Microsoft Office License for MLS computers

Discussions around the setup, operation, replacement, and disposal of clerk computers, not to include using MLS
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marianomarini
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#11

Post by marianomarini »

This thread should stay focused on how to buy the software so that financial and licensing policies are properly observed, which I believe have been addressed.
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russellhltn
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#12

Post by russellhltn »

aebrown wrote:Anyone who has used both OpenOffice and MSOffice knows that there are significant differences in how you do things in the two systems, even if you can actually get the same work done.

Depending on the versions involved, there are also significant differences between versions of MSOffice. If the leaders are used to a older version, they may be in for a shock at current version.

If one can find a legal copy of an older version, then the cost may be significantly less.
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rolfejr
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#13

Post by rolfejr »

Thank you for all the comments. My next question is on how I would purchase it, and may speak to a more general purchasing question for units. If I want to buy the non-profit, or "charity" license, I am going to have to provide a 501C certificate to prove that we are a non-profit. Is there a church-wide 501C certificate that is available to units that need to demonstrate their non-profit status for purchases like this? Would our stake have our own? I apologize, I'm not the financial clerk, so I don't really know how that all works (actually, our financial clerk has the same questions). Of course, we could just buy the retail version, but we are talking about a pretty significant price difference - $55 for charity license, $250 for retail license (especially when you can consider purchasing for the stake and multiple wards). In addition, I don't really want to start up our own Open License program with Microsoft just for our stake, I was hoping to piggy-back off existing Microsoft relationships the church already has. A couple people have suggested purchasing the academic license (which has actually been done by some wards in the past), but the license agreement for the academic/student version specifically prohibits use by non-profits.

I realize all this would be avoided by just using OpenOffice, but without getting too much into the specifics (a discussion for another thread I supposed), we use Excel extensively both at stake and ward levels, and yes, there are SEVERAL features that just don't work the same (or at all) in OpenOffice. We've tried to stick to OpenOffice before and it has been a huge frustration for a lot of people, most of whom have Excel at home and struggled going between the two products all the time, not to mention the familiarity and learning curve issues.
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aebrown
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#14

Post by aebrown »

rolfejr wrote:My next question is on how I would purchase it, and may speak to a more general purchasing question for units. If I want to buy the non-profit, or "charity" license, I am going to have to provide a 501C certificate to prove that we are a non-profit. Is there a church-wide 501C certificate that is available to units that need to demonstrate their non-profit status for purchases like this? Would our stake have our own?
I would think that the Tax Administration department would be your best source. I know that each stake has a federal EIN, but I don't know how that relates to a 501(c) certificate. I've always found the people in Tax Administration to be very helpful and they will be happy to redirect you to the correct department if this topic isn't their responsibility.

Tax Administration
50 East North Temple Street, Room 2223
Salt Lake City, UT 84150-3620
Telephone: 1-801-240-3003 or 1-800-453-3860, extension 2-3003
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clementsms
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#15

Post by clementsms »

for the non-profits that are my clients, I suggest that they register with "techsoup". there they can purchase MS software with volume licenses at very cheap prices. $20 per office installation ect. I do not know how this would work in a stake, I have never really looked into that. Also with techsoup, you are limited to one order a year of MS software, so you need to make sure you order everything you need, or wait til next year
Aczlan
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#16

Post by Aczlan »

clementsms wrote:for the non-profits that are my clients, I suggest that they register with "techsoup". there they can purchase MS software with volume licenses at very cheap prices. $20 per office installation ect. I do not know how this would work in a stake, I have never really looked into that. Also with techsoup, you are limited to one order a year of MS software, so you need to make sure you order everything you need, or wait til next year

Techsoup restricts you to one purchase of MS products (ie: Office, or Windows 7) every 2 years, but you can order additional licenses for your products (up to 50 total) one year after the initial purchase.
However (if I remember correctly), I dont think that the church would qualify to use Techsoup (unless the individual stakes are registered as 501c3 orgs) because Techsoup will not work with organizations who have a budget of over ~$1M/year.

Aaron Z
nathangg
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#17

Post by nathangg »

As far as TechSoup goes, I noticed a few Family History Centers and one stake show up as related organizations when you start the techsoup registration process, I wonder if they successfully registered?

  • Honolulu LDS Family History Center
  • Oakdale MN Family History Center
  • Ogden Regional Family History Center
  • Palmyra NY Stake
I started the registration process, but stopped at the qualification/verification process. Here is what techsoup needs in order to verify your organization:

https://www.techsoup.org/stock/download ... orm_US.pdf

Essentially, they need (best to read their PDF, but here is my summary):
  • The First Page of your 501(c)(3) determination letter
  • If the name of your organization doesn't match the name on the determination letter, they need a letter explaining why and also your contact information.
Anyhow, I'm not sure what to do next. Should I try to contact one of those family history centers or the Palmyra stake to see how they did it? Or just LUS? Or send a message through MLS?

I wonder how we'd go about getting a 501(c)(3) determination letter, or if that is even okay.

Thanks~!
rolfejr
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#18

Post by rolfejr »

aebrown wrote:I would think that the Tax Administration department would be your best source. I know that each stake has a federal EIN, but I don't know how that relates to a 501(c) certificate. I've always found the people in Tax Administration to be very helpful and they will be happy to redirect you to the correct department if this topic isn't their responsibility.

Tax Administration
50 East North Temple Street, Room 2223
Salt Lake City, UT 84150-3620
Telephone: 1-801-240-3003 or 1-800-453-3860, extension 2-3003
Thanks for this suggestion. I actually finally got around to calling them (kept forgetting during business hours, you know how it is). I spoke with Jeri Close, who said we are perfectly fine using the Corporation of the Presideing Bishopric 501(c) certificate as a stake or ward to validate non-profit status. She was very helpful and emailed it to me in PDF form. I plan to use this to set up a non-profit account for our stake with CDW and order the software. I'll let you know how it goes.
rolfejr
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#19

Post by rolfejr »

OK, I think I FINALLY have some definitive answers here. The church has a volume license agreement with Microsoft for purchases for headquarters, departments, BYU, etc. They don't want stakes/wards piggybacking off that agreement because it could potentially be a huge cost and maintenance/administration nightmare just to manage the licenses. Hence the encouragement to use Open Office. However, it also costs the church more for stakes/wards to just buy off the shelf when they should be able to buy at charity pricing. So the church also has a separate SELECT agreement with Microsoft that wards and stakes CAN use (with appropriate approval from local leaders of course). Softchoice is the reseller who administers church Microsoft contracts. A stake/ward can set up their own account with Softchoice and make purchases on this SELECT agreement with charity pricing. You have to make an initial purchase of 5 licenses (any qualifying Microsoft license, doesn't have to be Office) to qualify for the program. After that you can make single purchases for up to two years, at which time you would need to buy another 5 licenses to "get back in" to the program. Once you purchase the software Microsoft will send you an authorization code. Using that code you can login to Microsoft's volume licensing site to download software, get license keys, view purchases, etc. Each purchase will generate it's own authorization code, but they can all be associated with one central login to the licensing site.

So I am having Softchoice set up an account for our stake. We will then buy 5 copies of Office standard at $50.71 each (a little more than the cost of ONE off the shelf license!). Of course, you could go with Pro, or just Excel, etc. I have set up a stake login to Microsoft's licensing site where I will associate the purchase. Then when I move on, I can just pass on the login info for our stake for Softchoice and Microsoft to the next guy (a good reason we are using a generic stake gmail address). The stake technology specialist will manage Microsoft purchases (I know we have at least 5 wards who want to purchase Office and are waiting on our advice). We will then handle billing internally, whether the stake will incur the cost or split it out to the wards.

I've seen pretty rampant use of Microsoft Office throughout different wards and stakes - some copies someone just brought from home, sometimes bought off the shelf. Most of the time the current clerk has no idea where their copy of Office came from. This will give us a LEGAL, COST EFFECTIVE, CHURCH-APPROVED, and MANAGEABLE method of dealing with Microsoft Office, so I'm pretty excited about that.

If any one else would like to do this in their stake, the contact at Softchoice is Jon Brune. 1-888-607-7638 x4240. He is very good to work with and can get you set up with an account. I'm not encouraging wards and stakes to run out and abandon OpenOffice if that is working for you, but I AM encouraging you to use Microsoft Office in a legal and cost-effective way if you are already using it or have plans to.
rolfejr
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#20

Post by rolfejr »

Oh, and you can also buy software assurance (upgrade protection) when you buy your licenses if you choose, but given how often wards/stakes upgrade their hardware/software, I personally don't think it makes financial sense.
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