Frequently Asked Questions

Is volume software licensing (VSL) an option for my company?
Volume licensing programs are designed for organizations that need to provide a particular software product to multiple employees. Minimum requirements vary by publisher, but generally speaking, volume licensing is beneficial in cases where you need five or more copies. If you need less than five copies, multiuser retail packs might be a good alternative.

With a VSL program, how long will my company own the license?
The term of the license agreement varies by program. Some programs provide a perpetual license, which means you are compliant as long as the software is in use. Upgrades and support are covered separately and typically renew on an annual basis.

What is a "media kit" and how do I get one?
When you purchase software under a volume licensing program, some publishers provide you with a media kit consisting of disks containing the software and documentation. You can then copy the software on as many systems as your licensing program allows. Some software publishers give you the option to download the software from a website.

Can I purchase software in volume online?
Dell sells software online to customers who typically buy less than five copies of a software title, in which case, minimum requirements and contract validation are not an issue. If you need five or more copies of a title, you should consider entering a volume licensing agreement. To do so, your best option is to contact the Dell™ VSL team for assistance. Your Dell account manager will give you all the options and ensure that you are set up with the program that best meets your needs at the best possible price.

If a new version of my software is released within my license period, will my company be eligible for an upgrade?
Upgrade eligibility is defined by the software publisher as described in the maintenance terms of your VSL agreement.

Is technical support available with volume licensing?
Yes. Software publishers directly support and maintain your volume-licensed software according to the maintenance terms described in your VSL program.

Who do I contact if I experience a problem with my software — Dell or the software publisher?
Typically, you contact the software publisher. It is a standard practice in the software industry for the publisher to directly support and maintain volume-licensed software according to the maintenance terms described in your VSL program.

How do I renew my license?
The renewal process varies from publisher to publisher. Your Dell account manager can assist you and answer any questions you may have about the details of your program.

After purchase, do I still direct my questions to my Dell account manager or do I work with a software specialist?
Your Dell account manager is the main point of contact who will continually monitor your account, answer your questions and connect you with the right software specialists to help meet your needs as they arise.

What is a "contractual" versus "transactional" program?
There are three main types of volume licensing programs offered by publishers: transactional, contractual and subscription. Each program is specific to the publisher, and includes their specific terms and rules. The table below gives you a general comparison of these common program structures.   

 Transactional License ProgramContractual License ProgramSubscription License Program

Program Type



Transactional (noncontractual)ContractualContractual

Organizations Served



Generally aimed at any sized organization that wants the maximum flexibility in a licensing programGenerally aimed at medium to large organizations that are able to commit to purchase requirements to get greater discountsGenerally aimed at any sized organization that prefers to rent rather than own software rights

Key Benefits



Often gives you the benefit of volume pricing with little or no purchasing commitments or other program requirementsDiscount levels are often based on "points" that may be cumulative over the term of the program and earn higher discount levels based on volume over time Generally, renting access to software rather than owning licenses outright makes it more affordable; you generally have access to upgrade and technical support as part of your subscription

Signed Contract Required?



No. Transactional programs generally apply on a transaction-by-transaction basis and don’t require contractsUsually. Some programs require paper contracts, others only require electronic agreementSometimes there is a subscription contract, often not




Usually, there is no term associated with these programs — each transaction is treated individuallyThe term of the program is usually specified between 1 and 3 yearsThe term of the subscription is usually specified between 1 and 3 years; sometimes, multiyear subscriptions are available at discount compared to 1-year subscriptions

Forecasting Required?



NoSometimes discount levels are based on forecasted needsNo

Minimum Purchase Required?



No. With some programs, you enjoy a standard discount level; with others, your order size may determine your discount levelYes. Usually, there is a minimum initial order size specifiedUsually, the minimum purchase is one subscription

Minimum Reorder? 



No. The applicable discount level is applied to each transactionSometimes a minimum reorder is specified, sometimes not; often, discount level improves by volume purchased over the term of the programNo. Usually, there are no minimums; in some cases, you get better pricing based on the number of subscriptions you order.

Upgrade Protection



Typically, upgrade protection is available for purchase, though it may be included in some cases.Typically, upgrade protection is available for purchase, though it may be included in some cases.Often upgrade support is an included benefit of the program; sometimes it is available for purchase.

Technical Support



Typically, technical support is available for purchase, though it may be included in some casesTypically, technical support is available for purchase, though it may be included in some casesOften, technical support is an included benefit of the program; sometimes, it is available for purchase
MediaOften, CD media is available for purchase. In some areas, Electronic Download (ED) may be availableOften, CD media is available for purchase. In some areas, ED may be availableOften, media is not applicable to these programs; if applicable, it is usually available for purchase on CD

  1. Glossary of Licensing Terms

    This glossary includes terms used in volume software licensing.