TECHNews

The Office of Information Technology's blog.

UM Adobe Audit

Posted on: July 2nd, 2013 by JIMMY BALL

For several years, the University of Mississippi (UM) has participated in a software licensing program with Adobe.  The licensing program provides UM departments with discounted prices on various Adobe products installed on UM computers. Distribution of the software and licenses has been managed by the Faculty Technology Development Center (FTDC). When UM department staff members contact FTDC staff members to make Adobe software purchases, the FTDC staff members follow an approved ordering and distribution process while maintaining detailed purchasing records.

In recent months, Adobe began an extensive audit campaign aimed at numerous higher education customers.   When UM was contacted by Adobe, they explained this audit was a routine effort to ensure license compliance among their customer base and that no violation of the terms of our Adobe contract had been found, detected or reported.  After weeks of discussion and review between staff members at Adobe and the Office of Information Technology (IT), UM is proceeding with the Adobe audit to comply with the terms and conditions of our existing Adobe contract.

There are two requirements for the Adobe audit: (1) FTDC must provide purchasing records of all Adobe products under the existing Adobe contract and (2) UM must gather and report Adobe software installation data from university-owned computers. Because FTDC has maintained detailed purchasing records, we expect no additional purchasing documentation will be required from departments unless departments have purchased Adobe software independently of the FTDC.  Regarding the gathering of software installation data, we are requesting that departments assist in the collection of this installation data.  Details can be found on the IT Helpdesk site.

Gathering Adobe Installation Data

Adobe software installation data can be collected in one of three ways:

  1. Employees can run an Adobe audit tool and upload the resulting scan file.  Instructions on running the tool for your particular computer can be found on the IT Helpdesk site.
  2. Departments with available technical support staff can conduct or coordinate the audits for their department.  IT has created a mailing list to start a dialogue with these departmental technical support contacts.
  3. Departments without technical support staff can request assistance from IT by contacting the IT Helpdesk.  In most cases, IT is aware of the departments that will require technical support assistance.   Therefore, IT will also contact the department to assist.

The target completion date is July 31, 2013.  IT will be monitoring the audit activity of each department and contact any departments that have been unable to participate in this Adobe data gathering effort so that we can complete the effort by July 31.

Questions and Answers

Q: Why are we being audited?

A: Adobe has presented this audit as a routine effort to ensure license compliance among their customer base. Adobe account management stated that no violation of the terms and conditions of UM’s Adobe contract had been found, detected or reported.  In our discussions with Adobe, we were presented with a campus site license option.  After reviewing their plan and pricing, UM is not pursuing a site license at this time.

Q: When does this audit need to be completed?

A: The audit must be completed by July 31, 2013.

Q: What will happen after the audit information is submitted?

A: Adobe will compare UM’s software deployment data with licensed purchases according to the terms and conditions of the associated end-user license agreements. Adobe will then submit a findings report to UM, including a license reconciliation. Our contract states that licensing deficits must be resolved no later than thirty (30) days from the notification of findings by Adobe.   We will provide updates once the findings report is released.

Q: Which of my computers do I need to scan?

A: Only UM computers running Windows or Mac OS X will need to be scanned.  Do not scan personal computers.

Q: Do we need to scan computers in labs?  What about virtual computers?

A: Yes, we need to scan computers in labs and virtual computers as well.

Q: I am a faculty member and out of the office for the summer.  What should I do?

A: If you have your UM computer with you, please follow the instructions on running the tool for your particular UM computer.  The instructions can be found on the IT Helpdesk site.

Q: What tests are the Adobe Scan tools performing?

A: The tools scan the machine’s hard drive(s), remote drives mounted as local volumes/drives and any attached external drives for Adobe software.  The tools do not install or remove software from your computer.

Q: I haven’t purchased any Adobe software. Do I need to scan my UM computer?

A: Yes, the Adobe contract requires UM to perform a software installation audit of UM computers running Windows or Mac OS, even those without Adobe products.

Q: I am the IT lead for my department.  I have central control of my machines.  Is there an easier way to scan the computers without visiting them individually?

A: Yes, Adobe will accept information from software asset management tools.  Please contact Jimmy Ball to inquire further.

Further Information

If you have questions about the audit, please contact Jimmy Ball, Deputy CIO for Academic Technology, at jb@olemiss.edu or (662) 915-5028.   If you need assistance with auditing your computer, please contact the IT Helpdesk at helpdesk@olemiss.edu or (662) 915-5222.