Faculty Computer Purchase Program - Ordering Exception

Last Updated: 01/26/2018

Why Standard Computers? 

Items on the Standard Models List are evaluated and recommended by OIT (ensuring that the equipment can be supported in our campus IT environment), and the university has negotiated pricing agreements with these vendors. Ordering from this list ensures that your computer will be effective at fulfilling the academic mission for which this program provides funding.

All Dell and Apple systems available via the CU Marketplace are part of the standard model list. When you purchase a Dell computer through the CU Marketplace, you are purchasing by way of a competed agreement that CU managed on its own. Because of that, CU has very close relationships with Dell account team members and are able to provide specific and direct contact information for assistance with our contracted items. We also have close relationships with Apple account team members and assigned direct contacts. With other vendors, we have few direct contacts and no leverage to enforce good service.

Additionally, purchasing via the CU Marketplace benefits the university by: Guaranteed university contract pricing, no possibility of paying sales tax, no work time spent driving to and from retail outlets, and administrative efficiency (using the established B2B mechanisms, versus the allocation process for a P-card purchase).

Non-Standard Computers 

We recognize that not every need will be met by standard models. To purchase a non-standard computer, please follow these steps before purchasing:

  1. Ensure that the non-standard computer that you intend to purchase meets the current campus recommendations.
    • Any Apple models in this list are automatically approved provided they meet the campus minimum recommended specifications: MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, iMac, iMac Pro, Mac Pro, Mac Mini.
    • Any Dell models in this list are automatically approved provided they meet the campus minimum recommended specifications: Latitude, Mobile Precision, OptiPlex, Precision.
    • Increasing the specification for any model in the standard models list (for example, increasing the RAM) does not require an exception.
  2. The computer should have a minimum of 3 years of manufacturer’s warranty service.
  3. Provide a business justification for purchasing a non-standard computer. This should answer the question: “What business needs do I have that are not met by the standard computer models?”
    • This provides useful feedback for us as we build the standard computer list. If there is a need or trend we are not addressing, we would like to be able to provide you with the resources to meet that need.
  4. Message fcpp@colorado.edu with a brief description of your needs.
  5. WAIT for a response from OIT from your ordering exception request, indicating that the request was approved, before purchasing your computer.

Tips for a successful exception request

  • Plan in advance - don’t wait until the last minute!
  • Check with your desktop support group to ensure that they are able to provide support for the computer.
  • Cost alone is not necessarily a justification. Beware of hidden costs or nonequivalent cost comparisons, such as a lack of or lesser hardware warranty.
  • Select an “enterprise”, “business” or “professional” class of device, rather than a “consumer” device. While consumer devices cost less, they do not have enterprise management features (such as vPro) and enterprise options like docking stations, and your desktop support group may have more difficulty supporting it in our enterprise IT environment. Often, the enterprise models are better designed, down to the level of internal components and protective features like a magnesium alloy shell and spill-resistant keyboards.