Information Technology Services (ITS) is committed to supporting faculty and staff as they enhance their courses and administrative duties with new technology. In order to ensure that individuals and departments avoid some common problems in utilizing software and gain the most benefit, ITS has established guidelines that departments should follow before they purchase software, whether the software will be used locally, in public computer labs, or on the University's networks.
Following the process outlined below will ensure that the technology you are evaluating and preparing to utilize, either on the campus network or on other University-owned equipment, will work properly within our current infrastructure and with our current equipment and systems. ITS does not guarantee that all software will be compatible with University systems and equipment and suggests that you do not purchase any software until you have consulted with ITS to ensure that the software is compatible.
CONSULT ITS BEFORE SOFTWARE IS PURCHASED
To ensure compatibility, please engage ITS early in the process of acquiring new technology for use on University systems and equipment. To ensure that you involve ITS early enough, you should contact the ITS Helpdesk. They will determine who in ITS should be involved in the evaluation and also begin the process of determining if the software will be compatible with University systems standards. Please note that you should allow 15 days for ITS to complete its compatibility study, and this study must be completed before any software installation can take place.
If there is a compelling academic or administrative need for software which does not run on our current network infrastructure, ITS can assist the requesting department in determining the cost for upgrading our systems to meet the needs of the requested software. The requesting department is responsible for unforeseen expenses, identified by ITS staff, that are related to the new software installation project. These costs could include but are not limited to additional required hardware, server space, and database upkeep, for example. Whatever the costs, ITS will assist in identifying these expenses as a result of an investigation of the software’s compatibility, installation, maintenance, and/or upgrades. In the event that ITS upgrades computer systems (ex. ITS installs in labs new computers with OS upgrades) and/or the requested software requires an upgrade, the requesting department is responsible for costs that may be incurred as a result of the system or upgrade changes.
OBTAIN PROPER LICENSIING AGREEMENTS
ITS will not install software without appropriate licensing, and the acquisition of such licensing is the responsibility of the requesting party. Therefore, please make certain that you obtain and provide a sufficient number of valid network licenses, lab licenses, or laptop licenses prior to the installation of any software on individual computers, in entire computer labs, or on University systems and equipment. Software installed in an ITS instructional computer lab must have enough licenses to cover every computer, unless a Keyserver alternative is chosen. (See note below for more information about Keyserver.) Please understand that a software evaluation version will not be accepted. Shareware is not acceptable unless proof of ownership is provided or you have written approval from the software owner for such purpose and a method to remove license “nags”. Freeware will be reviewed per request as dictated by the freeware license agreement.
If the department does not have the funding necessary for purchasing licensing for software, they may apply for funding from the Technology Committee, which is commonly awarded during the Fall semester of each year.
NOTE: Keyserver is a single shared license pool for both open and instructional lab purposes as designated by the requestor. It will limit the usage of the software by placing a counter onto the server that adheres to the number of licenses purchased by the requestor. Therefore the requestor need NOT purchase an entire lab or site license for their instructional software. Keyserver is provided free of charge in all ITS open computer labs. However, there is a charge to install Keyserver into Departmental labs. The department will be responsible for a $5/client per year fee for every Keyserver license that is needed.
REQUEST SOFTWARE INSTALLATION ON NETWORK
Please complete the Software Installation Request form available online at https://formassembly.umflint.edu/2546. Upon submission of the form, all requestors must be prepared to provide media, proof of ownership, and license to an ITS representative.
Installing and testing new software, whether on the University network or other computer assets - including computers in our Public Labs - is a time-consuming and often complex task. If you need software installed before the start of a specific semester, please adhere to these deadlines for requesting your software installation:
Fall Semester - Request must be made by the second week in August
Winter Semester – Request must be made by the first week in December
Spring Semester – Request must be made by the last week in March
Summer Semester – Request must be made by the first week in June
If you are requesting that software be installed any other time, please submit your request at least three weeks in advance. Please understand that ITS will contact the requestor at least one week prior to the implementation date for testing purposes. It is imperative that testing is conducted to allow the ITS staff the time to resolve any issues prior to installation.
For requests that involve adding software to any ITS imaged computer lab, the software will remain installed on the lab image until December 1st of the following year. If you wish to keep the software on the lab image for a longer period of time, you will be required to renew the software request once before the next expiration date. ITS will send an email reminder to all faculty and staff to remind them to evaluate and renew their software installation requests at least one month before the December 1st expiration date. Additional compatibility testing is not necessary for renewed software except in the event that ITS has changed the base operating system of the computers in the specific ITS imaged computer lab.
TESTING THE SOFTWARE
Once the software purchase has been approved, the licensing has been purchased, and the software has been installed, ITS will contact the requesting party and inform them that they can test the software on a designated computer. It should take no more than two weeks for software installation and one week for testing. No software will be distributed to any labs until the software requestor has tested and certified the installation on the ITS designated computer. Once the new computer image has been approved, ITS will upgrade the computers with the new software within one week. ITS will create and maintain an email list that will be used to send notification messages when new software is ready to be added to a particular ITS imaged computer lab.
In the event that a requested piece of software interferes with the functionality of another previously installed piece of software, we have outlined the following steps to resolve the issue:
- The parties that have requested the software will be contacted by ITS to inform them of the issue. ITS will ask that the two parties attempt to come to an agreement about which software should be installed.
- In the event that the two parties cannot come to an agreement, then ITS will attempt to mediate the two parties and arrive at an amicable solution.
- If ITS cannot get the parties to agree on a solution, then the parties can make their case to the Technology Committee for a final resolution.