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Summer Blockbuster Series: Make Sure the Investment Pays Off

Tip 7:  Make Sure Your Software Intelligence Investment Pays Off

Toy Story 3

By now, you know that identifying and confronting unlicensed usage takes a thoughtful and thorough combination of software intelligence software and services. It is also often accompanied by internal change management and evangelization efforts to ensure software compliance initiatives are a permanent part of your business processes.

Now for the final, and most difficult, leg of the journey – converting those unlicensed users into paying customers. We draw lessons today from Toy Story 3. As the famed toys’ owner Andy prepares to go off to college, Woody, Buzz and the gang find themselves getting ready for their final play date. A mishap sends the toys (sans Woody) to a local daycare instead of the intended storage spot in the attic, and requisite adventure-laden mayhem ensues. Woody plots to break the gang out of Sunnyside Daycare, and consults the Chatter Telephone on his plan. The toy warns Woody about the elaborate security system the current regime has put into place, and advises that, “you can unlock the doors, sneak past the guards, climb the wall, but if you don’t take out that monkey, you ain’t going nowhere.”

The same can be said when dealing with unlicensed users and software pirates – you can unlock their locations, leverage data to reveal the extent of unlicensed use, and begin the difficult climb over the walls of excuses they will use – but if you can’t get past the monkey/convert them into paying customers, you haven’t gotten anywhere.

As global independent software vendors, your sales team or resellers may not be capable of closing the leads you provide in some markets because they simply don’t have the right combination of skills or time to handle it. There is a very particular set of skills that come into play here – fluency in the native language, knowledge of local laws, attention to unique customs and nuances crucial to closing leads, and overall, the right balance of force and patience that can only be honed through experience.

The bottom line is that even with high-quality data and the right tools to consume it, many software publishers leave money on the table due to gaps in skillsets or global coverage. If you can’t convert unlicensed users into paying customers, then you haven’t really gotten anywhere.

Don’t Get Played

The most successful compliance initiatives rely on compliance services partners to augment what software and internal services can do. An outsourced compliance management services partnership can quickly and directly impact revenue. Because they are interacting directly with prospects that can become long-term customers, it’s absolutely crucial to get the right partner for the job. Here are eight questions we recommend asking to ensure you’ll be singing “you’ve got a friend in me” with your chosen partner:

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  1. What is your experience, including language fluency, in the geographical and vertical markets where we need your services?
  2. Have you worked with software publishers similar to ours – for example, in terms of the value of our individual licenses, or the volume of software we sell?
  3. Do you have workflows for utilizing large amounts of intelligence data?
  4. What are your best practices for interacting with target infringers?
  5. Will you help us improve our own processes?
  6. How are you paid?
  7. How do you work with us? What are approval processes?
  8. Do you offer a case management system and dashboard? Is there full visibility to keep track of your forecast and progress?

Find a Favorite Deputy

The best partners will easily be able to identify what type of engagement will be the best fit for your organization’s revenue recovery effort, whether that be a straightforward audit, a sales-based approach, litigation or, if the circumstances call for it, a raid. Remember that most unlicensed users of software are current customers who have no idea they’re using anything improperly. The combination of services will be unique to each engagement, and if not handled perfectly could hurt relationships with customers and negate the value of the engagement altogether.

The right partner will work seamlessly as a part of your team, deftly navigating customer concerns, while surmounting internal politics that can be difficult for employees to address. With the right partner, your compliance program can have the storybook ending we see in the Toy Story series – and reap revenue for your business to infinity and beyond.

For more advice on selecting software usage intelligence, download our “Buyer’s Guide to Software Intelligence Solutions.”

Summer – the perfect time to sit by the pool, soak in the sun and of course, contemplate your company’s software piracy problems. As you consider just how much you are losing to piracy, we thought we’d lend some lessons from another industry that is by no means immune to it – the movies. That standard of truth Entertainment Weekly recently ranked the 30 biggest summer blockbusters of all time. We’ve found that in each, some of the most memorable quotes and characters lend advice that can be applied to building strong compliance programs. Each week during this summer, we’ll share one of EW’s picks, and our take on how that particular classic lends lessons on designing a revenue recovery strategy that will break all box office records.

Software License Compliance Summer Blockbuster Series