Photo - Andrew Tan, Managing Director, SAS Malaysia
Business analytics firm SAS Malaysia has recorded 29 percent growth due to continuing demand for Big Data Analytics (BDA) by Malaysian businesses as well as the loyalty of the company's staff.
SAS Malaysia managing director Andrew Tan said the company, which posted (a 29 percent increase) total revenue amounting to RM63 (US$7.55) million and a 13 percent growth in total software revenue amounting to RM46.3 (12.9) million, has recorded its 39th consecutive year of global growth with US$3.09 billion, up 5.1 percent in constant currency (2.3 percent US dollars) over 2013.
Tan said SAS was ranked No. 4 on FORTUNE magazine's list of Best Companies to Work For in the U.S. while in Malaysia, SAS was named one of the Best Companies to Work For in Asia in 2013 and 2014 by HR Asia.
"95 percent of our assets drive out the gate every evening," he said. "It's my job to maintain a work environment that keeps those people coming back every morning, SAS employees are among the industry's most loyal. In the software business, yearly turnover of 20 percent is the norm. At SAS, it's about 9 percent."
Another factor was the company's partner ecosystem, said Tan, which helped influence 65 percent of new sales last year. In 2014, SAS announced its partnership with Silverlake group, Asia Pacific's largest IT solutions provider to introduce big data analytics solutions to banks in Malaysia in areas such as fraud, risk and data management.
Clients in Malaysia are PETRONAS, CIMB, RHB, Maybank, Bank Negara, Maxis, U Mobile, MEASAT Broadcast Network Systems, PROTON, AirAsia, UEM, Tesco, Padiberas, LHDN, Department of Statistics, Mass Rapid Transit Corporation, Port of Tanjung Pelepas, Western Digital, AIA, Prudential and Sunway Education Group.
Outlook in 2015
Looking ahead to 2015, he said "Currently, market drivers like the cloud, big data and the Internet of Things are revolutionising the software industry. As billions of data-generating devices become connected, the raw data they generate becomes collectively valuable."
"E-commerce companies can increase their share-of-wallet dramatically if they were to combine email responses, online browsing behaviour as well as location data gained from their mobile app to personalise every offer at the right time and right place," said Tan.
"Utilities companies can reduce fuel consumption by analysing all its machine data including smart meters in real-time and pass on the benefits to its customers in smart pricing plans. Governments and NGO's can predict and respond to natural disasters by analysing historical patterns and social media data."
He said that this year the company expected continued growth in the areas of BI/data visualisation, data management and Hadoop, customer intelligence, risk management, particularly fraud and security intelligence. In 2013, Malaysia was ranked as the sixth most vulnerable to cybercrime alongside countries such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, India and Indonesia by the Sophos Security Threat Report. Cybercrime in Malaysia increased to 10,636 reported cases in 2013 from 9,986 cases in the previous year as reported by the national regulator Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
"With the increasing number of financial fraud cases reported in Malaysia, local banks must strengthen its security measures to protect its customer's financial assets or risk reputational damage," said Tan. "With SAS' Fraud Management solution, banks can detect unusual transaction patterns and intercept fraud before it happens. SAS has the lowest ratio of false positives. Out of ten potentially fraudulent transactions identified, four will prove positive."
To help address the shortage of data scientists, he said the company has launched SAS Analytics U to offer free SAS software to university students. In addition, SAS, which is currently taught at 21 education institutions across Malaysia, has announced collaborations with Sunway University and HELP College of Arts and Technology (HELF CAT) to offer joint degree programmes.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.