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In September of 2017 the CCI program distributed a survey to the CTC listserv, the results of which are below.

We also received a lot of great comments and feedback on the services and products offered through the CCI Program. Most of the comments and suggestions for improvement fit into one of the five themes listed below.  Beneath each theme are the actions taken and responses to the questions and suggestions.

It would be great to recommend accessories with certain computers rather than having to research what is compatible.

We know that purchasing CCI computers and accessories can at times be challenging when using the eProcurement website. We would like you to know that we are always working with vendors and UNC Procurement Services to ensure the best possible purchasing experience. In response to the feedback that we received in the survey we have changed the CCI Departmental Accessories pages to a model based approach. For example, if you are looking to add memory to a M710 Tiny Desktop, in the previous design you would navigate to the accessories page, then to the memory options page and choose either the 8Gb or 16Gb page. Lastly you would then need to find the memory module that was compatible with your model. With the new design you only need to navigate to the departmental accessories page where you will see a list of CCI computer models. When you choose the model you are purchasing for you will get an expanded list of common accessories that are compatible with that model.

CCI Departmental Accessories: http://cci.unc.edu/departmental-purchases/accessories/

Why does CCI limit the choice of models and vendors?

There are a number of benefits to the University, departments and individual CCI customers that result from choosing a single PC vendor and from consolidating our computer purchases on a limited number of computer models.  Reduced costs and faster service being the primary of those benefits.  Having a single PC hardware vendor allows all University affiliates to leverage larger volume discounts on their computer purchases to get reduced purchasing prices.  The current CCI contract resulted from a competitive bidding process in 2016 where all computer hardware manufacturers were encouraged to participate and submit a bid.  The selected vendor, Lenovo, was the unanimous choice of a committee representing academic and administrative units from across the University.

Additionally, 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.

The Carolina Computing Initiative was created with the primary goal of providing high value computing options to students, staff and faculty. This includes warranty options that extend throughout the life-cycle of the computer, efficient and effective on-campus service, software that targets UNC users and durable, business ready computers at the lowest price possible.

Customers would love to see other options available.

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 that 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.

It would be nice to have the ability for custom builds of hardware such as requesting more RAM.

We agree!  We have been working with UNC Purchasing Services and Lenovo to add the ability to customize the CCI models so that 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.  Currently there is no date for when this custom configuration option will be available, however it is being actively pursued and we will provide an update as soon as there is an expected release date. In the interim, please continue to request your custom CCI configuration through the Combined Purchasing Initiative or contact Suzi Conti for assistance.

Additional Support Webpages:

While there were some common themes in the responses, there were also a wide range of topics mentioned. CCI has some additional support webpages on the UNC help site. We’ve updated and added to these pages based on feedback received in the survey. You can find many answers to commonly asked questions on the Departmental FAQ page and you can see exactly what settings and software is included in the CCI software pre-load.

FAQ: http://help.unc.edu/help/carolina-computing-initiative-cci-departmental-faq/

CCI Software Preload: http://help.unc.edu/help/cci-image-configuration-settings-windows-10/

CCI Committees:

We received some feedback on both the hardware selection and software pre-load that we will be taking to the respective CCI committees for further discussion.