The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of WRAL Tech Wire and business editor of

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – SAS’ acquisition earlier this year of Raleigh-based aiMatch is already paying dividends for the $2.7 billion-a-year global software firm.

SAS executives were in New York at a trade show on Monday showing off a new product, SAS Intelligent Advertising for Publishers. It’s the first new product from SAS that incorporates aiMatch technology, a company spokesperson says.

Better still, SAS already has customers for the digital advertising solution, including popular sharing site PhotoBucket and, which is billed as the world’s largest Internet radio network.

The SAS suite is designed to help customers better integrate and sell advertising inventory across multiple platforms.

Among the SAS team showcasing the advertising suite in New York was aiMatch’s founder and former Chief Executive Officer Jeff Wood, the SAS spokesperson confirmed.

SAS absorbed the aiMatch team, basing them at the SAS headquarters campus in Cary.

When the deal was announced, SAS said aiMatch technology would help it brings data analytics to the digital advertising space.

“Due to an explosion of data the online advertising industry is in desperate need of better solutions to analyze and make use of all of the new information available to them,” Wood said at the time of the deal. “Publishers are actively seeking a technology partner that does not compete with them in the media space. Combining aiMatch’s intelligent decision and delivery engine with SAS’ analytics and optimization capabilities provides a highly desirable solution to both of these problems.”

SAS has already put together a whitepaper on the PhotoBucket (a hosting site for photos and videos) experience using Intelligent Advertising for Publishers.

“Having business intelligence, sales performance management, forecasting and delivery insights together in one easy-to-use system has significantly improved our ability to manage and maximize the value of our inventory,” said Darren Kelly, chief revenue officer at Photobucket.

Added Jay Wilson, Photobucket Director of Ad Operations: “We have a more holistic ad-serving platform that improves forecasting accuracy and provides the easily accessible and actionable information we need to maximize our online inventory.” was cited in SAS’ formal product announcement on Monday.

“Standard ad servers no longer supply what’s required to profit from selling advertising,” Janet Ryan, head of sales at, is quoted as saying as part of the SAS announcement. “SAS goes beyond the industry standard, enabling us to optimize revenue from advertisers.”

SAS says the Intelligent suite offers one place for management of targeting, market research, inventory analysis, workflow and sales performance.

Modules include:

• Data management
• Simulation-based forecasting
• Ad server prioritization and optimization
• Reporting
• Data visualization

aiMatch launched in 2010, its team built around online advertising technology. SAS’ Chief Marketing Officer Jim Davis described the aiMatch secret sauce as an “intelligent decision and delivery engine.” More importantly, SAS executives say, they acquired the intellectual capital of the aiMatch leadership and developers. Since the deal, SAS has blended its analytics capabilities with that engine.

The target is a big one with some $32 billion a year spent on online advertising in 2011. That market is expected to hit $50 billion by 2015.

[SAS ARCHIVE: Check out a decade of SAS stories as reported in WRAL Tech Wire by clicking here.]