Absa has extended its net of preferred business partners to include business intelligence supplier SAS Institute, with the signing of a global sourcing agreement between the two companies last week. 

The agreement forms part of the Absa's goal to formalise sourcing and procurement procedures across industries, and this announcement bears particular relevance to the sourcing of BI software and services, and SAS as BI partner of choice.
This will in turn enable the company to better manage expenditure across divisions, as well as put it into a position where it can negotiate better rates from suppliers as it leverage's the use of these across both the Absa and Barclays groups.
"As a company which itself is embracing globalisation, it is our intention at Absa to, where possible, sign sourcing agreements with vendors and suppliers across all disciplines of our business," says Ian Russell, chief procurement officer at Absa. "The new sourcing strategy enables us to negotiate premium discounts and service from our suppliers, while also providing them with a level of commitment from us for ongoing and annuity business, which they have not been afforded in the past."
SAS Institute enjoys a long history with the Absa Group and has current versions of its Business Intelligence software installed at a number of the Group's divisions.
The newly signed sourcing deal will assist the Group in consolidating these efforts into a unified strategy, where it can better take advantage of the analytical capabilities of the BI software, such as gathering customer data, analysing customer trends, mapping the effective use of technology and better data quality for improved data mining and data access, as well as risk and compliance.
"We are proud of our relationship with SAS and there are divisions within the enterprise that are doing good things with the BI platform," adds Russell. "It is now time that we take advantage of this as a group and look at where else the enterprise can benefit from SAS' application in the disparate divisions."
SAS is currently utilised within a number of divisions at Absa and provides comprehensive BI solutions to the likes of Absa Information Management, Group Credit, and Group Finance, amongst others.
Hanno Korf, strategic account executive at SAS Institute SA, adds: "We are delighted with the announcement that Absa has selected us as its BI partner of choice. Absa is a model client for SAS, and is a forward thinking user of our software."