Computer and IT Purchasing FAQs
Where will my order be shipped?
This must be arranged with the vendor when placing your order. Typically it will be shipped to your location.
If the computer will not be installed right away please plan on having space to store your equipment.
How long will it take to get my order?
Arrival times can vary with each order, please check with the vendor. It may also be posted on their website or in any email correspondence when ordering.
What is required to set up a computer?
We've created a checklist to help anyone setting up a computer for staff use at CUMC, including steps that should be taken before and after the computer arrives.
The department or owner is responsible for arranging set up. Some groups have their own IT staff or use CUMC IT technicians for installation (see the following FAQ), please check with your supervisor or Department Administrator if you are not sure.
Can CUMC IT technicians set up my computer?
Yes, please contact us well in advance by calling 5-Help, option 5, or submitting the Computer Installation form. Be sure to review our support and billing page for more information.
What software is on a new computer?
Can CUMC IT technicians install software for me?
The vendor will typically only have the operating system and some basic programs installed, please verify when ordering and read the following FAQs for more help.
Yes, please contact us at 5-Help, option 5, or submit the Software Installation form.
Where can I get additional software?
A list of University and Medical Center site licensed programs are on the Software Downloads page, while information on CUMC-specific programs can be found on the Applications and Access page.
Departments and owners are in charge of obtaining and keeping additional licenses, installation media and related items. The Columbia University Finance Purchasing guide has information on purchasing software.
Can I order a pre-tested model with some changes, such as a different amount of memory?
Yes, we have posted recommended hardware configurations for help in choosing components for computers used at CUMC.
Please keep in mind that differences in hardware on the pre-tested models can require additional support time and materials for installation or troubleshooting by CUMC IT.
If I use CUMC IT for computer support, do I have to purchase a pre-tested model?
It is not required, however we strongly recommend it. The models are pre-tested for compatibility with Medical Center security policies, programs and technical resources, and use an image - a pre-configured package of software and drivers - for quick set up and support. Other models must be individually verified for compatibility and cannot use an image, which requires more time for configuration and troubleshooting.
How do I purchase a printer, smartphone, or other equipment?
Visit the Columbia University Purchasing Guide and use the search field near the top of the page to type in a keyword, or select links in the left for different categories. For additional help with ordering please see information on the Purchasing site or contact the CU Finance Service Center.
Be sure to you are aware of Medical Center requirements for Other Devices, Network Use requirements and other relevant Policies, Procedures and Guidelines before making a decision. Equipment must comply with applicable security and support policies.
What is required to set up additional equipment?
As with computers, this is decided by the department or owner; please check with your Department Administrator or supervisor if you are not sure how to have equipment installed.
If you would like CUMC IT to set up equipment please contact us well in advance at 5-Help, option 5, or use the Hardware Installation request form online. Support requirements will apply.
Can I use or purchase my own, personal equipment at CUMC?
As long as the equipment meets all relevant CUMC IT Policies, Procedures and Guidelines, it is ok to use. Many vendors including Dell and Apple offer discounts on individual purchases for faculty and staff, whether or not you will be using the equipment for work.
How long does it take for CUMC IT to set up my computer?
Installation times can vary due to differences in set up needs. Please contact us in advance to schedule, or if you have any specific questions not answered here.
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