Software Licensing – Maximizing Value in School Technology Investments

As K-12 school administrators and IT directors, you are well aware of the challenges and complexities involved in managing technology within your institutions. One key aspect that requires your attention is the licensing of network management products such as Cisco Meraki and Sophos. It’s crucial to understand that the licensing model for these products and others has undergone significant changes.

Understanding the New Licensing Model

In the past, licensing for products like Cisco Meraki and Sophos typically began weeks or months after the product was shipped, or when the device was first connected to the cloud dashboard. This allowed for a grace period during which schools could plan and execute their installation without worrying about the license term.

However, this model has changed. Now, the licensing period often starts as soon as the product is shipped, or shortly thereafter. This shift means that the clock starts ticking on your license term the moment the product leaves the warehouse, not when it’s installed and operational.

The Impact on Large Deployments

For large deployments, which may take weeks or months to fully implement, this change in licensing terms can have significant financial implications. If products are ordered all at once, up front, you may find that the licensing period will expire well before you anticipated, or even before the products are due for replacement.

Strategic Planning and Ordering

To avoid the pitfall of paying for several months of licenses that go unused, it’s imperative to plan your installation and ordering process meticulously. Here are some strategies to consider:

  • Order in Phases: Break down your technology deployment into phases and order products as needed for each phase. This approach ensures that licenses for later phases will have a later start date, aligning more closely with actual usage.
  • Coordinate with Vendors: Engage in discussions with your vendors to understand their shipping schedules and license activation policies. Some may offer flexibility or delayed start options for K-12 educational institutions.
  • Monitor Deployment Timelines: Keep a close eye on your deployment timelines. Delays in installation can lead to wasted license time, so it’s important to have contingency plans in place.
  • Educate Your Team: Ensure that everyone involved in the procurement and deployment process is aware of the licensing terms and the importance of timing in the ordering process.


By being proactive and strategic in planning the installation and ordering of network management products, you can ensure that your school maximizes the value of its technology investments. Remember, every day of unused licensing is a day of wasted resources. Plan wisely, order smartly, and make the most of your technology budget.

We hope this guide provides clarity on the new licensing model and assists you in making informed decisions for your school’s technology infrastructure. If you have any further questions or need assistance with planning your technology deployment, please feel free to reach out for Twotrees support.

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