Managing digital access to learning tools in the shortest possible time has become a pre-requisite of the digital age we are in today. This rings especially true in the context of higher education where universities are increasingly dependent on technology to provide leaner, faster and safer services, which can in turn take them closer to their goal of becoming a data-enabled institution.
Compounding this challenge for universities is the high cost of technology itself and the risk of valuable resources getting wasted on un-used licenses, resulting from a failure to distribute licenses widely. According to a survey by Inside Higher Ed, “out of 400 chief business officers, 71% agreed that higher education institutions in the US are facing serious financial difficulties.”1 With decreasing state funding, institutions are under significant pressure to prune their spending wherever possible.
In such a scenario, the major concern facing university IT departments is losing valuable time and money while trying to provide a reliable process for distributing campus software. It’s the software licensing terms and purchasing complexity that prove to be the biggest administrative challenges.
Adding to the time and cost challenge are the ever-evolving learning models and shifting user requirements. Trying to accommodate these needs involves embracing the latest technologies and adopting modern digital distribution solutions to enable universities to gainfully leverage technology to advance their goals.
Understanding the time and cost management problem with regards to software license distribution
The following factors complicate time and cost management for higher ed IT teams
- Managing license distribution, cloud provisioning and de-provisioning is a complex task. The type of license distributed depends on the various groups the end user belongs to, and eligibility rights are granted according to the user’s current status. This can be an extremely tedious process if done manually, especially in larger or multi campus institutions.
- The proliferation of technology has resulted in IT departments managing hundreds of software titles, which can be licensed in multiple ways resulting in thousands of unique scenarios and the need to deal with each as an individual case.
- Institutions have thousands of students enrolled, each having specific requirements for each unique semester schedule.
- Managing license distribution on a ‘one-to-one’ basis is time-consuming and expensive. The type of licenses and their terms vary according to the type of user, making license management and distribution an extremely complicated process.
- With the shift to cloud services, matters get further complicated as institutions must now match licenses with users and manage them (both provisioning and de-provisioning) individually.
However, despite all the difficulty and expense related to license management, institutions still want to distribute licenses with an aim to encourage students and staff to use technology to enhance Student Success and promote Digital Literacy. Trying to serve this need has given rise to many institutions resorting to either manual processes or creation of their own home-grown systems to solve problems.
More about manual and home-grown solutions
Manual solutions comprise of a team of people manually dealing with the elaborate licensing distribution process. Their responsibilities include help desk requests, user provisioning and deprovisioning, emailing software keys and downloads, tracking licenses and PII in spreadsheets. In addition, they are also entrusted with accepting cash over the counter and with having the ability to support other payment methods.
Home grown solutions are systems designed by internal IT teams using a combination of freeware and custom programming to facilitate some distribution features. These homegrown systems are high maintenance and lack all features of a complete solution. Not only do they fail to meet cyber security, privacy and accessibility compliance standards, but they also lack any valid certifications. Other conspicuous gaps include lack of the cost recovery functionality, absence of internal billing, customization features and much more.
The home grown and manual methods are both time consuming and expensive to maintain. Further, as “manual processes are being eliminated in favor of faster, automated ones”2 there is an urgent need to implement “a campus wide strategic approach to software investment and management that can reduce total institutional costs and streamline overall operations.”3
Why the Kivuto Cloud platform is a more efficient solution
The Kivuto Cloud Platform has been custom designed to relieve the pain points caused by distributing technology in Education Institutions.
Here is how the expertise of Kivuto Cloud addresses the typical time and cost management issue pertaining to the digital distribution of educational software to higher ed institutions.
- The Kivuto Cloud Platform has been specially designed to include all the features and functions an administrator would need to successfully distribute, track and manage any number of users and assets at any volume.
- Cloud and SSO integrations make mapping, tracking and managing licenses and users on an individual basis easy.
- A single portal to access all assets removes any ambiguities about where to go to get what you need, making it easy for the end user and reduces support questions.
- The platform is a cloud-based portal that any eligible user has 24/7 access to from any device anywhere in the world (export compliance laws may apply).
- A user-friendly admin portal with easy to use tools to allow for any asset to be consumed and managed within applicable terms and business rules.
- The platform is designed to handle multiple user groups with different ‘group dependent’ business rules for the same asset.
- A localized platform and school custom branding give a consistent and familiar Institution based look to the web store, thus making it more user friendly.
- Set it and forget it – Once set up by the admin, the system continues to run in a seamless, integrated and compliant manner.
- 24-hour monitoring means the system is secure and being continuously monitored for cyber-attacks and fraud attempts.
- Multi-language customer support takes further cost and burden off the IT group and ensures happy users.
Leverage the expertise of Kivuto Cloud
Kivuto Cloud has been the world leader in digital distribution for education for more than two decades. Its centralized platform enhances asset adoption, helping your school maintain the affordability of higher education along with paving the way to achieving greater student success.
Kivuto Cloud’s exclusive features combine to simplify license management, thus freeing valuable time for your IT staff and saving your institution from the burden of unnecessary expenditure.
- Just in time provisioning for Cloud portals
- Business Rules Management
- Quantity restrictions
- Inventory pool management
- User Group restrictions
- Geographical restrictions
- Course mapping
- Digital signatures
- Price control for cost recovery
- multiple payment methods for cost recovery
- Proxy orders
- E-Text capabilities
- Identity Management & SSO integrations
- Agreements management
- Security compliance and certifications to industry standards
- Continuous maintenance of product integrations
- Customizable store with messaging and 24/7 shopping
- Customer support in 14 languages
- Robust reporting features