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Computer Store services transitioning in 2016

Several services currently offered by the Campus Computer Store will transition to existing shared services after the store ceases retail operations next year.

The university reviewed the Campus Computer Store and all other ancillary operations on campus during the 2014-15 fiscal year. In light of the growing deficit, the review recommended closing the store by April 29, 2016, with retail services being discontinued and core services that support the academic and business requirements of the university transitioning to existing shared services.

The decision to close the store is in line with the broader trend across the province, with only one university still operating a computer store.

“Queen’s is committed to financial sustainability in order to protect the university’s overall academic mission,” says Caroline Davis, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration). “Increased external competition, especially from online retailers, coupled with broader product lines available instantly from local retailers challenged the Campus Computer Store’s business model.

“ITS explored different options in recent years to offset declining sales, but the opportunities could not guarantee the long-term financial sustainability of the Campus Computer Store,” Ms. Davis says.

Human Resources (HR) has met with the store employees and union representatives to discuss future options. HR is offering ongoing support to the employees and has made them aware of new positions that will be created as a result of some services transitioning to existing shared service units.

“We have given serious consideration to the impact this decision will have on store employees, who provide exceptional service to the Queen’s community,” says Bo Wandschneider, Associate Vice-Principal (Information Technology Services) and Chief Information Officer. “As we move forward with the transition plan, we will do our utmost to support the employees.”

Services transitioning

Departmental IT purchases will transition directly to Strategic Procurement Services (SPS) starting in May 2016. In the meantime, departments can continue to place orders through orderit@queensu.ca.

SPS is currently developing new processes to support departmental IT purchases. SPS will consult with stakeholders as it develops the processes, which will be publicized in the coming months.

“Staff and faculty will have access to a convenient online portal where they can obtain quotes and place orders,” Ms. Davis says. “Re-directing internal purchases to Strategic Procurement Services will deliver cost savings to departments by eliminating the current Campus Computer Store mark-up without compromising the service they have come to expect from store staff.”

The Queen’s Mobile Voice and Data Plans will transition directly to ITS after the store closes. Until that time, staff and faculty phone requests can continue to be submitted to qmobile@queensu.ca Any process changes that occur as a result of the transition to ITS will be communicated to the university community at a future date.

Students, faculty and staff members will no longer be able to purchase IT products for personal use from the Campus Computer Store after April 29, 2016. Personal purchases will continue at the store up until that date, but inventory and displays will be reduced as the store prepares to cease operations.  

Payroll deduction loans for staff and faculty will no longer be offered after Dec. 24, 2015 at noon. Furthermore, staff and faculty members will not be able to add to their existing payroll deduction loan after that point. ITS will continue to administer all existing loans after the store ceases operations. Staff and faculty members with loans will continue with their payout schedule until the loans are paid off.

Enterprise software agreements like Microsoft Office, onQ (the campus-wide learning management system) and others will continue to be managed and provisioned by ITS. All other software agreements will be reviewed and evaluated as they come due, and a committee will be struck to review software site licensing. The departmental leasing and rental program offered by the computer store, which has declined in use in recent years, will be discontinued.

Questions can be directed to Mr. Wandschneider or Brian McDonald, Associate Director, IT Support.