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The Carolina Computing Initiative (CCI) program found that an overwhelming majority of respondents were satisfied — either “extremely” or “somewhat” — with the selection and quality of offered computer models, the software pre-load and the CCI program overall.

CCI, a program within UNC-Chapel Hill ITS, distributed the survey to the Carolina Technology Consultants’ (CTC) listserv in September.

Most respondents said they were extremely satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the selection of computer models available through the CCI program, the quality of computers available through the program, the software pre-load on the CCI computer models and with the CCI program overall.

Four pie charts show respondents were overwelmingly satisfiedThrough the survey, CCI also received helpful comments and feedback on its services and products. Most of the comments and suggestions for improvement fit into these themes:

  • It would be great to recommend accessories with certain computers rather than having to research what is compatible.
  • Why does CCI limit the choice of models and vendors?
  • Customers would love to see other options.
  • It would be nice to have the ability for custom builds of hardware, such as requesting more RAM.

Benefits to single vendor

The University, departments and individual CCI customers benefit in many ways from agreeing on a single personal-computer vendor and consolidating computer purchases on a limited number of computer models. Reduced costs and faster service are two of the primary benefits, CCI explained in its survey results.

“Having a single PC hardware vendor allows all University affiliates to leverage larger volume discounts on their computer purchases to get reduced purchasing prices,” CCI said. “The selected vendor, Lenovo, was the unanimous choice of a committee representing academic and administrative units from across the University.”

Also, CCI said, “by carefully and deliberately selecting specific computer models and hardware specifications, the Computer Repair Center is able to stock nearly all replacement parts, which leads to more efficient service and support, as well as further reduced costs for CCI customers.”

Customers want more options

As for the feedback that customers would like additional options, CCI said, “We understand that customers have individual needs and in some cases prefer the freedom to choose their brand or model of computer. For those customers who are in need of more choice, UNC-GA has created the Combined Purchasing Initiative. The Combined Purchasing Initiative (CPI) expands on the availability of computer options, but reduces the overall discount when compared to CCI. Lenovo also offers custom configurations outside of the CCI selection at a discounted price.”

Pursuing custom configurations

CCI said it continues to work with UNC Purchasing Services and Lenovo to add the ability to customize the CCI models so customers can configure some hardware specifications and still take advantage of the CCI discount rates and services.

“This is and has been a top priority for improving our service and product offerings,” CCI said. CCI has no date yet for when a custom configuration option will be available.

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