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Artificial Intelligence: The SAS offensive

The US giant SAS Analytics is committed, in the next three years, to invest $ 1 billion, mainly in the R&D and development of solutions based on artificial intelligence (AI). It reinvests approximately 26% of its revenues, well above the industry average of 12.5%.

In Morocco, where the group has established its headquarters for French-speaking Africa, this strategy is reflected in the doubling of the workforce and the formation of sharp profiles in Data Scientist data analysis and artificial intelligence. This will prevent him from systematically calling on foreign experts.

“At home, everyone must be at least Data Scientist, whether he has a commercial responsibility, technical sales or consulting,” said Youssef Aqallal, General Manager North Africa SAS Analytics.

The company is in full recruitment right now. The Casablanca office now has 13 employees. He expects 25 employees in two years. Faced with the scarcity of such profiles, the group is deploying in Morocco, as well as in the main countries of the region, an academic partnership program.

The project is conducted with a dozen institutions, mainly engineering and business schools including 6 in Morocco. The others are based in Senegal, Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Tunisia. These schools will benefit from free SAS software and solutions, within the framework of existing and co-created courses.

The US giant is also betting on tripartite partnerships, with universities and large companies, who will commit to hiring a number of students at the end of training programs.

In 2017, Africa and especially the French-speaking zone recorded the highest growth rate in sales. Over the last 5 years, the group has achieved more than 10% annual growth in revenues.

With more than $ 3.25 billion in total revenue in 2017, 36% came from the Europe, Middle East, Africa region. The opening of the Casablanca office offers more proximity with customers. From now, more than 80% of the consulting is ensured from the local ecosystem, with the optimization of the costs.

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