tidBiTS
Informs and engages the UNB community on IT developments and news

Management Briefing - IT Procurement

Author: ITS

Posted on Apr 9, 2014

Category: Management Briefings

Background Every year ITS manages procurement of millions of dollars’ worth of computing goods and services essential to the teaching and research mission of the university. Everything from computers and related equipment like printers and monitors, to enterprise‐wide and individual software applications, to maintenance contracts, to services such as Internet connectivity and outside phone lines, to smartphones, are purchased either for ITS use or on behalf of users across the university and beyond. The ITS procurement unit efficiently coordinates and manages thousands of transactions annually—it is one of our busiest service departments, ensuring UNB gets the best IT products, at the best prices, in the least amount of time, and in accordance with university policy. Policy framework IT procurement is conducted within a clearly defined policy environment. UNB’s Procurement Policy and Procedures are the primary reference documents, supported by the Personal Reimbursement Policy. Given the large scale of IT procurements, the New Brunswick Public Purchasing Act is also relevant, as are the Atlantic Procurement Agreement and the Agreement on Internal Trade. Normal practice—in place for many years—is to issue periodic requests for proposals (RFPs) to the market for commodity items such as network equipment, servers, desktop computers and laptops, printers, printer toner, anti‐virus software, Internet service, and, most recently, cellphones and smartphones including voice and data plans. When UNB, through ITS, enters into a contract with a vendor as a result of an RFP process and negotiation, everyone at the university benefits with access to high quality products proven to work within the university’s computing environment, at the most advantageous terms and conditions possible. Once such a contract has been entered into, it applies to all. UNB—and ITS—are obligated to enforce contractual conditions such as exclusivity, standard models and configurations, and payment terms. All faculty and staff are required to purchase IT items within this framework. There may be occasional exceptions, but these are rare and must be well documented and follow rigorous procedures. Major IT procurement areas - Internal to ITS – ITS itself consumes, as might be expected, a great deal of hardware and software. We purchase all the components and applications that make our networks and enterprise infrastructure and programs run smoothly. - External to ITS, internal to UNB – ITS orders, configures, and manages all computers and software paid for by operating funds, and much of that funded by research dollars as well. - External to UNB – ITS purchases equipment, software, and services for the Educational Computing Network (ECN), the consortium of higher‐ed institutions in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island delivering research and education computing resources and expertise across the region.

April 9, 2014 ‐ Terry Nikkel, AVP, ITS