Purchase Technology Process
The steps for purchasing technology and approximate timeline is outlined below:
Step 1: Submit completed Technology Purchase Request (TPR) Form (form required for non-standard purchases only)
- Contact the IT Helpdesk to request a Technology Purchase Request (TPR) form.
- Complete and submit the TPR form.
- This will ensure that IT understands the full details of your request so we can provide you the best solution to meet your needs.
- TIMEFRAME: as long as it takes for you to submit the form
Step 2: Review and Design (for non-standard purchases or larger projects/enhancements only)
- A member of the IT team will review the TPR form and contact you to discuss your request and review technical requirements. They can also help outline time needed for your request.
- TIMEFRAME: It can take 2 to 3 meetings to gather all the information required. Scheduling these meetings can sometimes take a lot of time (between your availability and technician availability). Please expect this initial process to take up to 2 months depending on the scope of your request. Sometimes the scope of your request requires facilities team members to be involved which also extends the time this step takes.
Step 3: Quotes and Purchase
- IT will provide you a list of equipment and vendors. You can then submit the list to the Purchasing department to get quotes. Sometimes a member of the IT team will assist you with the quotes from vendors and installers if additional clarity is needed.
- You then approve quotes for equipment and installation, and create the purchase requisitions to place your order.
- TIMEFRAME: This can take up to 4 weeks.
Step 4: Delivery and Processing
- The vendor delivers the equipment to VIU for IT to process (received and added to our asset tracking system).
- TIMEFRAME: Depending on the pieces ordered and the time of year this can take up to 8 weeks. Standard equipment is delivered and received quite quickly while non-standard equipment can take quite some time to get delivered. Delivery also takes longer during fiscal year end as vendors are shipping lots of technology and stock levels can be low. During the year IT usually receives and assets technology within 5 working days. However during fiscal year end there are a lot of purchases to receive and this can cause receiving to take 2 to 3 weeks.
Step 5: Installation
- A member of the IT team schedules setup and installation.
- TIMEFRAME: The timeline for this stage depends on the scope of the request and availability of IT team members, contractors, facilities team members, and rooms. Keep in mind, standard equipment can be installed much quicker than non-standard equipment.
Questions to Ask Before Purchasing Technology
The first question to consider is do you need standard or non-standard equipment. We have included the benefits of purchasing standard technology at the bottom of this page.
If you do decide you want non-standard equipment you will need to complete a Technology Purchase Request Form (TPR form) (Step 1 in the purchase process). Most standard technology will not require you to complete the TPR form. You can email email@example.com outlining your technology purchase request and we will send you a form to complete.
When completing the Technology Purchase Request Form (Step 1) please consider some of the below questions on how you plan to use the technology you have requested. This will help us understand the purpose of the request and determine the best technical solution to fit your needs and budget.
- Do you require network and/or power? Is there any available in the space you have allocated for your request?
- Will the technology be in a public space? Does it need to be secured?
- Does your request include or require any specialty software?
- Does your request include or require any specialty hardware? Will you be connecting any special devices like tablets, mobile phones, or microscopes?
- Do you need any restrictions applied to the use? For example do you only want students to be able to access a certain software but no internet.
- Will the request be used in specific environments? For example will you want a monitor that displays well in bright rooms or shows small details (like spreadsheets), or do you need speakers but it’s a loud space, etc.
Technology Purchase Guidelines
As a government organization VIU employees need to ensure that our purchases are fiscally responsible.
We also have to ensure that we follow government defined fair purchasing practices with our vendors. This means that we are required to purchase technology through vendor contracts that go up for proposal every few years.
As an organization we have to manage all technology assets, including software, through the different stages of its life cycle (which starts with the conception of the need for the asset, through to its disposal, and includes the managing of any potential post disposal liabilities).
All of these requirements and guidelines are why many VIU departments (including purchasing, finance, and information technology) have defined processes in place for purchasing, receiving, using, and recycling technology. They also explain why we want to avoid purchasing technology directly through retailers using your purchasing card, pd funds, or grant money.
Standard Versus Non-Standard Technology
IT Services has developed a set of standard technology that can be purchased for employees. While our standards sometimes cost a little more than purchasing a device directly from a retail store, there are reasons and advantages to purchasing the equipment that IT has vetted and established as standards.
- We select equipment that is commercial grade and is meant to function in an institutional/commercial environment. Most technology you purchase from a retailer is consumer grade. It is meant to get the amount of use a “home use” device would get. Consumer grade products often break down and wear out quicker in a work environment.
- We have negotiated service contracts with our service providers. This means that our equipment comes with warranties and will get serviced quicker than if you have to take the printer back to your retailer.
- IT technicians are familiar with our standards. This means that if there is a problem with the equipment we are in a much better position to get it working quickly for you. If IT is asked to work on non-standard specialty equipment it often takes longer and delays the resolution of other VIU requests and issues.
- We stock parts for our standard equipment. This means that we are often able to fix an issue quickly by swapping out parts that we have in stock.
- Finally, purchasing technology established as a VIU standard ensures there is no confusion about who provides support and deals with service.
Who Pays for What
Technology funding models can change as budgeting changes. VIU and IT sometimes receive temporary funding and grants to purchase new computers, upgrade old computers, and build classroom instructor stations. This funding is not guaranteed every year which means that some years IT does not have funding for these types of requests. This can lead to confusion and frustration when employees expect that funding to be available when they request new or upgraded technology.
Who can use this service?
When is this service available?
Support for this service is available: M-F 8:00 - 4:30
Service is available: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week except during scheduled and unscheduled maintenance.
Our technology advisory page provides up-to-date information about the operations of Vancouver Island University's Information Technology systems and services.