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Extracted from the Feburary 2nd 2009 IT Policy Forum Agenda

  • Presentation and Discussion of Shared Licensing Management recommendations (SLiM)
       Handout: draft Shared Licensing Management Recommendations

    1. Presentation of draft recommendations [10 min]
         Phil Saunders, Registrar's Office; Jeffrey Shokler, L&S

    2. Discussion groups, (one group for each recommendation) [30 min]

         Same questions for each recommendation:

      1. Regarding this recommendation, what have you been doing or would like to be doing in this area, and how could it be expanded to benefit the institution as a whole?
      2. How can we assure this recommendation is successful?

    3. Report out [10 min]


Recommendation 1: Create and foster a federation of shared software communities.

Enable continual improvement of shared licensing management by creating communities of interested persons. These SLIM communities are intended to foster greater communication between and coordination among software purchasers and users. Establish a steering committee to provide ongoing leadership.

Great ideas and participation!
  • Include developed software as well as out-of-the box; also scripts, batches, utilities.
  • Centralized database listing all apps
  • Using Drupal and Pubcookie to control access both in and out
  • Possible tie-in with Tech Store for listing of these apps, such as SecureFX and other products available across campus
  • Joe Smith - L&S/DoIT of UWM - as source of someone with license database experience. Phil will contact him for ideas.
    *DOWNside Communication issues: is it display or monitor or screen or video or RGB or . . .
  • Suggest FreeTag - a feature of Drupal - as an easy attaching of metadata to entries - then a search for any entry in the previous sentence would work
  • Potpourri or goulash session at ShowCase? Rather than a unified presentation, a group of folks with little contributions
  • Birds of a Feather groups forming out of these discussions and collaborations
  • Post solutions without attribution to avoid being plagued with how-to emails. A group of three or so to vet entries.
  • Possible tie-in with DoIT Help Desk?
  • Integration
  • Balance
  • Scaling

Recommendation 2: Create and maintain an inventory of software licenses.

The first task of the SLiM federated communities should be to collaboratively create an inventory of software licenses in use at the UW-Madison.

General Opening Comments:
  • An IT inventory was suggested by the Deans as part of the campus IT strategic plan
  • Should a web self-reporting tool be developed?
  • It's a huge task....some departments do it already and have extensive lists
  • Some inventorying tools are available, but they do not work for all OS's and old versions and won't measure actual use
  • We should encourage the use of license servers where applicable
  • A lot of departments/areas invest in maintenance contracts
  • P-cards make tracking from the purchasing side difficult
  • DoIT "volunteer" software listing is not up-to-date
  • Should we start with a full listing of IT 'shops"?
  • Should we start with just a listing of site-licensed software?


  • Voluntary reporting with an easy online tool
  • DoIT should facilitate, collect information
  • Start with software maintenance renewals, which local purchasing agents (site mangers) would know about

Recommendation 3 :Coordinate and facilitate expanded license management.

The SLiM communities should explore how license management could be coordinated to provide access by larger communities to a wider variety of software applications, and by doing so, realize potential cost savings at multiple scales across the institution. Improved coordination and scale will result in educational benefits and more efficient license management infrastructure. Explore methods to aid units in assessing and maintaining their compliance with license terms.

  • Lots of license management at CAE
    • allow access to many users (students, staff, labs, research offices, etc.) Lots of license management
    • need to verity identities for some licenses(those who paid get license)
  • Many licensed products, several with license daemons
  • Would like soo reports on how many licenses are used
  • Would like centrally-managed license server
  • Like being able to to collaborate on license management and info on how to manage licenses
  • Inventory would allow us to cut back on subscriptions
  • Bigger gain: use licenses already present across campus
  • Also save on tracking efforts


  • Share licenses (utilize resources already purchased)
  • Reduce tracking efforts
  • Centralized license management perceived as a potential solution – wiki with informaiton may help too

Recommendation 4: Collaborative contract administration.

The SLiM communities should explore ways that collaborative contract administration will result in contracts that are more favorable to the university in terms of both license costs and access for users.

  • In the past one of the problems has been that when DoIT got involved, they got involved to recover cost, not just coordination
  • CIO should provide some coordination - or someone should
    • DoIT - all time has to be "billable" - what "sells"
    • Example - there was an issue with the Mathlab license, it was going to cost more so big buyers can benefit too
  • Someone has to be enabled or empowered to do
    • Someone has to have time to do it - not DoIT, but central IT/CIO
  • Handling the money - exchanging the money between departments - this is a barrier
    • Central service, not a central mandate
    • e.g. ArcInfo - UW System license - has been delegated to Math Heinzel - would think the funding would be justified for a position
  • A lot of the savings seem to be elsewhere
    • Microsoft site license - only savings were on someone's spreadsheet -
    • Collaborative contract administration - how to pay for it
  • Cost savings - are they the only driver
    • How to speculatively fund postions
    • Supply budget - we have this, we don't have time
  • Communities would be helpful
    • Someone else - to figure out what is already out there
  • Contract administration - enforcement - audit
    • Pointing at DoIT - easy to do - too many things seem to be licensed on a "discounted purchasing procedure" - there are a lot of transactions for these, how does that add up over time
  • Communities will help
    • Do we want to stop letting us have the one-offs - "billed at differed rate for different use cases" - site license for faculty, anyone, students, etc.
  • Could we spend a little more to relax the license terms
  • CIC and Big Ten - get them involved - we need to be more creative, spend money in certain places, reducing audit requirements in the license language

Recommendation 5: Make shared licensing decisions collaboratively.

Identify how decisions involving license purchasing, management, and contract administration are made, and find ways to encourage and facilitate collaborative decision-making.

  • No structure to combine? May be developing
  • How to ID common users and disseminate info?
  • How to connect with others? Who to support a common communication system/board? Consider MTAG – but they aren't admin
  • Som variation on WISC?
  • Inventory is critical starting point
  • A campus license server?
  • Don't forget open source on beginning of process, consider as alternative solutions
  • Need someone to manage process with out charging an admin fee
  • Gather info and share to educate otehrs on the benefit, such as wiki
  • Lots of interest in creating a Wiki for the following purposes
    • To share what people around the campus are using
    • To create a forum where people can say why they are using Software A instead of B.
    • To post if they have extra licenses / seats, as in saying they have a license for 100 seats and are only using 81 of them.
    • Post reviews of how software is working out for them.
    • To share experiences on open source software or collaborative tools, such as Google Apps
    • Perhaps a place in the Wiki for people to share what is under consideration for future purchase.
    • The wiki could be more than a license management aid,it could be a place for the campus to share information about software, about what is working or not for them, to assist others in finding solutions - or buying a solution that is already in use on the campus so there can be an expanded support base.
  • The group was very supportive of DoIT providing a staff person to facilitate:
    • Developing collaboration
    • Building an inventory
    • And working with campus to develop a useful Wiki


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