China's largest steelmaker signs up with SAS (no, not the SAS)

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In a deal worth almost US$1.4 million, the Shanghai Baosteel Group has signed a multi-year agreement with SAS Institute for data warehousing, data mining and on-line reporting technology and services. The deal covers a number of software modules from SAS Institute, including SAS/IntrNet(tm) software and the data-mining package Enterprise Miner(tm) software, together with consulting services to build an enterprise data warehouse. Since Enterprise Miner software's debut in June 1998, SAS Institute has sold more than 500 licenses.

"SAS Institute's position in data mining software reflects their years of experience and extensive research and development in integrated software for data warehousing, information access, statistics, and analysis," said Henry Morris, vice president of data warehousing and information access at International Data Corporation in Framingham, Mass. "SAS software is the enabling technology behind many leading-edge custom applications of data mining across a variety of industries for a variety of business problems, including customer relationship management. SAS Institute is beginning to package its expertise and technology in the form of advanced analytic applications that will broaden the deployment of data mining in the future."

Founded in 1978, Baosteel is China's largest iron and steel corporation, with an annual production of more than 10 million tons. The company has been using SAS software since 1994, and increased its commitment to SAS software in 1997 by signing a multi-year agreement that totaled US$786,000. The US$1.4 million 1999 agreement represents a major expansion in Baosteel's use of data warehousing and data mining techniques. The improved access and analysis of the manufacturer's huge resources of data, accomplished using SAS software, will play an important role in helping to ensure Baosteel's future competitiveness. Enterprise Miner software will be used mainly for monitoring and improving quality control and for cost control. This capability is particularly important now, as China is on the verge of gaining admittance to the World Trade Organization.

SAS/IntrNet software will provide an on-line enterprise-reporting system. This system will enable senior managers to conduct analysis and obtain information directly from the data warehouse via the company's intranet. SAS Institute consulting services will help Baosteel to design a comprehensive enterprise data warehouse. The enterprise warehouse will be an ongoing project for Baosteel, covering all aspects of the organization's activities including quality control, production, sales and finance.

The new system is expected to offer Baosteel a number of advantages, particularly in the areas of quality control and cost control. Li Haiping, deputy general manager of the Baosteel Group, said, "We have now established a good IT infrastructure, and over recent years we have been able to build up huge amounts of data. The next stage for Baosteel is to make use of this data to provide us with a competitive advantage. We are very pleased that we can work with SAS Institute to achieve this goal."

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