UK VARs should capitalise on the Business Software Alliance’s (BSA’s) latest Software Audit Return (SAR) initiative, the organisation’s new chairman has claimed.
For the fifth year running, the BSA is posting out its annual SAR to thousands of UK companies in a drive to ensure licence compliance and promote the benefits of Software Asset Management (SAM). The deadline for returns is 31 July.
According to recent figures from a joint study by the BSA and analyst firm IDC, the annual piracy rate in the UK stands at 27 per cent, a cost of $1.67bn to the IT industry.
Ram Dhaliwal, chairman of the BSA, said: “A great many VARs have said that the SAR process triggers off conversations with customers and there are quite a few plusses for resellers in talking about SAM, not least the fact that it is a consultative sale for partners.
“At the same time there are the business opportunities if their customers haven’t been updating licences and also the fact that proper software management can help firms save between 25 and 30 per cent on costs and free up resources to invest in other areas of their IT system,” he added.
Dhaliwal said awareness of the risks around unlicensed or pirated software is increasing among UK firms.
“However, there are going to be people that flout the software laws and IP regulations, and education is still needed,” he said.
Paul Cooper, head of SAM at VAR Grey Matter, said: “There are lots of UK firms using counterfeit software; some are unaware because the licensing is so complicated and a lot are aware that they have a problem, but if we suggest an audit, they tend to shut the door. Advertising the importance of SAM is crucial and the BSA can help us to open those doors.”
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