View from the Director’s Chair, February 2013

Another busy month for IT Services as several major strands of work began and others were successfully completed.

The Technology Enhanced Learning Strategy Group (TELSG) asked us to provide some high-level cost estimates for two potential developments: one to extend WiFi coverage more widely on campus (including external access as well as within buildings), and the other to introduce lecture video capture for all major teaching sessions. We duly did some homework on these and have provided approximate costs for the Group to consider. Both would be major developments for the University and ITS, so we await the outcome of these deliberations with much interest.

We also began two other high-level studies in February: one to create a summary business case for upgrading the University’s telephone system (a longer term project) and the other to examine the feasibility of changing to a different email platform for staff. For both pieces of work we were pleased to welcome Harry Ntakyi to IT Services as an additional IT project manager, working for us on a fixed term contract. We hope to have the initial conclusions from each of these investigations by the end of the current term.

Our fourth significant proposal this month is to provide cost estimates for reconfiguring the IT equipment in the Kotaraya Tower (Malaysia) in order to improve systems performance there.  Work on options and costs is nearing completion and will be presented to the relevant senior executive group soon.

With so many new developments on the starting blocks this month it’s good to report a couple of completed ones as well!  We successfully installed comprehensive WiFi coverage in Whiteknights House which should make a significant difference to those working there. Well done our network team!  This month also saw the launch of a new HR system which provides on-line processing of the Staffing Request Forms (SRFs). Our CISS team member Colin Talbot did a great job in designing this and it is now being trialed in IT, pending wider roll-out. This will save managers and administrators a considerable amount of time and make it easier for all those involved in considering changes to staffing arrangements. A very good example of IT being used to make our internal processes more efficient.

John

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