Due to the technical and often complex nature of technology-related purchases, William & Mary's Information Technology and Procurement departments have developed a specific acquisition process for those procurements. This process will ensure that the university community receives the best possible solution to their technology needs in an efficient manner at the best possible value.
All technology-related procurements share a common set of parameters that must be addressed before going forward with a purchase:
- Is there a solution within our current system?
- Is funding available?
- Is university data being shared with third parties?
- Does the vendor meet W&M required security standards?
- Do agreements contain necessary confidentiality clauses?
- Will the proposed technology work in our environment?
- Will data be loaded into our systems?
- Is the vendor aware of their responsibility in maintaining and upgrading systems?
- Is the purchaser aware of their responsibility in implementing the proposed solution?
- What IT resources will be needed to implement the proposed solution?
- Where does a specific purchase fall within the university's priorities?
- What is the proper procurement process to use? (University or Foundation)
- If it is a renewal, is there anything in our environment or the vendor's environment that has changed?
First Step - Submission
If a user has identified a particular technology issue, the user should contact IT as early in the process as possible by submitting the requirements/request to Request IT. After logging-in to Request IT, click on Buy Something, choose your type of request (Hardware & Accessories, Enterprise Applications, or Desktop Software), then select Purchase Approval Request or Procurement Review and fill-out the form. If you have a suggested solution (vendor/contract), please include that in the form as well. When complete, click Submit.
Second Step - Evaluation
The CIO's office will evaluate the request and investigate all possible solutions before the procurement process begins. Once a solution is chosen and funding is identified, each potential or active purchase is evaluated collaboratively by IT and Procurement to determine the priority for moving each individual project forward. Each task is evaluated on how it fits within W&M priorities as identified by the Board of Visitors and senior management, the criticality of the system to the efficient functioning of the university, available IT and Procurement resources and internal and task driven deadlines.
Third step - Prioritization
Each purchase is ranked in order to be addressed by both IT and Procurement. The responsible parties and actions are identified and assigned. Any communication regarding the prioritization comes through the CIO's and/or the Procurement Director's office.
Fourth step - Recommendation
When ready, a recommendation is provided to the submitter of the request with guidance for the next phase of the purchase process.
The cycle continues as old tasks are completed and new ones brought into the process.
Keys to a successful purchase submission
- Be sure funding is available and approved.
- Provide a clear, concise written summary of what the purchase is expected to deliver.
- Explain what viable alternatives may exist.
- Share all available documentation.
- Identify any critical deadlines that might be associated with the procurement.
Note: If any data is going to be needed/exchanged from/with any IT system as a result of the purchase, the appropriate data owner will need to be contacted and approval granted before the purchase is made.