IT Equipment, Home Working, and Returning to Campus

IT Equipment, Home Working, and Returning to Campus

As more of us return to on-campus working, or consider a more flexible, hybrid way of working as outlined in the University's Homeworking Policy, here are a few pointers from Digital and Information Services (DIS) to ensure a smooth transition.

Room moves and re-shuffles

If you are moving, either to a new room or to a new location within an existing room, you must let us know by completing the Office Move Request form.

Why? Your PC and (if applicable) phone will need to be reconnected to the University network from your new location. If you don’t let us know about your move, your devices may not connect.

Completing the form automatically logs a call with the IT Service Desk, allowing us to ensure that the network socket(s) in your new location are live.

Please do not move or borrow other people’s on-campus equipment without consent.

Devices not working when returning to campus?

  • If your device has not been plugged in and active on the campus wired network for more than 60 days, it may not work. If so, please contact the IT Service Desk stating the Asset Tag (e.g., MD-987654), Building and Room number, and the name of the network socket you are using.
  • Please do not unplug other peoples’ devices or try to plug your device into other sockets.
  • UoA corporate laptops may have lost certificates which need to be renewed. We have pushed out a fix remotely, so please restart the device in the first instance. If the issue persists, contact the IT Service Desk.  

Equipment for postgraduate students

  • All new PGRs are entitled to a laptop and associated peripherals and requests are centrally co-ordinated by your School PGR administrator.
  • All requests must come from your School PGR administrator and not directly from students or supervisors.
  • Submit your request to your Schools PGR administrator.

Supply chains, new laptops, and TRP

Our ability to procure devices continues to be affected by global supply issues, the reasons for which are explained below. However, we placed significant orders of laptops in April and July; 200 of these are already here, and we expect a further 500 to arrive later this month.

When issuing devices, we will prioritise people who have completed the Working from Home form. We will also prioritise anyone whose primary, University device has failed – i.e. we will replace a laptop like for like.

Note that our bulk order is for standard laptops. If you require specialised or non-standard equipment, please be aware that we are constrained by global supplies and it will take longer to fulfil your request.

Many of you will be aware of, and eligible for, the Technology Replacement Program (TRP) where we replace older equipment based on original purchase dates and warranty expiration. We have an up-to-date inventory and aim to fulfil existing TRP requests within the financial year, so please don’t contact us about TRP unless your current device is broken.

Peripherals, additional items, and personal purchases

As agreed, as part of the Homeworking Policy, we will support you with one primary set of equipment – be that a laptop for mobile working or a desktop for on-campus. DIS cannot fund a second device for you; if you need a second device, that will need to be authorised through your Head of School or section.

  • If you need a new headset or webcam, and do not have one already, please submit a request to the IT Service Desk.
  • DIS will not supply duplicates for portable items; please do not ask for additional webcams or headsets, etc.
  • You are not entitled to an expenses claim if you choose to purchase your own laptop. The Homeworking Policy states that you must work on a device supplied by the University.  
  • DIS will not fund laptop risers. If need a riser, you will have to purchase this yourself, or order as stationery through your school budget.

Return and re-use or disposal of unwanted items

If you have equipment that you no longer need, please send details to the IT Service Desk, and we’ll arrange collection.

DIS can re-purpose your unwanted equipment to other staff or postgrads, and safely dispose of old IT equipment for you.

New starts

We’re delighted to welcome many new starts to the University.

If you are a Line Manager with a new member of staff starting soon, you will receive an email from the IT Service Desk asking you to complete a New Start IT Requirements form. You should complete this and return it the IT Service Desk by replying to the original mail.

Best wishes

Richard Lynch
Assistant Director (Service Management), Digital and Information Services

Current IT supply chain Issues – September 2021

What is happening?

Unfortunately, there are extended lead times on orders for Desktops, Laptops, Tablets, Mobiles, etc.

This is not unique to the University of Aberdeen and is affecting all corporations, institutions, and manufacturers worldwide.

Why are we experiencing delays?

Since the start of the global pandemic in March 2020, the demand for silicon chips has dramatically increased. As people were asked to work and learn remotely, and therefore spending an increased amount of time at home, more computing devices, and other electronics (including consoles, televisions, and smart home appliances), were purchased during 2020.

The increased demand overwhelmed the industry in 2020 and is set to continue throughout 2021.

As a result, it is estimated that the current supply of silicon chips is between 10% and 30% below current demand.

What are we doing about it?

While fundamentally there is not much that can be done if the materials are not available, we are working with our framework partners to expedite orders where possible.

We will do our best to update you on the status of your order as we receive it, and thank you for your patience and understanding.