by George Nott

BSA should lead with ‘carrot not the stick’: SAM provider

Jul 26, 2016
CareersIT LeadershipIT Management

The BSA has been slammed by the CEO of a leading software asset management provider who says they are ‘missing the mark’ by focusing on piracy and fines.

Filipa Preston of Software Optimisation Services has leapt to the defence of the companies which have been caught using $200,000 worth of unlicensed software by the industry advocate so far this year, saying they were likely wanting to ‘do the right thing’.

“While I don’t know the individual cases involved, my guess is that most of the companies the BSA has disciplined so far in 2016 did not intentionally ‘pirate’ software,” she said. “It is my belief that most companies want to do the right thing.”

The BSA, which advocates for software vendors, said this week that illegal software use in 2016 has increased compared with the same period in 2015. The body offers rewards of up to $20,000 to anyone disclosing accurate information regarding unlawful copying or use of BSA members’ software.

Preston argues that the BSA ‘needs to lead with the carrot, not the stick’ and was preaching to ‘the wrong audience’.

“The BSA are right to continue their campaign against the use of unlicensed software,” she said. “They are funded by the software vendors to do just this. It is their role after all. However I feel the tone of their message misses the mark and is often preached to the wrong audience – IT.

“The problem is that software licenses are so unbelievably complicated that companies need professional help to stay compliant. At the same time, the message that software compliance is important isn’t getting through to the right people. IT managers might hear it, but the BSA’s message rarely reaches the boardroom.”

The West Perth-based Software Optimisation Services won this year’s Microsoft Partner of the Year in the SAM category, the first APAC company to do so. Microsoft is a BSA member.

“All firms that adopt SAM benefit from significant savings on their software bills by adopting the right licenses,” Preston added. “The fact they’ve avoided the wrath of the BSA is a bonus.”