SME Assessment


Subject Matter

SME Assessment


  • What does the product do/what is the purpose?  Is there a tool available on campus that can address the need?
  • Is this product requested/utilized by another department on campus?  If so, consider bulk purchase.
  • Ensure accessibility is addressed
  • Ensure security is addressed 

Networking Gear

  •  How does the end user use this networking gear and what is the purpose of it?
  • Can this purchase can be avoiding by installing new data jack to this location?
  • Can this purchase be avoiding by utilizing campus network infrastructure?
  • Is this networking gear fall into campus network infrastructure vendor standard?
  • What kind of support and maintenance of this networking gear?


  • Is this a physical server or a virtual server?
  • What specification required (Memory, CPU, Storage)?
  • Is this a production or development/test server?
  • Is there a need for a high availability (two servers minimum)?
  • Is this for a state or non-state department
  • Any backup requirement
  • What level of data the server will host (level 1, 2 or 3PDF File )

Server Operating System Software

  • What is the OS type and version?
  • Any SQL or database requirement?

Server Application Software

  • What is your intended purpose of the purchase?
  • What type of data do you plan to store on the server?
  • Where do you plan to have the server hosted at?
  • Who will administer the database server?
  • Who will have access to the data stored on the server?

Network Printer / Copier

  • Is this request to replace obsolete, damaged or broken printer past the feasible point of repair?
  • Is there a printer/copier in an office nearby that could be used?
  • How many individuals will have access to this unit?
  • Estimated numbers of copies/print will be made per month; this to determine if the speed of the unit appropriate (too big or too small).
  • Is a maintenance contract being requested and budgeted for?

Audio Visual

  • What is the end user’s intended purpose of the purchase? (meetings, portable, fixed install, etc.)
  • Will the purchase meet those needs? (sometimes a bright projector is needed but go for a lower end model)
  • Will it be compatible with existing setups? (analog vs digital)
  • Is the manufacturer part of the standards used on campus (Extron, Epson, Panasonic, Samsung, JBL for example)?
  • Will the A/V support team be able to provide support after the purchase is made?
  • Is the end user buying from a contracted vendor or an online retailer? (Our contracted vendors provide discounts on some products and extended warranties)

Digital Camera / Video Camera

  • How is the end user using it?  What purpose?
    • i.e. Basic training and documentation; web; broadcast TV/high-end/professional video production
    • Various applications and needs based on intended use
  • Budget and cost allocation
  • Accessory cost for completion of piece (editing software, lenses, etc.)
  • Support & maintenance

Desktop Software

  • Who will be using the software?
  • Will data be stored anywhere other than the end-user’s machine?
  • Does the campus have an enterprise license agreement already in place?
  • Does the campus already own a comparable software product and can offer free of charge?
  • Ensure accessibility is addressed

Cloud-based Software or Services

  •  What is your intended purpose of the purchase?
  • What type of data do you plan to store in the Cloud?
  • Get and review a copy of vendor’s Cloud Security Alliance CAIQ questions
  • Work with vendor and fill out Security Data Requirements Checklist
  • Include proper Supplemental contract language based on vendor’s response

 IT Consulting / Professional Services

  • Review the statement of work (SOW)
  • Ensure the deliverables are clearly stated and are exactly what the buyer needs
  • Ensure the security concerns are assessed
  • Evaluate if there are existing MEAs for similar services
  • Evaluate if the task can be accomplished by CSUF resources


  • Review VPAT to ensure it is comprehensive
  • Look up product to ensure VPAT is correct/appropriate
  • Consider accessibility from perspective of each user/all user types (i.e. students, faculty, staff, general public)

Contractual, terms and conditions

  • Review software agreements to ensure terms and conditions are acceptable. Other areas looked at:
      • Risk to the University
      • Privacy information
      • Vendor ability to audit our servers
      • Limitation of liability
      • Indemnification
      • Governance location (if vendor is outside of the US, they have different regulations)

IT Purchasing Administration

  • Monitors Service Now to ensure requests are moving through the queue
  • Follows up with SMEs if a request is “taking too long”
  • Manages dl-itpurchasing and provides guidance, training as needed
  • Maintains VPAT Repository