Procurement of IT equipment and accessories in the College of Sciences (CoS) is done in coordination with the Academic and Research Computing Services (ARCS) unit to help ensure compliance with Georgia Tech policy and improve supportability. This process enables ARCS to provide more reliable and consistent support to faculty, researchers, staff, and students, as well as serve as a consistent and informed point of reference for finance and administrative staff involved in purchasing. Our experience shows that when IT items are procured without this coordination, the result is much more likely to be unsuitable for the desired purpose, incur substantially higher overhead, and/or be unable to comply with GT policy.
We are sensitive to the concern that this practice has the potential to slightly delay the procurement of IT equipment, however such delays are negligible compared to typical procurement and shipping timelines. Moreover, the expertise and experience of the ARCS staff in the realm of technology purchases is a valuable addition that can easily prevent later frustrations and ensure appropriate oversight of Institute and sponsored resources. We also know that emergency situations happen, but they are rare and can be addressed as they arise.
In order to ensure computers and related IT items comply with GT policy, faculty, staff, and students needing IT should submit requests to email@example.com and include all of the following information:
ARCS will work with the individual to identify and quote options from approved vendors, determine a solution, execute the order and then receive, inventory, configure, and provide the technology to the individual. In most cases, ARCS is also available to provide support and maintain the IT items over their lifetime, and properly dispose of them in accordance with University System of Georgia requirements.
Staff receiving direct requests for IT purchases or approval for reimbursements will redirect the request to ARCS. P-Card holders shall ensure purchases are approved by ARCS before executing. Finance staff are responsible for ensuring that ARCS has approved the requested equipment and the equipment is allowed within the guidelines based on the source of funds (e.g. state vs. sponsored dollars).
- Can Apple computers, iPads, and similar devices be purchased from the GT Bookstore, Apple Stores, or other Retail locations?
No. Apple devices purchased from the Bookstore do not support Apple's Device Enrollment Program (DEP) used by GT's mandatory endpoint tools.
Should the Bookstore and Apple reach an agreement to allow the Bookstore to sell DEP devices, this will be updated and communicated.
- Are any IT items exempt from this policy?
Yes. IT adjacent and select accessories which do not need to be inventoried may be purchased directly. Examples include:
Storage Devices: Removable media such as USB keychains, disc media, etc., as long as it is not an SSD, HDD, Hybrid or similar device.
Cables, Adapters, Power Strips: Any cables including network, USB, video, power, etc., as long as these are not for highly specialized applications (i.e. fiber optic, Infiniband).
Phones: Landline or cordless based phones.
Privacy Screens: Any add on screens to reduce visibility by third party may be purchased directly by end users. End users must ensure that the screen is properly designed to fit their device.
- Do I have to get a warranty?
Purchase of a three-year on-site warranty for computers and laptops is a standard GT business practice. As such, all systems purchased for use at the College or Unit level shall meet or exceed this standard. For workstations, servers and any equipment with a total value of $3,000 or greater, it is highly recommended to extend the warranty to 5 years. Assembled systems are also subject to this practice where possible.
For laptops, especially tablet devices, the purchase of an accidental protection warranty is recommended, provided funds are available. Any other warranties which enhance or extend coverage above the 3-year period from the vendor are permitted.
- Can the system be custom built?
Priority will be given to purchasing desktops, laptops, workstations, and servers from State and GT approved vendors (such as Dell, Lenovo, Apple, Penguin Computing, Ace Computers, etc.) through GT Workday system.
Nevertheless, the critical role of instrument connected systems and systems with built-in computers in research labs is recognized. Should they be required, all efforts shall be made to ensure that these systems can comply as much as possible with Institute IT policies. It is critical that ARCS personnel be consulted early in the process.
Should the need arise where a pre-assembled computer from an authorized State vendor cannot satisfy a specific research need, and upon confirmation by ARCS that there are no other ways to satisfy said need within the State vendor system, the requestor shall work with ARCS to procure and assemble such systems. The procurement of parts should follow all applicable GT policies, including but not limited to DFARS 252.246-7007 GT policy on counterfeit components
Assembly of computer or IT related equipment from parts procured directly by end users, PI, lab members, etc., without approval from ARCS is prohibited. All computer systems in office environments shall be purchased from enterprise vendors.
Any assembled system with a total value of $3,000 or greater must be properly inventoried and a Fabricated Property Report completed, per the GT policy on Fabrication of Property.
- Can the device be engraved or permanently individualized?
No. All items purchased from GT funds, be it startup, state, or research/grant funded, are owned by Georgia Tech. They may not be engraved or permanently individualized. Requests to do so as part of an order result in GT Procurement rejecting the order.
- Does this apply to P-Card purchases and reimbursement requests?
Yes. All procurement paths, Workday POs, P-Card purchases, and reimbursement requests, require pre-approval. This includes business continuity purchases under the COVID-19 authorization. For the duration of GT Procurement's COVID-19 authorization, ARCS will maintain and provide a list of equipment pre-approved for reimbursement to unit financial managers.