The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has kicked off its annual Software Audit Return (SAR) campaign, claiming it is a good revenue opportunity for the channel.
According to IDC research, 27 per cent of software used by UK businesses is illegal, equating to a loss of more than £1bn to small and international software vendors.
The BSA has sent SAR forms to about 575,000 UK chief executives of both large and small firms, urging them to complete the audit forms and keep on top of their software asset management (SAM).
Mike Newton, a BSA representative, told CRN: “[SAR] is a letter and a form that takes about one day to complete. It will help businesses to assess the software they have in place, and its legality.”
He added that SAM is often the biggest problem for SMEs because they often do not have the relevant IT resources.
“There is definitely an opportunity for resellers to sell services in this area,” he said. “For example, resellers could give end-users a one-day health-check that could potentially lead them into further opportunites for sales of licences, software or hard-ware. A reseller can even help to save businesses money from over-licensing as well.”
Tony Kingston, sales and marketing manager at VAR Deverill, welcomed the campaign. “This will help increase awareness,” he said. “Many businesses could then turn to the channel to help them audit their software.”
However, Ross Miller, managing director of VAR Trustmarque Solutions, said: “This is a nice idea, but software licensing applies mostly to the large-scale resellers.”
Microsoft recently expanded its Windows Genuine Advantage programme, which requires end-users to verify Windows copies online, into the UK to crack down on software piracy (CRN, 1 May).
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