SAS Institute Adds Wireless Device Support

INDIANAPOLIS (04/11/2000) - SAS Institute Inc., a maker of decision-support and data warehousing software, announced added support for wireless devices at the company's annual user group conference here this week.

The Cary, North Carolina-based company beefed up its Intelligent Warehouse product to include support for WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) and enhanced support for HTML. The new protocol support will allow users to access warehousing data from wireless devices, such as cellular phones and PDAs (personal digital assistants) like 3Com Corp.'s Palm Pilot.

SAS Institute introduced a wireless support initiative in Europe last year, and yesterday it announced the availability of wireless access from its Intelligent Warehouse product for its North American customers.

Jeff LeSuer, senior director of marketing planning and analysis at BMG Direct, a music subscription service in New York, lauded the move to support wireless devices, saying it would better enable mobile workers to access up-to-date information from the road.

"One of the benefits of a data warehousing service is getting the marketing and business information out to different parts of the organization," he said.

"Providing access through different devices is just going to make that that much easier. It's no longer an easy, clear path" to service internal groups.

Still, one user, Norm Hult, director of data warehousing at Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based BankFirst Corp., expressed concern about sending sensitive financial data to workers in the field using a cell phone or other wireless device.

"We have a hard time seeing the practical use of wireless access," said Hult.

"I'm not wild about transmitting information over the wires, (let alone over wireless)."

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