TechRefresh Frequently Asked Questions

HMS Information Technology

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How to Purchase Computers, Printers, Monitors, and Accessories

Shopping for a new computer or accessory can be done by faculty and staff within HMS who have access to the Harvard HCOM Online Shopping Portal.

Important: Please check with your lab or department administrator or finance manager prior to shopping for a new computer. Some departments have established procedures for purchasing through the HCOM Marketplace.

If you have questions about how to purchase or would like guidance on ordering a new computer, please email techrefresh@hms.harvard.edu

A General Overview of the Purchasing Process:

  • Log into the HCOM shopping portal (HarvardKey login required).
  • In the HCOM portal, click on the HCOM Marketplace icon to access the online stores.
  • Select the Apple or Dell Online punchout to search for computers.
    • The HMS Recommended models should appear as soon as you connect to the online store.
  • Select the model to purchase and submit the requisition.
  • Upon submission, you will be required to provide the delivery information, billing code and finance approver. This information is provided by your administrator or finance manager.
  • Once the order is approved by your finance manager it will be submitted to the vendor.
  • The vendor will confirm the order. Once the order is assembled it will be delivered. The requester will be notified via email several times during this process.

More information about using the HCOM Marketplace can be found on the Harvard Training Portal (HarvardKey login required).

Note: Some web browsers may not work correctly with the HCOM Marketplace. If you have difficulties, please try using a different browser.

General FAQs

What is HMS TechRefresh?

What are the benefits of the HMS TechRefresh program?

Who is elible to participate in the HMS TechRefresh Program?

How often is equipment updated?

How do find the serial number or asset number?

Is the HMS Endpoint Services Program installed on every TechRefresh computer?

Purchasing FAQs

How do I purchase a computer?

How do I purchase software licenses?

Who decides what kind of computer equipment I get?

Replacement FAQs

What are the equipment replacement lifecycles?

What if I want to buy a computer before the standard lifecycle time frame?

What do I do with my old computer?

Repair FAQs

What happens if my computer needs repair?

How long will a repair take? What if I need to use my computer while it is being repaired?

Software Licensing FAQs

What software comes with the standard computer setup?

 

General FAQs

What is HMS TechRefresh?

HMS TechRefresh is a computing equipment lifecycle management program available to HMS on quad departments. This HMS Information Technology program provides:

  • Recommendations for Standardized Dell and Apple desktop and laptop computers for departmental purchases at University discounts.
  • Access to University licensed software applications.
  • Lifecycle refresh reminders.

What are the benefits of the HMS TechRefresh program?

    • Lowered Costs: By purchasing from a list of cost effective standards that leverages Harvard-wide negotiated pricing (e.g. Dell), departments save money on their IT equipment.
    • Lifecycle tracking: HMS IT can tag and track computers so the department can be notified when a device is out of warranty or nearing its recommended end-of-life (EOL).
    • Loaner service: If a department purchases the recommended computer and the device has a problem, complimentary loaners are available (first come, first served) while your computer is being repaired.
    • Improved support: Implementation of the HMS Endpoint Services Program** for remote support and software deployment increases computer security, offers newly licensed software, reduces man-hours spent supporting devices and results in a quicker response to support issues.  The HMS Endpoint Services Program can also provide access to University licensed software at no additional cost to users who participate in the program.

    More information about the HMS Endpoint Services Program can be found at the HMS Endpoint Services Program web site.




    Who is eligible to participate in the HMS TechRefresh Program?

    All HMS/HSDM quad based faculty and staff are eligible to participate in this program.

    How often is equipment updated?

    The HMS Information Technology Hardware Standardization team regularly reviews computer recommendations based on vendor refresh cycles. At a minimum, equipment offerings will be reviewed on a yearly basis.

    How do find the serial number or asset number?

    Every computer will have a serial number located on it somewhere. In some cases, such as Dell desktops, it will be a Service Tag number, located on the top or back of the case. Some Apple desktop computers will have the serial number located on the bottom, or you can find the serial number using About this Mac, located under the Apple menu. Click the More Info... button to see the serial number.

    All laptop computers will have the serial number on the bottom.

    • Dell computers will have a white OR a black and silver asset label applied to them. Usually near the Service Tag label.
    • Apple computers may have black and silver asset label applied to them on the bottom

    The asset label will always be on the top or back of the desktop, or the bottom of the laptop, and have an 8-digit alpha-numeric text starting with HMS, with the following phrase on them:

    HMS Information Technology
    Need Help? 617-432-2000
    HMS000123

    Is the HMS Endpoint Services Program software installed on every TechRefresh computer?

    Yes.

    The HMS Endpoint Services Program utilizes an industry standard computer management software to support all HMS computers. This software allows HMS IT to configure your computer faster and more consistently, ensuring that it adheres to HMS Security requirements. It also allows HMS IT to provide a comprehensive inventory to department administrators and lab managers, as well as deploy software quicker and provide an enhanced level of support when needed.

    The use of industry standard systems management software ensures the computer and your data is more secure by better managing operating system and antivirus updates for your computer as well as securing your data through managed backup using CrashPlan.

    The HMS Endpoint Services Program software will be installed by your local Client Services Representative when the computer is initially setup.

    Purchasing FAQs

    How do I purchase a computer?

    Please check with your lab, department administrator, or finance manager prior to shopping for a new computer. Some departments have established procedures for purchasing through the HCOM Marketplace.

    If you still need assistance, please contact your departmental Client Services Representative who can assist you in purchasing a computer.

    How do I purchase software licenses?

    Software licenses for many applications are available from the SHI Store on the Harvard Crimson Online Marketplace (HCOMarketplace). Please check with your lab, department administrator, or finance manager for guidance on purchasing software. Some departments have established procedures for purchasing through the HCOM Marketplace.

    Who decides what kind of computer equipment I get?

    Your work responsibilities determine what type of computing equipment is appropriate for you. Individuals who travel or attend meetings will have a need for a light-weight laptop, while a standard tower would be more appropriate for those who primarily sit at a desk. Your departmental Client Services Representative can help you to determine the best computing equipment for you.

    Replacement Policies

    What are the equipment replacement lifecycles?

    Computing equipment lifecycles have been determined by balancing functionality and cost. The current purchase/replacement cycle is as follows:

    Laptops

    3 Years

    Desktops

    4 Years

    Monitors

    5 Years

    Printers

    7 Years

    What if I want to buy a computer before the standard Lifecycle time frame?

    The standard lifecycle timeframe is an industry suggested timeframe for replacing computers.  HMS IT does not mandate that computers be replaced at the end of the lifecycle, but we do strongly recommends keeping the computer in service for the recommended period of time to get maximum utility from the computer.
    There is no policy preventing a computer from being replaced before the recommended lifecycle, however doing so reduces the maximum return on investment in the computer.

    What do I do with my old computer?

    Disposition of the old computer is entirely up to you and your department.  If the computer is still serviceable, that is, if it is in good working order and not too old, then you may be able to hand it off to someone else in the department. If the computer is not functioning, is too old to be useful, or you simply do not need it, the HMS IT Office can either repurpose it to another department, or can have it securely and responsibly recycled.  Please contact your CSR or the IT Service Desk for more information.

    Repair and Loaner Policies

    What happens if my computer needs repair?

    Laptop and desktop computers covered under manufacturer’s warranty can be repaired by HMS IT technicians at no cost to you.

    Final warranty coverage is determined by the manufacturer.

    For out of warranty repairs, HMS IT can repair your equipment with a departmental billing code (object code 6681) to cover the cost of parts. In most cases there are no labor charges for for work done by HMS technicians. 

    How long will a repair take?

    Simple printer repairs requiring in-stock parts, can take as little as a day. For computers, if parts are required, a repair can take one week or more.

    Software Licensing Policies

    What software comes with the standard computer setup?

    Along with software preinstalled by the manufacturer, Harvard Medical School and Harvard University license certain software applications at no cost for On Quad Harvard Medical School faculty, staff, postdocs, student workers and temp workers.  These applications, listed below, are provided at no cost.

    Other applications such as an audio and video player, a PDF reader, remote connectivity and web browsers are also preinstalled on TechRefresh computers as part of the standard installation.

    Important Notes

    • All TechRefresh computers come preinstalled with the HMS Endpoint Services Program software. This software allows HMS IT to perform regular maintenance on the computer such as operating system and application updates, deploy additional free or licensed software on request and maintain a comprehensive computer inventory for lifecycle and warranty purposes.

    More information about the Endpoint Services Program can be found at the HMS Endpoint Services Program web site.
    Please review the HMS Information Technology Privacy Statement.

    Software shipped on all computers

    • Endpoint Services Program management software (Casper or LANDesk)
    • Adobe Viewer (PDF Viewer)
    • CrashPlan Backup Software
    • Antivirus software (ESET or equivalent)
    • FireFox
    • Google Chrome
    • Microsoft Lync
    • Microsoft Office (Current version; 32 bit for Windows)
    • Microsoft Silverlight
    • VLC

    Additional Software

    Additional software may be available in the HMS Self Service Portal for Macintosh or the LANDesk Portal Manager for Windows

    * Adobe Acrobat Professional is available at no cost to all HMS Faculty, Staff, Postdocs and student workers. 
    Note: All Windows applications are 64 bit unless otherwise noted. If you require specific versions of Windows applications, please speak with your CSR prior to placing an order through TechRefresh.

    Still have questions?

    If you can't find the answer you need on this page, please contact the HMS IT Service Desk at 617-432-2000 or send email to techrefresh@hms.harvard.edu.