TechRefresh Frequently Asked Questions

HMS Information Technology

More... Share to Twitter Share to Facebook

HMS TechRefresh - Frequently Asked 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.

General FAQs

What is HMS TechRefresh?

What are the benefits in participating in the HMS TechRefresh program?

Who is elible to participate in the HMS TechRefresh Program?

How often is equipment updated?

Will the HMS techREFRESH Program include mobile phones or tablets?

Can I purchase a "non-standard" computer?

How do find the serial number or asset number?

Can I opt-out of the HMS Endpoint Services Program?

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

Purchasing FAQs

How do I purchase a computer through the TechRefresh program?

Can I purchase a computer for home use through HMS TechRefresh?

Why can’t I use an object code other than 6750?

Is there tax or shipping on my purchase?

How long will it take between the time I place my order and the time the computer arrives?

Who are the Financial Approvers?

I am a Financial Approver.  What are my responsibilities?

Who decides what kind of computer equipment I get?

What browser can I use to access the Self Service Portal?

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?

Can I borrow a loaner for home use or to use for travel?

Software Licensing FAQs

What software comes with the standard computer setup?

How do I purchase software licenses for applications not pre-installed?

General FAQs

What is HMS TechRefresh?

HMS TechRefresh is a computing equipment lifecycle management program available to HMS/HSDM on quad faculty and staff. This HMS Information Technology program provides:

  • Discounted desktop and laptop computers as well as printers for departmental purchases
  • University licensed software applications
  • Upgrades, maintenance and repairs 
  • Lifecycle refresh reminders

What are the benefits in participating in 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.
    • Ease of provisioning: The administrative overhead of purchasing provided by HMS IT including consultation on hardware/software purchases.
    • Speed of delivery: Selecting a standard in stock device enables HMS IT to schedule delivery of a computer within 5 - 7 business days with standard applications already installed.
    • Lifecycle tracking: HMS IT tags and tracks the item 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 HMS site licensed software at no additional cost to users who participate in the program.

    You may at any time opt-out of the HMS Endpoint Services Program and request the software be removed from the computer by contacting your local Client Services Representative. If you choose to opt-out of the HMS Endpoint Services Program, HMS IT remains committed to providing the highest quality of support available. Individual organizational units, such as administrative departments with high risk roles (e.g. Finance, Admissions, Payroll, Registrar, HR) will choose to require participation in the program for their staff to ensure proper protection of their computer systems.

    If you do opt-out some new and improved service offerings may not be available to you as they will require HMS Endpoint services being installed on your computer.  Certain software applications may require participation in the program in order to be compliant with the licensing agreements or state or federal law.

    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 and updates computing equipment in stock based on vendor refresh cycles. At a minimum, equipment offerings will be reviewed on a yearly basis.

    Will the HMS TechRefresh Program include mobile phones or tablets?

    Mobile phones and tablets are not included at this time. We do plan to provide standards for mobile devices in the future.

    Can I purchase a non-standard computer?

    If you and your departmental Client Services Representative feel that your needs would be better served by a different computer, you can customize your own system. Be aware that "built-to-order" systems take more time to be delivered, seven (7) or more days, depending on device availability.

    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.

    All computers purchased through the TechRefresh program will have an asset label applied to them.  The asset label will always be on the top or back of the desktop, or the bottom of the laptop.  Asset labels are black and silver, and have an 8 digit alpha-numeric text starting with HMS, and have the following phrase on them:

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

    Can I opt-out of the HMS Endpoint Services Program?

    The HMS Endpoint Service Program is an opt-out computer systems management service.  If you choose to opt-out of the HMS Endpoint Services Program, HMS IT remains committed to providing the highest quality of support available. However, some new and improved service offerings may depend on HMS Endpoint services being installed on your computer.

    You may at any time opt-out of the HMS Endpoint Services Program and request the software be removed from the computer by contacting your local Client Services Representative.

    For important privacy information, please visit the HMS Endpoint Services Program web site, and the HMS IT Privacy Statement.

    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 package on all TechRefresh computers, both Standard and Configure-To-Order.  This software allows HMS IT to configure your computer faster and to your specific needs.  It also allows HMS IT to provide a comprehensive inventory to department administrators and lab managers, as well as deploy site licenses 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 and managed encryption.





    All HMS Faculty, Staff and postdocs with an HMS supported computer are eligible for the HMS Endpoint Services Program.

    Purchasing FAQs

    How do I purchase a computer through the HMS TechRefresh Program?

    1. Connect to the TechRefresh Self Service Portal, located here: http://shoptechrefresh.hms.harvard.edu
    2. Login with your HMS eCommons credentials.
      Note: Users must log on with their personal, not departmental, accounts.
    3. Click on Order a Computer, Order a Printer or Order a Monitor.
    4. Review the selection of available products.
    5. Click on a Product Name to order the item.
    6. Click Add to Cart. Continue shopping to add more items if desired.
    7. If you’ve ordered a computer need to answer the following questions:
      1. “Will this computer replace an existing Computer?” The default is NO.
      2. If you are able to identify the serial number, computer name or an asset number on the old computer, please enter it. This field is not required.
      3. If you answered YES, another question will will appear: “Will this computer replace an existing Computer?”
        1. Select Re-allocate to a different user if the computer will be reassigned to another user or function within the department.
        2. Select Recycle if the computer needs to be recycled, or it can repurposed to another department within HMS.
    8. Click Proceed to Checkout.
    9. Confirm that the recipient and delivery address are correct.
    10. Enter any special instructions if needed.
    11. Enter the 33 digit HU billing code.  Note that the Object Code is pre-entered.
      1. All fields are required.
      2. When you enter the ORG code, the Financial Approver for that ORG will automatically appear. The Financial Approver will receive an email when the order is placed.
    12. Click to view the Usage Agreement. This is not required to complete the order.
    13. Click Submit Order (I agree to the policy) to finalize the order.
    14. After clicking Submit Order, you will see the Order Confirmation screen.

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

    Can I purchase a computer for home use through HMS TechRefresh?

    If your department wishes to purchase you a computer to work from home, yes. Computers for personal use should be purchased directly through the vendor. Additional information about purchasing a computer for home use can be found on the Harvard University Information Technology web site.

    Why can’t I use an object code other than 6750?

    According to the HU chart of accounts, 6750 is the only object code available for computer hardware purchases under $5,000. If you need to place an order using a different Object Code, submit the request using 6750, and add a note in the special instructions field with the preferred Object Code.

    Is there tax or shipping on my purchase?

    No. Harvard University is tax exempt, therefore we do not pay taxes on these products when we order them, so you do not pay taxes when you order. The prices indicated in the shopping portal will include any shipping charges that are charged to HMS by the manufacturer.  The TechRefresh Program does not add any additional charges of any kind.

    How long will it take between the time I place my order and the time the computer arrives?

    The TechRefresh Program is committing to scheduling a delivery of your computer within 1-3 business days from the time the request is approved by your financial manager.

    Who are the Financial Approvers?

    Financial approvers are provided by the HMS Finance Department. It is a group of approximately 40 identified Departmental Financial Managers. This does not include grants managers. This list is modified as needed by the HMS Finance Department.

    I am a Financial Approver.  What are my responsibilities?

    As an approver, you may receive an email when a new computer is requested via TechRefresh.  When you receive this email, there are several things you need to do:

    1. The first thing you should do is be sure you are aware of the order.  You should find in the email the name of the person making the request, what they are requesting, and the total cost of the order.
    2. Verify the billing code being used is correct.
    3. You can do one of 4 things, using the links in the email:
      1. Approve the order. Simply click the Approve link to approve it.
      2. Reject the order.  Click the Reject link to reject the order.
      3. Click to view the Approval Request.
      4. Click to view the Request

    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.

    What browser can I use to access the Self Service Portal?

    The Self Service Portal has been successfully tested with Internet explorer (Version 10 and higher), Firefox, Chrome and Safari (version 4.0 and higher). Other browsers may work, but have not been tested.

    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?

    Laptops and desktops purchased through the HMS TechRefresh program are automatically covered by a 3-year warranty.  When under warranty, HMS IT repairs your equipment (parts and labor) at no cost to you. 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 while labor charges are covered by HMS IT.

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

    Simple printer repairs requiring in-stock parts, can take as little as a day. If parts need to be ordered, a repair can take one week or more. However, HMS IT will provide a loaner computer for you to use if you will be unable to use your computer for more than half of a workday.

    Can I borrow a loaner for home use or to use for travel?

    Our loaner fleet is for on-quad use, so that you can continue working while IT technicians repair your computer. If your Harvard purchased work from home computer needs repair, you can borrow a loaner. HMS IT does not lend out computers for personal use.

    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.
    • The HMS Endpoint Service Program is an opt-out computer systems management service. If you choose to opt-out of the HMS Endpoint Services Program, HMS IT remains committed to providing the highest quality of support available. However, some new and improved service offerings may depend on HMS Endpoint services being installed on your computer.
    • You may at any time opt-out of the HMS Endpoint Services Program and request the software be removed from the computer by contacting your local Client Services Representative.

    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

    • * Adobe Acrobat Professional OR Adobe Reader v. 11
    • Endpoint Services Program management software (Casper or LANDesk)
    • 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. This software is ONLY available through the Endpoint Services Systems Management Program. If you choose to not participate in this program, we will install Adobe Acrobat Reader on the computer.

    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.

    How do I purchase software licenses for applications not pre-installed?

    Software licenses are available from the Harvard Crimson Online Marketplace (HCOMarketplace). You must be an authorized purchaser to access the HCOMarketplace. If you are not an authorized purchaser, you can learn more about HCOMarketplace here (login required). In most cases, applications can be installed for you by your departmental Client Services Representative once you have acquired a valid license.