Jeff Ray is the Chief Executive Officer for SolidWorks, a leading software company in providing 3D computer-aided design software. Engineers, designers, and other creative professionals use SolidWorks software in designing some of the world's greatest products, from medical devices used to save lives to the bicycle that Lance Armstrong rode to win the Tour de France seven times. As CEO, Jeff's job is to ensure that SolidWorks continues to be a market leader in delivering top-level computer-aided design software.
Due to the high quality and, therefore, high demand for his company's software, SolidWorks has experienced an extremely high level of software piracy.
But what is more important to Jeff is that piracy harms his customers. More than half of SolidWorks' customers spend more than 70 percent of their time using the software, making it an integral part of their job. Pirated software will often have a much lower quality than legitimate software, meaning that it can have features that fail, may not communicate effectively, or even have viruses that harm users' computers. This hurts his customers' ability to deliver a quality product and, therefore, their ability to stay competitive.
To help stem the spread of pirated SolidWorks software, Jeff's company has to spend both time and resources monitoring the Internet and alerting Web site administrators when pirates are selling illegitimate software online. SolidWorks also engages in a significant amount if awareness-building around this issue to make sure IT communities are aware of piracy in their locales and the impact it has on their industry.