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How do you do....it? Thread, School software licenses...argh! in Technical; I'm in a school where records regarding ICT have never really been kept. I've just decided to look in a ...
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    Little-Miss's Avatar
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    School software licenses...argh!

    I'm in a school where records regarding ICT have never really been kept. I've just decided to look in a folder in my cupboard labelled "Licenses" and really wish i hadnt. It makes no sense, i am in no way clearer to what state our licenses are in!

    What would you do in my situation. Imagine you've landed in a school and there are no records at all of licenses....what would you do?!

    ...help!

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    tsky's Avatar
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    Blarrghhh.. I'm in exactly the same situation. Arrived here to find a mixture of purchase receipts and some older licences.

    Took me 2 days to go through all the paperwork. Noone can really tell me exactly what is in place.

    Schools + (Licencing options * Paperwork) / County Procurement processes = FAIL.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Have a nice chat to the accounts people and ask them if they could possibly dig out the records for ICT purchases or anything with software in the title from the accounting software. Be aware that depending on the software they use this may be a huge task so you'll need to ask really nicely. Look through all of this and find any purchases relating to your work, ie computer purchases for stuff like warrenties and who did what work where along with any marked software purchases.

    Again depending on the accounts software you may be able to figure out how much of what you have by looking at the printout but more than likely you will need to dig out the original invoice which will probably still be floating around in the records. So get a list of all the ones that you need and request copies of them. Again, this is a pain of a job and so it might be an idea to offer to help, especially if there are lots that you need. On the plus side at the end of it if you have copied all the right stuff you have the basis for an asset database as well.

    Once you have these you will know what you paid for when and from who. Some programs you may have no keys and so you those are covered when you know about how many copies you have. Other stuff you may be able to recover the keys for and the rest you would need to contact the original reseller for (don't be to optimistic though as they are not generally helpful). The original resellers may also be able to provide the terms for any site liscences that you have but have no records of or at least point you in the direction of the company that can. You can also ask them to dig through their records for any other invoices that they have relating to your school as you may fish a few out of these as well.

    This is probably the only way you will be able to piece together what has happened in the past as accounting is the one area that is usually properly enforced in every school. It is quite a mission to get a hold of and then dig through all of the paperwork but probably worth it in the end.

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    Little-Miss (10th March 2009)

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    I would probably start by having an audit and finding out what's on the machines. Then seeing what you can reconsile against your paperwork. Anything you can't find licences for you need to contact the publishers and see if they have any record of you. It's also worth speaking to your burser and seeing if they will probably have record of software purchases.

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    Little-Miss's Avatar
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    Right, downstairs i go.

    What a nightmare. lol, this sounds daft, but i wont get the school into trouble if like i dunno, licences have run out or whatever and i ring the company?

    I keep seeing this one name popping up in the records so might contact him...

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little-Miss View Post
    Right, downstairs i go.

    What a nightmare. lol, this sounds daft, but i wont get the school into trouble if like i dunno, licences have run out or whatever and i ring the company?

    I keep seeing this one name popping up in the records so might contact him...
    The school has probably dealt mostly with suppliers rather than directly with the publishers so if you check with the suppliers first for all purchases you are unlikely to run into trouble. The publishers are also more likely to be understanding if you tell them that you are checking and enforcing licenses. If you do feel that you may get the school into trouble just tell them that you found some installation media for it in your cuboard. That some teachers remembered it being installed somewhere at some point and that you were just checking if the school had a site or volume license to install it or a similar tale that does not admit anything but still gets them to check it out for you.

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    Little-Miss (10th March 2009)

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    I had the same situation at one of my schools, and I have fallen into the same one at the other school.
    Echoing others - there isn't any point looking for licences or licence confirmation for software you don't use so firstly make a proper list of what is on the system. List what it is, and cross reference to any licence you might have and what sort it is, as well as a column that lets you note down if you have the media or not.
    Put out a message to all staff that you are looking for licences - in my experience the teacher who ordered the software often keeps the licence with the cd and instructions (get the cd off them as well while you are there). A good sweetener is to tell them that you will have to take the software off if it has no licence.
    Then: check the invoices etc. I actually just rang the supplier/manufacturers and any name I could find or think of that might have been where we bought the software from.
    Sherston were very helpful and sent me details of ALL the software we had bought from them.
    I did ring one company and find out that the licence had expired
    It started a dialogue between the IT teacher and the Dep Head and the upshot is that we are going to by a similar but cheaper product. Meanwhile I have taken the old one off the system.
    After a while I was able to send out a list of what software was on the system without a licence, with a deadline by which I would take it off if nothing was done. We may well have had to buy licences for already licenced software but I had no way of telling that and my boss accepted that I had done my best to find out.
    I was told by the Dep Head that as long as I was seen to be sorting it out, it didn't matter if it took a while, which was reassuring.

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    Little-Miss (10th March 2009)

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    ReverentCreature's Avatar
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    I made myself a nice little spreadsheet with the software in alphabetical order and columns for the type of license (free, site License, concurrent user license etc) then columns for each area of the school with ticks for if the software is installed there. I then had a visual overview of the school and could work out where I could install the software without exceeding the licenses I had.

    Tips:
    1. Check the CD insert sleeves and associated resources books that came with the software
    2. Survey the staff and uninstall software that is outdated and never used
    3. Contact your main software comanies for lisenses they can fax post out to you.
    4. Check with the bursar to search the finance system (invoices often contain licenses)

    Anything left that couldnt be accounted for was uninstalled and the staff were told that it was tough. If its not legal it comes off!
    Last edited by ReverentCreature; 11th March 2009 at 10:24 AM.

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