Skip to main content

Software Licensing - FAQ

Purchase, Acquire, and Get Access To Software

How do I purchase software for myself to use?

Find the software in the Software Catalog, which will tell you how to acquire it. If the software is not found in the Software Catalog, and you cannot find similar software that already exists in the Software Catalog, review the Prospective Products list. You may also find academic pricing on common software through OnTheHub, even if it is not CU-sponsored software.

Department purchasers: If the software you need is not on any of the sources listed above, see the next question.

software procurement for students flowchart


software procurement for university business flowchart


How do I purchase campus software that multiple people will use?

Department purchasers who need multi-user software should first check the Software Catalog and Prospective Products list to see if the software they need, or a similar product, is already available to campus. (If you know of software in use on campus that should be added to the Software Catalog, please contact us!)

If the campus does not already have the software you need, and you intend to purchase it, review the Impact, Resource, and Risk criteria below:

  • Software agreement requires a signed contract. (A click-through EULA does not apply.)
  • Requires a campus license administrator or single point of contact for the license agreement.
  • Requires OIT setup or management, such as a license server, cloud-based license management console, or Single Sign On authentication to access.
  • Costs over $10,000 annually or one-time.
  • Will be used by at least 20 users, or more than one department.

If the software will meet ANY of the above criteria, contact OIT Software Licensing for next steps as OIT may need to manage the contract and the acquisition, or OIT may approve you to purchase on your own. Please note that the PSC may redirect your purchase requisition to OIT for approval if it meets the above criteria.

If your desired software does not meet any of the above criteria for review, purchase it. The preferred purchasing method is with a university Purchase Order via the CU Marketplace and you may work with your procurement liaison to create it. If you prefer to have OIT manage the software acquisition and license, you can contact Software Licensing for assistance. OIT’s criteria for managed software is generally limited to the following, due to staffing capacity:

  • Software should be multi-user; unique single user software requests are not within OIT’s capacity at this time.
  • Software should cost over $5,000 and/or be licensed for at least 20 users/seats
  • Software has complex licensing rules and may be considered high risk due to specific compliance terms or data classification.
  • A collaborative cost-sharing agreement between multiple departments exists or needs to be created.
software procurement for departments flowchart


I have questions about the OnTheHub software purchasing platform

Please see the OnTheHub page for information and answers to questions about using OnTheHub.

What should I do after purchasing software?
  1. Save your documentation about the purchase, including the invoice, how it was paid, and what exactly was included (“entitlements”). You may need this in the future to show that you own what you use. If your purchase was made through OIT Software Licensing, you do not need to save the documentation - we record that for you.
  2. Review the contract or EULA (end user license agreement) to determine the appropriate use for the software licenses, and any restrictions that may exist. If your software is in the Software Catalog, we have already summarized those terms for you.

Support and Help for Software

What if I have issues or problems with software on my computer?

Support for any campus licensed software, once customers have the license, will be provided by the normal support provider.

I am an IT Practitioner supporting other people in my department. How do I engage with Software Licensing for support?

Please first contact the ITSC, who will be able to assist you with routine issues or escalate the issue to the Software Licensing team if it is truly a licensing issue.

Some campus licensed software comes with contracted enterprise support. We may be able to open an enterprise support case on your behalf, but we do not serve in the “campus IT support” role for an individual. Please Contact Us to open an enterprise support case.

If you have issues performing actions that support a broad number of customers, such as software license servers or preparing software packages for deployment, please Contact Us directly.

I’m looking for help with a specific software product, where can I find that?

Check the individual product’s information page in the Software Catalog. If we have information or FAQ for that product, that’s where you will find it.


As a user of software, what are my responsibilities?

Be sure to read and understand the Policies and Guide to Legal and Ethical Use of Software.

As a purchaser of software, what are my responsibilities?
  • Review and understand the CU Fiscal Roles and Responsibilities policy. Remember that you are not allowed to sign a contract, including a license agreement, on behalf of the university. Only selected individuals at the Procurement Service Center may do so.
  • For multi-user software contracts, consider allowing OIT Software Licensing to review and provide advice on the terms and conditions of the contract.
  • After purchasing, keep track of your entitlements (the license rights that you purchased) and who you assign them to.
As an IT Professional who installs or manages software on behalf of others, what are my responsibilities?

Software Audits

What is a software audit and what can I do about it?