An Open Letter to CEOs of US Software Companies

October 22, 2012StatSoft CEO Dr Paul Lewicki

Dear Colleagues,

As some of you may know, StatSoft has launched a program to offer free Enterprise Business Analytics software to aid struggling companies in Greece, Portugal, and Spain with the intent to reduce the terrible social cost for people who live in those developed and, until only recently, thriving nations, and where now 25% of the population cannot afford the most basic necessities such as adequate nutrition or health care.

The purpose of this letter is to invite you to join this initiative, which will not only reduce human suffering but which has also global, long-term benefits of reducing the risk to the Euro and the European economic system, which could unravel should the Euro fail.

In our (software) industry, we are in a unique position to help tremendously those companies that are now in the paradoxical situation where (a) on the one hand, their highly educated workforce and developed infrastructure is prepared to greatly benefit from software designed to increase productivity and international competitiveness, but (b) on the other hand, their lack of credit prevents them from making any investments and acquiring the critical tools (software) that would radically increase their chances for a quick recovery.

These companies need not only the Advanced Analytics software that StatSoft is providing, but they also need software for database management, enterprise resource planning, factory automation, and many other software tools and solutions.

The cost of this program for our industry (while not negligible) can still be considered extremely low compared to the tremendous benefits in terms of the reduction of human suffering that it can generate. The anticipated (caused by this program) loss of revenue for our industry from these cash strapped nations will be – in the case of most midsize software companies – limited to just a few million dollars; but, the “Return” on this small “Investment” in terms of the social benefits – increased employment, accelerated recovery, and also the reduction of the risk to the Euro – is virtually priceless given the depth of economic calamity that the residents of those nations are experiencing.

I have had discussions with my counterparts at several large software companies. While all of them understood the benefits, they raised concerns regarding the burden of the significant and unbudgeted cost involved in supporting the unexpected, large volume of “non-revenue-producing” accounts in those countries, for which they are currently not prepared. These are legitimate concerns, but there are a number of creative ways in which these costs can be reduced and the potential bottlenecks to the program eliminated. We at StatSoft have developed some of them, and we will be happy to share our ideas with you to the benefit of this program. The time to act is now; if we wait until the next fiscal year, it may be simply too late.

Also, we do not recommend that the free software offer be unconditional (e.g., multinational companies are excluded from the StatSoft program), and your company may decide to prioritize the services to be provided based on the anticipated employment and other benefits to the local economies.

Finally, let me stress that in addition to the immediate social benefits that this program will generate, it also has important global and long term benefits. The downward economic spiral in these three nations appears self-perpetuating, spreading to other countries, threatening the Euro, and consequently the world’s economic stability – something that we also need to be concerned about from the standpoint of our own economic future. Last but not least, remember that the struggling region that you will help save today, will someday fully recover, and our industry will benefit in the future from that new market that is now almost nonexistent.

I am looking forward to hearing from you and to working with you on this initiative where every party involved will be a real winner.


Paul Lewicki, CEO

StatSoft, Inc.

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Comment by Adi Otoiu on November 21, 2012 at 1:09pm

Very smart initiative, an example for other companies who boast CSR initiatives, but behave much like the bankers who lend you the umbrella when it is sunny but take it away from you when raining. 

Way to go, Paul & StatSoft.

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