By Josh Harkema, November 7 2016 —
(With files from Scott Strasser)
After an 11-year contract, the University of Calgary will sever ties with Xerox for scanning and printing services on campus.
Xerox’s operations at the U of C include business-related services like printing, scanning and copying. Throughout their contract with the U of C, two of the company’s main responsibilities were printing and scanning exam Scantrons and Universal Student Ratings of Instruction (USRI) faculty evaluation forms.
The U of C’s contract with Xerox will expire on Jan. 1 2017. Rather than extending the contract, the U of C selected West Canadian Digital Imaging as Xerox’s replacement.
According to U of C vice-president finance and services Linda Dalgetty, the university issued a public Request for Proposal to find Xerox’s replacement. The request was approved earlier this year.
“Anyone who is qualified [was] able to come into that competition. We chose West Canadian to do that portion of business because we felt that they were the best respondent in terms of the competitive bid process,” Dalgetty said. “University employees currently responsible for exam scanning were directly involved in the review process and selection of the new vendor.”
Many Xerox employees at the U of C work out of the Imagine Printing office located in the basement of the Education Tower.
Xerox operations manager Mavis Iverson said Imagine Printing staff didn’t receive any information on plans to facilitate the upcoming transition until a Nov. 2 meeting between Xerox and members of the U of C.
An employee at Imagine Printing said staff are unsure if they will still be employed by Xerox after their contract with the U of C ends. Iverson said she is working on relocating Xerox employees currently at the U of C to other locations, but couldn’t promise that all employees will be successfully relocated. There are currently around 20 Xerox employees at the U of C.
Dalgetty said the U of C does not directly employ Imagine Printing staff, as they are on contract. She said the U of C cannot comment on the future of Xerox’s on-campus employees.
One U of C professor who spoke on the condition of anonymity is concerned the change will affect the university’s ability to ensure timely Scantron results following fall semester final exams. The professor is concerned a change in Scantron service providers will affect the university’s 48-business-hour guarantee for the return of exam results.
Dalgetty said the university has a transition plan with West Canadian to ensure there is no disruption to service. She also noted West Canadian will not take over until after fall term final exams are completed.
“In terms of the 48-hour turnaround [for Scantron results], we put that service level into the agreements with our contractors. Whether it’s Xerox or West Canadian, they will have a guarantee they have given us on service level,” Dalgetty said.
Dalgetty said the transition work is already underway.
“We are also taking older exams and scanning them to ensure they produce the same results as well as running a parallel process in December to prevent any issues,” she added.
The university expects increased service levels from West Canadian as well as better monthly reporting for each department. Dalgetty said the change in scanning and printing providers should not create any additional costs.