Case Study – University of Alberta Offering Innovation in Procurement

Contents

About University of Alberta, Faculty of Engineering

The University of Alberta (UofA) Faculty of Engineering, located in Edmonton AB, is a leading higher educational and research institution in Canada. With over 250 professors and 3,000 graduate students, it is one of the largest engineering schools in the country both in terms of size and industry impact.

The Initial Challenge

The UofA’s Faculty of Engineering required a uniquely tailored system to help streamline and centralize IT procurement across the department. Prior to centralizing the faculty’s IT procurement, purchases were made on an individual basis. This led to a inconsistency across hardware platforms and systems within the department, which in turn resulted in wait times for purchase approvals, greater IT support requirements, higher purchase costs, and technological inconsistencies. Microserve created a specifically designed e-portal for across-faculty procurement that successfully addressed all of the above issues, increased efficiency, and reduced costs for the department.

The UofA’s Faculty of Engineering Procurement E-Portal

Microserve was asked to design and implement a universal IT procurement system for the UofA’s Faculty of Engineering. The system had to be accessible and easy to use, as well as demonstrate material benefits for the individual users to persuade them to change from the previous status quo. Utilizing our interdisciplinary expertise, and with close client consultation, Microserve presented UofA with various e-portal examples and roadmaps that could be tried and tested before implementation.

After choosing their desired roadmap, UofA’s Faculty of Engineering IT department worked closely with Microserve to implement the new system. The level of thought and specificity clearly put into the e-portal’s planning instilled a sense of confidence in its future users. It was initially predicted that the new system would have a 60% uptake from staff members; however, a year and a half after implementation the department saw a 95% uptake level, which today has reached 100%.

The high adoption of our e-procurement system has resulted in many benefits for the faculty’s IT department. Having standard technology configurations has helped optimize compatibility across

devices and software. This has greatly reduced strain on IT department resources and allowed them to streamline support-related costs by 30%. That in tandem with the now lower prices for IT procurement facilitated by Microserve has equated to significant departmental savings.

Speaking with the Director of IT for the UofA’s Faculty of Engineering, Rick Patsula, he praised the high level of commitment and individualized care Microserve brought to the relationship. ‘One of the nice things about dealing with Microserve is that it’s still personalized and whenever we’ve had an issue it was addressed quickly…you don’t get this kind of personalized touch with the other services we have on campus…there’s a lot of trust here’, said Patsula. Remarking further, he spoke to Microserve’s continued support in innovating and improving the e-portal after it’s debut. As an example, initially there was an issue with the length of delivery on purchased items; however, after learning of the issues Microserve adapted the service to greatly decrease the time from purchase to delivery.

The Takeaway

The UofA’s Faculty of Engineering required a uniquely tailored e-portal to centralize and standardize their IT procurement. Drawing on our large team of in-house experts and year of experience, Microserve was able to create a platform that increased efficiency, reduced costs, and was universally adopted by department team members. Working collaboratively with the UofA IT team, taking an individualized approach, Microserve continues to adapt and innovate the e-portal system to make it continue to function at its utmost potential.

Why Microserve?

Your Partner for IT Solutions

Microserve is an industry leading provider of IT Services and Solutions to Canadian organizations across industries with more than 30 years of proven success and commitment to excellence. Our success has been built upon a strong commitment to partnership, flexibility and putting our customers first.

Regardless of the specific IT needs of your organization, Microserve has the experience and expertise to deliver a solution that’s perfectly suited to your needs. An emphasis on individualized client interaction guarantees a collaborative relationship and solutions aligned to your unique requirements. At Microserve, we will continue to support and adapt our provided services to make sure you continue to be 100% satisfied.

Microserve is headquartered in Burnaby, BC with offices in Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton and Halifax. Founded in 1987, we support the IT needs of businesses and organizations across industries throughout British Columbia, Alberta and Atlantic Canada, with clients ranging from small to mid-sized operations and enterprise-level organizations. We partner with each of our clients, regardless of size, to provide custom, responsive IT support and solutions that help our clients achieve their goals.