SAS aligns EMEA organization around customer experience

Senior Vice President Riad Gydien appointed to lead Europe, Middle East and Africa region (EMEA)

As organizations focus on digital transformation, the role of enterprise software providers is shifting to advisory and consultative relationships focused on business outcomes. SAS is leading by reshaping its customer-facing structure in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region under the leadership of Riad Gydien, Senior Vice President of Europe, Middle East and Africa. Brands must rethink their customer ecosystems to keep pace with empowered consumers and evolving technologies, according to Experience 2030: The Future of Customer Experience, a research study conducted by Futurum Research and sponsored by SAS.

Gydien is realigning the region around a customer-centric vision, from sales to deployment, training and value creation. The strategy includes a new Customer Experience Practice under a single leader, which coordinates all customer touchpoints. SAS will be rolling out a similar approach in other regions.

“The key to success for our customers lies in alignment of technology, education, support and services from SAS as well as our partner network,” said Gydien. “This will provide a seamless and exceptional customer experience.”

“Data-led innovation is changing the world, and we are at the forefront, helping customers deploy analytics that lead to better decisions across the enterprise,” said Dave Macdonald, Executive Vice President and Chief Sales Officer for SAS. “Our calling is to support our customers through their digital transformation, and their success is truly a passion for Riad. He is focused on helping organizations apply the most advanced analytics, AI and machine learning techniques to solve their most critical business challenges.”

As organizations progress in their digital transformation journeys, they increasingly realize that their investments must focus on value creation, not simply on the data and technology itself. For instance, data science teams were once evaluated on the number of algorithms or models they could create. Now, their impact is measured by the business outcomes these programs support.

“Our customers are facing some incredible challenges: the explosive growth of data, the need to drive near-real-time decisions at massive scale, a multitude of rapidly emerging technologies and a seemingly insurmountable skills gap,” says Gydien. “If organizations are to remain relevant, they must develop the ability to sense, understand and respond to changing market conditions and customer expectations with both speed and agility.”

Gydien’s more than 20 years of leadership in business development in the high-tech industry prepared him to lead this economically and culturally diverse region. Based in Cape Town, South Africa, Gydien has advanced through the leadership ranks at SAS since 2007, most recently as Senior Vice President of the South EMEA region.

This effort is the latest initiative from SAS as it works with customers worldwide to help organizations go from data to analytics to decisions. In 2019, SAS announced a $1 billion investment in AI, including support for educational and expert services to help with this journey, and to equip business leaders and data scientists for the future. This investment builds on SAS’ already strong foundation in AI, which includes advanced analytics, machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing and computer vision.

Further validation of how SAS is serving customers came from analysts in several categories including big data and analytics software market share,1 data science and machine learning platforms2 and enterprise marketing software suites.3

1 IDC Worldwide Big Data and Analytics Software 2018 Market Shares: Demand Across All Use-Case Patterns2 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Science and Machine Learning Platforms3 Forrester Wave: Enterprise Marketing Software Suites, Q3 2019


About SAS

SAS is the leader in analytics. Through innovative software and services, SAS empowers and inspires customers around the world to transform data into intelligence. SAS gives you THE POWER TO KNOW®.

Editorial contacts: