View from the Director’s Chair – January 2013

It’s been a busy start to the New Year in IT Services with a lot of developments to look forward to in 2013.

In December/January we welcomed two new apprentices to our Customer Services group who will spend roughly three months with each core element of the Customer Services Team. This is an exciting new development for us and we look forward to helping the apprentices develop their skills during their time with IT Services.

We are already planning for some significant projects to be delivered for summer 2013. One is an upgrade to the current version of Blackboard. Other significant projects underway include the migration of the Student Email service to a newer version, Microsoft Office365. This has to be completed by the end of the summer vacation at the latest. We are also beginning a feasibility study to see whether we can  migrate staff to this email service too, though on a longer timescale.

Internally we are continuing to look at various ways to improve the services we provide to our customers, including a project to replace our Remedy workflow management system.  As part of a wider review of our Help Service we have altered several processes recently, including how customer contact takes place, personalisation of communication and altering opening hours for the service. The ITS Library Counter Service will now be running a trial of extended opening hours for this term. The opening hours will be 10am-9pm Monday to Thursday and 10am-7pm on Fridays.

Another major theme for 2013 will be to consider improvements to IT/Information Security. We had a taste of this just before Christmas when we identified a security threat to our captive portal WiFi Network, UoR-Guest. As a result, we have changed the way that people connect to UoR-Guest (from 18 December 2012) by requiring provision of a shared key in order to connect to the network. Once connected, UoR-Guest operates in the normal way.

All in all a busy start to an exciting year ahead…….!

 

John Leary

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