System Administrators have been dealing with this scenario for decades now, and established methods of making a personalised, secure home directory available to users now usually rely on NFS or CIFS/SMB.
Viya provides the ability to make home directories served by NFS available to applications that use the Programming Run-Time Servers (such as SAS Studio). You do this by specifying the NFS server details during deployment. If your NFS server and Identity Provider are already used to serve home directories to other applications then the documented defaults will work great – but what if that isn’t the case?
Behind the Scenes
Under the covers, Viya is running in a Linux environment (within containers, within Kubernetes). Each user in Linux is assigned a unique User ID (uid). This uid is what allows a user to access their own personal home directory, among other things. Viya on its own has no idea what uid is assigned to what user, unless that information is provided by the Identity Provider. If you are leveraging an existing NFS Server backed by an Identity Provider that is already in use with that NFS Server, then there is a good chance (but not guaranteed) that your Identity Provider already has the required posix attributes to provide the uid to Viya.
If you are using Active Directory as your Identity Provider then there is a good chance that you don’t have these attributes. In this case Viya will generate a uid (and Group ID, or gid) for each user and store it internally. This allows Viya to kick off compute sessions using the uid it has generated, but for obvious reasons nothing outside Viya knows about this uid – which means when it comes to accessing a user’s home directory on NFS, the uid will most likely not match the uid on the home directory.
Home Directories Solved?
But there is a problem even before we get to the matching uid problem – how does the system know it even needs to create a home directory on NFS for the user? In a traditional Linux environment this is taken care of by PAM, leveraging methods such as pam_mkhomedir. This in turn relies on the Identity Provider of the operating system. In fact this is what the earliest solution to this problem used. In Viya 3.4 a more integrated solution was provided directly in the deployment process, followed by further updates in Viya 3.5. Unfortunately starting with Viya 2020.x these methods no longer work.
This script works great, but the “how to” of getting it running and integrated into your Viya Kubernetes environment is left to the user.
Home Directory Solution from Selerity
To make implementing this a bit easier, Selerity have created a Helm Chart that will deploy a Cron Job into Kubernetes to maintain home directories in NFS using the uid internally generated by Viya.
To install this solution you should be familiar with Kubernetes and Helm, as well as have the details of the NFS Server used during your Viya Deployment. Here is all that is needed to get this deployed:
This will create a Kubernetes Cron Job that must be triggered manually, and when you do trigger it will only report on what it will do (it won’t create or update anything). This will let you view the logs to see what it would do if it was enabled. The parameters above are:
VIYA_NAMESPACE – the namespace you have deployed Viya to
RELEASE_NAME – any string you want to use as the name of this deployment
VIYA_BASE_URL – the URL to your Viya deployment
NFS_SERVER_NAME – the hostname/IP of the NFS Server you specified in your Viya deployment
After a successful install you will be presented with instructions on how to view/trigger/etc. the Cron Job. If you are happy that the process will work correctly in your environment (after reviewing the logs of a sample run) you can enable it to create/update home directories by adding the --set dry_run=0 option on the Helm command, and if you want to enable it to run on a schedule also add the --set suspend=false option. Further details are available in the Helm Chart.
Helm Chart on ArtifactHUB
viya4-home-dir-builder: Create home directories for SAS Viya 4 Users
Customers who are opting for the new SAS® Analytics Pro offering may experience some confusion when they receive the license for the product. When viewing the order information, customer’s will see that the product is licensed to run on the Linux operating system however they may be using Microsoft Windows on their desktop. Further to this, when running the Analytics Pro container, some customers may wonder why their folders and paths to files are different. This article aims to help explain why this is and help you understand these differences so you can fully utilise the numerous advantages of running SAS inside containers.
The SAS Analytics Pro Cloud Native product runs as one or more Docker Containers either via the Docker runtime or packaged as a Kubernetes deployment or service in a k8s cluster. This is a smart approach:
Containers are highly portable and remove many of the quirks of building software for multiple operating systems.
They are fast and scalable and more lightweight than servers.
They are disposable. You can say good bye to the traditional dev / production environment approach.
The underlying root cause of the differences you see is due to how Docker works. While your desktop or server host may be running Windows, the container image is running Linux. Programs and files inside the Analytics Pro container act and look like they would on Linux.
What is a Container?
Containers were launched in 2013 as part of the open-source Docker Engine. Containers were built on existing concepts used in operating systems like Solaris and other unix based operating systems. Over the years, containers have become a reference standard. They are not tied to the Docker Inc. company and numerous vendors implement container technology.
Containers abstract application and deployment dependencies and run against a common OS kernel but run within an isolated user space.
This typically consumes less resources than using Virtual Machines. A Virtual Machine approach packages an entire operating system by abstracting physical hardware processes. A virtual machine also uses a Hypervisor which manages the capability to run virtual machines within a single physical host. Virtual machines consume more space and resources as they normally require a full copy of the target operating system and binaries. This also results in slower boot times to containers.
Docker formed a partnership with Microsoft to bring containers to the Windows operating system to allow Docker to run natively within Windows. On modern Windows hosts, the common kernel is the Windows Subsystem for Linux. When Docker Desktop was released in 2013, WSL did not exist. As a result, older versions of Docker Desktop would run within a Virtual Machine on Windows. This Virtual Machine would house a common Linux Kernel and required docker binaries.
Already it is easy to see the advantages of a technology like Docker for application development.
Standardise the delivery of applications to run on either Windows or Linux with a single code base.
Low-cost testing of applications on a variety of operating systems and their variants easily.
Throw everything away when you don’t need it.
Containers, Images, Networks, Volumes, Ports
Containers are an instance of an Image which is a compressed file of binaries and libraries containing all the required components to execute within the Docker runtime. Images are created using a Dockerfile which is a file format developed by Docker.
As mentioned previously, containers are isolated. That means they typically need to be given references to files and folders to use from your operating system and also be told what ports they can communicate on.
A container will typically contain one or more volume mappings, port mappings and instructions for networking.
Volume mappings are given to a container to expose files and folders on your host to the container so they can be used. This might include things like your source code, configuration files, data etc.
As well as this, an application hosted in a container may need to be told what port to let your host communicate on. Let’s take a web application as an example that runs on port 8080 within docker. On your host you want to access it on the standard web address port of 80. You will tell your Docker container to expose port 8080 in the container to port 80 on your host.
Docker containers can also run within completely self-contained networks and have multiple containers running. A simple version of this is using Docker Compose which comes with most Docker installations. This allows you to define container configurations using a yaml based file format and each container is managed from a created network object and can talk to each other easily.
SAS in the New World
Using containers means that you can also create multiple container instances easily with specific configuration tailored to the purpose you are trying to achieve. In many cases, this means you no longer need to maintain separate non production / production environments. Your user’s can have development environments locally, push their code to version control including the container configuration required and then have your cloud or hosted infrastructure run as isolated production containers. SAS can now sit easily alongside modern CI/CD approaches.
How the Analytics Pro Container uses Linux on Windows
The SAS Analytics Pro for Cloud Native container contains all the required binaries and libraries to execute Base SAS, SAS/STAT, SAS/GRAPH and over 20 SAS/ACCESS engines as well as the Basic deployment of SAS Studio. For further information on the inclusions of SAS Analytics Pro Cloud Native, please see our previous post. If your current SAS usage is focused on the SAS programming interface as opposed to the newer visual interfaces, then it’s a smart modernization choice to make.
As a user, you need to supply the image the following information at a minimum:
A SAS License (as a .jwt file) and deployment certificates (.zip file).
Configuration for mapping files and folders
Environment variables to configure port mappings
Driver and configuration files for whichever access engines you want to use.
The SAS Analytics Pro Container
The current Analytics Pro container comes in at just under 10GB in size. This is opposed to the older SAS9 Depot which would be anywhere up to 30GB in size.
The image is downloadable from SAS using the mirror manager command line tool. You can then also use another command line tool, the SAS Order manager (or manually at my.sas.com) to download licenses and certificate files required. There is also an API available to automate the download of certificates and licenses.
The container runs using the Red Hat Linux base container image. This means that from the application’s perspective, SAS is running with a Linux operating system even though the machine you are running the container from may be Microsoft Windows. This is why when you receive your SAS licensing paperwork, it will say that it is licensed for the Linux operating system.
Analytics Pro can be configured for personal or shared use. The full range of configuration options are too vast to completely cover here. Watch this space as we will be providing deep dives into the various configuration approaches that can be taken. What we will cover here are the most visible differences you will see when using SAS through a container. The most visible are mount volumes and mappings.
Making directories/files available in the Container
The Analytics Pro container needs at a minimum two Volume mappings:
A Data folder mapped to /data in the container. This acts like your Linux home directory. It is typically used to store your SAS programs and any permanent data, etc.
A folder mapped to /sasinside. This stores your SAS licence, deployment certificates and any configuration overrides such as a custom autoexec_usermods.sas and sasv9_usermods.cfg files.
You can also mount any other additional folders from your host machine to the container. Some typical scenarios include:
Creating a mapping for /saswork and /sasutil for SAS temporary datasets and util files.
Creating a mapping for /var/log for system logs
One or more volumes for permanent SAS Datasets.
A python runtime to support the usage of PROC PYTHON
Volumes inside the Analytics Pro container act like Linux mount points. For those who come from a Windows background, this may be confusing at first.
Linux volumes don’t have the same concept of Drive names like C:\, D:\, etc.
Linux volumes do not use back slashes. They use forward slashes.
Linux mounts can be either a directory or a single file.
Say for example, you decide you want to have the following mappings in your Analytics Pro container.
When you use Analytics Pro, your programs will need to reference files and folders by their container path. So a libname statement like libname myenv "/sasdata"; would point to the directory C:\shared\data on your host.
It is important to note that the SAS analytics pro container will also apply permissions to some configuration files. Typically you won’t notice this except in cases such as mapping public/private keys for ssh which require restrictive permissions.
The 2nd most visible difference is that by default, your host username and password won’t be used. In SAS9, SAS will use the authentication provided by your local machine or server you are connecting to.
The Docker container does not have access to this by default due to the isolation principals mentioned previously.
By default, Analytics Pro will create a user account within the container which it uses to allow logging into SAS Studio. It will look for a .authinfo.txt file within your /data mount point. This is a simple text file which has the following contents:
default user myusername password mypassword!
If this file does not exist, SAS will create a default account called sasdemo and generate a random password for you and create this authinfo file in the /data folder.
If you choose to run Analytics Pro in a multi user scenario, then you may need to configure the container to utilise PAM authentication. This is done the same as you would normally within a Linux server.
There are also methods for tying user accounts inside a Docker container to the host’s authentication provider. We’ll cover these approaches in separate articles to give them justice.
Selerity Desktop to Make This Easier
We’ve created the Selerity Desktop (Personal) tool to help make deployments easier if you are uncomfortable with the above concepts. This personal edition allows you to deploy container environments with a series of additional options such as Python, Clinical Standards Toolkit and SAS OQ testing without needing to know any of the technical details. If you are interested in further information please see our product page for further information or reach out to us to discuss more complex deployments or licensing requirements.
Also stay tuned for future posts where we delve deeper into use cases that SAS Analytics Pro Cloud Native can support and other, more advanced, deployment options.
SAS Analytics Pro has been used by analysts, data scientists and programmers for decades, making enterprise grade analytics available on a personal desktop. This solution was first released on the SAS 9 platform and was typically installed on a Windows PCs for use by a single user. With the latest release of SAS Analytics Pro now on the SAS Viya platform, we have prepared a quick comparison of what is included as standard compared to the previous version on SAS 9.x.
The new containerised version of SAS Analytics Pro from the SAS Institute opens up a world of possibilities for leveraging third-party technologies to enhance what is already a pretty powerful Data and Analytics platform.
One of these technologies that has really taken off and helped Data Scientists take advantage of a unified programming experience regardless of the language used is Project Jupyter. A core feature of Project Jupyter is known as a Notebook, and this is explained on the Jupyter site as “…an open-source web application that allows you to create and share documents that contain live code, equations, visualizations and narrative text“. This not only makes it an easy, pleasant experience to work in but also facilitates the ability to present complex processes in a nice visual manner to non-programmers – kind of like reading through a notebook 🙂
To enable Jupyter in your environment, open up the apro.settings file in your $deploy directory (the location where you unzipped the Selerity Launcher code) and set JUPYTERLAB to true.
# Enable Jupyter Lab?
Stop your SAS Analytics Pro container if it is currently running with the following command:
docker stop sas-analytics-pro
Now start your environment back up by running the launchapro script again. When you launch your environment with JUPYTERLAB=true the following things happen behind the scenes (all transparent to the user):
A virtual Python 3.9 environment is created in /python (the python directory in the repository)
The bits-and-pieces required to run JupyterLab and Jupyter Notebooks are installed to /python
The SAS Kernel for Jupyter is installed to /python and configured to use SAS in your SAS Analytics Pro container
Jupyter Lab is started up after SAS Studio is started
Depending on the speed of your internet connection it could take up to 15 minutes for all this to happen, but as long as you don’t delete the python directory all subsequent startups should be just as quick as before. This is what the startup process looks like with JupyterLab enabled:
# SAS Analytics Pro Personal Launcher #
# S = SAS Studio has started #
# J = Jupyter Lab has started #
To stop your SAS Analytics Pro instance, use "docker stop sas-analytics-pro"
Open your browser to http://localhost:8888 and enter your generated password. You will then be presented with the JupyterLab main interface:
You can click on the SAS icons in the Launcher to create a new Notebook using the SAS Kernel, and then start writing your SAS code. Click the play button to submit your code:
If you would prefer to just login-and-start-using Jupyter with SAS Analytics Pro, our Selerity Analytics Desktop offering provides SAS Analytics Pro as-a-service (including Jupyter), which can also be integrated into your existing IT infrastructure if required. This allows you to leverage you existing security, login credentials and code assets without needing to maintain your own SAS infrastructure. Contact us if you would like to learn more!
In August 2021 SAS released a cloud-native version of SAS Analytics Pro. This release is based on the SAS Viya Platform and provides the full features of Base SAS, SAS/STAT and SAS/GRAPH via SAS Studio – a browser-based interface that users of recent SAS 9.4 and SAS Viya server environments will be familiar with.
The cloud-native version also adds the full SAS Viya set of SAS/ACCESS products, giving you access to many data sources!
This new release of SAS Analytics Pro leverages container technology, which means that the concept of installing your software is no longer just a matter of running “setup.exe”. The benefits of containerisation are many and include:
Ability to run on Windows, Mac and Linux
A consistent environment – e.g. your install is not going to be different from your colleague’s
Ease of updates – SAS regularly update and patch their software. Previously this meant finding, downloading and installing those updates. Now you just have to “point” to the release of SAS (including updates) you want to use
Portability – if you get a new PC (or move from PC to Mac) you just need to copy your config across
Installing Docker (the software used to run containers)
Logging into my.sas.com to get your license and certificate files
Creating a script to startup your SAS Analytics Pro environment
On the surface, this seems pretty straightforward, but in case users feel a bit hesitant or unsure (especially when it comes to creating a launch script) we have created a “launcher” process to help you out. Our process mirrors the official SAS process but we provide the script, along with a simple way to tweak the features you want to add.
Extract the ZIP file to a location on your machine, e.g. C:\SAS. The final directory (referred to as the $deploy directory) will be a subdirectory of this location created as a result of the unzipping, e.g. C:\SAS\sas-analytics-pro-2021.1.4.
Now log into my.sas.com and go to the “My Orders” section. In here, expand your SAS Analytics Pro Order and then click both the Download Certificates and Download License Only links. Save the file that each link provides to the directory created when you extracted the ZIP file, e.g. C:\SAS\sas-analytics-pro-2021.1.4
Finally, open a PowerShell (or Terminal on Linux/Mac) prompt, “cd” into the $deploy directory (created when you extracted the ZIP file) and then run launchapro.ps1 (or launchapro.sh on Linux/Mac)
After a minute or so you see a message letting you know that SAS Analytics Pro is up and running!
You can now open your browser and log into SAS Studio at http://localhost:81 using the same username you logged into Windows with along with the generated password that is displayed.
There are many ways that this SAS Analytics Pro environment can be tailored/customised and we have provided some of the key options available within the apro.settings file that comes with our launcher. This file contains comments explaining each option, which we also document in the CONFIGURATION.md file.
If you would prefer to just login-and-start-using SAS Analytics Pro, our Selerity Analytics Desktop offering provides SAS Analytics Pro as-a-service, which can also be integrated into your existing IT infrastructure if required. This allows you to leverage you existing security, login credentials and code assets without needing to maintain your own SAS infrastructure. Contact us if you would like to learn more!
Does your organisation want to boost SAS functions and security with the M7 upgrade that dropped on the 18th of August 2020?
Look no further! Here at Selerity, we plan on conducting a webinar on November 4th to take you through this update and answer any questions on the update. This blog will give you a preview of what to expect from the new M7 update and how your organisation can get ready for the new update.
The M7 upgrade aims to address the issues found in older versions of SAS 9.4 products while improving them with new upgrades. There are new tools, documentation, deployment process enhancements, Web App Server improvements to better processes and over 100 hot bug fixes. Most significantly, this new update is the first SAS release without Adobe Flash dependencies.
Let us look further into the key benefits and changes this M7 upgrade will bring into the SAS fold.
Security enhancements were made a priority for this update and vulnerabilities found in SAS 9.4 have been addressed to better secure your data, reducing the chances of cyberattacks or data theft.
M7 delivers updates to address vulnerabilities in SAS software and any third-party sources. To create and maintain these fortified secure environments, SAS implemented several measures like support for Windows Defender Credential Guard, along with crucial version updates to the SAS Web Server, SAS Web App Server, Postgres, Java 8, SAS Private JRE and several third-party Java components.
Fixes and enhancements
On the product enhancement front, hotfixes and bug fixes were applied to seventy offerings, covering a wide range of areas that include Analytics, Data Management and SAS/ACCESS offerings, Visualisation, Decision Management, and Risk.
The reporting structures have been enhanced as well with periodic updates to address third-party security vulnerabilities within the SAS product suite. This includes updates for common vulnerabilities and exposures reported against external components.
Beyond enhancing functions, M7 also expands browser and OS compatibility. SAS software is no longer restricted by compatibility issues granting greater accessibility for your organisation. Operating systems and browsers like SELinux and Microsoft Edge are now supported to improve accessibility.
Removal of Adobe Flash
SAS 9.4M7 completes a multi-year effort to remove Adobe Flash dependencies from over seventy SAS products and solutions. Any products dependent on Flash were replaced with SAS Viya and CI360 or updated with HTML 5 UI. A few SAS products are no longer available, and their functionality has been replaced with alternative solutions to improve accessibility.
Are you ready to upgrade?
Looking to implement the SAS M7 upgrade? With SAS upgrading their servers, make sure your organisation benefits from the security enhancements and expanded functions that come with the M7 upgrade.
We here at Selerity can help you install the upgrade to make it a smooth, seamless transition. As gold-rated partners and certified resellers, our team has a thorough understanding of SAS platforms and can recommend optimal, proactive strategies to ensure the upgrade is as swift and hassle-free as possible.
To properly grasp the implication of these upgrades, we have scheduled a webinar to clarify all doubts on this update and give you the ultimate breakdown to help you make the most out of this update.
On behalf of the Selerity team, I am excited to announce that we have attained the gold partner badge as SAS partners. We wish to thank SAS for trusting us with this honour and our hardworking members for making this accolade possible. The gold tier badge opens up a host of exciting new programs and initiatives with SAS. We are incredibly excited about the opportunities that are now possible as SAS gold partners
What is the gold tier for SAS partnership?
Every year, SAS reviews the progress of their partners and grants them a Silver or Gold badge after the review. The badge is awarded based on several factors like revenue and service quality with the gold standard usually given to the best SAS partners, those who have accomplished a high standard for revenue, technical expertise and quality of service.
We are humbled by the level of trust SAS has placed in us, and we look forward to collaborating with them on future projects.
A tribute to the team
I want to give special thanks to the SAS experts and consultants who make up the Selerity team. Our team has been at the beating heart of our success, and I don’t think a Gold badge would have been possible without their hard work and dedication. Our team has been instrumental in providing high-quality service to our customers, as well as successfully launching several projects like Selerity BA and On-Demand support services. The Selerity team has been instrumental in our elevation to Gold partner status, and we would not be here if it weren’t for their skills and dedication.
I also want to thank our management team, Cameron Lawson, Kaylene Dixon and Melissa Jones for playing a huge role in providing the team everything they needed and keeping the company running smoothly. They have been instrumental to Selerity’s success, and I doubt we would be where we need to be without these wonderful people at the helm.
What’s next for Selerity?
Our recent accomplishments open up a host of new options and exciting new possibilities for us. Currently, we are completing our three-part webinar series on recommendation engines, but once we complete the series, we are going to explore exciting new ventures with SAS. As silver-rated partners, we launched Selerity BA to make SAS Business Analytics more accessible and On-Demand support to provide real-time support for SAS users. What we can accomplish as gold partners makes me very excited.
We are a certified SAS Reseller and Gold partner who provides hosting, installation and administration services to SAS users so they can maximise ROI of their SAS 9.4 and SAS Viya platforms.
Beyond the core service offering, we have expanded our range of services to streamline access to SAS business analytics for both businesses and SAS experts. We have also extended cloud-based, real-time maintenance and support services to SAS users around the world.
For more information on our services, be sure to visit our main page.
On behalf of the Selerity team, I am excited to announce that we have been named the SAS Partner of the Year 2020 in ANZ!
We especially want to thank SAS for giving us this award. There are other incredible companies filled with talented and passionate people, and we are delighted that you saw us as worthy of the award.
The SAS Partner of the Year Award
Selerity is the proud recipient of this year’s regional partner of the year award in ANZ because we are deeply committed to our customer’s success. This dedication, combined with our deep knowledge and innovative use of cloud technologies, has allowed us to go that extra mile to ensure our clients get the best support services for their SAS environment.
Selerity and SAS – A decade long collaboration
First established over ten years ago, Selerity has been a certified SAS reseller and silver – certified partner. We helped SAS clients maximise ROI of their analytics platforms through hosting, installation and administration services, more specifically, for the SAS 9.4 and SAS Viya platforms.
Most recently, we have expanded the scope of our service offerings in more flexible, convenient packages to clients’ around the world.
An ode to the team
We would like to thank SAS for giving us this award. But most importantly, I want to thank the Selerity team for making this possible.
I want to thank all the team members for their hard work and commitment. Our team of analysts and engineers have worked tirelessly to deliver the best services to clients around the world. It takes more than just skill to maintain a high standard of service throughout the year. It takes dedication and commitment, making them an integral part of our success.
I also want to thank the management team for their role in this. Cameron Lawson, our Services Manager, whose innovative solutions helped clients iron out the monotonous parts data administration. Kaylene Dixon, Financial Controller and head of Administration, whose hard work ensured that our team had everything they needed to perform their work without interruption. And of course, Melissa Jones, whose invaluable experience has played a huge role in optimising our processes to improve productivity.
What’s next for Selerity?
The ongoing problems with the global pandemic have caused a setback in some of our bigger plans, but as of right now, it’s full steam ahead with normal operations.
Some of our clients have been going through a difficult time due to current circumstances, and we aim to support them as best as we can during the coming months.
We aim to maintain the high standards we have established for ourselves and to keep the trust of our clients and business partners, including SAS.
Once the situation improves, we plan on moving forward with some of our bigger plans to grow our team and expand our range of services.
With our plans in place, I look forward to taking Selerity to new heights of success. Hopefully, we will be a worthy contender for SAS Partner of the year ANZ in 2021!
We are all going through tough times. With the coronavirus pandemic spreading, all of us have been forced to take drastic measures to stay safe. As the situation continues to worsen, Selerity has taken steps to ensure the safety of its employees, while also ensuring that we maintain our SLAs with our clients in Australia and across the world. Our work processes and the infrastructure in place to support staff has allowed us to keep a ‘business as usual’ mentality, while taking into account the health and safety of our team and any individuals we come in contact with.
What are we doing to keep our team safe?
Due to the airborne nature of the virus, Selerity has taken several steps to ensure that its employees work from home, full time. While Selerity has always had a remote work option, we have taken steps to ensure that all our employees continue their work from the safety of their homes.
We have developed systems to ensure that all our employees continue with their work like it is business as usual, such as a secure, virtual environment so that our employees can perform even the most sensitive tasks remotely.
It is important to emphasise that Selerity has always had a culture of remote work. Our employees are used to working either at home or at a venue they are comfortable with (though given the situation, we expect them to stay at home!). Given our long-standing culture of remote work, we have developed the right communication systems to ensure our employees are accountable, honest and most importantly, productive, even if they are kilometres away. Our processes allow us to maintain continuity even during these hard times.
What steps are we taking to maintain SLA obligations to clients?
We understand the importance of keeping all systems up and running, especially with the ongoing crisis as well as actively monitoring our services to ensure we meet our commitments on our SLAs.
Our team has taken several steps to ensure that systems can support the service quality our clients expect. To ensure consistent, timely product delivery, we regularly test our systems to ensure our employees have the server capacity they need to perform their work. Furthermore, we are working to ensure minimal system disruption to ensure consistent product delivery remains even with unexpected surges in workload. We have also invested in security to ensure that sensitive data remains safe – some of our measures include, but are not limited to authorised access and two-step verification.
Stay safe and healthy
We wish you and your family good health and that this crisis is resolved without you and yours caught in the middle. We also wish those who are sick a speedy recovery. But most importantly, we want to thank the thousands of health workers, both here in Australia, and across the world, for their tireless work in containing this virus. I can safely say that their courage and work ethic is a major source of inspiration to everyone on the team.
On behalf of the Selerity team, stay safe and healthy.
The 28th of September is a special day for me and the rest of the Selerity team, for it was on this day, ten years ago, that Selerity first opened its doors to provide much-needed services to companies throughout Australia. As we come upon this momentous occasion, I want to take a moment to reflect on how far we have come as a company, and where we intend to go in the next ten years.
The start of Selerity
Selerity officially opened its doors on 28th September 2009, but it existed as an idea long before that date. Having spent a combined twenty years in Australia’s Department of Social Security and SAS Australia, I came to understand that there was a huge demand for support services for SAS analytics. However, there were not enough teams that could merge technical SAS knowledge with an understanding of Australian business culture. I also had an inkling of where the future was going, and that data was going to be a huge role in our business fortunes. All these reasons lead to the inception of Selerity, ten years ago.
A look back on past success
Selerity has grown in leaps and bounds over the past ten years. When we opened our doors, we only had a team of five people, including myself. Today, on the cusp of our ten-year anniversary, we have a much larger team of SAS consultants and have worked with more than 62 clients in Australia, including some of nation’s finest companies like Bupa, BioGrid and AfterPay. We have accomplished so much in the past 10 years, and I am proud of what we have done so far.
An ode to the team
Of course, I do not want to give the impression that Selerity was my doing alone. Selerity would not be where it is now without the amazing management team who worked tirelessly to bring it to where it is today.
Kaylene Dixon, Selerity’s financial controller and a founding member, has played an instrumental role in customer relationships since day one. She has done a spectacular job, ensuring that our consultants have everything they need to deliver top-tier service to our customers. Kaylene has been instrumental in turning Selerity into a well-oiled machine, and we owe a huge thank you to her for her work.
Cameron Lawson, our services manager, has been the innovative powerhouse of Selerity. I don’t know how he does it, but somehow, he can devise new ideas that help our clients achieve more with their SAS environments. Cameron has been instrumental in developing the smart, innovative solutions that transform our client’s operations for the better.
While a relatively new member of the Selerity team, Melissa Jones, our Support Services Manager, has played an important role in our operations given her vast experience as a senior business analyst with a passion for process improvement and data analysis.
With her incredible experience and expertise in leading optimisation projects, identifying and implementing process improvement and automation, Mel has been invaluable to our team.
I also owe an enormous debt to the partner teams from SAS who work hard to provide our clients with the best products and services possible. Selerity has built a reputation for innovation, creativity and in-depth technical knowledge because of the men and women who work hard, always looking to deliver their best day in and day out.
Looking to the next ten years
Selerity has come a long way since its inception over a decade ago, but when I look to the next ten years, I see a company that will continue to grow and transform into one of the leading voices of analytics in Australia, working with companies in different industries to answer complex problems. I truly believe that with the team and culture we have in place, Selerity will continue to grow over the next ten years. With IoT on the horizon and AI promising to make significant changes, technology will continue to evolve and present us with new challenges. I look forward to meeting them with our fantastic team while taking our offerings to the next level.
Celebrating ten years….
While the future holds exciting prospects, our focus is on 28th September 2019 when Selerity turns 10. Looking back on the decade, I am amazed at what we have witnessed. We have seen the growth of social media as a business tool, a global recession, the proliferation of smartphones, the growing prominence of AI, the return of Star Wars and growing awareness of data analytics! It has been an incredible ten years, and I am grateful for everything that has allowed us to evolve as a company. I hope you share in our success as well. Whatever the future holds us, I am confident that Selerity will meet it, but for now, here’s to ten years!