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Volume Licensing Frequently Asked Questions

What is licensing? How does it differ from shrink-wrap?

A license is a physical certificate or email that specifically names the Institution / Department / End User along with the number of licensed seats (PC's) authorized to operate the application software at any given time under the licensing agreement. Licensing allows an organization to legally copy a purchased master set of software to a specified number of PC's within a network / lab / classroom / mass user environment. Shrink-wrap product, conversely, is a retail package intended for single user application.

Why do I want to sell licensing instead of shrink-wrap product?

Most importantly, licensing is recognized by academic end users as a cost savings opportunity. Involvement in licensing sales is therefore a 'window of opportunity' to capture a share of a rapidly expanding market which includes both schools and students. Licensing is great for departments or labs that need many installed copies of a software package but do not need, or want, serial numbers, disks and manuals for each user. A license does not have the overhead costs of maintaining inventory and offers the advantage of repeat sales in the form of periodic license renewals. Licensing sales typically involve higher dollar volumes and offer an additional source of increased revenue growth.

When do I recommend licensing instead of Lab packs?

Lab packs generally do not offer upgrade insurance (maintenance) or concurrency options. Additionally, lab packs are typically more costly than licensing. With most licensing manufacturers requiring purchase minimums as low as ten units, it makes sense to offer licensing instead of lab packs.

What are the benefits of licensing? Why is it growing in popularity?

Licensing in general offers departments the best avenue of control for multi-user software application environments. In addition, licensing offers convenience, lower per unit cost and increased efficiency in managing large install bases of software applications. This includes upgrades (via upgrade insurance) which are provided in a well-defined and structured manner and utilities, such as virus protection, that can be administered from a central server. Usage can be monitored centrally via a network site meter or a physical install-base count to assure license agreement compliance.

What is my role in licensing?

To bring the customer and the manufacturer together in a way that is mutually beneficial. This can be accomplished by working with The Douglas Stewart Company Licensing Specialists. We can perform the necessary pre-sales consultation(s), product configuration recommendations and order processing. By providing fast & accurate information you will acquire a reputation for being a trusted and knowledgeable source for licensing.

What are the cost savings for my customer?

Your customer is able to save money up front simply by buying in quantity. Licensing products are priced at significant discounts from the already academic discounted shrink-wrap prices. With the purchase of upgrade insurance the customer saves substantially on the cost of new versions.

What upsell opportunities are available with licensing products?

Additional documentation sets or media packs, upgrade insurance (maintenance), concurrent licenses, concurrent maintenance and purchases of shrink-wrap copies or student licenses, if available, by students for 'take home' use are all add-on sales revenue sources.

How can I realize the benefits most effectively? What promotional ideas can I use?

Form a partnership with a distributor committed to the success of resellers in the licensing market and offering a team of Licensing Specialists to assist in all phases of the licensing sale. Our Licensing Specialists are focused exclusively on helping you to succeed in growing your academic licensing business.
Encourage departments to combine orders to reach the minimum quantities required for a site license purchase.
Designate a staff member to serve as the "point-person" on all licensing issues and/or as a liaison between you and departments on a campus or in a school district.
Aggressively seek out information relating to on-campus computing changes and trends. A new network installation or new computer lab is always a prime source for new licensing sales.
Identify key licensing "players" at schools and pro-actively provide information to them.
Publish flyers, price lists and web site postings to generate interest in licensing products/programs. Focus upon the potential savings and benefits of licensing.

Volume Licensing Terms


Vendor approval required to sell their products.

Concurrent Licensing

Software license that is based on the number of simultaneous users accessing the program. It typically deals with software running on the server where users connect via the network. For example, in a five and – user concurrent use license, after five users are logged on to the program, the sixth user is prohibited. When any one of the first five logs off, the next person can log on. Concurrent licensing can be managed by the application itself or via independent software metering tools.

Contract/Registration/Serial Number

Number assigned at time of purchased. May be required to purchase additional licenses, or to purchase maintenance.

Contractual License Program

Licensing program which is governed by the terms of a contract. Typically the contract is one established by the licensing vendor.

Cumulative Pricing

Allows the customer to accumulate licenses to reach a discount tier.
Example: Customer buys 50 licenses at the 50-99 tier. The following year they want to add another 50 licenses. They can use the 50 licenses they already own, and combine them with the 50 that they're buying now to qualify for the 100 unit price tier.

Electronic Software Delivery (ESD)

No physical media is shipped with the order. ESD systems provide secure communications that customers use to download software. The Media Software and/or License are downloaded via the web or delivered as an email containing links from which the media is downloaded.

Established Pricing

Allows the end-user to purchase at discounted levels established by a previous order.
Example: Customer buys 50 licenses at the 50-99 tier. Two months later they want to buy 6 more licenses. Because they've established themselves at the 50 and 99 tier, they can buy the 6 new licenses at the 50-99 tier. If the customer makes a new purchase of 100 licenses, they would re-establish themselves at the higher discount tier.

Home Use Rights

Allows teachers and staff to install software on home computers for use in school activities.

Letter of Destruction (LOD)

In the event that a return is necessary, a letter of destruction may be signed by the end user stating that they will destroy a license certificate in lieu of returning the order.

License Backwards Compatibility

Allows the user to buy licenses for a program, but use a previous version.
Example: The school is using version 4 of a product. They determine that they need additional licenses. Version 4 is no longer available, but the school is not ready to move all of their users to version 5. They can buy licenses for version 5, but install version 4 instead. When the school is ready to move to version 5, they only need to upgrade the version 4 licenses. The version 5 licenses can be converted from version 4 users to version 5 users with no additional costs.

License Renewal

Allows the user to continue using the software for the term of the renewal. Doesn't necessarily allow the user updates/upgrades during the term.

Maintenance Renewal

Renews maintenance coverage.

Minimum Order

Minimum buy-in level.

Mix and Match

Allows users to mix products, and/or platforms to reach discount tiers.


No expiration date on the specific software version purchased.


Another name for Operating System, although it doesn't make a distinction between versions. Windows XP & Windows 7 are both Windows platforms. Other platforms include Mac, Linux, and Unix, among others.

Software Backwards Compatibility

Allows the user to save the file for use with a previous version.
Example: The user has version 5 installed on the computer at school, but has version 4 at home. Version 5 would have an option to save the file as a version 4 document so it can be opened and worked on at home

Software License

Allows an individual or group to use a piece of software. Nearly all applications are licensed rather than sold. There are a variety of different types of software licenses. Some are based on the number of machines on which the licensed program can run whereas others are based on the number of users that can use the program.

A software license is a type of proprietary license and a memorandum of contract between a software publisher and the software user– sometimes called an End User License Agreement (EULA) – that specifies the perimeters of the permission granted by the software publisher to the user.

Subscription/Maintenance/Upgrade Insurance

Allows users to freely update/upgrade their software so they can always be running the most current versions.

Tiered Pricing

Multiple pricing levels based on purchase volume.

Transactional License Program

Each order must meet a minimum quantity ordering/re-ordering requirement.


A discounted price is given on a license because a previous version of the license is owned. When an upgrade is purchased, rights to the previous version are forfeited.