Process - Software Licensing & User Compliance

The Department of Materials Management and ITCS work collaboratively with departments regarding software compliance and the ECU community. Managing software licensing agreements for large government agencies like East Carolina University is a very difficult and complex but increasingly important task requiring negotiations and renewals throughout the year. When software licensing involves various types of agreements, the ability to stay compliant becomes increasingly difficult.

The worst time to find out if an organization is compliant is when a software vendor performs an audit.

Who ensures ECU is software compliant?

If you use an ECU-issued computer, it is your responsibility to inventory installed programs and to maintain proof of purchase for software licenses.

Departments should also track the number of installations per software license while documenting which systems have licensed software installed.

For example, if your department purchases five licenses for a software, only five systems should have that software installed. Any more than that and the university is not compliant.

The university spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on software, so what's the big deal if we go over a few software licenses?

Software is big business. The types of software licensing packages ECU buys are often negotiated with vendors to get the best pricing.

If we are out of compliance, software companies can charge us large penalties, unbudgeted "true-up" expenses for what the vendor deems the right level of licensing, as well as the embarrassment, and – even worse – possible cancellation of our licensing altogether.

Can you imagine this campus trying to operate both academically and administratively without core products such as Microsoft, SPSS and Adobe?

How can I do my part to ensure software compliance here at ECU?

First, we are asking all faculty and staff to complete an inventory of software on their ECU system.


  1. Go to Start.
  2. Click Control Panel.
  3. Choose Programs and Features.


  1. From the Apple menu, click About this Mac.
  2. Click the More Info button.
  3. Choose Software applications.
  4. Click the System Report button.
  5. choose Software, then Applications.

Next, departments should inventory all software installed on department-purchased systems and document the proof of purchase for the software licenses. ITCS and Materials Management may contact departments to request software purchase information and the systems on which these programs are installed.

Working together, we can ensure success

The reality of a software audit can be scary, but by working together, ALL of us can ensure that ECU stays software compliant. We encourage departments to contact the Department of Materials Management regarding questions or concerns about software compliance.

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Article ID: 67521
Tue 3/3/20 3:28 PM
Wed 11/15/23 10:04 AM
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