Main Nav

I just had a sobering conversation with Adobe about their licensing requirements under a Virtual Device Interface (VDI). Essentially, we would have to move to their ELA licensing program which charges out by student and employee FTE. In looking at Microsoft Campus Agreement, I anticipate that VDI deployments would also require that the institution maintain a license that also covered the entire FTE structure. I'd like to hear from those who are considered or deployed VDI and what sort of licensing issues you are facing. In particular, if you are now using VDI, did you already have students covered in your license agreements? If you are in VDI, have you been able to solve the licensing issue that is not based on FTE? If you are considering VDI, do you have creative solutions about licensing so that you are not faced with an FTE multiplier? -- Shaun Cooper, Ph.D. Chief Information Officer and Associate Vice President New Mexico State University (575) 646-2026 scooper@nmsu.edu ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Comments

Message from howlettj@meredith.edu

I just had that same conversation with Adobe this morning.  We are in planning stages of a VDI and working with vendors to plan the cost differences between our current environment and virtual.  The Adobe change in licensing will make it impossible for us to afford to virtualize on our own.  The workaround (creative solution) that is being discussed is a group purchase with other NC private colleges to drive down the FTE cost. 

Jeff

We have a VDI environment (VMware View) and it has worked very well for us. You are correct on the licensing model with Adobe. We gave up trying to work with Adobe for offering their products virtually and we will be putting out other products and removing Adobe products. Currently in our VDI environment we have no Adobe products offered except for Flash and Reader. We do have over 120 other titles out. It took many hours of discussions with software vendors to get them to understand what we are doing. Many thought that the students would end up with the software somehow installed on their laptops, other were afraid that the experience would be so bad it would give their applications a "bad rap". While it is certainly a subset of our students that use the environment, the ones that use it really seem to like it. We had a hard time explaining to our students what a virtual environment was. We put together a quick 2 minute video and students seemed to understand and started using it. Video (certainly not of professional quality) has also been loaded to YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Oioql7N3q4 There is a company called OnLive (http://desktop.onlive.com/) that gives you free access to Windows and Microsoft Office with their iPad app, but that now looks like there MAY (or may NOT be) legal issues with Microsoft http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/microsoft-in-dispute-with-onlive-ove... ndows-desktop-on-ipad-licensing/12144?tag=nl.e539 The only think stopping virtual environments is vendor licensing in my opinion. They have come miles from where they were two years ago. Chip Chip Eckardt CIO University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire 105 Garfield Ave. Eau Claire, WI 54701 Phone (715) 831-2238 eckardpp@uwec.edu
Let me play a little bit of devil's advocate here.

Has anyone tried the approach of saying "We're sorry, but your pricing strategy for this makes you uncompetitive relative to providers of similar products, therefore we will be dropping your product from our base computing images moving forward"?

Just yesterday, I read an article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution that lamented the growth in budgets at the University System of Georgia schools, including my own University of Georgia. While the author was raising concerns about the typical things you hear about: executive salaries, new buildings, etc. He did not pick up on what I think is one of the huge drivers behind the increased cost of a higher education: the exponential grown in external maintenance costs – not just for IT – that results from vendors using tactics such as lock-in, bundling, and the like. Some of these costs are increasing at 2x, 4x, or 10x the rate of inflation.

We all have stories to share, in one case now we are locked into one vendor and they are demanding something on order of a 2x increase to renew our ELA. Another, one whose legacy products are gradually being decommissioned, continues to insist on an increase 3x the rate of inflation though we use less of their product than ever before. In many cases, there is not a lot that we can do.

But in others, we have choices – they are not always easy choices though. In the case of the vendor cited below, I think it is the job of the CIO to convene some conversations among faculty and staff about the need to shift to other vendor's products given their uncompetitive pricing strategy. The digital natives entering our schools and our workforces can make these transitions much easier than five or ten years ago, and most groups can be supportive of a shift if you spell out the consequences of the status quo in terms they understand. For example, when talking to faculty I will put such costs in the context of the costs of faculty hires, and when talking to students I put it in the cost of decreased financial aid. An ELA like this could easily cost the same as 2 distinguished full professors or four years of full scholarships for 10 students. This is an opportunity for CIO leadership.

Tim

@accidentialcio
accidentialcio.com


From: Jeff Howlett <howlettj@MEREDITH.EDU>
Reply-To: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv <CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU>
Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2012 13:38:48 -0400
To: <CIO@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU>
Subject: Re: [CIO] VDI and software licensing

I just had that same conversation with Adobe this morning.  We are in planning stages of a VDI and working with vendors to plan the cost differences between our current environment and virtual.  The Adobe change in licensing will make it impossible for us to afford to virtualize on our own.  The workaround (creative solution) that is being discussed is a group purchase with other NC private colleges to drive down the FTE cost. 

Jeff

Folks At the last national Educause meeting, there was a somewhat ad hoc meeting of parties interested in this general issue----working with vendors to evolve their license agreements to both allow higher education to move to SAAS-type services but still give them a sustainable revenue stream. The outcome of that meeting has been a study group that has been meeting (teleconference) bi-weekly for the past several months. It is being facilitated by Sharon Pitt of George Mason, but has representatives from all over the country and at both public and private higher education institutions. We see this as the need for a win-win model. We have been creating a list of mutual needs predicated on the premises that technology now supports access to software in much more flexible ways than traditionally; vendors need to be assured that everyone who accesses their software does so under an appropriate license and VDI models will not put them out of business due to a significant reduction in number of licenses being used. If you are interested in keeping abreast of these discussions, and perhaps interacting with the group who has been involved, contact me at dspicer@usmd.edu (don't do a Reply to this message as it will be sent to the entire CIO list). Don Spicer
Shaun,
 
The Texas Community Colleges are discussing a similar arrangement as the NC private colleges to drive down the price of our Adobe licenses.  It might be something to discuss with your Adobe rep. 
 
Thinking about Tim's comment on showing vendor's that we do have alternatives even if they do not believe they exist, it might be time to move this Adobe licensing model to a national level instead of a regional level.  We might need to have the same conversation with other software vendors.  If they aren't willing to work with us as a group, we look for alternate vendors that will work with us.
 
Dave

 
David Hoyt
Chief Information Systems Officer
 
Collin College     
Collin Higher Education Center
3452 Spur 399
McKinney, TX  75069
P - 972.599.3133   F - 972.599.3131
>>> On 3/12/2012 at 12:38 PM, in message <CAGvKe05WR=eYf3iHYt=aFRiVzUq4jZcT43eNEYfeRtGY_H4aAQ@mail.gmail.com>, Jeff Howlett <howlettj@MEREDITH.EDU> wrote:
I just had that same conversation with Adobe this morning. We are in planning stages of a VDI and working with vendors to plan the cost differences between our current environment and virtual. The Adobe change in licensing will make it impossible for us to afford to virtualize on our own. The workaround (creative solution) that is being discussed is a group purchase with other NC private colleges to drive down the FTE cost.

Jeff

Tim We certainly have considered this option. Given the range of options, we think that trying to work with existing vendors to help them migrate to a forward looking licensing model will be more productive in the long run, and easier to attempt in the short run. I wouldn't relish negotiating with our Social Science faculty about moving from SPSS because the Office of Information Technology likes the licensing model of R better. Let's give SPSS a chance before we give up on working with them. That being said, in some instances there may need to be institutional discussions about alternatives. For the present, I would hope that the higher education IT community can initiate conversations about new licensing models with vendors with whom we have established long-term relationships (maybe at times a bit rocky, but long-term all the same). Don On Mar 12, 2012, at 2:16 PM, Timothy M. Chester wrote: Let me play a little bit of devil's advocate here. Has anyone tried the approach of saying "We're sorry, but your pricing strategy for this makes you uncompetitive relative to providers of similar products, therefore we will be dropping your product from our base computing images moving forward"? Just yesterday, I read an article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution that lamented the growth in budgets at the University System of Georgia schools, including my own University of Georgia. While the author was raising concerns about the typical things you hear about: executive salaries, new buildings, etc. He did not pick up on what I think is one of the huge drivers behind the increased cost of a higher education: the exponential grown in external maintenance costs – not just for IT – that results from vendors using tactics such as lock-in, bundling, and the like. Some of these costs are increasing at 2x, 4x, or 10x the rate of inflation. We all have stories to share, in one case now we are locked into one vendor and they are demanding something on order of a 2x increase to renew our ELA. Another, one whose legacy products are gradually being decommissioned, continues to insist on an increase 3x the rate of inflation though we use less of their product than ever before. In many cases, there is not a lot that we can do. But in others, we have choices – they are not always easy choices though. In the case of the vendor cited below, I think it is the job of the CIO to convene some conversations among faculty and staff about the need to shift to other vendor's products given their uncompetitive pricing strategy. The digital natives entering our schools and our workforces can make these transitions much easier than five or ten years ago, and most groups can be supportive of a shift if you spell out the consequences of the status quo in terms they understand. For example, when talking to faculty I will put such costs in the context of the costs of faculty hires, and when talking to students I put it in the cost of decreased financial aid. An ELA like this could easily cost the same as 2 distinguished full professors or four years of full scholarships for 10 students. This is an opportunity for CIO leadership. Tim @accidentialcio accidentialcio.com From: Jeff Howlett > Reply-To: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv > Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2012 13:38:48 -0400 To: > Subject: Re: [CIO] VDI and software licensing I just had that same conversation with Adobe this morning. We are in planning stages of a VDI and working with vendors to plan the cost differences between our current environment and virtual. The Adobe change in licensing will make it impossible for us to afford to virtualize on our own. The workaround (creative solution) that is being discussed is a group purchase with other NC private colleges to drive down the FTE cost. Jeff
Shaun, We are using VDI and did do the Microsoft upgrade on our campus agreement. It's really very inexpensive, so sort of a non-issue from my perspective. Less of a non-issue, from our perspective, is when we went to renew our SPSS campus license last Fall. They changed the licensing so that you had to have a "VCL rider" in order to use SPSS (which we've already licensed for campus-wide use) within a virtual environment. This licensing change -- campus-wide license plus rider -- caused our cost to go up 19% over 2010 (it was originally going to be a 32% increase, and I screamed). Now that I've just done the math, apparently it wasn't loud enough. :-) I'm curious if other campuses were told about the VCL rider -- I've talked to at least one other institution whose SPSS rep made no mention of it when they were discussing VDI costs. Also, I just heard back from my supplier on Adobe (an inquiry I made stimulated by your original email). He said moving to their ELA license isn't enough. Apparently their default ELA agreement does not allow for virtualization, but Adobe can write a clause into it that does. In his words " So outside of ELA, no virtualization, inside ELA, only if Adobe specifically calls it out." Rae *********** Raechelle Clemmons CIO, Menlo College Direct: 650-543-3889
Hi Raechelle, That's interesting. When we negotiated our ELA, they did not give us VDI pricing. We did talk about the possibility of VDI, but no one seemed to think that Adobe products translated very well in VDI - mainly because of the huge files developed by students using those products. I'd be interested in your VDI experience with Adobe products. Thanks, Sandie Sandra L. Miller, Ed.D. Director of Instruction & Research Technology William Paterson University 300 Pompton Road Wayne, NJ 07470 973.720.2530 millers@wpunj.edu Think before you print
Close
Close


Annual Conference
September 29–October 2
View Proceedings

Events for all Levels and Interests

Whether you're looking for a conference to attend face-to-face to connect with peers, or for an online event for team professional development, see what's upcoming.

Close

Digital Badges
Member recognition effort
Earn yours >

Career Center


Leadership and Management Programs

EDUCAUSE Institute
Project Management

 

 

Jump Start Your Career Growth

Explore EDUCAUSE professional development opportunities that match your career aspirations and desired level of time investment through our interactive online guide.

 

Close
EDUCAUSE organizes its efforts around three IT Focus Areas

 

 

Join These Programs If Your Focus Is

Close

Get on the Higher Ed IT Map

Employees of EDUCAUSE member institutions and organizations are invited to create individual profiles.
 

 

Close

2014 Strategic Priorities

  • Building the Profession
  • IT as a Game Changer
  • Foundations


Learn More >

Uncommon Thinking for the Common Good™

EDUCAUSE is the foremost community of higher education IT leaders and professionals.