Streamline and Improve IT Procurement
The IT Procurement process is intended to manage the process of software and hardware acquisition while safeguarding the university from malicious or unsafe software or hardware products. The process may involve multiple reviews in the areas of IT security, law, accessibility, and finance, as well as vendors who may not be motivated to return answers to the university’s queries. Over recent years as demands for software and the corresponding backlog of software procurement requests have grown, the need to find new ways to streamline these processes and provide a higher level of customer service for our university constituents has become more urgent.
Two new processes have been developed and successfully piloted:
- Expedited procurement of low-risk, low-cost (LRLC) software and IT services, and
- Concierge-guided Process for Procuring Software and IT Services
How these new processes bring value to Virginia Tech:
During the Low-Risk, Low-Cost Software Procurement pilot, approximately 359 expedited procurements were completed, each taking an average of four days to process, plus 4 additional days to complete a HokieMart purchase, on average. This average duration of 8 days compared to an average of about 300 days to complete a software procurement through the traditional procurement process. The low-risk, low cost pilot process, combined with lessons learned from the pilot, has been put into place as standard practice for procurements meeting the low-risk, low-cost criteria, alleviating much of the IT procurement request backlog, and delivering an expedited way to satisfy broad demand across the university for low-risk, low-cost software.
The Concierge-Guided Software Pilot reduced delays and the need to rework software review requests that were filled out improperly. By allowing the concierge to guide the process, requesters were more confident that they were supplying the right information to expedite their review. The concierge pilot also improved understanding of the business requirements supporting the use of currently approved software titles (software currently listed in the Cobblestone contract management system), and of gaps that exist in Virginia Tech's software offerings. The concierge service expands a customer-focused approach for ITPALS, and includes the implementation of customer-service-oriented metrics to measure user satisfaction.
As both of these processes continue, there is a strong expectation that they will yield many additional benefits for the university.
Project Lead: Kenneth T. McCrery, Chief of Staff, Division of Information Technology
Mary Helmick, Assistant VP for Finance and Director of Procurement
Cheri Meador, Assistant Director, Contracts, P-card and Vendor Management
Angela Correa, Director, IT Communications
Karen Herrington, Director, IT Data Analytics and Visualization
Patty Branscome, Director, IT Procurement and Licensing Solutions
Erin Griffin, Assistant Director, Systems and Support
John Carpenter, IT Operational Excellence Manager
Andy Ratcliff, Application Analyst
Natalie Hughes, Procurement Process & Business Consultant
Ken McCrery, Chief of Staff, Division of IT