SAS Institute Selects Microsoft Windows Media for Digital Media Solution

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 14, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that SAS Institute Inc. ( ), the world’s largest privately held software company and the leader in data warehousing, data mining and decision support, has selected Microsoft® Windows Media TM as the digital media solution for its corporate intranet. SAS Institute has deployed Windows Media throughout the organization, including on more than 6,600 desktops worldwide. Each employee has access to the Windows Media corporate streaming solution for real-time webcasting and on-demand viewing of other video material. Through streaming media events, key corporate messages and information can be delivered quickly and directly to every employee in the organization. SAS Institute’s experience demonstrates the growing momentum among large organizations to turn to Windows Media as their scalable end-to-end digital media solution for corporate communications.

“At SAS Institute, we’ve built our business on providing software solutions for Fortune 500 and Global 1,000 companies that deliver the right information at the right time to the right people,”
said Bill Marriott, director of SAS Video Productions.
“Streaming media and webcasting technologies like Windows Media help us achieve the same goal internally by swiftly delivering essential information to managers, salespeople and other key groups.”

Delivering Key Information to Employee Desktops Worldwide

As a way to deliver timely messages directly to employee desktops, streaming media is a quick and powerful communications tool. Making media streams available on demand can also provide employees with access to important information any time, anywhere. For companies with worldwide operations like SAS Institute, this feature is particularly important for sharing key corporate information.

SAS Institute produces at least three live webcasts per week from its 85,000-square-foot video production facility at the company’s world headquarters in Cary, N.C. The subjects of these webcasts range from in-depth product updates on the latest SAS data warehousing and decision support technology to major corporate announcements by senior executives. For example, executives involved in a major global marketing effort met last fall in an auditorium at the institute’s headquarters to deliver a status update. More than 500 employees watched the briefing live via a webcast and were able to interact by asking questions via phone or e-mail. Within hours, SAS Video Productions made the presentation available on the corporate intranet to all employees worldwide, and 24 hours later, more than 5,000 employees had viewed the briefing.

“Windows Media streaming audio and video technology is fantastic because it’s enabling our global work force to interact and share information many times faster than we could with conventional video and in ways we never thought possible,”
Marriott said.

Video on Demand

SAS Institute uses Windows Media to provide its employees with a dynamic digital media library with more than 300 hours of archived events, lectures, technical demonstrations, town meetings and training content, as well as 150 archived streaming media webcasts. The library is completely searchable and accessible via the corporate intranet from any desktop in the company.

Before the adoption of streaming media technology, video production employees would spend much of their time copying and shipping videotapes. This distribution process, which SAS Institute used for years, often meant it took up to several months for specific information to be shared companywide.

By using Windows Media, the institute has dramatically accelerated the speed with which specific information can be shared within the company. For example, if a sales representative in South Africa who wants to view material on data mining can go to the video library on the corporate intranet, enter
“data mining”
in a keyword search, and instantly access archived content — from videotaped customer comments to training sessions – on the topic.
“Employees can register when they visit the site for the first time and identify topics that are of interest to them,”
Marriott said.
“As we add new content to the library in their chosen topic areas, the employees receive notification via e-mail.”

Making the Switch to Windows Media

In 1996, SAS Institute recognized the communication benefits of streaming media and became an early corporate adopter of the technology, using it primarily to present online panel discussions and product demonstrations. Initially, SAS Institute relied exclusively on RealNetworks technology, but when it wanted to expand its capabilities to deliver real-time webcasts and on-demand services across its intranet, the institute chose Windows Media. The company found that Windows Media offered better integration with its existing Microsoft® Windows NT® Server and Microsoft Office installation and was more cost-effective since the institute wouldn’t have to purchase additional software to create, serve or play streaming media.

“We saw strong business benefits in how Windows Media could really go beyond other solutions and integrate streaming media with both our Windows NT infrastructure and other Microsoft desktop applications like PowerPoint® and Outlook® ,”
Marriott said.
“The fact that it was also more cost-effective simplified our decision to move to Windows Media.”

Travel Cost Savings

SAS Institute, with 119 offices worldwide, has seen dramatic reductions in travel costs for meetings as a result of its use of Windows Media. For example, salespeople in the field no longer need to fly to one location for meetings or training seminars. Instead, they can get detailed news, information and training directly from headquarters without leaving their desks.

“With webcasting and our video library, our salespeople can spend more of the business day out in the field selling SAS software solutions,”
Marriott said.
“They now have the luxury of watching the archived replay of key corporate announcements and meetings in the evenings, on weekends, or whenever they have time in their schedules.”

SAS Institute joins a long list of major companies that depend on Windows Media as their corporate streaming solution provider, including Hewlett-Packard Co., Aetna Inc., Partners HealthCare System Inc., Deere & Co., Northrop Grumman, Eastman Chemical Co., 3Com Corp. and Fujitsu PC.

About Windows Media

Windows Media is the leading digital media platform, providing consumers, content providers, solution providers, software developers and corporations with unmatched audio and video quality. Windows Media Technologies 4, which includes Windows Media Player, Windows Media Services, Windows Media Tools and the Windows Media SDK, is available for free* download at . The Windows Media

Player, available in 24 languages, is the fastest growing media player. More than 50 million copies have been downloaded to date — growing by more than one every second.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

*Connect-time charges may apply.

Microsoft, Windows Media, Windows NT, PowerPoint and Outlook are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

SAS and all other SAS Institute Inc. product or service names are registered trademarks or trademarks of SAS Institute Inc. in the United States and other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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