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Autodesk adds Saudi partners to combat piracy

Forty new partners added in Saudi to improve access to licensed software

Autodesk adds Saudi partners to combat piracy
Autodesk has found that most customers will switch from pirated to legal software if they are made aware of the benefits, but they also require local resellers to sell and support it, says Arthur.

Autodesk has recruited 40 new partners in Saudi Arabia in the past three months, to help in combating software piracy.

The CAD software specialist has extended its channel in the Kingdom, in order to give potential customers more opportunities to consult with the company and its channel partners, to buy valid licensed software, and to receive support for the products.

Anders Arthur, regional director for Middle East and Africa at Autodesk, said. "When we look at the whole region, as a vendor, we need to make sure that it is possible to buy legal software. We are reaching out, and developing our partner network, to ensure that when we are informing [customers] about the benefits of legal software, that they can actually purchase the software in that country."

The company has three distributors in Saudi, and has added more resellers, in particular to cater to the SMB market. This sector is more prone to using pirated software, Arthur said. Autodesk is running awareness campaigns directly and with partners on the benefits of using licensed software, such as support, proper updates, and access to other services, such as the ability to use the a licenced copy in the office and on a home PC. Licensed users also get access to Autodesk Cloud, a new web-based set of services that offer greater mobility, new viewing and sharing capabilities, and more computing power.

Autodesk is also providing customers with tools such as software asset management, so they can see who in their organization is using what software, and assess their licensing requirements from there.

"I think it is really important that customers locally can have the right support, have the possibility to buy legal software, and get the benefits of working with the legal software," he said.

Arthur said that while the company does work with law enforcement in the Kingdom on IPR, it finds that the majority of companies switch to licensed software voluntarily.

The company also opened an office in Riyadh last November.

Autodesk will look to deliver similar initiatives to other countries in the Gulf, based on the situation in individual countries, Arthur added.

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