Purchasing Assistance

EdIT staff are happy to help with new equipment purchases.  However, for a more efficient process, please contactced_help@ncsu.edu with your general needs before you start researching your next computer.

The State of North Carolina and the University have adopted a Computer Purchasing Initiative, or CPI.  CPI approves a very specific list of hardware vendors and models for purchase by the University.  (Specific configurations tend to change quarterly or when new processors or other technology is released.)  By focusing on specific vendors and models, CPI reduces the total cost of computers by obtaining volume discounts, reducing support costs, and ensuring machines include acceptable warranties.  This ensures faculty and staff have access to the technology they need while maximizing the University’s budget.

This means:

  • Most makes of computers available to you as a consumer are not available to you as an employee.  For example, the college’s vendors of choice are Dell and Apple for ultrabooks, laptops, and desktops.  We also use Lenovo for ultrabooks.  Other vendors may not be on PCI because of unacceptable support terms, price, or inability to integrate with the University’s purchase process, thus adding additional cost to the machine.
  • Most models of computers, even from an acceptable vendor, are not available.  Dell, for example, may have 20+ models on sale at any time.  Without concentrating on a few models, there’s no way to get volume pricing, support terms vary based on the models, and supporting that number of machines drives up support costs.
  • Computers must be purchased through Marketplace, the University’s procurement portal.  We can not purchase computers through consumer retailers like Amazon or Best Buy nor through sites like Dell’s consumer web store.