Information Technology Services at The University of Iowa

New Microsoft Campus Agreement now in place


ITS staff members led the negotiations on a new three-year Microsoft Campus Agreement that covers the University of Iowa, Iowa State and the University of Northern Iowa. Tracy Scott and Tracey Schmidt in the Campus Technology Services department began work last January to get a new agreement in place by the start of fall classes.

“The Microsoft Campus Agreement makes available to UI students, faculty and staff a number of Microsoft titles,” says Tracy, Manager of User Support and Education. “The most visible are Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office, which can be installed on any University-owned computer or any UI student computer. Faculty and staff can even install Office at home if they’re going to use it primarily for work use. In addition, software licensed through Microsoft provides the backbone for several ITS services, including Hawkmail, HawkID, File and Print, and the Groupshare service built upon Microsoft SharePoint.”

The agreement also includes maintenance. “The agreement allows for computers to be upgraded with the latest versions of Microsoft Windows as well as Microsoft Office, and to receive all relevant updates during the three-year period,” Tracy says.

This year the UI upgraded to what is called the Enterprise CAL (Client Access License). This provides access to a number of additional titles, including Office Communications Server (OCS), Exchange Unified Messaging, Forefront Security products, advanced SharePoint functionality and more.

“Students see great value in the agreement because they can install Microsoft Office, which is worth several hundred dollars, for the cost of the CD,” Tracy says. “For campus, the agreement provides low barriers to upgrade to the latest versions, which decreases support costs and increases productivity. And with our upgrade to the Enterprise CAL, we’re getting access to some really exciting products that can potentially change the way faculty and staff work day-to-day.”

Planning for the new agreement started in January. “A number of things had to be done, including gathering pricing information, understanding the various titles that could be licensed, working to understand the campus needs and determining what financially made sense,” Tracy says.

Negotiating the three-year contract, which the UI took the lead on for the first time, involved a lot of collaboration and cooperation. “On campus, HCIS and ITS share the major pieces of the agreement,” Tracy says. “ITS worked with CITL to help determine needs and direction. Off campus, we worked closely with counterparts at Iowa State and UNI. It was certainly a partnership between a number of groups.”

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