The Business Software Alliance (BSA) will use stick and carrot in equal measure in the second half of 2009, as it steps up its enforcement activity and launches a standard for software asset management (SAM).
The anti-piracy body is plotting more regionalised enforcement campaigns in the UK, following recent crackdowns in Glasgow and Manchester. But it will also look to balance that against an educational push around its SAM Advantage programme, set to be piloted in Canada, the US and Australia within two months. A global rollout will follow before the end of the year.
Julian Swan, EMEA director of compliance marketing for the BSA, said the advent of a global, ISO-certified, vendor-neutral SAM process could help clear up confusion around the term.
“SAM Advantage will be critical because SAM has become a devalued term that means different things to different people,” he said. “By having a global standard, the term may come to mean one thing.”
Swan hinted that London would be an obvious target for the BSA’s next regionalised enforcement campaign, but also flagged up Birmingham and Sheffield as trouble spots.
“It is our intention to do another regional campaign because it allows us to make enough noise to make ourselves heard,” he said.
“Manchester was the first time we had a degree of channel involvement and we will be keen to get the channel on side again as they are an important part of it. But we do have a carrot and stick approach at the BSA. It is nice to be able to balance our enforcement activities with education and support.”
SAM Advantage is designed to be delivered by both vendors and the channel, but Robbie Richmond, managing director of reseller EasySAM, warned that some SAM practitioners would be wary of teaming up with the BSA.
“The channel may be nervous about delivering end users’ data back to the BSA when they know it could get them into trouble,” he said. “There needs to be some reassurance with the SAM Advantage programme.”
Richmond said end users may also be confused by the growing volume of SAM
standards on the market, both from vendors such as Microsoft and organisations
such as ISO and ITIL. “It is difficult for them to know which is more
“The BSA has never had a channel-based approach, so I would question [if] it understands how to drive a revenue stream,” said Richmond.
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