary. Specifically, over the past two years, the headcount indicates a growth of more than 50%. In addition, several new capabilities such as DevOps and Cloud Operations have been operational. The achievements of the center can be assessed on multiple dimensions, namely delivery, innovation, and people practices. On the delivery front, the center represents most of the core offerings of SAS in some form or the other. Over the years, the teams have collaborated effectively with business and the rest of the R&D organizations and have delivered consistently to achieve the company’s targets. On the innovation front, the team has contributed to product ideas and patents. Regarding people practices, the center has consistently been recognized as a great place to work for its commitment toward investing in people and their careers and nurturing their well-being.

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