SAS is launching a new business unit designed to help clients improve profits through use of analytics in determining pricing and most profitable market segments, the company said Monday.

Called the “Global Price Optimization Practice,” the team is led by Steve Pinchuk, a veteran in profit and yield management.

SAS announced the new initiative at the same time it disclosed the acquisition of IDeaS, a Minnesota-based firm revenue optimization firm focused on the hospitality industry. SAS plans to use IDeaS applications in other parts of its business.

"In addition to building on the success of IDeaS, SAS will tackle business problems in revenue management that are being ignored," said Randy Guard, SAS Senior Director of Product Management. "We will integrate revenue-management capabilities with SAS’ powerful analytics, data integration and business intelligence applications to solve business problems spanning distribution, pricing and customer experience management."

Efforts of the group will focus on revenue management, customer relationship, pricing and distribution.

Pinchuk joined SAS from Harrah’s Entertainment in Las Vegas where he was a corporate vice president of revenue management. He also has worked in similar positions at American Airlines, Princess Cruise Lines and other travel firms.

SAS has already assigned four executives to the unit and the company “plans to grow [the unit] to an undetermined number over time.”