CARY – Global software firm SAS has joined the growing list of tech organizations such as IBM and Red Hat that have canceled upcoming conferences and instead offering a digital alternative. SAS also is cutting back on corporate travel.

SAS on Thursday said it was calling off the physical version of its Global Forum that had been scheduled for March 29-April 1 in Washington, D.C.

“Our top priority is the health and well-being of our attendees, partners and employees. Out of an abundance of caution related to COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the in-person SAS  Global Forum  conference,” said SAS spokesperson Shannon Heath.

“Instead, SAS will be hosting an online virtual event during the same timeframe. ”

The event was to have featured historian Doris Kearns Goodwin among other high-profile executives, including SAS CEO Jim Goodnight.

Heath also said SAS was reducing travel by employees.

S”AS continues to monitor the virus and follow guidelines and recommendations provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),” she explained/

“We have implemented temporary travel restrictions in an effort to be as preventive as possible.”

Regarding the forum, Heath noted updates are forthcoming.

“More information  about  how to participate in  this  virtual  experience  will be communicated soon  and reflected on the SAS Global Forum  website,” Heath added.

SAS employs several thousand people at its headquarters in Cary and has offices around the world.

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