Date: Wed, 10 Jul 2002 01:07:39 -0400
Reply-To: "John J Genzano, III" <jgenzano@GENZANO.COM>
Sender: "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: "John J Genzano, III" <jgenzano@GENZANO.COM>
Subject: Re: SAS DSS Software Pricing vs. Microsoft
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
The major pricing item you did not include in your analysis is that
(assuming the named prices are first year "purchase") the SAS solution
is going to cost the user an additional $7000/year for licensing of the
SAS product whether they need upgrades or not.
John J Genzano, III
Genzano Software Consulting
SAS Certified Professional, V6
"Living in the past is a dull and lonely business; looking back strains
the neck muscles, causes you to bump into people not going your way." -
From: SAS(r) Discussion [mailto:SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Don
Sent: Wednesday, July 03, 2002 8:08 AM
Subject: Re: SAS DSS Software Pricing vs. Microsoft
First let me say that I am somewhat reluctant to comment on this topic,
pricing issues invariably go on for a very long time on SAS-L. And the
bottom line is that, for now anyway, SAS will continue to price its
at the current rate since there are customers willing/able to pay those
rates. As to whether lower prices would be good for SAS (we all know
customers would like lower prices), that is something that we can all
express an opinion on. FWIW, I think that a number of SAS products (or
bundles) should/could be priced more competitively.
All that aside however, there are some issues that I feel are sometimes
overlooked when individuals, customers, etc. react to products prices.
Before commenting on that, let me give you some personal perspective (as
former SAS employee who was fairly involved in the development,
and roll-out of a number of SAS products). Here are a couple of "cost
factors" to consider in, say, comparing Microsoft to SAS pricing:
1. Different business model - Microsoft prices many products fairly low
that the prodcuts become ubiquitous. As the number of users go up,
does indeed begin to recover those costs. Unfortunately I can't find it
but a few years ago one of the analyst firms did a study and showed that
cost to an enterprise between the buy now and pay for upgrades
vs the license model balanced out over the long term.
2. Do not underestimate the cost of free technical support. In addition,
many SAS products/versions are supported for a number of years after
are upgraded/replaced. That again is a cost.
3. Multiple platforms. Microsoft has to worry about 1 platform. SAS has
multiple platforms it supports. As users, I think we benefit from the
of alternative platforms (e.g., Unix, Linux, MVS, etc.).
4. You say that you acknowledge the quality difference, but say that
explain the price difference. That is correct, but it is a very
component that you should not ignore. Quality does not come cheap. I am
that many of the folks on this list can volunteer that they spend a
significant amount of time assuring the quality of the SAS apps that
write. The same goes for SAS - they spend a considerable amount of
on QA and Testing.
5. Documentaion - whether hardcopy, Help files, or Online doc.
Now lets look at this from a different perspective. First let me qualify
this by saying that the costs I am talking about in what follows often
out of different accounting buckets and so the staff responsible for
software purchasing and licensing decisions sometimes do not have the
flexibility they need. Regardless, here goes with the $1,400 Microsoft
you quote vs your approximate SAS cost of $14,000:
1. Lets begin by acknowledging that due to the quality/documentation
differences that it might be easier/faster to do this in SAS.
2. Next lets consider the cost of the time/labor spent by your
employees/contractors. A reasonable rule of thumb for the actual cost of
employee is twice their hourly rate (it can actually range from 1.3 to
sometimes as high as 3-4 depending upon a number of factors). To make
math simple, lets assume we are talking about an average hourly rate of
(very typical of the numbers quoted in job postings for SAS contract
positions - in fact, it may be a bit low).
3. Let take the price difference of $12,600 and divide it by $80. We get
157.5 hours - basically a person month. Does the added value of tech
support, increased quality, etc. save an organization a person month? I
would suspect that in many organizations it does, especially for those
multiple applications are supported by the same install of the SAS
If we have an organization with just 5 applications built in SAS, that
that once/if we save an average of 4 days per application the cost
has perhaps been justified.
I could go on, but this post is already toooooo long, so I will stop.
to say againg that I agree and do think that a number of SAS products
be more competitively priced. And perhaps some products should be rolled
together into a single offering (and the price should not be set by
up the price for the individual products).
Just my 2cents,
----- Original Message -----
From: "OLAP Newbie" <olap_newbie@YAHOO.COM>
Sent: Tuesday, July 02, 2002 8:42 PM
Subject: SAS DSS Software Pricing vs. Microsoft
> I am not very familiar with OLAP solutions and DSS software. I am
> trying to understand why there is a big difference in pricing between
> SAS OLAP and Microsoft OLAP solutions. Microsoft provides an OLAP
> solution as part of SQL Server 2000 for "free". You can buy a 5 user
> version of Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Standard Edition for $1,400 at
> any online store like Dell or CDW. This solution offers a good
> multitreaded SQL database, Data Transformation Services and Analysis
> The functional equivalent in SAS would be Base SAS, SAS Data Warehouse
> Administrator and SAS MDDB/Server. SAS uses a per processor type
> licensing model and a license for a dual processor machine for the
> three software packages may cost over 10 times as much (I am not sure
> exactly how much, so correct me if I am wrong regarding pricing). Base
> SAS has a lot more in it than SQL Server so I realize that there is
> some value there to just a price difference. However, I have not used
> SAS Data Warehouse Administrator and SAS MDDB/Server to be able to
> compare it to SQL Server's Data Transformation Services and Analysis
> Can any of you SAS gurus help me understand why I should pay the big
> price difference for the SAS solution instead of the Microsoft
> solution? I tried reading the free pages at olapreport.com, but they
> do not provide a one to one comparision of SAS vs. SQL Server for
> free. That is a good site IMHO.
> The quality of SAS software vs. Microsoft software is a known so I
> would rather avoid that as a reason for the price difference. Free
> version upgrades by SAS cannot explain the factor of 10 difference so
> there must be some other difference that I am missing.