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What is a Desktop?

A desktop is defined as a collection of technology devices and standard applications needed to support a defined position within the Administrative areas of Vanderbilt. A desktop can be mobile or stationary. A desktop generally includes:
  • a monitor,
  • keyboard,
  • central processing unit,
  • printer, and
  • peripheral equipment such as hand held devices (smart phones and tablets)
What services are included in desktop support? At initial deployment, the services included in desktop support are those described below under each stage of a desktop’s lifecycle.

1. In the ACQUISITION phase, End User Services:

  1. Recommends and procures standard desktop configurations.
  2. Facilitates supplier contracts for hardware and software purchases.

2. In the DEPLOYMENT or setup phase, End User Services deploys desktops:

  1. Per VMDP standard desktop and standard application guidelines.
  2. Per VU security and procurement policy.
  3. Using factory installed images of standard software applications with appropriate configuration and testing.

3. In the maintenance and SUPPORT phase, the Desktop Support Team:

  1. Works with areas to establish the most effective data backup and recovery practices.
  2. Acts to correct break/fix situations where users are unable to do their jobs. As necessary, “hot spares” are provided for desktop outages lasting longer than two hours.
  3. Provides customary and usual support for a standard suite of desktop applications.

Standard desktop applications include:

Basic Software - These are the standard applications supplied with all desktops.

  • MS Windows 7 with latest Service Pack and updates
  • MS Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome
  • Anti-virus/Anti-Spyware software
  • MS Office Professional
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Laptop systems – VPN software
  • Note: MS Outlook (a part of the MS Office package) E-mail and Calendar will be configured to access the University’s Exchange server. The Exchange calendar system is intended for institution-wide use for scheduling meetings, appointments, etc.

Additional Software - These are optional applications installed based on user needs.

  • MS Project Professional
  • MS Visio Professional
  • (others likely to be identified over time)
    1. d. Supports software applicable to the hardware implemented (e.g., CD- or DVD-Rom “burner” programming if a CD or DVD read/write device is installed).
    2. e. Ensures vendor security updates and patches are installed.
    3. f. Provides an issue resolution/escalation path (tiered support model).


  1. Desktop Support Team performs a secure “wipe” of all VU data on hard drives
  2. Department may donate machines to Virtual School or send them to VU Surplus


  1. Equipment and software lifecycle management to include maintaining an inventory of desktops, peripherals, and standard software licenses.
  2. Volume purchasing/leasing.
  3. Testing of software upgrades.


  1. Service level objectives (targeted response time for each category of problem) are established and published.
  2. Emergency on call outside regular business hours.
  3. Staff training, certification in A+, Network+,Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technical and Microsoft Certified Professional.