The UPST partnered with UITS and campus CIOs to drive the rationalization of the UMass system IT Value Added Resellers (VAR) supplier base into 4 strategic contracts. With over 10,000 active IT VAR suppliers, the initiative aimed to rein in the number of active information technology suppliers to ensure accountability, compliance, and proactive supplier management. The 4 strategic IT VAR suppliers that UMass has contracted with includes, Gov Connection, Whalley, WEI, and CDW-G, all of which have been doing business with the system for some years now. 

  • Increase IT procurement efficiency by satisfying University policy requirements competitive procurements
  • Drive aggressive pricing to ensure UMass campuses are receiving a thorough and fair rate for goods and services
  • Create supplier-customer transparency through accountability and regular business review
  • Efficiency
    • BuyWays Catalogs to allow for faster point & click, purchasing and electronic invoicing 
    • Professional Services and managed services 
    • Ability to bulk purchase and store assets at VAR distribution centers for pre-kitting, imaging, asset tagging, etc. 
  • Pricing 
    • Pre-negotiated hourly rates for professional services 
    • Aggressive pricing, ~13.5% below UMass current competitively bid pricing 
    • UMass still retains the right to bid out large projects 
  • Supplier Diversity
    • Spend university dollars directly with diverse, minority-owned businesses (e.g. WEI)
    • Buy from large resellers who prioritize their own spend with small and/or diverse suppliers and report this to UMass as Tier 2 diverse spend (e.g. Connection, CDW) 
  • Terms and Conditions  
    • Service levels with teeth (24-hour quote turnaround for most commoditized products, shipping, response times, etc.) 
    • Robust warranties and return rights 
    • VAR business reviews with supporting analytics to ensure VAR performance 

Project Achievements

  • Rationalized over 1600 vendors to 4 strategic vendors with WEI being a WBE (Women's Business Enterprise: the business is owned, managed, and controlled by a woman or women.)
  • Standardized specifications on spending
  • An estimated 12-20% in overall cost reduction
  • Market intelligence that validates competitive pricing 
  • Additional operational benefits such as SAM (Software Asset Management: eliminates license redundancies, consolidates licenses, better navigate licensing agreements, avoid illegal application usage and stay on top of contract renewals. 

User Guide

To ease the transition into the VAR program, the UPST has created a Contract User Guide that outlines each of the four suppliers and their offerings as well as some frequently asked questions. Please reach out to your campus leads for any questions about the program. 

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Have Questions?

Amherst: Kathie Terry,

Boston: Neil Rosenburg,

Dartmouth: Jackie Ryan,

Lowell: Steve Hall,

Medical School : Brian Coleman,

President's Office: Bill Smith, 


  • Kathie Terry
  • Dalila Dos Santos 
  • Teri Delude 
  • James Mileski 


  • Neil Rosenberg 

Chan Medical: 

  • Brian Coleman 


  • Jacqueline Ryan
  • Margaret Dias 


  • Steven Hall

University Information Technology Services (UITS):

  • Bill Smith

Office of General Counsel (OGC):

  • John Chayrigues
  • Allison Lepper

Unified Procurement Services Team (UPST):

  • Neha Ajgaonkar
  • Charles Kotecki
  • John Healey
  • Michael Durkin