Press Release - Latest Software Agreement Brings Virus Protection

August 14, 2000

Latest Software Agreement Brings Virus Protection to More Than 45,000 Maryland Desktops

The latest in a series of groundbreaking software licensing agreements by an education consortium led by the University System of Maryland (USM) has resulted in sophisticated anti-virus software being made available to more than 45,000 computers in Maryland schools, from public universities to independent K-12 institutions.

The Maryland Education Enterprise Consortium (MEEC) agreement covers 39 separate education entities in Maryland, including seven USM institutions. Several more MEEC institutions are expected to join the anti-virus agreement during the next two years as their existing contracts for protective software expire. The agreement provides software licenses for all faculty, staff and students in the higher-education institutions. Students in K-12 settings are not licensed, but all faculty and staff in participating primary and secondary participating schools are covered.

Donald N. Langenberg, chancellor of the University System of Maryland and the originator of the MEEC concept, said the anti-virus software is an absolute necessity in an era of high-tech interconnectedness that spans international borders.

"With MEEC we have gotten into the business of providing quality software to people in all kinds of Maryland schools," Langenberg said. "It's a natural outcome of that enterprise that we would also offer protection for the software. Computer viruses have become commonplace, but the havoc they wreak is something we don't just have to get used to. I applaud MEEC for introducing a measure of safety into the process of making software easily available for our students and teachers."

The anti-virus tools made available by the agreement are featured in the McAfee Total Virus Defense Suite of Products. They include WebShield, NetShield, VirusScan, and GroupShield.

MEEC's initial agreement from July 1999 - to provide a portfolio of Microsoft products to educational institutions both public and private - has resulted in the placement of more than 155,000 copies of the software on PCs in Maryland schools. More than 40,000 student licenses for the software have been issued for use on students' computers, bringing the total number of licenses to just over 195,000. The income generated by the agreement tops $3 million.

ECS Technologies, Inc. of Baltimore, a reseller for Network Associates, Inc., of Dallas, TX will provide the software at a substantial discount. The USM Service Center will oversee the job.

Because of its size, the University System of Maryland can leverage its buying power by negotiating high volume contracts. This model of economies of scale is a natural outgrowth of the USM's initiative to develop synergies between the primary, secondary, and higher-education sectors.


Chris Hart
Phone: 301/445-2739