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CARY, N.C. – Volvo is expanding its use of data analytics software solutions from

Volvofinans, the finance arm of Volvo, is added five services to the two it already utilizes from Cary-based SAS, the world’s largest privately held software company. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Volvofinans will add business intelligence, data integration, marketing automation, financial management and anti-money laundering tools. It already utilizes credit scoring and credit risk management services.

The press release:

CARY, N.C. – Volvofinans, the financial arm of Volvo in Sweden, is integrating its decision support systems using a comprehensive analytics platform from SAS, the leader in business analytics software and solutions. Customer information is a priority for Volvofinans, and the investment in SAS software will help the company gain greater value from this critical asset. By better determining which customers are profitable, Volvofinans can target the right customers – especially important in today’s economic climate.

Volvofinans provides finance for products marketed by Volvo in Sweden, primarily through loans and leases to private individuals and companies. In 2008, after two business units, Volvofinans Account and Volvofinans, merged to become Volvofinans Bank, the company determined to unify all analytics under one platform, provided by SAS.

With data consolidation and conversion underway, Volvofinans plans to introduce the system in 2010. In addition to SAS® Credit Scoring for Banking and SAS® Credit Risk Management for Banking which is already in place at the organization, Volvofinans purchased SAS® Enterprise BI Server, SAS® Enterprise Data Integration Server, SAS® Marketing Automation, SAS® Financial Management and SAS® Anti-Money Laundering.

“More and more players in the financial market are offering similar services,” said Johan Nordin, IT Manager at Volvofinans. “We can differentiate ourselves through customer information, so we are investing in increasing the value it represents."

“Before SAS, we had different systems from two companies, with analyses spread out across various decision support and operational systems," said Lars Blomgren, Head of Business Development at Volvofinans. ”Developing systems was time-consuming, since we were working with different tools, databases, and definitions.”

The resulting long lead times and inefficiency eroded confidence in the information. By operating under one platform, Volvofinans will become more efficient and responsive, maintaining higher quality at lower cost. “Just to measure more things, such as the impact of different campaigns, more regularly, is an improvement," added Blomgren.

Volvofinans has deployed SAS Credit Scoring for Banking and SAS Credit Risk Management for Banking to support Basel II regulatory requirements since early 2007. “It was our biggest IT project of all time, on a very tight schedule,” said Marianne Moberg, Volvofinans Head of Risk and Regulatory Compliance. “I have never seen a project go so well, with no interruptions."

The successful implementation contributed to Volvofinans’ decision to invest further in SAS software. Other reasons were SAS’ breadth of competencies and complete packaged solutions.

Volvofinans business and IT managers met early with SAS to identify needs and assess SAS’ offerings. “This has been a success,” said Blomgren. “With the easy implementation, everyone favors the change. It is clearly the right way to go."

“This will also be an improvement for our partners, Volvo dealers who collect the customer information," said Nordin. “Before, they had only static reports. Now they can actively choose what they want to know. Volvofinans’ internal experts – statisticians in the risk department and marketing analysts – help dealers access customer information and share analyses.”

“By improving the customer analysis, dealers can focus resources on those customers that will be most profitable ones,” said Blomgren. “While always important, this carries additional weight in a downturn. We can assess which customers we want and how profitable they are. We don’t want customers at any price – we base everything on analysis of each business and campaign. We also want to work efficiently – we can’t afford to get bogged down with manual solutions, ineffective campaigns or inappropriate credit limits for good customers.”