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  • #2184936

    Company’s software license used at home?


    by michael cortes ·

    The company I work for wants to, and has previously, decided to use one of thier purchased software licenses to have an employee install that software application on thier home computer. This is done with the intent of having the employee complete some work at home. For proper licensing, I have most assuredly confirmed that we have purchased the propoer number of licenses, and where needed purchased an additional license if one did not exist. We then give them the cd to load at home, which they return after install.

    My question has to do with management of this process and with assuring that the employee does not copy the CD and/or pass it on to another.

    Does anyone have a similar situation and if so how do you deal with it? I have contemplated some time of signed aggreement similar to a licnesing agreement that provides “I promise I will not pass it out, install on multiple PCs, and uninstall from my PC when instructed or forfeit my home and car if I do not comply”. Obviously, we would not go that far but if anyone has done this type of agreement, I would appreciate your thoughts as well.

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    • #3287656

      Start off with

      by tony hopkinson ·

      In reply to Company’s software license used at home?

      “I’ve got to say this even though of course I know YOU would never do such a thing”

      It will make you sound so much more sincere.

      Soemtimes to do your job you have to be a prick, but only sometimes.

      Try this with me and you’d be explaining to my manager why I wasn’t working at home. I didn’t want to anyway.

      • #3287633

        Or send a tech

        by ni70 ·

        In reply to Start off with

        If you’re worried about the CD being copied, send a tech to install the software, with the explicit knowledge by the home user that your company will not provide any non-related company software/hardware issues, since this is company related – home user requiring company software to do company work. Another thing to consider is providing/installing a licensed copy of your company’s antivirus software, as this is a security issue for your company. How do you know the home user has an updated antivirus software package? Does your company have a policy for company provided software?

      • #3287617

        See what happens when I try to be funny?

        by michael cortes ·

        In reply to Start off with

        I guess my humor didn’t come off so well in print…Glad I didn’t threaten to confiscate anyone’s first born!

        However, on a more serious note. We currently have numerous policies that are part of the school district’s policy book. As new policies are introduced, every employee has to sign off the appropriate “I have read and will comply” form. Given that history and the fact that some of our employees would prefer to do the work at home rather than get stuck at work till all hours of the evening, they are most probably not going to complain about another “sign off” policy and/or agreement.

        Of course, as I investigate this option, I am interested in keeping this discussion open and hearing anyone’s 2 cents.

        • #3287546

          A sign off policy is fine

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to See what happens when I try to be funny?

          Sign this so when you turn out to be a thief we can have you done instead of us is a different kettle of fish.

          Seriously being specifically told that being leant a license for software didn’t mean that I could steal it, would really upset me. If I’d bought the license my self this still wouldn’t give me ‘license’ to bash off a hundred copies and sell them on ebay. Why would I think doing this with someone elses copy be OK. I would be insulted and I tend not to respond well to that sort of thing.

          IT departments have got far more anal about this sort of this thing over the years. CYA is fine, just don’t skin ‘me’ to do it.

        • #3285309

          IT aren’t Police, use procedures

          by chipshopman ·

          In reply to A sign off policy is fine

          I agree with Tony, getting a member of staff to sign something that implies you think they’re going to copy/nick the software is not a good idea.

          IT departments are not company police. IT are there to enable the business to do what they need to do, not get in the way. By putting in place procedures (i.e. recording of software assets and a water-tight leaver process for the recovery of assets), it shouldn’t be neccessary for users to sign away their house, home and children to enable them to work in the way they want to.

        • #3148562

          Written policies…

          by karllas ·

          In reply to A sign off policy is fine

          TechRepublic sells a great CD called, “IT Professional’s Guide to Policies and Procedures”, and in it is a very good template for a Remote Use Policy.
          While I think it’s great to have ethics, it’s unprofessional to assume that everyone who works for your company is going to live up to your sense of ethics, and to proactively deal with those who would harm us, we put written policies in place. This should not be looked at as an insult, but rather as an affirmation.

        • #3104326


          by weadolph ·

          In reply to See what happens when I try to be funny?

          Our site license manager at the university told me that some university licensed programs allow installation on one desktop and one laptop as long as the same user is using it. The user brings in his/her laptop we install it and at the same time check for up-todate AV and patches.

        • #3148693


          by scottnpilon ·

          In reply to Laptops

          I would have to agree with cklondon. The company should provide you with a laptop to work at home with. Would the company pay for all the lost data on your personal computer if the install disk had accidently installed a virus on your PC?

        • #3148666


          by giledwin ·

          In reply to personal-company

          A company issued laptop is the way to go. In my organization, if a user needs to work at home, he signs out a laptop from IT and gets his work done at home without violating any licenses requirements. If the user needs to keep it long term, have them bring it in weekly for maintenance. Not only is this my opinion, but it?s the way my organization does business. Something I implemented when I took over the IT department.

        • #3148608

          Licencing is not a problem, laptops are not an option

          by deadly ernest ·

          In reply to personal-company

          The original poster has stated that he has that covered. Also it appears that they do not want, or cannot afford, to issue laptops. It seems that the staff are happy to use their own PS if they can get the proper work software.

          What is wanted is some advice on how to administer the use of the software. And a simple form setting out boths the emploee and company responsibilities in this matter that is signed by the employee and a suitable company person will do this. Then they keep them on file.

          If the employee does the wrong thing the company is covered, simple as that.

        • #3148558

          OY VAY! more forms?!

          by unclerob ·

          In reply to Licencing is not a problem, laptops are not an option

          I have enough forms to fill out and keep track of and distribute to everyone else that needs forms for recording data that no ever reads.

          I also don’t think your form would cover the company legal end if the software got pirated, it’s never that simple.

          If the company has enough money to remain legit with licenses, what’s the problem in leasing laptop or pc equipment for work use. Employees using their home pc’s to do company work is a lousy idea, it brings up to many security issues and just isn’t the right thing to do. If a company requires an employee to work from home, the company should be responsible for providing equipment & software to facilitate this. I for one wouldn’t travel to an employee’s home regularly to make sure that it’s patched regularly, clean of virii & spyware, update the vpn software when necessary to connect to the company network, and perform other maintenance tasks. Add tech support for installing the software in question, and any required patches after that (yes patches, there aren’t too many applications that don’t require patching anymore – it’s a fact of life), verifying that said software works properly, etc.

          Home pc’s being used for company work is a bad idea, it just shouldn’t be done. Alot of headache for very little work that would actually be accomplished. Lease a laptop or two, install any required company software including said apps, have the employee bring the laptop in regularly when it’s not used so that it can be inventoried, patched, updated, maintained, etc.

          You can’t control what a user does on his home pc, you can however control what they do on company equipment, lock down that equipment and enable it only for it’s intended purpose and it will operate problem free for it’s intended life cycle.

          And never give install media to an employee to bring home… unless of course you want it to be “backed up” by the employee for personal use in the future by themselves & their friends, and their friends and so on & so on & so on….

        • #3149191

          Mountain out of a mole hill

          by corporate granola ·

          In reply to OY VAY! more forms?!

          This is not necessarily the reponsibility of IT to track this documentation. IT might need to actually *write* the document, but then HR would be the primary department responsible for getting individuals to sign off on the software agreement should the need ever arise. Oh well, just my 2 cents.

        • #3149064

          Forms can be a HR problem or

          by deadly ernest ·

          In reply to OY VAY! more forms?!

          included in the general corporate IT use policy sign off form. I always try to combine forms where it makes sense to do so.

          Here in Australia the type of document I previously described is sufficient protection for the company. After all they could also make a ‘back up’ copy off any laptop that they borrow.

          Add a huge pile of laptops to the inventory would be a bugger problem and bugbear than a single form.

          Another mthod I just thought of might be to have the company subsidise the staff pruchase of the software – that way it becomes the person’s own and removes all corporate responsibility.

          I know of many people who would gladly elect to do a lot of their basic ‘electronic’ paperwork at home. That way they can leave at normal end of day and spend some time with their family and then get back to finishing the letters / reports etc instead of working through to 9 or 10 pm at the office. I have worked for organisations that allow staff to have copies of applications to do just this. Most are contract or salaried staff so hours worked do NOT affect incomes. Some are not and get time in lieu later.

    • #3104390

      I worked in a govt dept that had a site licence

      by deadly ernest ·

      In reply to Company’s software license used at home?

      to do this and they had a process where by you signed an agreement that you would:

      1. Not copy the software.

      2. Not give others access to the software.

      3. Not seek departmental help to correct any problems with your system beyond asking for the software to reinstall if needed.

      4. Remove the software from your computer when you no longer needed it for work related activities at home – usually interpreted as when you left the organisation.

      Software was made available to all staff without any attempt to limit its access. Management thought that even if all the person did was use it for personal stuff the department had to get a benefit simply because they became more competent in the use of the software at work.

      From a legal point of view, here in Australia, if the employee copied it and handed it on, with or without an agreement, they were the ones held legally liable for the copyright breach as they did the actions.

    • #3104357

      Provide a PC or laptop to the employee with software pre-installed

      by cklondon ·

      In reply to Company’s software license used at home?

      Any time I have been required to work from home, I was always provided with a laptop. On this laptop, all required software was pre-installed.

      It is the only truly professional way to expect an employee to work from home, and the hardware really is a minor cost.

      • #3104218

        Not every company can afford a laptop for most staff

        by deadly ernest ·

        In reply to Provide a PC or laptop to the employee with software pre-installed

        And one way around that is to allow them to use the software on their home machine. Of course another option would be to not buy desktops but buy everyone laptops instead – never have seen that work to well in practice, have so many damaged by accident and lots get lost. Simpler to just use a floppy or USB drive to copy the relevant files and work on them then copy back.

        • #3148495

          I always worry

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to Not every company can afford a laptop for most staff

          … about companies that “can’t afford” to do it correctly.

          As Peter coffee said: “That’s why a halfhearted IT budget isn’t a cost-cutting gambit; it’s a postdated suicide note. You’ve already decided to let yourself die, it’s just a matter of time before you flatline.”


        • #3149069

          Many organisations have no say over the budget

          by deadly ernest ·

          In reply to I always worry

          because it comes from one level of government or another. What happens then is the funds for core operations is taken out and what is left gets split up for other things like IT. This happens with research organisations, schools, and many welfare organisations as well as the various govt depts.

          I have worked in two govt funded bodies and a private company that had software licencing agreements that permitted staff to have copies of software at home. In each staff were NOT encouraged to work at home but if they chose to do so they could get copies of the software to do it with. Most who did this were salaried staff as against waged staff, mainly because people only got paid overtime for extra time put in at work and no one was approved as an ‘electronic’ commuter. Salaried staff got the same pay if they did overtime or not – so it made sense for them to go home at normal nock off time and have dinner with the family then do some more paperwork at home.

          The whole things was seen as a way of helping staff do their work and keep family contacts better.

        • #3150493


          by too old for it ·

          In reply to Many organisations have no say over the budget

          I wonder how long the bias against tele-commuting will continue to stand if the oil-importing nations of the world can’t get the oil-exporting nations under control?

          We took an informal look around here, and discovered out of 1800 employees on campus, only 30 or so needed to be here because of research lab facilities, and anothe 5 or so to run the LAN/WAN.

          The rest could have a high-speed internet connection installed at home, and be provisioned with a laptop and a cell phone. No wonder on the last hardware churn, fully 60% of the users globally received laptops.

        • #3150466

          There should be more telecommuting but

          by deadly ernest ·

          In reply to Tele-Commuting.

          can you really see the big companies and the government accepting this without wanting to use military grade encryption systems and then killing off due to the cost of sych systems.

          Anyway another way to reduce the oil bill is to use bio diesel – think of all those waste crops becoming fuel for your car, and locally renewable to – that would fix the OPEC countries, no clients.

        • #3150367

          VPN with Terminal Services OR NetMeeting

          by jimgiblin ·

          In reply to There should be more telecommuting but

          Although I agree with many that signing out a laptop may be the best option, I would say that a best second option would be having users login through a secure VPN and either 1) Using a Terminal Server to manage the software licencing, or 2) Use NetMeeting to allow the user to directly access their desktops at home.

          There are enough White Paper published on tech republic to give you the details to setup a VPN, and you may need to take the afternoon to document the procedure for your employees for connecting to site, but you take licensing out of of the equation, and their work never leaves the jobsite.

        • #3150350

          Agree RE: Bio-Diesel – Need A Mini-Van

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to There should be more telecommuting but

          If I could find a us-made mini-van with a diesel engine, I’d be ?-way there.

          We also need the friendly atom producing northwards of 85% of the electricity in this country too.

        • #3150288

          better than military grade encryption

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to There should be more telecommuting but

          fiber optic cables allow for quantum encryption


    • #3285078

      I Wouldn’t Bother

      by wayne m. ·

      In reply to Company’s software license used at home?

      It’s sort of hard to tell from the mixture of pronoun tenses, but this sounds like a rare occurrence for the referenced company. I would question whether there would be any value to be gained from defining a new process.

      From the description, it does not sound like telecommuting is very common at this business. If it were, then a set of procedures and policies might be warrented. If this is only upon special request, I would assume the person taking the software home has already been deemed trustworthy by management. I do not think a signed piece of paper will make the person in question any more trustworthy.

      Now, consider the alternative. If the employee does stop on the way home, buy a stack of disks, and spend the night making boot leg copies, the signed paper does no good. Unless caught distributing the software, the employee is not really implicated as the duplicator. If caught, there is certainly enough evidence without the paperwork.

      A full telecommuting policy will cover a lot more than just handling of company software. It is not worth the effort to write a full-blown policy for exceptional circumstances, nor to try to pick out individual pieces of policy to implement. Someone decide that the individual in question was trustworthy. Accept that evaluation and let the poor sole finish his assigned work.

    • #3148723

      Two ways I can think of

      by rasilon ·

      In reply to Company’s software license used at home?

      First of all, it’s a *BAD* idea to allow an enployee to run any corporate software locally on their personal PC. You can write all the policies you want, but the bottom line is you are losing control and exposing your network/servers/clients to unnecessary risks.

      I can think of two possiblities off hand:

      1) License the technology to (or have a vendor) create a CD of the software that can’t be copied. I haven’t a clue what to use or vendors to contact, but it must be out there. Problem is that for any commercial process, there are most likely techniques and/or software to hack it.

      2) Install the software on a Terminal Server and run it remotely through a VPN. You could set up a userid for the person that is authorized to connect and disable it when you want them to stop.

      No matter what you do, it’s going to be complex, expensive or impossible to control.

      Hank Arnold

    • #3148701

      A non problem!

      by michael_orton9 ·

      In reply to Company’s software license used at home?

      Tye employee has a LEGAL copy to install on his home PC from your firm. Better then most!
      Of couse he will have made a copy if he has to return the installation CD.
      I would NEVER run either a Linux or a Windows system if I didn’t have a working copy of the installation CD.
      Of course he should sign for the CD and agree not to make copies or lens to others.
      Just for the “correct spin on the b/s,” but your firm is covered.
      Thats all that matters.
      If his son/daughter uses a cracked version at University, your firm is still covered.
      Your firm have already done well by providing a legal copy for home use!
      That and some form of paperwork to “paper one’s a**e” is all that is required.
      Your Job description probably doesn’t ask you to be Bill Gate’s Policeman!
      Remember Nelson!

    • #3148575

      never give install media to employees to bring home..

      by unclerob ·

      In reply to Company’s software license used at home?

      I would have assumed that this basic tenet is common knowledge/common sense with everyone that works in IT.

      If software needs to be installed on an employee’s machine at home, have that employee bring the box in to work – that should never be a problem, even for the most tech challenged employees. I have friends/co-workers at my work bring in their boxes all the time for help with a certain problems: spyware/virii cleaning, system optimization, upgrades, whatever.

      I would also tell them that you don’t need to travel to anyone’s home to do this kind of work, do it while you’re “on the clock” at work.

      Never give install media to an employee, the chance is very high that the media will be copied for their own use in the future and possibly copied again to be given to another friend (or friends). If this wasn’t a problem, you wouldn’t have mentioned it as a possibility – you didn’t mention the software title, what kind of software is it?

      Plus with most software, unless you’re always taking the default installation provided, there is some form of install customization – also if there are any patches or after install work that needs to be done to the pc, it can be done at your place of work in the environment made for this type of work.

      Plus since we’re talking employees bringing work home with them, why not lease a few laptops for employee use, nothing dedicated to any specific user unless required but setup a few laptops with the tools & software required to perform their tasks, configure them before the employee signs them out (another part of the process) and have the employee return them by a set period of time. This way you’re on top of the license game, you don’t have to worry about the existing situation with a user’s home pc: ex. What if this user vpn’s to your company’s network from their home pc which happens to also be filled with the nicest assortment of spyware/virus/rootkits, etc. I wouldn’t ever take this chance or let this happen – Let them do company work using company property and return it when they’re done, you would be managing it and know the condition of the laptop/pc equipment when it goes out & when it comes back in. Home pc’s are for home, work pc’s are for work, keep them separated.

      Another angle: Does this employee get compensated for using his pc equipment for work purposes, how about his electricity bill because I’m assuming his machine is powered by electricity and not love. Why anyone would use their home pc to do company work is beyond me.

      If your company has the money to stay legit with their software licensing, then they should easily have the money to provide computer equipment for users who work remotely from their homes – that’s just how it should work.

      – just my 0.02 cents cdn, feel free to agree/disagree.

    • #3148574

      Is it a Microsoft Product?

      by cne/mcsa2003 ·

      In reply to Company’s software license used at home?

      We just recently acquired a large license package of software products with Software Assurance. One of the additional benefits of this was a “home-use” provision. This would allow you to enable users to log into the Microsoft License site and they could download the appropriate software for themselves. All the agreements and usage policies would be there for them to agree to first. And should the employee leave your company/organization. They will have already agreed to remove the software upon their departure. If they fail to do so, the violation is on them and not you or your organization. Great advantage to giving them a CD and hoping that it doesn’t get “pirated”. Just food for thought.

    • #3148554

      You worry way too much!

      by pipe guy ·

      In reply to Company’s software license used at home?

      The goal of the IT Management is not to make it difficult for people to use their computers, but to get them to use them more. I would recommend that you send all your office software home with people and try to get them to learn it better. If their kids can help, so much the better. If you spend as much time trying to train people as you do trying to protect the software company’s assets, you should be rich. If you want a job for life, become “helpful” Encourage them to take it home and try it out. Even tell them to bring in their home computers and fix them if necessary. This is more of a stretch, but try to remember you are a “service industry” and the only way to justify the huge expense that you place on a company is ensure that they need you and that you are helping them acheive all that they can. And you should ensure that your anti-virus and anti spyware site license goes home with them as well. Do you have any idea how much more profitable our companies would be if our employees actually learned how to properly use their computers and the software that we put on them. The lifespan of a piece of software is relatively short and software manufacturers need all of the exposure they can get if they are to survive. With the exception to MS just about every other player in the industrial world is struggling to get more market share. the way you can help them is to get your employees and their children to start using it. Now perhaps this doesn’t jive with your corporate policy which officially states that we never ever install on machines that aren’t licensed and we gleefully pay whatever licensing fees that our software vendor demands from us. But the largest cost I see in almost every industry is the lack of software use and the general state of poor training for most users. The fact that it takes months to roll out new versions in a company and close to three years before people are comfortable with it means that we are failing to help our workers use software. And most of them use only a fraction of the features that are available. Most couldn’t tell you the difference between Office 2000 or 2003. And most won’t like Vista unless it still has a “classic” setting which makes it look like win2k. I don’t want to appear reactionary, but I can’t but help think if we had sent office 2000 home with our staff, they would probably use it as more than a fancy typewriter. Our policies to limit the use of the software now make it difficult to get companies to buy the latest version when they aren’t even comfortable with the old version.

      • #3148528

        We worry too much and you sound like a Salesman!

        by unclerob ·

        In reply to You worry way too much!

        Since you mention M$, speak to them directly and find out how much they appreciate having their software copied. They along with many other popular software companies work with SPA and a team of legal powerhouses to make sure that software compliance is a requirement – don’t blame IT for that, being a software nazi isn’t something that I dreamed of when I was a kid, it’s just a requirement that’s placed on me by my superiors and if my employer asks me to perform this task, I do it pretty much similar to other employees in a company, you’re given a job & you do it. If you don’t do your job, you usually get shown the way out.

        Maybe it’s just me but I think alot of people could tell the difference between Office 2000 & Office 2003, especially if we talked just about Outlook by itself, big changes in the way both versions look.

        Since you’re in sales I don’t expect you to know fully what the goal of IT Mgmt is. Since you happen to be in sales, I would assume you know alot about what you do & what your goals are. The goal of IT management is many things but it’s not about training people to get better and do more with their computers at home. Local dept managers in any company should be ensuring that their employees stay up to date with their education & training and offer incentives like tuition reimbursement and favorable reviews when employees update & maintain their education. I’ll be honest, I work in IT as a Systems Admin and I’m kept very busy completing my daily required work and I’m not focused on everyone else’s education. Especially when my works can keep me busy from the early morning to the late evening and eat my weekends on a regular basis.

        IT management is alot of things but mostly it’s about managing the locale IT environment: making sure the company client/server equipment is working properly: purchasing new equipment, upgrading/maintaining existing equipment, phasing out older equipment, it’s also about making sure that software required by company employees to perform their daily jobs is installed on user machines & working & patched/updated if necessary and it’s also about making sure that the required network infrastructures are in place to facilitate all the required systems such as email/internet & phone systems, file/printer/application access, daily backup of company & user data, network security, virus & spyware protection, enabling access to remote systems & locations/ facilitating vpn remote access to remote staff (such as salesman that don’t necessarily work in the office) and much much more.

        If you want your employees trained and doing more, get HR & Mgmt involved in this process – they’re all about Human Resources and maximizing that resource, in fact they are responsible for maximizing the return on the “human resource” – getting more out of the employee. IT can assist HR in it’s requirements (purchasing & setting up equipment, software, training labs, and whatever technical assistance they require, etc.) but IT isn’t there to provide schooling & education. If I wanted to become a teacher I would have gotten my bachelors in education, not science.

        If you want to start doing something, do this: stop placing an emphasis on people working more from their homes on top of having an existing job where they work outside of their home predominantly. That is for a fact what’s ruining alot of people’s lives: the more time you spend at home doing work, the less time you’re spending with your spouse/better half & your kids. Leave work at work, and when you’re home, focus on home and the important people that live there. If you live alone, focus on yourself, have fun with friends and forget about work altogether.

        Maximize the “human resource” at the workplace, but leave it alone when it leaves the office and goes home, there is usually alot that needs to be done at home already without eating away at that time with more work from your day job. Here’s another tidbit of advice, don’t turn on the computer at home unless it’s really necessary – if you have kids focus on them, if you have a spouse definitely focus on them, perform family or couple activities that don’t involve the computer or work – and if you need to use your computer, do it for personal use, updating your website, replying to your emails, playing video games but again I would recommend using it after you’ve put the kids to bed and you’ve enjoyed a nice evening with your spouse/better half and taken care of your other personal responsibilities. I already spend my whole day which always tends to be biggest portion of any day infront of computers, it’s the last thing I want to see when I go home and IMHO it’s a rule that should be followed by most people – there are other things to do besides farting around on your computer, get a hobby, go for a walk, see a movie, go to a museum, read a book (that’s printed on paper), play with your kids, read with your kids, learn with your kids, do something with your kids, take your spouse out for a nice dinner at a nice restaurant, get involved with sports, go shopping, go for a drive, renovate a room or update your home/appt, paint a wall, get a breath of real fresh air from outside of a building or home, and last but not least, get a life. How much extra money do you make from working at home in the evening and working your day job as well? Is it really worth it to be spending all this time on work?

        I personally don’t think so – so what’s the point? I doubt that most people will become millionaires with this type of work habit anyways if they even get paid for the extra overtime put into all of this after-hours work. If you do make some extra money because of it, you’ll no doubt reinvest it in headache/back medication & anti-depressants – you need to live a little bit outside of work, plus who’s noticing all of this extra effort aside from yourself? Who are you neglecting when you have to work after work? Friends, family, yourself?

        – just my 0.02 cents cdn, feel free to agree/disagree.

    • #3148541

      workin’ from home…

      by scott bates ·

      In reply to Company’s software license used at home?

      We use a couple of different means of allowing people to work from home depending on their job requirements. If they are remote call center agents we supply and support everything required for them to do their job – down to the phone lines/dsl service. The policy is they don’t make any modifications to the systems with penalties up to termination. A policy won’t stop someone from copying the CD not to mention the fact that some people may not have the compute power on their home PC to install/run new programs – it would be a huge pain to have to check configurations (not to mention anti-virus) every time someone needed to work from home.

      For those who occasionally work at home, or work at home a lot and have an assigned (not shared) computer in their office/workspace, we use a service called GoToMyPC from Citrix. This allows a remote user to access their desktop computer remotely. We use the corporate edition which provides centrally managed access, security, and reporting. I don’t want this reply to seem like an ad for Citrix but we’ve been using it for over 2 years and have grown to about 70 users now. Set up is simple and access can be moved around based on need but the best part is that once they get logged in users are using their own desk top and have access to everything they would have if they were working at their desk. (other applications, network shares, etc….)

      Remote users would need DSL/Cable speed Internet access(dialup works but…)and there may be some other requirements for the product you may not like such as computers need to be left on (and locked of course) and the desktops poll the citrix servers (a LOT!) so depending on your corp security requirements and bandwidth it may not be a product you like but it is an option, it’s flexible, and it works from anywhere you can hit the internet.

      • #3150408

        I’ll second that…

        by Thorarinn ·

        In reply to workin’ from home…

        If the user already has a dedicated machine at work and has a decent connection at home, either GoToMyPC or LogMeIn should work fine.

        I use both and like them both (for different reasons). I’d recommend giving those two a try.

        • #3150326

          Agreed – a good method IF the employee

          by deadly ernest ·

          In reply to I’ll second that…

          has a decent connection, a clean computer, and the organisation has, or can afford, a secure gateway that will allow this. They are not always possible.

    • #3148511

      Make them bring the system in

      by jdclyde ·

      In reply to Company’s software license used at home?

      If they need to have a home system doing company work, I MAKE them bring the system in.

      I do a scan for malware/spyware/troj/keylog/worm/ blah blah.

      I make sure they have a firewall.
      I make sure they have an AV.
      I make sure they have something for the */ware.

      I THEN install the software on their system.

      They don’t bring system in, it doesn’t get the software.

    • #3148509

      Software at home

      by compliance guy ·

      In reply to Company’s software license used at home?

      We’ve run into the same quandry. The flat policy is no software purchased by the company goes on a home computer. You’ve lost control of that software and even if the user is an ethical and honest employee do you want the responsibility of assuming that anyone and everyone with access to that PC would never ever entertain the thought of copyng that software and selling/using the copies? Cuz your company is responsible.

      The solution is just set up a remote connection via VPN or some other remote software (XP has this capability) so the user can access his or her work PC from home.

      As part of the PC asset allowed usage agreement a new employee signs should include a statement to this effect which at least proves due diligence, which in reality is all a business can do with fat clients. HTH.

    • #3148490

      Network installs

      by jim s. ·

      In reply to Company’s software license used at home?

      I solve this problem by using network installs, that way they can log into the network through the vpn, acces the install folder of the program requested and do an install, I know that sometimes takes a bit of time depending on their connection speed, but that is the price they have to pay. This way they will never see a cd, plus I can always make sure that the install has the latest updates applied to save time for them to down all the update for the programs after they get it installed.

    • #3149189
      Avatar photo

      Michael if you have Software Assurance

      by hal 9000 ·

      In reply to Company’s software license used at home?

      MS encourages the companies software to be installed on the staffs home computers. Well here at least in AU and I can’t see it being overly different in the US.

      Where I have problems with this practice is that once the computer is out of my control I can not make sure that it’s safe and I have a great deal of difficulty in allowing them remote access to the company network.

      What we do here at least to make sure that we are less likely to be hit by something on a staff members computer is go out there and perform the install as well as making routine trips out to make sure that any Virus Definitions are up to date as well as patches and the like. SO we effectively Take control of computers that we don’t actually own for security reasons only. If there are children in the house we tend to hand out NB’s for the exclusive use of the Staff only. Particularly if there is any remote access involved or data being brought into the office from home.

      In the case of Upper Management we tend to give them Desktops for the kids to use and NB’s for them to use only. While it’s slightly more expensive initially it’s a lot safer that way and as yet none of the networks that I administer has been hit with an infection. The ones that the kids use are a totally different story though and we routinely clean them up just to prevent them wanting to use the Adults unit to do something.


      • #3149185


        by jamesrl ·

        In reply to Michael if you have Software Assurance

        When I was negotiating with MS about Software Assurance, they at first didn’t offer it. It wasn’t until we pointed out that the previous contract we had included it, did they grandfather it for us, but indicated that this would be the last time as the future direction (in Canada) was to eliminate this ability.

        In order to qualify we had track the usage, make sure the employee signs a doc and inform the employee when they leave that they signed a doc and agreed to remove the software once they leave the employ of the company.

        We had no problems negotiating with the anti-virus company a license which included home use.


        • #3149170
          Avatar photo

          How long ago was this James?

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Depends…

          Quite some time ago MS followed this practice and then stopped it but towards the middle of last year when the reintroduced Software Assurance again they allowed for the software to be installed on the staff’s computers not the OS just the Software.

          Here at least they have a contact point direct to MS where they can download the software from and install and agree to the limitations imposed by MS. Mostly it’s supposed to be removed when they leave the company but in reality MS doesn’t police this overly harshly and a few extra copies being used from Home is nothing to them.

          But there is a limit if you buy say 5 Site Licenses you can only install 5 copies of that software on the Staff’s Home Computers although if you only have 5 staff members I can’t see why you would want or need to install more. Currently the max Home User Limit is the same as the number of Site Licenses that you have and most times we are running way under the allowed limit.

          The other good thing with this setup is with Software Assurance we get new copies of software as it becomes available and use it on the Home Computers as Beta Testers before rolling it out across the companies network. That way we know exactly what to expect when we install any new MS Software and from one of my recent talks to MS I think that this is what we’ll be doing with Vista if it ever gets released.

          Allow the home users exclusive access to test it out and let us keep up with what is happening so that when it hits Mission Critical systems we know what to do and what to avoid. This is how MS is pushing Software Assurance as something useful to the companies which buy it and it gives MS a Guaranteed income for 3 years with the possibility that they may not release any new software within that time frame and the company has paid for nothing. Lets face it we are still installing Office 2003 and it’s now 2006 and XP Pro is well into its fifth or sixth year now so for all the money paid to MS in Software Assurance the companies need to be getting something back. The last major piece of software that we got was Office 2003 Pro as an Upgrade from Office XP Pro.


        • #3149135

          Timeline was 2000

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to How long ago was this James?

          And that was for a 3 year agreement. I haven’t had the pleasure of negotiating with MS since.

          We always got copies of all MS software as soon as they were available, even the stuff we didn’t buy. We had the right to try any software for internal testing purposes.



        • #3149110
          Avatar photo

          James it all changed last year

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Timeline was 2000

          In the Second or Third Quarter I think MS went back to their old ways as it was getting harder to justify companies buying Software Assurance and MS was loosing money as they didn’t have new products coming out regularly enough to make it viable to keep the Software Assurance going for most companies.


      • #3149174

        US Software Assurance

        by jim s. ·

        In reply to Michael if you have Software Assurance

        It applies here in the US as well, also Adobe does the same thing, have have for years.

        • #3149161
          Avatar photo

          It applies to most of the software that I sell here as well

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to US Software Assurance

          Although by the very nature of the type of Business that I’m in I have limited exposure to Volume License applications. Most are either MS or Corel for Office Apps Trend for AV and a little bit of Macromedia all of which encourage this practice as it saves them the need to have a bigger call center because the home users just make it work and when they hit the office they are not constantly on our backs asking how to make such & such work.

          It used to be a simple thing once but with the Remote Access function built into 2003 we’ve had to change our security measures drastically and we now fully cover the home units as well the work units just to keep security in some form of check. The 4 step Remote Access that came with 2003 made us all sit back and sweat for quite a while and run around like cooks with their heads cut off reorganizing our Security Protocols.


    • #3149003

      Trust your employee’s

      by nz_justice ·

      In reply to Company’s software license used at home?

      If your employee’s are honest and have good work ethics, what is the problem? Communicate to the employee that they are not allowed to copy or give away additional copies or allow the CD to be used on an other computer, else there will be severe consequences then trust your employee to do the right thing.

    • #3149001

      Software Licensing

      by bitbyte989 ·

      In reply to Company’s software license used at home?

      Michael – if your firm has an enterprise license for software, it can determine which of its employees can install software at home. At my firm, the employee can then use the software for as long as she or he is employed by the firm, but they sign an agreement that once they leave the firm, they must uninstall it. It doesn’t necessarily prevent them from leaving on their home computer or copying the CD (usually if you make an installer, and make it as a self-installation, it will be a large file and too big for someone else to copy). Having them sign an Agreement simply protects your firm.

      In addition to a short written agreement, we usually put a tag line on the installer that states that the software is for the proprietary use of the firm, and any copies, distribution, etc. will result in prosecution.
      Hope that helps.

    • #3148986

      Consult your company’s legal department.

      by absolutely ·

      In reply to Company’s software license used at home?

      They might just copy the text of the End User License Agreement, add it to your existing non-disclosure agreement or modify it to include that EULA, and have the employee sign that document in the office. Or, they might require something different. My company’s legal department doesn’t fix my data, so to show mutual respect, I don’t do their work for them.

      • #3148970
        Avatar photo


        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Consult your company’s legal department.

        We don’t take advice from Muslims as they give us all the wrong advice which breaks the LAW! 😀

        Now aren’t you sorry that you Goggled your Alias? :p

        Of course you realize that you are never going to live that one down don’t you? 😡

        Col }:)

        • #3148963


          by absolutely ·

          In reply to Abs

          Judging from the numerology in your link, I suspect you meant
          ] : )
          Easy on the shifter, Col. 😉
          And being sorry, even for Goggling my alias, would be out of character!
          Finally, html is GOOD for something!

    • #3148879

      PCs or laptops or no work from home.

      by gpastorelli ·

      In reply to Company’s software license used at home?

      If the company cannot afford to provide a user w/ a laptop or PC then that company has no business with having that user work from home. If they want them to work from home but cannot afford the equipment then work requiring a PC should be done at the office, not at home. I’m sorry I just think it’s horrible that the company will say “Do this work, sign all these papers in case you do something wrong, oh and by the way do it on your PC so that if anything happens not only will we haunt you b/c of lost company data, but you may damage your PC.”

      God forbid that poor employee quits or gets fired, I can see the problems arising afterwards, having a tech come out to verify the software was uninstalled, legal side effects if a family member uses the program and modifies sensitive company data.

      It’s so much easier for the company to provide a laptop or even a PC. You can get a dell PC for what, $299.99 nowadays, this way you can guarantee it’s installed and in the event of termination it’s much easier to ensure the return of a PC or laptop than it is to ensure the deletion of a program.

      Just my $0.02.

      • #3148855

        totally agree!

        by unclerob ·

        In reply to PCs or laptops or no work from home.

        we’re always worried (or told to be worried) about the company’s bottom line and told that our responsibilities include reducing expenses & increasing efficiency which improves overall company profitability – to assist with this corporate policy, the new rule is that it’s expected that you bring work back home with you and continue to work during your personal time & sacrifice your personal life and time with your immediate family & friends and on top of that don’t expect to get compensated for this extra work and use your own computer equipment to perform said tasks.

        There are 24 hours in a day and 25 of them are spent at work nowadays! Might as well setup a sleeping bag under the desk and bring your clothes dresser to work with you, why bother ever leaving work at all – you’ll save on rent & utilities and dine off the vending machines all for the annual 1% cost of living increase (no raises anymore) and the pat on the back and reassuring words like “thank you for your contribution to the company!” – sounds like the american dream to me!

        • #3150469

          Many people do work at home because

          by deadly ernest ·

          In reply to totally agree!

          they are salaried, that is executives, or contracted staff – both of whom are on performance arrangements whereby they get extra pay based on outcomes and have minimum outcome levels that ensure their continued employment. Some such staff are good and can organise things so that they don’t have to do long hours work at home, others are not so well organised or efficient and have to do more hours work for the same results. That is the down side of performance based work criteria as against time based.

          I once worked in a job where my work style enabled me to do 187% of the work load of the previous incumbent – and I had a higher level of accuracy and good results. We did the exact same type of work, I just had a different approach. The same applies to any executive or office job.

          Some people would prefer to do extra paperwork at home after having dinner with their family than stay at work until 9 pm to get it done.

      • #3150571

        In the situations where I have seen this happen

        by deadly ernest ·

        In reply to PCs or laptops or no work from home.

        it is NOT a case of the company saying ‘Do this work at home.” it is a case of the employee saying “I want to take this work home and do it later tonight instead of staying at the office or returning later.”

        The software is installed and a waiver signed. When you leave the company they give you a letter reminding you that you are obliged to remove the software. No one visits you and they trust you to do the right thing with the software. The waiver is there solely to make you aware that you have a responsibility for the software and not the company.

        If it comes down to a case of you insisting that the company provide a computer of some sort they will just say – not required stay in your office until your work is done. If it is not done then you get an adverse quarterly performance report, no performance bonus and eventually no extension of employment. The option is offered as a convenience to the staff not a work requirement by the company. You can choose to manage the software and see more of your family by doing some work at home, or not and do all your work at the office – especially when work loads require evening work.

    • #3150517

      home use for company business

      by ali40961 ·

      In reply to Company’s software license used at home?

      At the last co I worked for, we had an option to purchase ms products for home use (for working on company business) at a very reasonable price ($20). The licensing stated that the product could be used on home pcs while working for said company. I tried to find the link but that was a long time ago. U might wanna research it.

    • #3150410

      Terminal Servers

      by cmiller5400 ·

      In reply to Company’s software license used at home?

      I would use terminal services and vpn to complete this task or assign out laptops with vpn access.

    • #3150076

      Citrix Metaframe

      by jgtechie ·

      In reply to Company’s software license used at home?

      In the company i work for, we use Citrix. This way, users working from home or simply accessing their e-mail use Citrix’s virtual desktop instead of physically installing applications in their PCs.

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