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e-academy Inc. Launches Global Software Distribution and Management Solution for MSDN AA Program

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OTTAWA, Dec 10, 2002 – e-academy, Inc., the leading provider of digital content management and software distribution solutions to higher education, today launched its global software distribution and management solution for the Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance (MSDNAA) Program. e-academy Inc.’s proprietary solution provides each member in the MSDNAA Program with e-academy’s License Management System (ELMS), a multi-lingual software management and distribution portal to efficiently manage the software distribution and licensing policies associated with Microsoft’s licensing program.

Microsoft’s MSDNAA Program is designed specifically for academic labs, faculty, and students in the curriculum areas of Computer Science, Engineering, and Information Systems to make it easier and less expensive to obtain Microsoft developer tools, platforms, and servers for instructional purposes.

This annual membership program requires members to restrict software distribution to eligible students, to manage frequent software updates, and regularly provide software distribution reports to Microsoft. With a global membership of hundreds of thousands of students, each eligible to install more than 100 Microsoft products, a secure and highly scalable software distribution and management solution was required.

“We are extremely pleased that Microsoft has selected ELMS for managing the licenses for the MSDNAA program,” said Ram Raju, CEO of e-academy Inc. “This agreement confirms that e-academy’s common digital platform for software publishers and higher education institutions is the optimal solution for reducing license management costs, containing distribution within the targeted community, and enhancing education.”

In 2001-2002, a beta program for ELMS was offered to MSDNAA members at a small additional cost. “By using ELMS, I basically solved all of my distribution problems,” said Scott Barker of the University of Washington. “I upload lists of students periodically, the students are automatically sent their user ID and password, and the system tracks what software they download, and hands out all the license keys. The system also reports to Microsoft how many copies of each product were downloaded, so I have no other work to do.”

The beta program enabled e-academy to more finely tune ELMS to the specific needs of MSDNAA members. This year’s release of ELMS includes a CD check-out module enabling administrators to offer software for electronic distribution as well as CD loans. The release also includes an enhanced support mechanism for students as well as additional troubleshooting features for ELMS administrators.

Due to the wide success of the beta program last year, this year Microsoft chose to license ELMS directly from e-academy and offer it as a free program benefit to all of its MSDNAA members worldwide.

“The beta program last year using ELMS was very well received by MSDNAA members,” said Susan Landahl, Business Manager for MSDNAA at Microsoft Corp. “However, i.n order to provide a turnkey distribution and management solution to all MSDNAA members, Microsoft needed a secure and scalable solution. e-academy’s solution meets both needs, and the worldwide launch of ELMS further demonstrates Microsoft’s commitment to helping ensure that educational institutions and students have access to our most current technologies with reduced distribution and management requirements.”

In September 2002 e-academy rolled out approximately 2000 ELMS systems to North American MSDNAA members. The launch this week of an English, French and Spanish version of ELMS to MSDNAA members worldwide will bring the total number of ELMS deployed close to 4000. A German-language version of ELMS is scheduled for deployment in Q1 2003 and a Japanese-language version is schedule for Q2 2003.

“Containing distribution of software within a specific community combined with the desire to reach the student segment has been an ongoing challenge for software publishers,” said Angela Foot, e-academy’s Director of Sales and Marketing. “By combining e-academy’s License Management System with highly targeted academic programs such as MSDNAA, publishers are assured that licensed software is distributed securely and ultimately contained within the community of students which are licensed.”


Adam Januszkiewicz

All stories by: Adam Januszkiewicz