SAS Institute Inc.: Legal Environment Analysis

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Company Background: SAS Institute, Inc. is a software company, founded in 1976, and located in Cary, North Carolina. SAS was originally an acronym for Statistical Analysis Systems, which was the primary software offerings from the original company founders. Since then, though, the line of software products has branched far beyond the statistical analysis sphere. The company is actually one the largest privately-held corporation in North Carolina and in the software business overall, with 2011 revenues approaching $3 billion and 12,000 employees globally (SAS, 2012). SAS entered the software marketing in 1976 with a statistical analysis package that ran on IBM mainframe computers. Excel had not yet become sophisticated enough for statistical analysis, and SAS offered a windowed program environment. As computing power grew, SAS grew as well, allowing users to switch from one operating system to another, and allowed personal computers to run statistical programs typically only available on mainframes of the time. SAS Software is still the industry standard and used, for instance, in clinical pharmaceutical trials for submission to the FDA, in the insurance industry, public health, data mining, and business performance management. It remains a private company enabling the management to run the organization without shareholder demands; thus moving 25% of the annual revenue (approximately $75 million) into strict research and development. Additionally, the company is progressive
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