The Computer Corner Closed...Now What?
The SMU Computer Corner closed at the end of March. At that time, IT researched a number of options that would allow the store to continuing running on campus. There were a number of factors involved in HiEd Inc's decision to close the on campus storefront. However, many of the same services that were delivered by the Computer Corner have been assumed by Technology Support Services. Although we can't replace all of the services, we do want to offer the services that will provide the most benefit to the campus community.
Technology Support Services was already placing most of the standard computer orders for the campus. We ordered bulk shipments which allowed us to negotiate better pricing on the equipment. We already had ordering processes defined with various vendors to purchase directly. Therefore, we are expanding those existing service channels to include printer orders and non standard computer configurations. We are working with the various vendors to streamline that ordering process as well as offer the best pricing possible. Because we are not offering this service for a profit, the equipment is sold at cost thus saving the University money!
The Financial Officers were asked to designate individuals within each area that would be authorized purchasers of equipment. These individuals have been granted access to the purchasing forms within our Online Support Center (help.smu.edu). These orders are handled currently by Abby Kinney. She is able to integrate these orders into the existing process for Technology Fund Allocation to ensure that the funding for the machines is covered by the right org.
Questions about new technology or non standard orders can be emailed to email@example.com. These will generate a ticket in the help desk software as well but will only be finalized with approval from the FO or approved purchaser.
Orders for consumables (toner, cables, etc) can be placed directly through the Office Depot website.
The Software License agreements have not been impacted by this change. Therefore, the Microsoft applications and Adobe applications are still offered to Faculty and Staff for work at home rights at a discount. We are still waiting on the discs for Microsoft products to be shipped to us. We hope to receive that shipment in the next few weeks. We are also working on making the Adobe software available for installation through ScholarBuys.com. Please remember, you are only eligible for the work at home software while you are employed at the University. The software should be removed from any devices upon your departure.
For personal computer purchases, we are in the process of developing a website with links to various vendors offering an SMU Discount. We are able to offer special bundles and discounts from Apple, Dell, and HP. The sites will be available in the next few weeks.
Students can obtain the discounted Adobe and Office products through VaristyBuys.com or by visiting the Microsoft or Adobe websites directly. Other applications such as SAS and Mathematica and are available for download directly from the OIT Website.
Hardware repair for students can be done at Office Depot or the vendor of your choice. Unfortunately, that is one service that we are unable at this time to replace.
Although the closing of the store brought many challenges, we are confident that this new process will benefit the campus community. By centralizing these purchases, we will be able to ensure that the institutional devices meet the required standards, streamline the inventory and installation process, and offer better pricing for the equipment.
If you have any questions about the new purchasing process, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Email Encryption Service
Do you send emails containing sensitive or private information to non SMU addresses? If so, you may want to sign up for our Email Encryption Service.
This service has been piloted by several departments for the past several months and is now available for faculty and staff. It is designed to ensure that the sensitive data (such as social security numbers, banking account numbers etc) are fully encrypted and can not be accessed by an unauthorized individual.
If you are interested in this service, please contact the IT Help Desk. Additional information is also available on the service page.