Monday, November 01, 2010

SAS Offers Two New Hosted Services

Doug Henschen reports in InformationWeek that SAS has added two new hosted services to its portfolio of customer analytics aimed at mining online interactions.

The first is the SAS Conversation Center, an add-on module for driving customer engagement on social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook. "SAS had already announced a Social Media Analytics service last April, but feedback from the handful of customers implementing that service led to the optional Conversation Center module announced last week."

 "Social Media Analytics didn't address how you engage people in the social media space once you've identified relevant comments, so we came up with the Conversation Center," explained John Bastone, SAS's customer intelligence strategist.

Debuting in January, Conversation Center will start with comments spotted by the Social Media Analytics service and prioritize them based on their influence, such as the numbers of followers and retweets on Twitter. The module will also route comments to appropriate response queues.

(Henschen also reports in Intelligent Enterprise that "SAS is far from alone in addressing sentiment analysis. Attensity and Verint are among a handful of vendors now spotting and speeding responses to Tweets, Facebook posts, blogs and other forms of social network feedback. Both companies recently announced software that blends sentiment analysis with CRM applications. Verint's Impact 360 Text Analysis application was developed in partnership with Clarabridge, a head-on competitor to SAS in sentiment analysis.")

The second new service is SAS's Customer Experience Analytics, an application that  was formerly a user-hosted offering. CEA mines the detail of Web sessions and matches Web analytics, such as page navigation and campaign response, against known customer records and customer segments, such as loyal and high-value customers.  
Henschen notes that SAS works with the Speed-Trap data capture service to collect raw session data. "In the on-premise version of Customer Experience Analytics, the captured data is stored and compared to behavioral data behind the customer's firewall. SAS says it came up with the hosted service announced last week because many customers don't want to have to manage yet another data warehouse. In this scenario, customer behavior and segmentation data is sent to SAS for analysis against Web navigation data."

"Many of the larger companies we work with don't have a problem sending us customer behavioral data in a secure way," Bastone said. "They would much rather gain the convenience of getting up and running within a couple of weeks."

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