Purchasing IT equipment and software

Digital Innovation and Technology Services (DITS) provide an IT purchasing service for the University.

Academic departments and professional service sections are bound to purchase IT equipment through us, except where there is explicit authorisation from DITS to purchase directly.

Hardware and software requests

Please note, only authorised staff can place an order - this is usually your departmental or section administrator.

Computers and accessories

  1. Browse our product catalogue (pdf)
  2. Complete an order request form (xls) and email it to it.purchasing@essex.ac.uk

To order equipment under the Centrally Funded Devices scheme, sign in to the CFD portal with your University username and password (restricted to Voucher Holders only).


Before you request new software, please check the Software Hub to see if the software you need is already available. If you can't find the software you need, you can submit a new software request form. Please note that:


  • DITS require at least 4 weeks’ notice from date of purchase to the software being made available.
  • where possible, all purchased software will be made available on the Software Hub.

Mobile phones

  1. Browse our mobile phone catalogue (pdf)
  2. Complete a mobile phone order request form (xls) and email it to it.purchasing@essex.ac.uk

Mobile Communication Device Policy (.pdf)

Centrally Funded Devices (CFD) scheme

Under the Centrally Funded Devices scheme, participating departments and sections can exchange electronic CFD Vouchers to obtain standard computer equipment at no direct charge.

CFD Voucher holders and allocations

View CFD Voucher holders and allocations (.pdf)

Voucher Holders 

Each department or section must nominate a CFD Voucher Holder. This is the person who is responsible for receiving and administering the CFD Vouchers for their department or section. They will also have access to the CFD online purchasing portal.


CFD Vouchers are allocated on an annual basis, usually around July or August The number of vouchers you get is based on the number of full time staff (FTE) in the department or section.

CFD Vouchers can only be used in the year they are allocated for - they cannot be used once they expire.

What you can buy

Standard equipment

eVouchers can be used to obtain standard Windows desktop or laptop computers from our product catalogue at no direct charge– just look for the blue CFD Voucher logo.

PC CFD Vouchers can be used to purchase laptops but this would incur a top-up charge. Laptop CFD Vouchers can be used to purchase PCs however there is no refund for the difference in price.

Non-standard or additional equipment

CFD Vouchers can also be topped-up with additional funds via a cost code to obtain higher specification Windows computers, laptops and Apple Mac computers.

Apple Macs

If you need to order a Mac you should talk to your Voucher Holder and ask them for their authorisation. If they agree they will need to submit a CFD Voucher and supply a cost code for the extra cost that will be incurred.

  • Apple units supplied from our distributors stock have an estimated delivery of 7 working days;
  • Apple units requiring Apple customisation have an estimated delivery of 15 working days.

Microsoft Windows and Office will be installed on your computer for free under the Microsoft Campus Agreement. Other software packages are free to download from our software catalogue. Most Adobe products and Microsoft Visio are Premium Services and will incur a cost and require a cost code.

Order deadlines

The deadline for ordering IT Equipment, both CFD and premium products (non-CFD orders), is 31 May of the financial year it is to be paid in.

Warranty and support

This warranty applies to DITS-supplied equipment only

Support and warranty repairs are provided free of charge for the following equipment:

  • Desktop computers under 5 years old
  • Laptop computers under 4 years old
  • Monitors - we will replace any broken monitor that has been provided through the CFD scheme in the last five years free of charge. Replacements for monitors that fall outside of this may be chargeable.

Equipment within warranty but is beyond economic repair will be replaced on a like for like basis free of charge.

All equipment beyond its expected life, will not receive any support from DITS, and will be securely disposed of by us under the WEEE directive.

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IT Purchasing