As a leader at a high-tech company I realize that sales and marketing is changing rapidly, and data is one of the leading catalysts of change. Conventional marketing revolves around a broadcast model of amplifying a message to the masses, while ignoring the valuable data on people that may want to use or may already be using our software. To play a key role in successfully completing sales cycles and driving compelling events, my company requires more actionable intelligence for marketing and a data-driven approach to sales.
One of the most obvious places that data can impact sales revenues is through a more comprehensive license compliance program. Many software companies are victims of piracy and under-compliance. Hackers are deliberately cracking our software by circumventing the licensing manager and then sharing with infringers to download for free, or are selling on the dark web at a very low cost. We also suspect some of our users are inadvertently using unlicensed versions or over-deploying the licenses that have been purchased by using them outside of the terms of the agreement.
There is one competitor out there who affects everyone in our company, and it is the one competitor we are all ignoring: software piracy! Piracy is probably taking 10-25 percent of our sales potential away, resulting in lower sales, lower commissions, and wasted sales cycles. We can see this piracy competitor’s products posted to web forums and on YouTube videos. The pirates are selling our software for pennies on the dollar, especially in China. We experience this competitor every time a great evaluation suddenly and inexplicably goes silent. We all feel angry and ineffective in dealing with this competitor, so it is seldom brought up or even acknowledged. My customers are unhappy too, because they are being undercut in the market and are less motivated to renew or buy more licenses, as they lose market share to companies with an unfair competitive advantage.
I need to work with management to implement a state-of-the-art license protection and compliance program. With the right usage data, we can understand how deep our piracy problem is, what we can do to minimize piracy in the future, and how we can recover revenue from IP that has already been stolen. We need to do this not only for our own bottom line, but for our customers, who deserve a fair competitive playing field in the marketplace. We want to continue to develop innovative technologies and for our customers to continue to buy our software.
In addition to providing actionable data to the legal and compliance departments to recover lost revenue from piracy and under-compliance, the usage analytics of our software could be used to drive our sales and marketing activities. The data would give me deeper insight into customer behavior, enabling me to optimize trial evaluations, discover technical issues, and re-negotiate enterprise license agreements from a position of strength.
Customized Piracy Impact Analysis
SmartFlow can help my company understand the depth of our problem with a customized piracy impact analysis. We’ll be able to quantify the total revenue lost and estimate what could be recovered with a good recovery plan. SmartFlow’s intuitive data gathering and analytics tools will help us see exactly who is illegally using our software, where, when, and how often. We can build a timeline for implementing a plan and setting triggers to get started.
License Compliance and Revenue Generation
I believe some of my enterprise customers who have cut back on the purchase of new licenses and support don’t know or are ignoring the fact that their employees are violating the license agreement by sharing a single license for multiple users or making illegal copies. They need to understand that creative licensing is just as illegal as piracy. A comprehensive license compliance program that gathers usage data will provide me with detailed information on people using our software illegally so I can re-negotiate enterprise license agreements and bring customers under complete compliance. The SmartFlow “virtual audit” ability will not only increase target conversion rates by 50-100 percent,
SmartFlow can provide management and the legal department with the detailed data needed to negotiate a monetary settlement or initiate a successful legal action to recover lost revenue from piracy.
The data gathered from a SmartFlow license compliance program will help me protect our software brand and our customers’ operations by identifying and eliminating counterfeit licenses and cracked versions that don't work properly and may contain dangerous malware that could affect their systems.
SmartFlow will help management make more informed business decisions about addressing non-compliance issues, generating revenue, and staying ahead of the competition. The usage data generated by SmartFlow provides the most important data marketing and sales can possess: customer behavior.
The SmartFlow business intelligence and custom reporting module
Ongoing Anti-Piracy Monitoring
Our comprehensive SmartFlow compliance program will enable the company to continually monitor usage of our software to ensure our licenses are being used properly and stay on top of piracy to shut it down quickly. The pirates will understand that we are not a quick and easy target and will seek less formidable victims. I’ll have a steady stream of leads from actual users who simply need to be informed of the terms of our license agreement and persuaded to pay for each software installation.
In this e-book the world’s leading license compliance managers, intellectual property experts, and commercial litigation attorneys share their best practices for protecting your software company from piracy and under compliance.
“When you apply this type of compliance program the impact is huge. SmartFlow has developed technology that helps companies like mine to find the companies who are using pirated software.”