Another rival of Cary-based SAS is getting swallowed by a tech industry giant.
But IBM's $1.2 billion acquisition of SPSS announced Tuesday won't create "much competitive threat," said Jim Davis, SAS' chief marketing officer. SAS competes with SPSS in selling software that helps businesses predict trends, but IBM also uses SAS software, he added.
"It illustrates the importance that analytics play in today's market," Davis said. "It's good to be in a sector that adds value when the economy is down."
The deal continues ongoing consolidation that is reducing the number of players in the business-analytics software industry. Other recent deals included IBM's acquisition of Cognos, Oracle's purchase of Hyperion and SAP's acquisition of Business Objects.
At SAS meanwhile, Davis still expects revenue to increase this year. And the company continues to hire, especially in areas that are showing healthy growth, such as software that helps reduce financial risk and fraud.
Total headcount should increase about 1 percent this year, compared with 3-4 percent in recent years. The company employs about 11,000 worldwide, including 4,200 at its Cary headquarters.
"Is it going to be the best year on record? No," Davis said. "We're on target. We're not having to deal with any cutbacks."
He declined to comment on specific financial results so far this year. Last year, SAS revenue rose 5.1 percent to $2.26 billion.