KDnuggets : News : 2008 : n06 : item34 < PREVIOUS | NEXT >


The SAS-Teragram Deal's Back Story

Seth Grimes, March 17, 2008

SAS has announced their take-over of text-analytics vendor Teragram. The companies' joint press release states that "the acquisition will enhance SAS's own robust text mining and analytical BI offerings and extend them to enterprise and mobile search." The release cites Teragram's natural language processing (NLP), categorization, and enterprise search technologies, but it leaves much of back-story untold. Here's my take on positioning, technology, and solution considerations that likely motivated what seems like a smart move for both companies.

The essence of the announcement is captured in SAS CEO Jim Goodnight's statement, "Teragram's technologies augment, strengthen, and extend SAS's ability to combine structured and unstructured data -- not only in our text mining solution but embedded across the entire SAS Enterprise Intelligence Platform -- to drive better answers faster." SAS chief text mining strategist Manya Mayes added in e-mail to me, "Teragram has a broad solution that includes enterprise search and mobile BI" that "complements SAS Text Miner."

Implicit is that SAS has not kept up with the competition in integrating text technologies into industry vertical solutions or business-function horizontals. The Teragram acquisition bridges gaps.


Regarding those text-BI competitors, SAS's PR leaves unsaid that by acquiring Teragram, SAS brings in-house linguistic capabilities that the company has long licensed from Inxight, a company bought last year by SAS's BI rival Business Objects. Business Objects was of course subsequently taken over by enterprise applications powerhouse SAP. While Business Objects has promised to continue supporting Inxight OEM customers, continued reliance on a direct rival's technology had surely become undesirable for SAS.

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KDnuggets : News : 2008 : n06 : item34 < PREVIOUS | NEXT >

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