Technology Digest: October 9, 2013

ECU Faculty and Staff:

The Department of Materials Management and ITCS are working collaboratively to reach out to the University community regarding software compliance. Managing software licensing agreements for large government agencies like East Carolina University is a very difficult and complex but increasingly important task. Software licensing for large organizations require negotiations and renewals throughout the year and when software licensing involves various types of agreements, the ability to stay compliant becomes increasingly difficult. The worst time to find out if an organization is compliant is when a software vendor performs an audit. 
 
Whose responsibility is it to make sure ECU is software complaint? 
 
Well the answer is quite simple. It’s everybody’s responsibility. If you have an ECU-issued computer, it is your responsibility to know what programs are installed on your system and to be able to provide proof of purchase for software licenses. Departments should work together to manage software licenses by tracking the number of installations per software licenses and document what systems have software installed. For example, if your department purchased a product such as Adobe Professional and the purchase came with five licenses, how many machines should have this Adobe software? The answer is no more than five. Any more than that and the university is not compliant.
 
The university spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on software so what’s the big deal if we go over a few software licenses?
 
Software is big business. The types of software licensing packages we buy are often negotiated with software vendors to get good pricing. The fact we are out of compliance ultimately means we are stealing. Software companies can charge us large penalties, unbudgeted “true-up” expenses for what the vendor deems the right level of licensing, not to mention the embarrassment, and even worse potentially pull our licensing all together. Can you imagine this campus trying to operate both academically and administratively without core products such as Microsoft, SPSS, and Adobe?
 
How can I do my part to ensure software compliance here at ECU?
 
To start with, we are asking all faculty and staff to complete an inventory of software on their systems. 
               
PC Users Instructions:
1.       Go to Start
2.       Control Panel
3.       Programs and Features
 
Mac Users Instructions:
1.       Go to About This Mac
2.       More Info
3.       Software
4.       Applications
 
Then we are encouraging all departments to coordinate an effort to inventory all software installed on machines and be able to locate the proof of purchase for the software licenses. ITCS and Materials Management may contact departments and request information about software purchases and the systems that have the installed software. 
 
Working together, we can ensure success.
 
The reality of a software audit can be scary but by working together, we ALL can ensure that ECU stays software complaint. We encourage departments to contact the Department of Materials Management regarding questions or concerns about software compliance.