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SAS Institute, the data warehousing and decision support company, has opened a new office in Kita Kyushu-shi, Japan, in an effort to provide SAS training, consulting, and other customer services for its growing customer base in western Japan. Masao Nakatani, the general manager of sales at SAS Institute Japan Ltd. and the Osaka branch chief, will serve as the office manager.

The spread of data warehousing, data mining and decision support throughout Japan has resulted in increased customer demands for more intimate, detailed services, says SAS. The Kyushu office has been opened in response to these demands and to further develop the Institute's ability to provide business solutions more closely in tune with corporate customers' decision-making processes.

 SAS Japan has also announced a partnership with Toppan Printing to jointly offer marketing services powered by SAS Enterprise Miner software of its market leadership, ability to be used in open environments, flexibility, and scalability. Toppan I.D.M., an outsourcing venture begun by Toppan Printing in April 1998, will carry out Toppan's joint activities with SAS Institute. The two companies will seek out new clients and provide marketing, consulting, and technical support services.

"It was easy for us to decide on Enterprise Miner because it is the de facto standard in the data-mining business," said Yuji Iwagami, database marketing manager at Toppan in Tokyo.

"SAS Institute is happy to work with Toppan I.D.M., one of the leading database marketing vendors in Japan, in conjunction with our Enterprise Miner software," said Lee Richardson, SAS Institute's director of Asia-Pacific Latin America operations. "We see this cooperation a real win-win situation."

Toppan Printing's new marketing services will employ data-mining techniques to measure the results of marketing promotions. An application under consideration is measurement of the actual results of promotions by using data-mining techniques to analyse the relationship between the amount invested in promotions and actual point-of-sale data. Also being considered is measurement of the promotional capability of Web sites by estimating the relationship between site access (as recorded in access logs) and customer behaviour (e.g., purchase, request for information). Data-mining techniques will help Toppan Printing resolve some of the difficulties of marketing analysis that arise from the multitude of variables that affect the data relationships, the complexity of the variables, and the large amounts of data.

For fiscal 2000, Toppan Printing projects revenues from its Toppan I.D.M. data-mining business (including from related orders) is projected to reach ¥1 billion.

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