This building information modeling (BIM) company (the Company) develops powerful software that enables its customers to deliver safe, sustainable, quality designs and buildings while being highly productive doing so. The typical customer has about 10 licenses at about $20K each.
When the Company discovered its industry-leading software was being pirated and sold illegally, it began looking for solutions to stop the loss of revenue.
The Company’s piracy problem was initially uncovered when several customers brought to light that they knew competitors were using the Company’s software illegally and they were concerned that because the competitors were not paying for the software, they had an unfair cost-of-doing- business advantage. This was backed up by reports from the Company’s product support people that they were getting support calls from users who were not customers. Although the Company did not know how big the problem was, they knew it was serious and wanted to rectify it.
Once the issue was investigated and the magnitude of the problem was learned, the Company’s senior management was briefed and a program to recover lost revenue and stop future piracy was recommended. Senior management, however, was concerned about the negative effect such an anti-piracy and license compliance program could have on the privacy of legitimate customers. They also did not fully appreciate the financial impact of piracy on their bottom line or the effect it was having on their customers’ competitive playing field.
As the piracy problem grew, customers began pushing more strongly for the Company to pursue the illegal competitors to protect their investment in their legitimate software. Eventually, the Company concluded that they needed to take concrete steps in fighting illegal use of their software.
The first stage of the solution was to investigate the true extent of the piracy problem through internal developments and tools. This revealed that piracy was indeed happening, and the extent was quite substantial. That information in and of itself took some time to digest. Next, the Company estimated the monetary value of product being lost to piracy and the potential for recovery if it was to embark on a license compliance program.
In addition to the moderately effective home-grown tools, it was then decided to evaluate a commercial telemetry tracking tool, as more comprehensive data and data management tools were desired, which led the Company to Cylynt.
Upon evaluation, Cylynt’s sophisticated telemetry technology, combined with the ability to seamlessly integrate with and complement the Company’s internal tools, provided the high quality and detailed data required. When using Cylynt’s unique usage analytics and custom reporting, this data provided meaningful insights and actions that helped the Company to make more informed decisions about addressing non-compliance issues and enabled it to launch a successful revenue recovery program that yielded results immediately.
Today, the company has in place a robust program that tracks both legal and illegal software usage through the Cylynt tamper-detection technology. Illegal usage data gathered includes both counterfeit and valid licenses, along with unlicensed user data, all of which, when fed into Cylynt’s usage analytics, provides the details needed for ongoing revenue recovery.
Cylynt has complemented and upgraded the company’s anti-piracy program immensely, enabling continuing financial recovery growth to fight back against never-ending piracy.
In addition to the positive impact Cylynt has had on the financial health of the Company, its customers are very happy that their pirate competitors are being pursued and the playing field is being leveled. The Company is very satisfied with the positive effect Cylynt has had in developing its license compliance program and is also working on becoming one of the first adopters of Cylynt Ranger, a unique new product that provides an extra layer of software protection for their intellectual property and additional opportunities for revenue generation.
Reflecting on the commercial relationship to date, the investment the Company continues to make in Cylynt’s technology has proven to have a significant return on investment in terms of recovered revenue generated from legalizing unlicensed use of its software. Additionally, with the help of Cylynt, the Company has increased its brand value in protecting the investment its customers have made in the Company’s software.
“We have a very good relationship with the Cylynt team. The service they provide is exceptional and they are passionate in helping us be successful. We have worked with them in brainstorming and development and they bring innovative new ideas that our company needs. It is rewarding to be working with the Cylynt team because they listen and |explain why we cannot do some things and how we can \do other things better.
“All of the information we have collected using Cylynt remains with our company, so it is a long-term venture that we have adopted. The advice I would give to other companies is to investigate the monetary effect of potentially recoverable lost revenues in addition to compromised brand value due to piracy. Work on an investment proposal on tamper detection technology in order to gather actionable data on illegal software usage that can even be used as evidence in a court of law. Make sure that your end-user license agreement covers an electronic audit, also consult legal experts on privacy related matters.
“While potential adopters of an anti-piracy and license compliance program may be concerned about invading the privacy of their legal customers, these issues are easily solved within Cylynt because users can specify who they want to investigate, thus complying with data privacy laws. Cylynt customers are not only protecting their products, but they’re also protecting the investments of their legitimate customers.”
The Company’s license compliance team is also working with Cylynt’s usage analytics to generate actionable insights using legal use data from the field. This may become another success story in the future.