SAS partnership with Microsoft named a top joint venture among Fast Company Most Innovative Companies

SAS IoT Analytics on Microsoft Azure recognized for innovative flood prediction solution 

SAS’ partnership with Microsoft has  been named to Fast Company’s  annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies. The technology leaders were recognized in the Joint Ventures category for the Flood Prediction and Preparedness Solution powered by SAS® IoT analytics and Microsoft Azure, which has helped the Town of Cary,  North Carolina collect and analyze sensor, weather and other data to improve flood monitoring and preparedness.  

“This solution is one of many efforts combining the expertise of SAS and Microsoft to turn data into intelligence and solve our customers’ toughest challenges – together,” said Bryan Harris, SAS Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. “There is nothing more rewarding than using our advanced analytics and cloud capabilities to help our customers reduce devastating impacts of natural disasters and take care of the people in our communities.”

The Fast Company Most Innovative Companies list honors the businesses that have not only found a way to be resilient in the past year, but also turned those challenges into impact-making processes. These companies did more than survive; they thrived – making an impact on their industries and culture as a whole.

Transforming emergency preparedness and protecting citizens

Like many other areas, the Town of Cary suffers from flooding after heavy rains, especially during the yearly Atlantic hurricane season. Cary traditionally relied on citizens to share alerts with the town when floods occurred, and town staff would manually process requests and dispatch appropriate personnel to respond to the issues. To modernize its approach and improve flood prediction, Cary turned to SAS and Microsoft.

Cary strategically installed water level sensors along its stream basin and rain gauges at several town facilities. By using SAS Analytics for IoT and Azure IoT services, staff can now visualize flooding events in real time. Cary is also able to generate and deploy predictive models and monitor the life cycle of these models over time. The town can better identify anomalies, such as rising water, through the integration of weather forecasting data and real-time sensor data, measuring water and rain levels to deliver advanced warnings and predictions of flooding events, both in Cary and in surrounding municipalities.

“We knew we needed a scalable solution to get us from reactive to proactive and ultimately predictive,” said Nicole Raimundo Coughlin, Chief Information Officer for the Town of Cary. “This combined solution from SAS and Microsoft helps us reach that predictability, allowing us to organize and act on high volumes of diverse IoT data to protect not just the Town of Cary, but many municipalities, including local businesses and citizens downstream. This solution allows us to send the right people at the right time to get the right information out to save time, money – and ultimately lives.”

Shaping the future of AI and analytics in the cloud

This award-winning IoT solution marks early success of the SAS cloud partnership with Microsoft announced in 2020. The extensive technology and go-to-market strategic partnership enables customers to easily run their SAS workloads in the cloud, expanding their business solutions and unlocking critical value from their digital transformation initiatives. 

Hear SAS CEO Jim Goodnight and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella discuss the partnership and the close integration between Azure and the SAS Viya analytics platform at

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