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PHUKET: The competitive business world can easily be compared to elite sports. In both, the stakes for winning or losing are extremely high, with people being stretched to constantly deliver their best results.

At sports events, ethical behavior and values such as respect, honor and sportsmanship, get utmost importance. Cheating is not tolerated in world-class sports. And, in exactly the same vein, cheating or any type of unethical behavior should not be tolerated in the world of business.

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) reported in its 2011 BSA Global Software Piracy Study that the commercial value of software piracy in Thailand stood at 26.4 billion baht, with 59% of respondents admitting to buying pirated software “all the time”.

While the initial cost benefits might seem attractive, using pirated software could carry
implications beyond Thailand. For example, Thai companies using pirated software that export their products to the US could be crippled by a law aimed to penalize the use of illegal IT.

Many states in the US are enforcing their unfair competition laws and are taking actions against manufacturers who use illegal IT in their business operations to gain an unfair advantage. These manufacturers face the prospect of legal action, paying damages and ultimately having their products blacklisted.

“At Microsoft Thailand, we work closely with our partners to stress the importance of using genuine software,” said Birathon Kasemsri na Ayudhaya, managing director of Microsoft (Thailand).

“Led by Krittiya Eamsiri, who took over the newly created Intellectual Property Rights lead role for the company this summer, we have a strong team that advises customers on the right software and licensing strategy for them, he said.

The team goes out to customers with software asset management tools, designed to provide a full overview of any unsure software use in your company – this might have slipped in accidentally – and then provides advice on the right licensing strategy, he added.

“Krittiya and the team also educate and give advice to customers about proper selection tools and support strategy on which licensing matches their company and usage,” he added.

“We put so much emphasis on this because we see the benefits that using genuine software brings to customers. With genuine software, both your business and its reputation are in good hands, said Birathon.

“You can feel confident that installing and using genuine software will ensure your systems deliver more value, run more reliably, and better protect vital business information, including trust and value in your company,” he added.

Studies show that when compared to computers with pirated software, computers with genuine software perform faster during boot-up, and when opening programs, documents and high-memory Internet sites. They are also better protected against viruses and other threats, noted Birathon.

One customer who benefited from using genuine software is the Nitipon Clinic, the leading dermatological and cosmeceutical company with branches all over Thailand.

“Our team conducted a Software Asset Management screening with advice from the AP team of Microsoft,” said Birathon.

Dr Nitipon Chaisakulchai, president of Nitipon Clinic, said: “The process really helped us to understand which software we should acquire and use and what licensing should be used to get the optimal results.

“Now we are free from software worries and can focus on business and providing the best customer service,” he added.

By working together we can create a level playing field in which good sportsmanship is rewarded. Fair-play for fair competition. That’s how it should be concluded Birathon

Birathon Kasemsri na Ayudhaya is managing director of Microsoft (Thai)