SAS Institute of Cary presented its 2002 User Feedback Award to Dr. Jose G. Ramirez of W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc.

Ramirez won the award for his suggestions on SAS software products and in areas of new product development. W.L. Gore and Associates is a developer and manufacturer of proprietary products, such as GORE-TEX(R)fabrics, PRIMEA(R)membranes for fuel cells, cables, and medical implants based on the polymer polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). The company says it uses SAS to ensure it maintains the highest level of design quality in products.

In other news, SAS also launched its Healthcare Division, a specialized team it says has been established to help healthcare leaders deliver better patient care, provide better service to physicians, boost employee satisfaction, and increase profitability. Ultimately, the division will provide customers at hospitals, health systems and physician networks with SAS’ healthcare-specific solutions for performance management, data warehousing and business intelligence, the company says.

Annette Harris, SAS manager in technical support, presented the award to Ramirez during the opening session of the 27th annual SAS Users Group International (SUGI) conference, attended by more than 3,500 SAS customers from around the world in Orlando, FL. Harris presented the award to Ramirez on behalf of Dave Brumitt, SAS’ director of technical support, who was unable to attend.

“We have used SAS extensively, not only for the analysis of our reliability data, but also to gain a competitive advantage by developing methods for screening good and bad parts,” Ramirez said in a statement. “We could not have reached our level of success without our collaboration with SAS developers and technical support.”

The Technical Support division and other departments throughout SAS selected Ramirez for the award, which is part of SAS’ attempt to recognize users who provide outstanding assistance in perfecting the software company’s products for improved decision making.

“Dr. Ramirez has provided highly valuable feedback to our software developers in several areas of new development for high-end analytics, including the design of experiments, reliability analysis, and application of data mining methods to complex industrial processes,” Robert Rodriguez, SAS’ director of R&D in linear models and statistical quality improvement, said in a statement.

SAS also made several other announcements:

  • Plans to enhance its supplier intelligence solution, SAS Supplier Relationship Management (SRM). Release 2.3, available next quarter, will include new optimization technology to let companies fine-tune their supplier portfolio, as well as data-input technology to ease performance monitoring of suppliers. The new version will help businesses maximize supplier performance, quality and other key business goals while minimizing supply chain costs and risks.
  • Introduced Project Mercury, the next generation of the SAS Intelligence Architecture, which will be delivered through SAS Version 9 in several phases over the next 18 months.
  • With last month’s acquisition of ABC Technologies, SAS now offers companies capabilities to plan and report financial strength across the organization and with external shareholders. Activity-based costing provides the basis for accurate, intelligent decisions regarding profitability. By linking that application to a management framework such as balanced scorecard, an organization can simulate, forecast and predict the impact of strategic change on profits.
  • Plans to offer SAS Learning Edition software, Release 1.0, a personal version of SAS’ leading-edge software. It combines capabilities for data management, statistical analysis, advanced graphics, business forecasting, quality improvement and a roster of powerful PC Windows products from the SAS Intelligence Architecture platform. SAS’ Windows user interface, Enterprise Guide(R), provides integration of the various applications. Retailing for $125, the SAS Learning Edition provides a PC-based entry point to a new generation of business intelligence software. It is intended for both students and business professionals seeking to hone their SAS skills through hands-on experience.
  • Travelocity.com realized a 300 percent increase in its response rate to a preferred membership campaign after implementing SAS Solutions for Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Using SAS for segmentation and predictive analysis of their customer database, Travelocity.com decision makers fine-tune marketing campaigns and target offers in ways that improve booking response rates and, thus, increase sales revenue.
  • SAS will launch the newest version of SAS Risk Management later this quarter. Release 3.3 will include enhanced analytics to help business and risk professionals analyze and explore position and market data from their trading operations more quickly and accurately to determine their overall risk exposure.
  • Provident Bank has selected SAS Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Solutions as a key technology component for its current internal CRM application. Provident is planning to use the marketing automation solution from SAS for multi-channel CRM analysis and campaign management. The solution is expected to streamline the analysis of customer data to increase the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and strategies. Provident’s goal will be to deepen its customer knowledge while ensuring operational efficiency.