Don't assume your software transfers automatically from your School to your new Academy! I've been investigating the pitfalls of software licensing, and the following is based on a telephone conversation with a Kent contracted software supplier and my own research of software manufacturers' licensing terms and conditions.Microsoft Licenses
Kent Schools typically purchase software through one of the following:
- Microsoft Select Agreement for perpetual licenses (supplied by Civica under KCC Contract, and usually supplied through EIS).
- Microsoft Select Agreement - perpetual licenses (through another supplier).
- Microsoft School's Agreement - software rented through an annual payment.
Microsoft are fairly generous and will transfer licenses on completion of a Microsoft License Transfer Form. This form can only be issued by the original license supplier however. Failure to complete the form makes continued use of the software following conversion to Academy illegal. On completing the form, the supplier checks against the school postcode to ensure the software is legitimately licensed before passing the transfer information to Microsoft. Microsoft will then confirm (or otherwise) the transfer. It goes without saying that a school will need to complete a form for each supplier, and make sure they claim the right number of licenses for each.
Schools have to know what licenses were bought from which supplier, as the volume license key is specific to each agreement.
Academies can't take buy through Kent's Select Agreement once they convert, but can apply for a Select Agreement in their own right.
Each software manufacturer sets its own licensing terms and conditions and there are far too many titles to provide specific guidance. Schools need to work through their inventories and check these individually. Adobe products are worth a mention, as they recently won a court case to prevent onward sale of their products, so this may be an issue. I will try to clarify their position on this.
Where software is supported by annual charge, (e.g. subscriptions, annual upgrades, renewals) suppliers may be happy to transfer licenses on the basis that arrangements continue, but it is important to check.
Hosted services (ie on servers not owned by the school) are provided by a range of Service Provider's, each with their own terms and conditions. Each should be informed of the schools conversion to Academy, allowing them to respond appropriately.
Schools need to maintain accurate records of the software and services they use and ensure they are appropriately licensed. It should not just be assumed that licenses continue on transfer, as each software manufacturer applies different terms and conditions.