DoIT Departmental Tech Support-Node Rate FAQ

As DoIT Departmental Tech Support prepares to transition contract partners to a node rate billing model, we've compiled frequently asked questions and answers to provide you with more information about billing, calculations, nodes and more.

In this KB:

Node rates

What is a node and a node rate?

A node is an endpoint that requires end-to-end IT support. A node rate is a monthly charge to supported departments that covers the cost to provide end-to-end IT support for a node, based on the particular node type.

What are the different types of node rates?

The core node is the basic hardware that every employee needs to do their job. This includes desktops or laptops plus a dock, if applicable, and attached peripherals: monitors, keyboards and mice. In addition to core nodes, note rates are determined based on the particular node type (hybrid meeting room, printer, Visix digital signage, or tablet).

What are the node rates for FY24?

  • Core node: $765
  • Hybrid meeting room node: $750
  • Printer node: $204
  • Visix digital signage node: $200
  • Tablet node: $100

Why is DoIT moving to a node rate?

At the time of the AIMS and DoIT unification in 2023, AIMS was billing supported departments quarterly using a single node rate for all devices. DoIT was billing departments monthly using a complex set of rates within a chargeback model. With the AIMS and DoIT unification, a single billing model must be adopted. Consistent with the project goal to adopt the best of both organizations, the choice was made to move to the AIMS node rate model, which is most aligned with the cost driver of the service and consistent with cost accounting best practices. Additionally, moving to a consistent core node rate model with other optional node rates for different device types is inherently more proportional to usage and more transparent.


Node types

We have spare laptops/desktops. Will we be charged a core node rate for those?

Yes. These would be considered a core node because when those computers are needed, the expectation is that they work. For those to be functional, available, and up to date with security and software, they need to be managed. As an alternative option for spare laptops, we also offer a check out option when needed. The service includes the ability to check out a computer for this purpose instead of contract partners maintaining a large supply of spare equipment. Checkouts would be no cost to you and are available for a short-term loan (up to 4 weeks). 

We have specialized laptops/desktops that may be used infrequently. Will we be charged a node rate for those?

Yes, these would be considered a core node because when those computers are needed, the expectation is that they work. For those to be functional, available, and up to date with security and software, they need to be managed. 

We have multi-function copier/scanner/printer devices and a service contract from a 3rd party. Will we be charged a printer node rate for these?

Yes. There are support needs associated with any printer regardless of who is managing the physical printer. All networked printers require print queues, driver updates, end user installation and troubleshooting, etc. Whether or not a printer is leased or purchased does not change that need. Physical repair of a printer that is leased is done by the leasing company but DoIT performs all the other functions described above.

We have printers attached directly to a workstation. Will we be charged a printer node rate for these?

We did not include these because we don’t have a way to identify them remotely. There are 1500 networked printers across all our contracted customers. That equates to 1 printer for every 4 devices which doesn’t even include local printers. Please contact Departmental Support for ideas to reduce printer nodes and costs.   

What is a Visix/digital signage endpoint?

Visix is a system that provides digital signs on large displays. The cost of the Visix license, equipment and support is covered with the node rate charged for these devices.

What is included in the tablet/mobile node?

Tablets and other mobile devices like phones are charged a node rate if they require support from us. Support is defined as being registered with our management systems and having the expectation to have the ability to contact us with support-related questions.

We have spare tablets in our department. Will we be charged a core node rate for those?

If the devices are registered with DoIT management systems, you will be charged a node rate for them.  DoIT can  provide an inventory of items that are registered with our systems.

Can you define the scope of the hybrid meeting room endpoints?

You can review the full scope of the service here on the hybrid meeting room service page.



How are node rates calculated each year?

The core node rate is recalculated each year to recover the actual cost to deliver support to all customers. This cost accounting calculation is based on the total cost to provide IT support services for the nodes divided by the total number of supported nodes owned by supported departments. The total number of supported nodes each fiscal year will be determined by calculating the average number of nodes reporting to our endpoint management systems each quarter of the previous fiscal year. 

How will the node count be determined every year for each department?

The total number of supported nodes each fiscal year will be determined by calculating the average number of nodes reporting to our endpoint management systems each quarter of the previous fiscal year.

Example node count:

In this example, the supported department has 51 core nodes for FY25 billing (assuming this example department only has core nodes). The number of nodes (51) in this example was established by calculating an average based on each quarter during Fiscal Year 2024.

  • FY24 Q1 Nodes reporting         50
  • FY24 Q2 Nodes reporting         47
  • FY24 Q3 Nodes reporting         53
  • FY24 Q4 Nodes reporting         54

                           FY24 Average         51

When will we find out about the node rates each year?

Once the total number of supported nodes has been determined, the node rate is set each year. Counts and rates will be shared with departments annually for budget planning.


Billing and inventory

How will the node rate be billed?

Departments will be billed monthly with a consistent monthly cost throughout the fiscal year. Any surplus or deficit generated by the service will be applied to the rate each year.

Will contract partners receive information that will break down the node rates by individual UDDS?

This will be forthcoming from DoIT and will be supplied annually when new rates are set.

Will DoIT provide an inventory of all nodes/devices/rooms being supported now?

You will be provided with an inventory each year. To begin an inventory reconciliation process, you will receive a baseline inventory of your devices no later than June 16, 2023. DoIT can help you reconcile your inventory list by September 30, 2023. The inventory count will be used to report inventory per UWSA system policies.

For FY24 billing, an inventory from January 2023 was used to calculate the rate. The node count which determines your billing for subsequent fiscal years is based on devices reporting into our endpoint management systems.

Can I access a listing of my inventory myself?

Yes, eventually. DoIT plans to move away from AIMS’s IT Financials application, which currently provides a way for contract partners to check on their inventory. We are in the process of developing a dashboard that contract partners can use to verify their inventories on their own.

Who will be responsible for tracking the hardware assets, since all contract partners own the hardware?

DoIT is responsible for tracking hardware assets assuming the assets were purchased using the process provided as part of the support you have with us.  Please see the FAQ’s about purchasing hardware and software which provides more detail on this service.  

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Purchasing hardware and software

Are the costs for existing computers that departments currently have in their possession still folded into the node rate and charged back to the department over time?

All computers will be paid for at the time of purchase by the contract partner, and then procured by DoIT for you. The cost of the computer is no longer folded into the node rate.

For existing hardware not yet fully paid off under the previous node rate (those in mid-life cycle), DoIT will cover the cost of the remaining balance for any laptops and desktops purchased before July 2023.

If a computer in your department was scheduled for replacement prior to July 2023, those costs have been covered by DoIT. However, the replacement will be scheduled and may occur after July 1, 2023.

For new hardware needed after July 1, 2023, departments formerly supported by AIMS will begin paying for new hardware purchases at the time of purchasing additional or replacement machines. 

Will computer purchases still be managed by DoIT, using departmental funding or will the actual procurement be pushed to the departments?

DoIT will continue to do the procurement, purchasing, deployment and management of the equipment. There are no changes to the current experience. The only difference is that the cost of the equipment will be paid for by the department up front vs. being included in the node rate.

When a new device is purchased, does that device become DoIT’s asset or the contract partner’s asset?

If you were previously supported by AIMS, all the equipment becomes the property of the contract partner as well as the equipment purchased in the future. As of July 1, 2023, equipment purchased will be paid for up front by the contract partner and the contract partner owns all of their equipment. Equipment purchased before July 1, 2023 will be given to the contract partner at no cost. If you have been a DoIT supported customer, you already own the equipment and no transfer is required.

If my department needs a unique, non-standard software, is that cost covered by DoIT and folded into the node rate?

For software needs, departments will begin paying for non-standard software licenses outside of the node rate beginning July 1, 2023. DoIT will carry out the transaction and the installation with a separate charge for the cost of any non-standard software.

Examples of this type of software include: BlueBeam, Visio, MS Project, etc.

Who is monitoring to ensure that supervisors are not submitting multiple new computers for the same employees.

There are no changes. Each department should have a policy and procedure for getting equipment for employees.  Supervisors go to the portal and request a new computer via the "New Employee Onboarding" button or the "Request a Workstation" button.  Supervisors should be communicating internally to make sure that a process is being followed.

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Ownership of nodes

Who will determine when a device will be replaced?

DoIT will determine when existing equipment is replaced. The contract partner will determine when new, additional equipment is needed. New additional equipment will be purchased using the DoIT support portal ( DoIT will purchase, image and deploy the equipment, and the contract partner will be billed for that device. DoIT will continue to provide recommendations and guidance with periodic inventory reports showing which computers need to be replaced based on the standard replacement lifecycle. There may be situations where a computer is scheduled to be replaced but you may not want to replace it. If we see too much equipment in use that exceeds our 5 year replacement cycle, we may charge a premium to support that equipment in the future.

Can I send my computer to SWAP?

While it is allowable, doing so would impact our ability to properly maintain your inventories which could result in paying for a node that you no longer have. The inventory and decommission process is part of the service we provide and is an important step in maintaining accurate inventories. If you have a computer that you would like to decommission, please fill out the “Decommission a Computer” form on the portal located at

Can I sell or give my computer and other hardware to other campus units or DoIT departments?

Campus has policies and procedures that can be found on the SWAP policy and procedures website. The inventory and decommission process is part of the service we provide and is an important step in maintaining both accurate inventories and security on devices. Devices need to be properly decommissioned to ensure that no personal data is inadvertently given to others.  

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Will our division or department have a customer service liaison appointed to us?

If you would like to maintain a relationship with a particular person that you have worked with or have a liaison assigned to you, we can do that. Our plan is to have primary points of contact that can be your first point of contact.

Will DoIT still set up machines with necessary software, network security etc.?

DoIT will continue to fully manage all aspects of inventory, lifecycle, software deployment, security and patching. You will not see any changes to this other than improvements on visibility to your inventory.

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KeywordsFAQ frequently asked questions AIMS transition node rate core node billing university of wisconsin madison staff node types desktop support departmental tech support laptops computers mouse mice keyboards printers tablets mobile devices inventory calculations purchasing hardware software ownership   Doc ID128267
OwnerBrianna K.GroupDoIT Departmental Support
Created2023-05-12 10:22 CDTUpdated2023-09-19 09:54 CDT
SitesDoIT Departmental Support, DoIT Help Desk, DoIT Help Desk Level 2 KCS
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