UMass on the Move - University Procurement Feed

New University-Wide Elevator Maintenance Contract

Otis Elevator Corporation

COLLABORATION

The University of Massachusetts System, in a true collaborative initiative, holistically combined the majority of the five campuses’ elevator maintenance requirements into a single Request for Proposal (RFP). The objectives were to develop an enhanced standard for maintenance across the system, drive associated costs down and improve quality of service. In addition to a Procurement department representative, each campus had at least one Facility Operational representative participating in the development of the specifications and the award selection. It was a joint partnership between the Procurement Council and campus Facility Operations.

In the first iteration of this RFP process back in 2011, a standard of preventative maintenance was developed and agreed to by all participating campuses. In many instances the detail and level of maintenance was increased in additional to the level of service. In one instance, a campus migrated from a “Time and Material” basis to a fixed cost based contract upon the standards developed. Across the board the individual campuses have improved the level of service, realized efficiencies in managing the contract, expanded what is covered by maintenance, and contained associated costs.

During the pre RFP review it was determined from previous experience, analysis, and discussion by the RFP team that the contract should end at a time when there is little activity in regards to state inspections and to allow enough time, if the incumbent is not awarded, for the awarded vendor to submit all documentation required for inspection and permitting to ensure continuity of operations. This changed the initial term from a 12 month term to a 20 month term in which pricing is locked.

PROCESS AND EFFICIENCIES

The RFP was done in accordance with the relevant sections within the Massachusetts General Laws, chapters 149 and 30 39M for approximately 305 elevators across the University System. UMass Dartmouth as the lead campus, utilized it’s on-line labor and construction solicitation solution, BidDocs, to administer the RFP. The RFP and addendum were distributed electronically, and proposals were received electronically. This web based bidding solution streamlined the bid process creating operational efficiency for the University and vendors. Three vendors responded with proposals, Otis Elevator Corp, Kone Inc. and Schindler Elevator Corp.

COST AVOIDANCE

Otis Elevator Corporation was the lowest responsive and responsible bid at $3,534,580 over the 20-month initial term. Their response represents $965,086 in average cost avoidance from the other participants’ proposals. Annually (12 months) the average cost avoidance is $579,000 or 21.4%. Otis is the incumbent vendor, therefore there will be little disruption migrating from the old to the new contract. All the Facility representatives and the Procurement Council agreed that the best proposal was from Otis Elevator Corporation.

12 MONTH SUMMARY OF RESPONSES

PARTNERSHIP AND CONTINUED IMPROVEMENT

To enhance the effectiveness of this contract, a kick off meeting is planned with the appropriate individuals from each campus that are involved in managing the elevator maintenance contract for their campus. The meeting will be broken down into two parts. First, training on how to manage the contract in detail will be provided to ensure all campuses are acting and managing uniformly across the campuses. The second half of the meeting will be with our Elevator Maintenance Strategic Partner, Otis Elevator Corp, to map out our continued working relationship. Part of the discussion with Otis will be to see if both parties can realize additional cost savings through collaborative review. The training and combined meeting will ensure that we are working collaboratively, efficiently, and effectively to ensure the contract and relationship has the appropriate optimal strategic impact to the University System.

UMass Program to Support Disadvantaged Businesses

The University of Massachusetts, an economic driver in the Commonwealth, created the UMass Minority Business Development Program with the goal of supporting Massachusetts-based and minority-owned business enterprises, promoting sustainability and leveraging cost saving opportunities.

The University developed the program in alignment with the UMass Board of Trustee’s policy on procurement, which states:

The University’s commitment to the principles of Affirmative Action shall be applied to purchasing with the objective of: (i) achieving and fostering greater participation in University procurement activity by minority-owned small business, small disadvantaged business, women-owned small business, HUBZone small business, Veteran-owned small business, and service-disabled Veteran-owned small business enterprises and (ii) encouraging socially or economically disadvantaged business owners to respond to invitations to bid on University business.

As part of the program, the University Procurement Council and the UMass Building Authority collaborate with the Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council, Inc. and the state of Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Office to identify opportunities to foster the growth of local businesses.

University staff members also attend and host a variety of industry networking events, and have established University-wide metrics and begun implementing an enhanced communications strategy. This strategy includes centralizing access to bid documents, hosting vendor meetings, and presenting how to conduct business with UMass sessions at industry events.

The University continues to actively explore ways to support the growth of local businesses. For more information about the program, contact John Healey at jhealey@umassp.edu

UMass Standardizes on Survey Software Tool

Earlier this year, the Leveraged IT Procurement group completed an evaluation of the various survey software products used throughout the University system, with the goal of possibly standardizing on one product and reducing costs.  The annual cost for these products, which included licenses with Qualtrics, Survey Monkey and Survey Gizmo, was approximately $125,000.

A Request for Proposal was issued in May, 2015. The RFP evaluation team, which included participants from all campuses and the President’s Office, determined that the Qualtrics Product was superior to all other products evaluated in terms of ease of use and functionality. A three-year system wide contract was awarded to Qualtrics effective September 1, 2015.  The contract pricing represents a significant savings over current survey tool costs, and expands access to this product to all University faculty, staff and students.

Although the Qualtrics pricing represent a significant savings over current system wide costs, in order to fully realize potential savings, current Survey Monkey and Survey Gizmo users are encouraged to move to the Qualtrics product. Information on the Qualtrics product is available online at:

http://www.qualtrics.com/

Access to Qualtrics is being managed at the campus level. If you are interested in using this product, please contact the following individual on your campus:

Amherst: Michael Gilbert; michael.gilbert@umass.edu

Boston: Robert Caron; Robert.Caron@umb.edu

Dartmouth: Tammy Silva; tsilva@umassd.edu

Lowell: Nancy Fowler; Nancy_Fowler@uml.edu

Medical School: Karen McHugh; karen.mchugh@umassmed.edu

President’s Office: Michael Rizk; mrizk@umassp.edu

The Best of Summer 2015

As summer has come to an end, I’d like to feature some of the top articles of this quarter. We have seen many new successes such as the launch of the Academic Program Inventory, the University Travel website redesign, the redesigned Service Status Page, NEWHEUG’s second year of success, Confluence, and many more. But what are the top 3 articles of the summer? The most viewed articles are as follows:

  1. CIO of the Year Awards Honor Bob Solis
  2. State Recognizes Outstanding Performance at UMass
  3. University Procurement Launches Redesigned University Travel Website

As we jump into fall, we have many more exciting articles coming your way. I would also like to announce our own UITS Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/UMass-UITS-886587831417533/timeline/.

If you have a recommendation for an article, please contact us at uits.onthemove@umassp.edu.

 

Sincerely,

Erin Mulcahy
Editor

Rewind & Learn: Efficiency and Effectiveness at UMass – Think Smart

University Information Technology Services (UITS) at the UMass Office of the President recently hosted an event on Efficiency and Effectiveness at UMass (Think Smart) for the April 2015 Lunch and Learn. This Lunch and Learn discussed the cost saving and avoidance strategies that have been implemented across the entire UMass System.

UMass on the Move is proud to present the recorded video of this Lunch & Learn for your viewing. A special thank you to the team for sharing their knowledge and their efforts in creating the presentation.


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Rewind & Learn is a video posting of the UMass Lunch & Learn Series, a series of lunch-time events hosted in Shrewsbury, MA and broadcasted online inviting the UMass Community to explore the vast array of technologies used and services provided throughout UMass. Past subject matters have included: Mobile Classroom Technologies, Virtual Desktops, Web Design, Agile, Data Loss Prevention, and Systems Architecture, all of which can be viewed at the Lunch & Learn Page on WorkSpaces. For more information, feedback, suggestions, or help regarding the series, please contact bsilver@umassp.edu.

University Procurement Launches Redesigned University Travel Website

In an ongoing effort to streamline the UMass Office of the President web content, the University Procurement team and UITS Web Services team recently moved the University Travel Program website to the UMass Office of the President Office site. This move provides the University Procurement team with the following benefits:

  • Streamlined maintenance of web content with the University Procurement office and Travel content under one content management system
  • A structural redesign of the Travel Program navigation that will allow for continued growth
  • Single sign on functionality that will allow the Travel team to house both University-wide authentication-required content and public-facing content in one place
  • A short, easy to remember url
  • Feed integration capabilities now being utilized for the US Passports & International Travel alerts and warnings

Currently, the Travel Program is one of the most visited shared service websites at the Office of the President, with over 200 users accessing the online booking page a month.

Visit http://www.umassp.edu/travel to check out the redesigned site and the latest business travel information.

A special thank you to the redesign team: Deb Fisher of the University Procurement Office as well as Erin Mulcahy, Tracy Axelson, and Kristina England of UITS Web Services.

State Recognizes Outstanding Performance at UMass

Each year, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts accepts nominations for their Performance Recognition Program, which is made up of five awards, including the Citation for Outstanding Performance.  The Outstanding Performance Award nominations open in November of each year and close in February.  Nominators can submit a recommendation for either an individual or a group.  Once nominations are received, the Commonwealth has a committee review each nomination and final decisions are made by the governor.  On Monday, June 29, the University President announced that the University of Massachusetts had received 8 awards – 3 individual awards and 5 group awards.

“The Performance Recognition Program provides official acknowledgement to employees of the state who make significant meaningful contributions through innovation, dedication and a commitment to excellence.  I believe it is essential that those who set an example be acknowledged and recognized for their efforts through programs like this.  For me it is an honor to be associated with these individuals,” stated Keith Moran, Associate Chief Technology Officer of the UMass System Office and a 2015 Group Award recipient.

“As a member of the University IT Steering Committee I was very pleased to witness the many Information Technology initiatives that were completed with involvement from all campuses.  By working together, the CIOs and their staffs were able to introduce new technologies with a better value proposition than would have been realized if handled individually,” stated Joanne Yestramski, Vice Chancellor of Finance and Operations at UMass Lowell and a recipient of two of the 2015 Group Awards.

We would like to extend our congratulations to all of the University of Massachusetts Outstanding Performance recipients (listed below), who demonstrated excellence, leadership and provided significant improvements at the University.  We’d also like to thank those employees who inspired and influenced these individuals and groups.

“I’m honored to have been recognized for my work in leading the UMass BuyWays Project, but I would also like to acknowledge that this was a team effort with many individuals contributing to the success of the project,” stated Don Joubert, Director of Procurement & Administration at the UMass System and a 2015 Individual Award recipient.

Remember that your thoughts and ideas are what do and will contribute to the quality services at the University and don’t forget to keep an eye out for outstanding performances in the year to come.  Nominations will reopen in November 2015.

Individuals
  • Leigh Murphy, UMass Boston
  • Satyanarayana Parayitam, UMass Dartmouth
  • Donald Joubert, UMass System Office
Groups

ePay Conversion Team

  • Lynne Ferrell, UMass System Office
  • Charlene Joyce, UMass System Office
  • Martha Pierson, UMass System Office
  • Frank Trolio, UMass System Office

UMass Net Team

  • Timothy Blondin, UMass System Office
  • David Kokoszyna, UMass System Office
  • Lee Maglione, UMass System Office
  • Peter Melican, UMass System Office
  • Christopher Misra, UMass Amherst
  • Keith Moran, UMass System Office
  • Richard Newton, UMass System Office
  • Richard Tuthill, UMass Amherst
  • Carol Walsh, UMass System Office

UMass Strategic Energy Committee

  • John Baker, UMass Medical School
  • Joseph Collins, UMass Medical School
  • Thomas Dreyer, UMass Lowell
  • Peter Duffy, UMass Dartmouth
  • Raymond Jackson, UMass Amherst
  • Juanita Holler, UMass Amherst
  • Michael LaGrassa, UMass Dartmouth
  • Darryl Mayers, UMass Boston
  • Michael McGerigle, UMass Boston
  • Paul Piraino, UMass Lowell

University Information Technology Steering Committee

  • Frances Brian, UMass System Office
  • Julie Buehler, UMass Amherst
  • Michael Cipriano, UMass Lowell
  • Michael Collins, UMass Medical School
  • Holger Dippel, UMass Dartmouth
  • Robert Jenal, UMass Medical School
  • Mohammad Karim, UMass Dartmouth
  • Winston Langley, UMass Boston
  • Apurva Mehta, UMass Boston
  • Katherine Newman, UMass Amherst
  • Robert Solis, UMass System Office
  • Christine Wilda, UMass System Office
  • Gregory Wolf, UMass Medical School
  • Zong-Guo Xia, UMass Boston
  • Joanne Yestramski, UMass Lowell

UMass Climate Action Plan Steering Committee – UMass Lowell

  • Robert Barnett
  • Edward Brennen
  • James Christopher
  • Thomas Dreyer
  • Jill Gambon
  • Mark Hines
  • Thomas Hoole
  • James Kohl
  • Richard Lemoine
  • Thomas Miliano
  • Ruari O’Mahoney
  • Steven O’Riordan
  • Paul Piraino
  • Craig Slatin
  • Juliette Rooney
  • Joanne Yestramski

 

UMass Enters into a New Agreement with Fisher Scientific, Leveraging Laboratory Supply Volume and Optimizing Savings

Recently, a University-wide public bid for laboratory supplies was completed under the leadership of the UMass Procurement Council. The proposals received were very competitive and after reviewing overall cost savings for the University, the UMass System officially selected Fisher Scientific as our laboratory supplies vendor.

Benefits of the new agreement:
  • World class portfolio of products under the Thermo-Fisher and Life Technologies brands
  • Total annual savings in excess of $1,000,000 (average of 14.5%) off of current pricing. Savings will exceed $5 Million over the five year term of the agreement.
    • Includes a 4% eProcurement incentive (BuyWays)
    • Additional price discounts on highest usage products and supplies
    • Average of 28% savings off of list price, 7.7% lower than current contract
    • Additional Laboratory “Start Up” Discounts will be available

There will be no change to the current on-site laboratory “supermarket” operations in Amherst or at the Medical School and full benefits of the new agreement will be in place through the Fisher Scientific catalog by July 6th.

Do I need to do anything different to see the benefits of the new agreement?

The pricing and discounts will automatically take place and will be seamless to the purchaser/user.

In addition, once the contract is final, the UMass Procurement Council will schedule meet-n-greet events at all campuses to answer questions, introduce new and existing Fisher Scientific representatives, and help users understand all of the benefits that this contract will bring to UMass.

In order to maximize the savings under the new contract, we recommend that all orders are placed through BuyWays.

Additional Information

Feel free to contact me at Brian.Girard@umassmed.edu or contact your Campus Representative.

Think Smart: 2014 Achievements

The University of Massachusetts Effectiveness and Efficiency Initiative serves as an on-going opportunity to reflect on our operational practices and strategic priorities.

We are pleased to announce that the yearly Effectiveness & Efficiency Report is almost ready to be released online.

In preparation for the release of the report, we are proud to share the following IT achievements and efficiencies at UMass from 2014:

Efficiency & Safety in One Contract: The University partners with Intel Security’s McAfee Division

In October 2014, the University of Massachusetts entered into a contract with Intel Security’s McAfee division. This agreement combined separate existing campus contracts from Amherst, Boston, Lowell and the Medical School into a single University contract and is estimated to save the University $50,000 over the next three years.

McAfee will provide desktop and server security across most of the University’s information technology architecture, ensuring that our faculty, staff, and students can conduct their work safely with the knowledge that their information is being protected by an industry leader.

McAfee has been recognized as a leader in the security industry for over two decades, providing protection from the desktop to the network to the gateway. Intel purchased McAfee over three years ago and has incorporated McAfee technology into its chip offerings, adding a deeper layer of protection at that level.

McAfee’s endpoint protection software will be utilized by participating Campuses to:

  • block advanced malware from penetrating our environment; and
  • provide safe access to critical email and web applications.

In addition, the University will partner with McAfee to provide faculty, staff, and students with free access to anti-virus software. More information will follow sometime in the New Year regarding this great employee/student advantage.

A Year of Efficiencies: UMass BuyWays

In February of last year, we published an article which highlighted how the new BuyWays eProcurement system is helping to drive efficiencies throughout the Universities procurement process. Now that we have passed our first anniversary with the system, I am able to report results for our first full year.

As mentioned in the previous article, the BuyWays product, went live on July 1, 2014, and is used to purchase goods and services needed by the University.   Our results for the first year of operation vs goals were as follows:

Goal # 1

Improve the quality of service to users by providing an intuitive, ‘Amazon-like’ shopping experience for purchasing goods and services.

Results:

Overall user Feedback has been very positive. We averaged over 2200 unique users and 36,000 individual session per month during the first year.  Over 40% of all BuyWays requisitions have been placed with BuyWays Catalog Vendors

Goal #2

Reduce maverick spend and Procard activity, by directing users to University contracts and preferred vendors through the use of ‘Punch-out’ and ‘Hosted’ catalogs

Results:

We went live with 18 vendor catalogs in July and have added an additional 7 catalogs during the course of the year.   Over 38,000 requisitions were processed against these catalogs totaling over $13 Million in spend.

Additionally, there were 59,000 fewer Procard transactions processed, (a 17.5% reduction from previous year) resulting in a total reduction in Procard spend of over $10 Million.

Goal #3

Increase the use of electronic transactions for purchase orders and invoices

Results:

Electronic transactions have increased significantly. In our first year of operations, we processed over 107,000 electronic purchase orders and over 45,000 electronic invoices.

Goal # 4

Drive Cost Savings – $1 Million in Savings projected for first year.

Results:

We achieved $1.9 million in savings our first year. This was accomplished through $1.6 million in additional negotiated discounts with BuyWays catalog vendors; an additional $276K in early payments discounts; and a projected $100K in performance rebates.

What’s Ahead?

Although we are pleased with the results we have had our first year, there is much work still to be done.

Our focus In Fy15, will be to add additional catalogs to BuyWays; further reduce Procard Spend, and make significant progress in electronic invoicing.

Additional we will implement new products that will integrate with BuyWays and further improve business efficiencies.

  • Contract Director – This is a complete contract lifecycle management tool that will provide us with a central repository for all University contracts and will include electronic signature capability.
  • AP Director and Digital Warehouse – these product will enhance the accounts payable functionality currently in BuyWays by providing better electronic invoicing capabilities and enhanced workflow processes.

The University partners with Atomic Learning

The University recently partnered with Atomic Learning, an award-winning provider of online technology training and support, for a shared University contract.  This contract provides UMass Amherst, UMass Boston, UMass Dartmouth, UMass Lowell, and UMass President’s Office staff with access to a wide variety of training materials on more than 250 commonly used applications, including:

  • Microsoft® Office Suite (including Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, and Outlook)
  • Adobe® Creative Suite (including Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and Acrobat Pro)
  • MAC OS
  • Google™ Docs
  • Facebook
  • YouTube

In addition, this shared contract stands to save the University a total of $9,000 annual.  This savings meets two of the objectives under the “Good Stewardship of Resources” measure in the UMass Performance Report:  (1) Manage limited financial resources efficiently to achieve long-term success and (2) Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the University’s operations.

Founded in 2000 by a group of technology educators, Atomic Learning serves over 16 million individuals in more than 45 countries worldwide.  Atomic Learning does not just provide training for work applications; they also provide training for personal learning at home.

Managers and workgroups can assign specific trainings and track progress through Atomic Learning.  Additionally, trainers can post their own content to the Atomic Learning website.

For more information on Atomic Learning, please contact your campus representative:

The University of Massachusetts completes new contract with Adobe for Cloud-based products

The University of Massachusetts recently completed a deal with Adobe Systems Inc. that reduces cost by $39,000 annually while providing access to Adobe’s suite of cloud-based products, Creative Cloud.

The Adobe Creative Cloud suite offers several creative tools used by departments across the University, including marketing and web services.

Each Campus is working on a rollout plan for the Adobe products and will communicate the scope of the rollout as defined.

A Key Benefit: Personal use for University Employees

As part of the contract, the Adobe Creative Suite is now available to all UMASS employees for home use at an annual cost of $9.75. Enrollment for home use is administered through Kivuto. Please contact your campus IT office for further instructions regarding access to the home use product.

Improving Efficiencies

The Adobe Contract is one of many efficiency and effectiveness initiatives currently happening at the University. This contract aligns with our continued goal to leverage economies of scale and reduce costs while enhancing service levels.

For more information on the Efficiency and Effectiveness program, please contact John Healey.

The University leverages their spend to optimize savings in a new Office Supply contract

The University System recently completed a public bid process for office supplies for all 5 campuses and the President’s Office.  The bids received were very competitive and have resulted in the University selecting Office Max as the most advantageous bid received based on pricing, user features, and other functionality. Here’s an overview of the University’s preliminary cost savings:

  • The University System will save approximately $1,200,000 per year over today’s costs by going with Office Max.
  • This is a multiyear contract that can extend out 5 years so the University’s savings can exceed $6,000,000 over the full contract period.

The contract is in the process of being finalized and we have a target date of mid to late March 2014 to have the Office Max catalog up and ready to use on our BuyWays eProcurement system. W.B. Mason will stay up on BuyWays until we replace it with Office Max so departments will continue to use Mason until they receive notice of the official switch over date.

Office Max will also set up a “meet n greet” at each campus to give users a chance to meet the Office Max Team.  The date and time of this meeting will be announced soon by the individual campus Procurement Departments. Office Max will demo their website, introduce users to the new representative and driver, and also set up times to meet with individual departments as requested. 

All delivery locations will remain the same.  If departments have desktop delivery now, it will stay the same unless the department asks to make changes. Office Max will have uniformed drivers and clearly marked trucks to insure they are easily recognized. 

The Office Max website is very similar to other websites and should not cause confusion, but Procurement and Office Max staff will be available to answer any questions users may have.

This new office supply contract will greatly improve cost savings for office supplies while having no impact on the overall day to day business of our departments.

 For More Information

Feel free to contact your Campus Procurement Department with any questions on the Office Max rollout.

Increasing Efficiencies through UMass BuyWays

In July 2013, the University rolled out a new eProcurement system from SciQuest, which was branded UMass BuyWays.  BuyWays is used for purchasing goods and services needed by the University and replaced the requisitioning and Purchase Order processes which had previously been performed in PeopleSoft.

The BuyWays implementation was a 12 month project led by the system office with significant participation from all campuses.  The key goals of the project were to:

  • Improve the quality of service to users by providing an intuitive, ‘Amazon-like’ shopping experience for purchasing goods and services.
  • Reduce maverick spend and Procard activity by directing users to University contracts and preferred vendors through the use of ‘Punch-out’ and ‘Hosted’ catalogs
  • Increase the use of electronic transactions for purchase orders and invoices
  • Take advantage of early payments discounts, made possible by a more efficient invoicing process
  • Capture detailed, item level spend activity by campus to improve spend analysis capabilities and strategic sourcing efforts.

Since go live on July 1, the University has made great progress in achieving these goals and all metrics are trending in the right direction.

  • Overall user feedback has been very positive with users finding UMass BuyWays easier to use than the previous system.  This user adoption is also shown in the increased growth of logins to the system with 19,556 in July 2013 rising to 26,476 logins in January 2014.
  • Electronic transactions have increased significantly.  Since go-live on July 1, we have processed over 65,000 electronic purchase orders and 25,000 electronic invoices.
  • Procard activity is also decreasing.  Through end of January, there have been 35,000 fewer procard transactions system wide and total procard spend is down $6.4 million from same period last year.
  • Purchase orders placed with BuyWays preferred catalog vendors are also on the rise. There are currently 22 vendor catalogs live in the system with an additional 5 catalogs scheduled to be added in the next couple of months.  The percent of total purchase orders placed with BuyWays catalog vendors has increased from 26.9 % of total purchase orders in July to 44.3 % by the end of January.
  • The University has also taken advantage of early payments discounts in the amount of $78,000.  We expect this number to increase significantly over the next year as new contracts are negotiated and additional vendors are added to this program.

Although there is much work still to be done, we are encouraged by the progress made to date.  Over the coming month, we will continue to monitor user activity and to work with the campus procurement departments to identify opportunities to improve usability and compliance.

We’ll also publish a one-year-in report in UMass on the Move in the July timeframe to keep you up-to-date on the latest efficiency numbers.

Introducing the UMass Travel Program

The University recently implemented a University-wide Travel Program in order to facilitate University-related travel in the most efficient and cost effective manner.  The program, supported by Board of Trustees policy, also aims to protect travelers against the risk of loss and maintain the necessary controls for accountability.

The new program consolidates the travel ticketing process by offering two travel agency options: (1) an on-line self-booking option through Egencia (corporate version of Expedia); and (2) a more traditional live booking agency, The Travel Collaborative, that offers high touch customer service and a deeply experienced team of agents that specialize in International travel bookings.The benefits available to University travelers by streamlining University business travel reservations through these two agencies include:
  • Leveraging the lowest available airline, hotel, auto rental, and rail service discounts by utilizing one travel site/agency. These discounts have been negotiated through a consortium of Massachusetts-based academic and healthcare institutions (e.g., Harvard, MIT, Tufts, Mass General, Dana-Farber and Brigham & Women’s Hospital to name a few) and offer significant savings opportunities to University travelers.
  • Ensuring that University employees traveling on business internationally are aware of University sponsored programs should emergency services be required
  • An enhanced traveler experience

The University goals of implementing the program include:

  • Providing University travelers the highest level of customer service support
  • Reducing University travel costs

The use of preferred travel agencies through this program will provide a major step towards accomplishing these goals. Ultimately, a central database of all University travelers will provide the potential for determining the location of travelers, and if necessary, provide a communication link should an emergency situation occur.

A University-wide website has been developed to answer travel-related questions and provide links to helpful sites such as airport parking, security and travel safety tips, University travel policy, etc. The website can be accessed through the UMASS Connect Shared Services Site at http://pp-prd.umassconnect.net/web/guest/travel-program.

Optimizing mobile usage across the University

During 2012, the University identified that there were approximately 2,800 wireless devices and an annual spend of $2.2 million on wireless services across the University.

With the expansion of the use of handheld devices that offer data plans, the desire for 24 hour connectivity to the University’s information system, and the escalating costs of wireless service to support those requirements, it was determined that a complete review and analysis of the University wireless program should be conducted.

A University Mobile Device Management Committee was established during the spring of 2012 to address the opportunity to deliver services in a more efficient manner, taking advantage of pooling of minutes across all campuses. The committee was comprised of IT and Procurement staff representing each of the five UMass campuses and the President’s office.

The committee, led by Christine Pimentel from the UMass Medical School, hired a consulting company to help consolidate accounts and pool minutes across the campuses. The goal was to drive costs down without impacting service to the end user.

In August 2013, the University saw the following growth in mobile device usage:

  • The total number of University issued devices has grown by 236
  • Total consumption of Peak Minutes is up by 28%.
  • Data consumption is up by 149% for smartphones

However, while the utilization increased, the efforts of the committee over the last year demonstrated immediate cost savings with:

  • Total university wireless expenses down by $35k per month
  • Average total monthly cost per device down by $19.81

This has been accomplished without any significant impact to the end user’s service level, but it was no small feat by the committee.

Committee members from all 5 Campuses and the President’s Office worked with representatives from AT&T and Verizon to centralize accounts at a campus level, allowing for the pooling of minutes and simplifying the billing process. Several hundred carrier accounts were consolidated into single campus accounts.

We’d like to thank the members of the committee for their optimization efforts:

  • Amherst: Randy Sailer , Matt Farrell, Pat Bonafilia, John Martin
  • Boston: Eddie Luciano, Darryl Myers
  • Dartmouth: Nadine Rodriguez, Mike LaGrassa
  • Lowell: Mike Durkin, Cher Hugus
  • Medical School: Christine Pimentel, Chris Bunn, Susan Piper, Elena Kandova
  • President’s Office: Julie Kenny, Don Joubert

This University-wide collaboration will continue to demonstrate value for the University in the years to come.