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Software Site Licenses

Procedure Overview

This procedure explains the method whereby members of the University community can request funding from ITS for site licenses and volume purchases of application software. For requests that are approved, ITS will usually negotiate terms with the vendor and manage distribution of the software. If a request fails to win ITS approval, it will be referred back to the requestors so they can make their own arrangements with the Purchasing department.

Who will decide?

A work group on software licenses will recommend to ITS's Directors the site licenses and volume purchases it believes ITS should pursue. The Directors will usually consider this question in the spring as they establish the department's budget for the upcoming fiscal year. As soon as the decisions are made, the Directors will instruct the work group to inform all requestors of the outcome. The work group will be chaired by ITS's software license coordinator. To contact members of the work group, send mail to

How can I make a proposal?

Requests should include the reasons why the requestor believes pursuit of a University-wide site license or volume purchase agreement for a particular software package is justified, according to the factors described below. Requests should be submitted in writing to or to ITS's Software License Coordinator, at 2015 Ivy Road, Dynamics Building (messenger mail Box 400324). The work group may invite the requestors to meetings to provide additional information. The work group may also solicit requests from other University constituencies. Those seeking more information about this process, or those wishing to address the work group, should contact the software license coordinator.

For all existing site licenses and all new ones that can reasonably be anticipated, requestors (from outside or within ITS) must submit their proposals to the work group by January 31 of each year to ensure that the decision process coincides with ITS budget deliberations. When it would be to the University's advantage, ITS will consider requests at other times of the year.

Software site licenses or volume purchases that ITS is unable to include in its list may be available through other means, such as Cavalier Computers or commercial entities. More information is available through the ITS software license coordinator and through the Purchasing department.

On what basis will they decide?

The ITS work group will assemble a set of recommendations that will address two issues: whether any or all of the cost of the software will come from ITS's budget; and the level of involvement and support ITS is able to provide.

What software will ITS pay for?

ITS will favor stable, multi-platform software of wide utility that runs on shared resources, including equipment managed by ITS, or on individual machines if the software is necessary for special purposes such as networked communications. ITS may consider paying for or sharing the cost of software not strictly in the above categories if such an action will help influence the University's technology environment in a direction that has been identified as a central University priority.

In evaluating whether the cost can be paid from ITS's application software budget, the work group and the Directors will consider the following factors:

Audience: Will multiple divisions, departments, and schools use the software? Is the software useful for faculty, staff, and students? Will the software be installed on machines managed by ITS?

Functionality: On which platform(s) does the software run? Does the software provide unique functionality? That is, are no other software products available which do the same thing as the one under consideration? Is the product necessary for UVa's information technology infrastructure? Would the purchase of this software enhance the technological environment, according to University priorities?

Fees: Does one price cover all workstations, or is there a cost for each unit? Are automatic upgrades included in the price? Are theretime limits on upgrades? Does the license require payment of renewal costs? If so, how often? Is the price guaranteed to be stable? Does the vendor charge for technical support? If so, is there a separate fee for each technical support call? Are there additional fees?

What support can ITS provide?

In evaluating the level of involvement and support ITS is able to provide, the work group and the Directors will consider the following factors:

Distribution: ITS will evaluate available mechanisms of distribution, favoring network-based distribution schemes over individual installation.

Reliability: ITS will test the software to determine its reliability.

Technical Support: ITS will consider the availability of personnel, complexity of the product, and potential usage of the software to determine the depth of technical support offered to users.

Documentation: Adequate on-line help should be included within the software, or printed documentation should be availableseparately from the vendor. This will allow users to resolve most problems themselves and not add appreciably to the workload of ITS su pport staff.

Vendor References: If the vendor has negotiated site licenses with other educational institutions, ITS can obtain references on product performance, vendor relations, and support issues.

These recommendations will take into account a budget established by the Directors for ITS purchases of site-licensed or volume-purchased software. The work group may also make conditional recommendations that will be funded if money becomes available.

Software purchased will be subject to annual review, to determine its usage and strategic value to UVa.

Adopted May 9, 1994
Revised July 21, 1997, August 8, 2001


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