Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Hewlett-Packard contract expected to save university millions on desktops, laptops

Units at the university now can order desktop and laptop computers through a strategic contract with Hewlett-Packard (HP).

The contract, which is an integral component of the university's IT Rationalization and Strategic Sourcing Initiatives, is expected to save the institution nearly $6 million annually while offering the university a standardized selection of laptop and desktop computers. The ordering process for Apple computers is not impacted in any way by the HP strategic contract.


More information

Click here for information on ordering HP desktops and laptops through the university's new strategic contract.

• For answers to questions about the HP strategic contract, call 734-764-8212, option 1; or email

"Strategic sourcing involves establishing agreements with vendors that provide aggressive pricing on a wide variety of quality products and services in return for a commitment from the university to meet specific volume targets," says Nancy Hobbs, director of procurement services.

Hobbs went on to say that a cross-functional team that represented about 75 percent of annual expenditures on desktops and laptops evaluated proposals from a number of computer companies and tested a variety of products and configurations.

The team, which was led by Information and Technology Services and Procurement Services, included representation from the College of Engineering, LSA, the Medical School, the Institute for Social Research, the School of Dentistry and Medical Center Information Technology. Team members determined that HP could meet the university's diverse desktop and laptop needs, while saving the institution millions of dollars.

"This team did an exemplary job of carefully analyzing the computing needs of our faculty and staff while considering a number of proposals from computer companies," Hobbs says. "The team's collaborative approach included testing equipment, meeting with vendors, defining specifications, and gathering feedback from colleagues across the university. The evaluation process undertaken by this team was extremely thorough and resulted in the selection of a computer supplier that understands, and will be able to meet, the computing needs of our faculty and staff."

"As a world-class research university, U-M needs to be smart, disciplined and strategic about its IT expenditures," adds Laura Patterson, chief information officer. "This transition to HP is part of a long-term strategy to spend money more wisely on the technology we currently use, and invest in the next generation of technologies that will better support U-M in the future."

Outreach efforts already are under way across the university to help units learn how to use the HP contract. In addition, as part of Procurement Services' commitment to ensuring a seamless transition to HP, set-up and configuration training on HP desktops and laptops will be offered to IT staff across the university over the next several weeks.

"The university's success in achieving the expected savings relies on a commitment from units to using the HP contract and we encourage them to take advantage of this special pricing to help support the university's ongoing efforts to contain costs," Hobbs says. "We do understand there will be exceptions from time to time and a process is in place to accommodate these special circumstances."

Hobbs also notes that Procurement Services recently reorganized into commodity-based teams to more efficiently help units in all phases of the purchasing process and remain a center of expertise on negotiations, ultimately resulting in better terms, pricing and lower risks for the institution.