If you’re working for a school that has a Microsoft School Agreement, then read on…

  • If you run the IT in your school, then you’ve got a chance to make your colleagues happy
  • If you’re working elsewhere in the school, then there’s a chance to save some money

As part of our Software Assurance programme, which is a standard part of a School Agreement, we include a benefit called the Home Use Programme (HUP). This gives employees of the school the opportunity to buy Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007 for £12.93. HUP is mainly designed for business users of Microsoft software, to increase employee satisfaction, employee retention, and training and productivity. (I’ll whisper this so that only the IT people hear - It’s also been seen to reduce support costs). The licence allows employees to use the software as long as they work for the organisation, and as long as the organisation is covered by Software Assurance.

Unlike similar schemes, the employee is the one responsible for correctly licensing (ie you simply have to let them know when they should stop using it, you’re not expected to enforce this). And finally, the system takes no administration from the organisation – the employee places their order online, using their own credit card, and receives the software and support directly from Microsoft.

For some reason, even though it has been around a while, not that many people have taken it up.

It is easy to activate:

  • Your EA Benefit Administrator (quick, find a number for the IT department!) goes onto the Microsoft Volume Licensing Services website, and ticks a box to activate the programme (at https://licensing.microsoft.com). They will enter an email domain for your school (like @school.oxon.sch.uk) and in return will get a program code
  • They distribute that program code around the school – to staff only! 
  • Employees logon to http://hup.microsoft.com, and enter their email address and the program code – and then just place their order.

It’s that simple.

And instead of paying £90 in a shop for Office Home & Student, your employees have Office Enterprise for less than £15.

We’ve got HUP Information Packs sitting here in the office, with a resources CD to help promote it internally. If you want one, just drop Sam an email

And finally, there’s also an option where the administrator can order multiple copies on behalf of employees, where the price has been dropped to under £7 if you order 20+ before 15th June. That’s all on https://licensing.microsoft.com too.