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Non-Mandatory Personal Computer Contract Established
by Byron Watanabe

A new Intel Personal Computer (PC) Contract for the University of Hawaii was put into effect on January 01, 2000. The new contract includes significant changes from previous PC contracts. This article provides a summary of the changes and options available when purchasing Intel-based personal computers.

Three major changes are included in the new contract. These changes were prompted by departmental feedback. First, departments are no longer required to purchase PCs from the contract; its use is optional rather than mandatory. In addition, warranty coverage for new PCs has been adjusted and a Web site has been provided with current prices and to allow custom configuration of systems.

Thirteen vendors submitted bids for the Intel PC contract. Personal Designed Computer Systems (PDCS) supplied the lowest bid and was awarded the contract. Interested parties may contact the Office of Procurement, Real Property & Risk Management (OPRPRM) for detailed information on the bid.

This "non-requirement" contract allows departments to follow normal procurement procedures when purchasing PCs that are not on contract. Note that ITS will provide priority support for PCs purchased from University contracts. ITS will attempt to assist with other PCs purchased outside of the contract on a time-available basis. Each brand of PC has their unique problems and with so many different brands, it is impossible for ITS to support them all. Departments should be prepared to seek help from their vendor directly should they decide not to purchase from ITS-supported contracts. It is highly recommended that departments purchase extended warranties when purchasing systems to avoid costly out-of-warranty repairs.

Warranty coverage has been adjusted. A one-year carry-in warranty was selected to keep the price of the Celeron PCs as low as possible. The option to purchase a three-year on-site warranty for Celeron PCs is still available. The Pentium II and III will start with a three-year carry-in warranty, or you can choose a three-year on-site warranty. For standard Pentium systems, we opted to go with the three-year carry-in warranty because it proved to be a better value for the few additional dollars. All warranty coverage includes the cost for parts and labor. All monitors come with a three-year express exchange warranty. With express exchange, Viewsonic can be called directly and they will ship a replacement monitor to you. Viewsonic will cover ALL shipping costs. For departments purchasing monitors outside of the contract, be sure to carefully review the warranty for the monitors. The monitor may come with a three-year warranty but may not cover the cost for sending the broken monitor to the vendor. The average cost for shipping and insurance is about $125 - $150.

The contract includes a requirement for PDCS to provide a Web site where departments can get current prices and configure custom systems. Current prices are already posted and PDCS is continuing to fine-tune the feature to allow custom configuration of systems. The Web page is being designed to provide e-mail quotes for custom systems. The Web site is located at ftm.pdcsystems.com/corporate/uh/index.html. Enter the username 'UH' with password '2000'.

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