Almost 15 years ago the Brisbane Universities decided to pool their skills, knowledge and influence by combining their purchasing power to take on the software vendors. The intention was to provide a forum where software licensing representatives (Mark Noonan – Griffith, Gabe Allom – QUT and Graeme McCowie – UQ) could network and exchange information beneficial to their organisations as they sought to improve the negotiations and contracts for ICT software licensing arrangements for their respective institutions.
This collaboration has matured through mutual cooperation and trust into a successful endeavour with participating Universities benefiting by achieving superior licensing agreements, pricing, terms and conditions. The Microsoft Campus subscription agreement provided the original impetus and now USLC is a well recognised group when it comes to software vendors wanting to negotiate with the tertiary education sector.
Conference presentations (SPUSC and Educause) raised the profile of the group with many universities across Australia joining the group and participating in activities. Now with CAUDIT Strategic Procurement support through Steve Johnston, USLC can provide key licensing information to its members. USLC also has links to the US Software Licensing group.
USLC has a group email address that can be posted to. It has a google site which has managed access which can granted upon request. https://sites.google.com/site/uslcaustralia
The above site has the meeting minutes, agendas, action items and lots more. USLC has regular meetings every 2 months (2nd Friday of odd numbered months) using Webex hosted by CAUDIT.
We have vendors and resellers present new licence offerings, new contract deals and product updates to the group as the forum allows them to present their products effectively to the key licensing staff. The strength of the USLC is the ability to negotiate contracts as a group, state or nationally. USLC has run its own tenders through a lead university.
The group has had major successes in negotiations for Microsoft, Adobe, Macromedia, Symantec, VMWare and many other licences. These negotiations have resulted in lower bulk pricing for the group members (Microsoft Campus), improved licensing conditions and a larger range of products offered (Adobe, VMWare), and developing improved site licence terms and conditions which help reduce costs. (SPSS, MatLab)
There are also non-cost saving advantages achieved by USLC that include successfully implementing processes used by other members and developing new ideas into practices through investigating whole of group requirements, reducing the demographic impact to non capital city universities by providing group access to resources, discussions and presentations therefore benefiting all Universities and providing the ability to simplify negotiations and modify agreements to suit higher education needs.
There are members and contributors from WA, NSW and Queensland and many others from Melbourne, Sydney, Darwin and New Zealand. Jeff Stafford and Mark Noonan currently co-chair the group of over 50 members.
For more information, visit https://www.caudit.edu.au/uslc