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2012 Summit Archive

2012 Virginia Software Summit Agenda, Session Notes and Files
August 8, 2012, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA

Sponsored by:  Electronic Campus of Virginia, Adobe, and George Mason University

Summit Agenda – Room 1201 University Hall

8:15 – 8:30am – Welcome and Continental Breakfast
Joy Hughes, CIO, George Mason University
Sarah Cheverton, Associate Dean of Educational Technologies, James Madison University.  Chair, Electronic Campus of Virginia

8:30 – 8:45am – Agenda for the Day
Sharon Pitt, George Mason University

8:45 – 10:15am –Collaborating on Software Purchasing:  Lions, Tigers, Cheetahs and the Elephant in the Room

Speaker and Facilitator – Joanne Kossuth, Vice President for Operations and CIO, Olin College
Collaborating on software purchasing has long been a goal of higher education institutions seeking to lower licensing costs through increased volume.  Many IT professionals are passionate about the topic, but actual results have been varied and a lot more work than originally thought.

In this session, participants will learn about successful collaboration models, what our partners need, and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships.  Participants will discuss definition of partnership, partnership strategies and expected outcomes.  Experiences will be shared about when to not start the dance or when to pull the plug.  Value and values are important criteria in any relationship, so participants will learn what to bring to the negotiating table.  Figure out who are the lions, tigers, cheetahs and elephants in the process to lower costs and improve services.  And have fun in the process!

10:15 – 10:30am – Break

10:30am – 11:45am –Software Licensing in Virginia:  Exploring Best Practices for Software Procurement and Policy
Facilitator – Joe Simard, University of Virginia
Panelists, representing different institutional levels, will discuss surmounting difficulties encountered in software procurement and take your questions. Expect to hear about legal constraints, signing authority, contract negotiation and resources to help with such procurements.

The panelists:
Charity Hooper, VCA.  IT Business Manager, University of Mary Washington
Amanda Echterling, Senior Buyer, James Madison University
Ivie Brabham Lilly, IS Accounts Manager, Liberty University

11:45am – 12:30pm – Lunch

12:30 – 1:30 pm – Handling “the App” in Higher Education

Facilitator – Patty Branscome, Virginia Tech
This session deals with the opportunities and challenges institutions face with application, or “app”, management on mobile devices. Participants should come prepared to discuss their experiences, successes and obstacles related to the deployment of apps on their institution’s mobile devices

1:45 – 2:15pm –Discussion

Facilitator – Sharon Pitt, George Mason University
Define success, set-up structure for continued discussions, establish action items and wrap-up

2:15 – 2:30pm – Adjourn

2:30 – 4:30pm – Optional Session: Current Challenges with Microsoft Licensing

Facilitators – Drew Davis, James Madison University; Joe Simard, University of Virginia; and Jessika Graham, Education East Licensing Specialist, Microsoft

A Microsoft Licensing Specialist will share best practices for utilizing the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center and the resources it makes available. Licensing intricacies and integration of the Key Management Service will also be discussed.


Presentation Notes – Collaborating on Software Purchasing:  Lions, Tigers, Cheetahs and the Elephant in the Room – Joanne Kossuth

“Collaborating on Software Purchasing:  Lions, Tigers, Cheetahs and the Elephant in the Room”

Discussed how NERCOMP collaboration has improved process for member institutions.

Joanne asked for good collaborative examples from audience

  • ESRI – how they work with us in VA to provide
  • Faculty collaboration at an institution where they moved to network license model to allow access to software that is NEEDED instead of the one license per computer model.

Negative examples:

  • Worked in collaboration with other institution, and the “trust-factor” to have others take the lead to establish acceptable terms of contract.  Learned what questions to ask.

First steps to take to create a collaborative body:

  • Focus on you or your team
  • Have strategies to address cheetahs (venders that run from specifics or hard questions)
  • Lions are overly aggressive members on either team that want to dominate.
  • Tigers are angry or unpredictable members on either side
  • Elephant in the Room:  trust

Your team:

  • Team assessment – who can really commit to the time and project.
    • Commitment needs to go beyond an individual
  • Goal Setting – start small, be successful and move on, or fail small and learn for the next one.
  • Action plans,
  • Role clarification, – who does what on a team
  • Conflict awareness, team norms and expectations, management of professionals
  • Others?   From audience:
    • Getting team members that can commit and contribute, and not just be willing to do that, but also have the skills needed to accomplish goals.
    • Institutional support for persons to serve on teams
    • Apple reps – want to collaborate but have legal constraints they must address.
    • Adobe – their perspective is that it is difficult for them to collaborate with customers sometimes because many customers are not interested in collaborating with others inside their own department, institution or group.  Makes it difficult for them to navigate ways to save customer money if institution has facets that don’t cooperate.


  • Need to develop expectations – what does the collaborative group want?
  • Understand all perspectives – what does the vendor need? – What are they capable of? – Who do they have to answer to?  It is important that both sides succeed – need to be open to new ways of doing business to see new opportunities – teams need to be able to communicate the expectations to end users, and how agreement will meet their needs.
  • Understand communication styles to build a good team dynamic.  Myers-Briggs type understanding of what individuals need to work well together.
  • Send the message you want – if you want four things, explain those things clearly – needs to be agreed by team before negotiation begins.
  • Seek info actively and feed it back.
  • Best alternatives – what are those?  Are they OK?  Have some ideas.

NERCOMP examples – Adobe, ESET, McAffee, MS Symantec, Wolfram, ElementK

What Worked with NERCOMP?

  • Communication!  Need communication plans. Between NERCOMP board, institutions, reps – inclusion in process important.
  • Understand business of vendor.
  • Multiple round tables for purchasing and info services staff.  Purchasing NEEDS TO BE INVOLVED to work with, instead of against initiatives.
  • Engagement of partner reseller, SHI.
  • Ability to purchase both BULK and SMALL purchases provides all the members flexibility
  • Work at home benefits – important and challenging. Often license agreements are not up with tech.  If both sides agree to a “good faith” agreement that things would continue to be negotiated over time.
  • A multi-year agreement – 2, 3, or 5(Most), gives opportunity to lower price, and reduce the amount of work needed.  Can put an annual review into the agreement to be sure it is working for both sides.  Many vendors do not have good accounting from vendor on what you have.  Vendors tend to track bulk, not individual purchases.
  • Include Maintenance – gives budget certainty – allows budget planning.
  • Per FTE agreements – full time students, faculty and staff.  – Needs to be flexible to allow institution to raise or lower numbers.  Try building tiers so those in agreement understand costs and what changing enrollments mean.  More challenging to talk about shrinking numbers as opposed to raising numbers.  Sometimes alumni, parents, etc. discount copies can also be a negotiation point, but needs to be manageable for institution.
  • Institutional Choice – critical.  At beginning, was smart enough to bring in purchasing, but not faculty.  When faculty were included, became clear that choice was important – for example – FTE agreement, but also small purchase agreement.
  • One T & C reduces administration.  As group provides work to get this done, it reduces the work vendors need to do to explain or negotiate T & Cs for every customer.  Make it seem easy for vendors and purchasers.  Legal conversations always seem to add time as in what laws are in play.  Sometimes reseller can adjust T & Cs to meet institutional requirements.
  • Vendor and reseller participation in events – have them come out to do product roadmaps presentation.  Three-way participation between NERCOMP, resellers and vendors.  Sometimes you step on toes if you negotiate broad contracts they can conflict with existing agreements that others hold.
    • Comment from ADOBE rep:  comment on attorneys – not enough of them and they face the same frustrations in their part, but sometimes it helps to be good to ask for boilerplate language before moving too far through the process.  Saves time in end to have legal process moving concurrently.
    • Comment from audience – let’s not start from a contract that is unacceptable.  One is contract for email, another BOX Internet2 agreements that have something that addresses the common issues FIRST.  Will help universities and vendors address issues from start.

What did not work?

  • Complicated tracking mechanisms and requirements – this cannot be too difficult for institution to manage.  “Best effort”
  • Timelines for legal consultation – role of attorneys is to advise, and many have different interpretations.  Ends up being a risk/reward balance.
  • “Lots” of agreements and management requirements – burned everyone out.  How many could you get volunteers to create, maintain, and institutions to use?   In the end, they decided to reduce the number of agreements to manage the most important.
    • Question: do vendors approach you with agreements or offers to NERCOMP members?  Answer:  yes, and sometimes we pass along offers to members – for example – 30% off to NERCOMP members.
    • Training of volunteers and succession planning – once this starts, groups need to continue forward.
    • Monopolies and corporate consolidation – LMS for example – sometimes it makes more sense for individual institutions to handle some of these instead of finding an agreement that gives the member value.

Challenges for the vendors

  • How many consortia are there?  How many different groups do we need to negotiate with?
  • What does org need in terms of partnerships?
  • What resources needed to be committed for engagement?
  • Can we work outside local area
  • Manage expectations?
  • Roadmap?
  • Higher-Ed culture
  • Budget and timelines.
  • How do we balance commitment and competition?
    • Sometimes you need to get commitment from members for $$$.  “Skin” in the game.  Signoff by CEO to commit to x over x years.
    • Herding cats…

Challenges for Institutions?

  • How does this impact all the interested institutions?
  • What is process for getting agreement?
  • How complex is agreement to manage?
  • How do we create sufficient value to negotiate from position of strength?
  • Who are the relationship managers?  Someone has to follow up to see if agreement is working on both sides.  Can’t just transact and let it go.
  • How do we manage expectations?  NERCOMP needed to manage the expectations of the members and CIO’s on what they could do – what is possible.
  • What are exit strategies?
  • Does everyone need to participate in same way?
  • What are performance measures? – How do you measure value?  Scorecards, common questionnaire for evaluations on partnerships.  If customer service fails, then agreement has no value.
  • Is it all about budget?  If it can be more of a partnership on value instead of just bottom line – better change for common benefit.
  • What is needed, nice to have or wanted?

Questions to ask Vendor:

  • What will vendor do to address issues/priorities?
  • Most critical criteria?
    • Cost
    • Innovation
    • Response/customer service
    • How will customer issues be handled?
      • Escalation?
      • QUESTION:  as vendors move to contact directly with users instead of institutions – will higher-ed lose a seat at table?  ANNSER: looking at software as a service, maintenance and service/support as a whole.  Help Desks are overwhelmed with BYOD and service.  For example, vendors make professional development webinars, etc. available.  Customer service will never go away.  What is value add for both institution and vendors.  Use of software increases if support is available.


What are 3 most important things with regard to vendor relationship – work with someone at table to negotiate to one.  Then work with whole table to reduce to 1 or 2.

Report out from groups

  • Communication – point of contact
  • Transparency in cost – add-ons, usage stats
  • Ability of vendor to provide problem resolution
  • Vendor responsiveness
  • Vendor flexibility
  • Value
  • Trust
  • Mutual understanding of future directions
  • Respect for channel (trust/value/respect)
  • After Sale support
  • Availability and responsiveness
  • Willingness of vendor to think outside box – not be viewed as corporate customer.
  • Vendor desire to formulate a business relationship – partner
  • Transparency before and after sale.
  • Communication – being responsive.
  • Communication – trust – respect – understanding limitations – honesty integrity.

These items become basis for afternoon of work and what we need to work towards.

NERCOMP Results:

  • Microsoft, Adobe, Student coverage,


Remember SAVER:

  • Share info
  • Allow vendor to help with strategy
  • Value
  • Energize relationship for long term
  • Respect each other’s requirements

Presentation Notes: Software Licensing in Virginia: Exploring Best Practices for Software Procurement and Policy


Charity Hooper – representing small, level 1 public, UMW

Amanda Echerling – representing large, level 2, public rep, JMU

Ivie Brabham Lilly – representing large private, Liberty University

Opening perspectives:

Ivie:  works in IT, account manager, fulfills requests from IT as well as other departments.  Reviews completion all items purchaser needs to execute contract and have a successful outcome.  Works with project managers.  Large contracts receive signoff by CIO.  Legal review performed before contracts get to purchasing department.  Works with IT for standards, and with procurement to satisfy their requirements.  Software compliance is part of her duties.   Utilize an approval queue for requests to understand the flow, if needs are being met, and leveraging agreements that already exist.  Maintains a shared master list (spreadsheet) of renewals to allow budget projections.  Try to work with users 90 days prior to renewal to minimize rushing to close before expiration.  Works up front to get what departments need.  Streamlines procurement process and communication.

Charity:  As a level 1 state school, IT procurement is based on strictest requirements for procurements (VITA).  Recent history at UMW has been full of change as there were five different presidents and CIOS in five years.  CIO in ‘07 brought all IT purchasing to IT to control process and increase value to institution.  Starting in ‘08 no IT purchasing was going though purchasing office – it all went through IT Business Office.  In FY ‘11 it was decided we needed to move towards level 2, which required us to decentralize IT purchasing.  Current process has departments will fill out form to make IT purchasing, receive IT review, then forward to purchasing for procurement.  IT makes its own internal IT purchases.    All software is considered a “non-standard” IT purchase, reviewed by IT for service, security, and networking.  Process currently works as a collaborative email process in IT for review, but with purchasing coming in toward the end of the request.  There are some problems, like end users not being told until after the IT review that if it is over $5000 needs VITA or VASCUPP contracts, must go out for competitive bid.  Cooperation with others in state, like VA Tech, has helped UWM to ride other contracts.

Amanda Echterling – works on VASCUPP, Purchasing, and   Her role is at end of process, of there is integration needed they fill out a questionnaire.  Also have strategic partner contracts (like Dell) and also ride contracts from other state institutions.  When bidding out, they try to make contract as open as possible, so smaller or more constrained institutions can utilize contracts.  License tracking/renewal process is challenging.    From the VASCUPP side, they have a mandate to use cooperative contracting as first line of acquisition.  Procurement side has mandate to work collaboratively.

Discussion/ Q&A

AUDIENCE:  Person negotiating contract is not technically proficient to understand what is needed from the tech side and user side.

AE:  she is final negotiator – she gets “what is needed” by continuing to aggressively as questions of vendors, stakeholders, and try to keep mindset that she is not end user.  Wants to balance what is best for user and institution.  She suggests that IT ask the purchasing officer to see contract before signatures to be sure items needed are included.

CH:  Needs to have end users involved in process to understand needs.  IT staff assists with technical side.  Makes use of other contracts heavily and coop from other purchasing departments and state institutions.

IBL:  IT works with vendors to help with items they know Purchasing will not “give on” to try and get the technical needs met, but let purchasing fight the battles on the legal side after they try to get some of that done first.

Audience:  GMU level 1 – challenge is to get users to understand how procurement process happens.  She has found that  “storytelling” or scenarios are helpful to help understand what is needed.  Communication is important internally to understand that.

IBL:  how do groups handle “rush” procurements?

CH:  looks to other contracts VITA or other VA institutions.  Usually works.  Sometimes needs to do a quick quote for short term, and then plan a larger procurement over time.

AE:  also looks to cooperative contracts.  3 months is quickest to put out an RFP , get back and get done.

CH:  Instructional Technology team wanted to give students own domain and web hosting for summer course.  Decided to work a quick quote – worked with group to determine what competitors there were, worked with purchasing to assist with quick quote.  Now needs to move forward with a more complete RFP.

Audience:  how do you get “best price” when competitive contracts may not have that.

CH:  For AV on a new building, UMW was able to save by bidding out that part of project.

Audience – how do you get users that don’t understand what they need to determine their needs?

CH:  having difficulty at UMW because this is decentralized.

IBL:  since IT is centralized, works with parts of IT to get this done.  Admin is supporting of getting users needs fulfilled, and has metrics that show they are providing better services at lower cost – increasing value.

Audience:  Software purchase – what do you do when users requests something specific that has a high cost over life of contract, and when need to have a competitive procurement how do you get tech support to get the tech needs met?

IBL:  survey form first that examines needs, IT does evaluation with customers to understand integration, budgeting, maintenance, renewal  “right questions toolkit”

They gather technical info and vetting thought IT – compliance and vetting in IT – negotiation goes to purchasing.  Collaboration is key.

AE:  Boilerplate that gets all info IT needs questions from vendors.  Must have answers.  Users need to provide needs, not technical review.

Moderator question:  Once new agreement is in place, how do you move renewal dates to your schedule?

AE:  Try to line up purchase renewal dates to meet users/budgetary needs.  Generally vendors work with them to move anniversary dates after some prorating negotiation.

Moderator:  To balance workload or budgetary constraint?  To help vendor?

AE:  generally customer decision /strategic decision.

Moderator:  Vendors, does that work for you?

Adobe:  case by case basis.  Works with customers to usually work it out.

IBL:  how do you handle the initial purchase date?

Audience:  main concern is budget – when will the payment be expected, and funding available in fiscal year.  Given template of what is needed from vendor to negotiate up front T&C issues that purchasing must have.  Work to get what users need, but save university money as well.

AE:  that is why involving procurement early helps – they work with legal to early on find the hurdles and get buy in on what needs to be done.

Audience:  tries to keep RFP short, and then include standard “bolt on” requirements, not reinvented every time.  If they get users and vendors to follow template, that helps process.

Audience:  If all the renewals are at end of year, that causes big impact to move them through at end of year?

CH:  if they are all done at end, that is a nightmare.  Moving to quarters to spread out.  Also encumber dollars for some items that are coming up so not paid early, but encumbered and “held” for later and reflected in budget reports.

IBL – have a similar system.  Excel file where they keep this info.  Works 90 days out on renewals, contacting users to determine renewal.  Software lines for departments are budgetarially locked and not able to be changed by department except for approval by IT.

AE:  not able to be proactive with renewals – only for enterprise system.  User has responsibility for renewal.

Moderator:  tries to move things across the calendar so not all due at same time.

IBL – tries to get non-academic renewals from year end fiscal cluster since that really can’t be stopped.

AE: talked about a “boilerplate” T&C that could serve as a template for institutions to develop.


Presentation Notes: Handling “the App” in Higher Education

Ownership of APPs:

Students, faculty and staff are bringing their own devices to the campus.

iPads are not considered a fixed asset at most institutions.

If they own the device, do they own the software? Give them the tools needed and get us out of the middle management piece.  Do we want to be in the midst of 99 cent purchases?  Procurement needs checks and balances for the cultured organization…part of our responsibility:  “It is not your iPad/computer etc.  It belongs to the state.”

What if we moved the responsibility to the user via a stipend? Much like a smart phone, users could own the device and own the software themselves.  What are the challenges of creating a stipend?  The university wants you to purchase this tool and the university will manage it.  Do we only pay for iPad data usage if it is university owned or allow users to install university apps on their personal iPads?

Development and Recall:

Need the capacity to get data (wireless service) packs for a few days or a few hours. Devices are intended to be personal use devices.  Not everyone has an iPad.  Need a quick and easy way to give a personalized device to a specific person for a specific time, and the capacity to change profiles.

APPs can be connected with a particular ID.  Those Apps will be able to be transferred when needed.

The Web is a solution.  Software asset tagging.  ISO 19700-2 tag.  Software publishers would tag their product, but hasn’t picked up since 2006.

How does the APP get recalled?

Legal Issues:

Any personal use is fully searchable and has caused many people to lose their jobs.  Partnering with HR, Police on a lot of these topics are not the most interesting but must be addressed with the onboarding process.  Making people aware of rules and regulations is essential.

Do we have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that apps are being used appropriately?  If the iPad is purchased by the institution, how do we ensure that users remember that the device belongs to the institution, in terms of their use of the tool?  Most of us already have policies that control software use.  Is this merely an issue of changing language on the policies that we have to address the app, the iPad and other mobile tools.

Managing the APPs:

People are basically on their own.  For software, turn on location services, encrypt, backup and use complex passwords.

Infrastructure may need to be put in place so that we can manage the app.

There is a software based product to deal with remote management of apps.

Purchasing Issues:

VPP enables the purchase of ten applications at an additional discount, but if you are decentralized you may not be able to obtain the discount. Decentralization is a problem –need to look at where the demarcation line is.   The big guys need to buy in on what we want and then relay that information to each department.  There are options that are available and need to do it from a perspective of saving the university money.

There are some advantages to allowing department autonomy.  We have to trust and can’t be big brother all the time.

With the VPP, app stays with the institution, if the individual is signed up to the correct account. Each institution may want to approach in different ways.  Is the iPad an institutional device or not?  Institutionally owned apps and personal apps.  The institution apps stay and the personal apps go.  What are the goals of the institution?


Virginia Software Summit 2012 Possible Actions

1)  Create a standing, multi-organization committee that negotiates multi-institution software licenses.

  1. select representatives from IT and procurement.
  2. determine priorities (we can’t do it all)
  3. determine what software is common and needed across multiple institutions (survey or inventory)
  4. determine our first deliverable
  5. determine the value proposition…how much will we save?  $1M/year or $15K/year?
  6. Start with companies that are hungry to do business
  7. Select teams from multiple institutions to include IT, procurement, users, faculty

2)  Start small, succeed small, fail small

3)  Define and be prepared to embrace credible threats to common software applications – what are alternatives (e.g. open source)

4)  Establish a small group to define the charter and responsibilities for the standing committee: plan to plan

  1. Teams to be selected at the institutional level, through the Virginia CIOs.

Study existing and effective software licensing and management models in other states and regions, esp. MD (MEEC) and perhaps NERCOMP.

The 2012 Virginia Software Summit Planning Committee:

Patty Branscome
Director, Information Technology Contract Management
Information Technology Acquisitions
Virginia Tech

Millie Carroll
Administrative Assistant, DoIT Operations
George Mason University

Drew Davis
Director, IT Computing Support
James Madison University

Sharon Pitt
Executive Director, Division of Instructional Technology
George Mason University

Joe Simard
Technology Coordinator
University of Virginia

Jerry Slezak
Director, IT Support Services
University of Mary Washington

Constance Sullivan
IT Asset Manager
Virginia State University