Many software packages designed for distributed use have a little audit program which hands out licenses to client machines (so as to ensure that no more than the purchased licenses are being used at any one time).
I think that's the sort of program he's speaking of. I don't know of any centralised solution, but I know Adobe makes one for at least Acrobat and Quark definitely has one for QXP.
I don't know what they're called though - just that my Uni uses them.
Unfortunately, this is as close as you can get to what you are looking for. I recommended it for purchase for our IT dept. but not sure if they are using it. (I do prepress tech support)
Hope this helps.......