SAS is reaching out to those in uniform, donating computers to law enforcement officials and sponsoring a best practices program for the military.

The Executive Fellows Program is designed to bring together retired senior military personnel with leaders in the private sector and academia to study and facilitate the adoption of best business practices by the military.

It is an initiative of the Institute for Defense and Business (IDB), a nonprofit research and education organization that specializes in educational and research programs involving military, academic and private sector executives. Created in 1998 by the University of North Carolina and the state government, the IDB has its main offices in Chapel Hill.

Recently retired senior military officers and senior civilians from the various branches of service will engage in research, writing and teaching in academic and business disciplines important to both the military and the private sector.

IDB will select the fellows based on such factors as service experience, expertise and education as well as representation of the military branches, the Department of Defense and the joint commands. At least four fellowships will be sponsored each year.

“The dedication of the IDB to foster synergy and the exchange of proven best practices between the private sector and military is highly innovative and offers a valuable opportunity for exploring how business intelligence solutions can deliver the insight needed to meet mission-critical challenges,” said Jeff Babcock, vice president of SAS Public Sector. “SAS has been an active participant in a number of IDB programs for the military, and it is clear that senior leadership in the DoD and the military services consider IDB as a valuable partner in improving their business operations.”

SAS’ commitment to the IDB Executive Fellows Program marks the most significant private-sector contribution since the group’s creation. The program is expected to become a model for future research and teaching partnerships with leading private sector firms, IDB leaders said.

“We are pleased that a company with the global vision of SAS recognizes the unique value of the Executive Fellows Program to the (DoD) and our military services,” said IDB President William Powell. “It is characteristic of SAS to be in the vanguard of creative business intelligence solutions, and we feel the sponsorship not only strengthens the IDB’s programming, but also offers a unique opportunity to build relationships with defense-related companies that have not had wide exposure to North Carolina.”

In addition, the SAS contribution will help establish and equip a software solutions laboratory to demonstrate solutions of interest to the U.S. DoD. While a demonstration of SAS solutions will be a key feature of the laboratory, it will include other examples of software that has the potential to improve military efficiency.

Computers for cops

SAS also is donating approximately 200 computers to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol (NCSHP). The computers will be distributed to 50 district offices throughout the state, including the NCSHP headquarters in Raleigh.

According to NCSHP officials, the computers will provide a substantial technology upgrade for users.

“SAS is replacing some of the highway patrol’s older computers,” said Keith Leister, network engineer for the NCSHP. “The computers from SAS will advance the hardware by 10 years and will ultimately upgrade the system. With the new computers, we will be able to install software upgrades that alone will make a big difference.”

In its nearly 28 years, Cary-based SAS has contributed to many N.C. organizations, focusing primarily on education. Through a financial and in-kind grants program, the company says it wants to demonstrate corporate citizenship on a global level, while staying committed to its roots.

“Having a foundation in North Carolina is an important part of SAS’ history,” said George Farthing, community relations manager for SAS. “We’re happy to help the patrol meet its technology needs.”