Changes to email lists: External lists (Mailman)

As part of our ongoing project to improve our services and ensure they meet current requirements, we are replacing the Mailman email distribution list service. You can read more about why we need to move away from Mailman in our post Changes to email distribution lists.

We have already migrated over 400 lists to Microsoft Outlook Distribution Groups. These are lists which contain internal members only.

Moving from Mailman Lists to LISTSERV

Listserv smallWe are now ready to tackle moving our external facing Mailman lists to a new managed email service called LISTSERV.

LISTSERV has been running since 1986. Thousands of organizations worldwide use LISTSERV to manage email newsletters, discussion groups, email communities and opt-in email marketing campaigns that reach millions of subscribers.

Key information for existing list owners

The migration of lists and users will be done automatically by DTS over the next few weeks. If you are a list owner, we will email to let you know when your list migration will take place.  This email will also contain your new email list address.

There are a few steps we would like you to take to smooth the transition for yourselves and for your members.

  • Familiarise yourself with the new interface (demo at Moderator interface)
  • Notify members of the changes: We advise you to notify your members of the change of email address for your list.
  • Update moderation and list settings: We have configured the new list moderation to be fairly restrictive, however you can make changes to these settings as you please.
  • Use the new email address: We encourage you to use the new address as soon as possible. There will be a grace period of two weeks where both email addresses can be used.
  • Send emails to both lists for two weeks: to allow all members to ensure that they have been successfully migrated, and that emails from the new service are being correctly delivered (and not sent to spam/junk).

I’m subscribed to a Mailman list, what do I need to do?

First of all, wait until you are advised by your list moderator that the list email address has changed!

  • Familiarise yourself with the new interface (demo at Subscriber interface)
  • Use the new email address: Please note that for the first two weeks after the migration, all email sent to the old address will redirect to the new list. An autoreply will notify the sender of the new email address to use.
  • Create a LISTSERV account so you can access your settings and check your subscription status has migrated successfully. You must use the same email address as the email address used by your existing list.

Instructions, demos and FAQ

Instructions for list owners and subscribers can be found here: KI 1816 LISTSERV Information. We have also published an FAQ on the same page.

There are demos of the new LISTSERV interface you can try out:

Further information and Contact

If you have any questions or need any advice, please contact the Mailman migration team via the IT Service Desk.

Eduroam Wi-Fi update 22/12/22

Eduroam logo

What do I need to know?

The Eduroam wi-fi security certificate has been renewed, which in some cases requires re-authentication when you join for the first time.

What do I need to do?

If you are using wi-fi on campus for the first time after 22/12/22 and you are having issues connecting, you should “forget” the Eduroam wi-fi network on your device and then re-join Eduroam, re-entering your username and password (particularly iOS users). If you get a message e.g. “Do you want to accept this new certificate”, please accept the new certificate.

If forget and re-join doesn’t work, please go to and download a new certificate for your device before connecting (you may need to use mobile data to do this if you have no other connections available to you).

Further help

If you still can’t get on to wi-fi, please visit our Service Desk on the first floor in the Library at Whiteknights where we can help in person. Alternatively, raise a ticket with the IT Service Desk.

Service Desk Opening hours: Christmas vacation 22/23

Here are the DTS Service Desk opening times during the Christmas & New Year vacation.

Email and the IT Self-Service Portal will remain open; however, we will not be working as standard. New and existing tickets will not be actioned, but we will be monitoring urgent systems and services.

Day Date Telephone IT Service Desk Library Greenlands
Friday 9 Dec 0800-1800 0800-1800 0800-1700 0800-1800
Weekend Sat 10 & Sun 11 Dec: Closed
Monday 12 Dec 0800-1800 0800-1800 0800-1700 0800-1800
Tuesday 13 Dec 0800-1800 0800-1800 0800-1700 0800-1800
Wednesday 14 Dec 0800-1800 0800-1800 0800-1700 0800-1800
Thursday 15 Dec 0800-1800 0800-1800 0800-1700 0800-1800
Friday 16 Dec 0800-1800 0800-1800 0800-1700 0800-1800
Weekend Sat 17 & Sun 18 Dec: Closed
Monday 19 Dec 0800-1800 0800-1800 0800-1700 0800-1800
Tuesday 20 Dec 0800-1800 0800-1800 0800-1700 0800-1800
Wednesday 21 Dec 0800-1800 0800-1800 0800-1700 0800-1800
Thursday 22 Dec 0800-1800 0800-1800 0800-1700 0800-1800
Friday 23 Dec Closed
Sat 24 Dec to Sun 1 Jan: University closed
Monday 2 Jan Closed
Tuesday 3 Jan 0800-1800 0800-1800 0800-1700 0800-1800
Wednesday 4 Jan 0800-1800 0800-1800 0800-1700 0800-1800
Thursday 5 Jan 0800-1800 0800-1800 0800-1700 0800-1800
Friday 6 Jan 0800-1800 0800-1800 0800-1700 0800-1800
Saturday 7 Jan Closed Closed 0900-1700 Closed
Sunday 8 Jan Closed Closed 0900-1700 Closed
Monday 9 Jan 0800-1800 0800-1800 0800-1700 0800-1800

From Monday 9th January, all services are back to operating normally – term time opening hours.

DTS Annual Survey 2022


Each year DTS carries out a short survey to make sure we are fulfilling our role in supporting the University staff and their digital requirements.

We are pleased to launch the 2022 annual DTS Survey today. In this year’s short survey, we hope to get an idea of what staff members would like from their DTS department, whilst gaining an idea of how we are performing in day-to-day support tasks.

Previous years’ feedback has allowed us to implement the popular Teaching and Learning priority phone line for those calling from teaching and learning environments, the IT Status Hub, the implementation of a new phone system with place in queue and call back functionality, a wider selection of Self-Help guides, and a campus-wide Wi-Fi refresh amongst other initiatives.

With the feedback received this year, we plan to use this input to implement further improvements as well as hosting roadshows, focus groups and workshops to allow you to help shape our way forward. Further details of this will be shared via the DTS website in 2023. 

The survey will remain open until the Christmas break, please encourage your colleagues to respond. We look forward to your responses and sharing the findings in the future.

Blackboard issues 7/11/22

Update: 7/11/22. This has now been resolved

There was a problem with the overnight import of enrolment data from RISIS into Blackboard, which meant that many students’ enrolments on Blackboard courses became disabled – i.e. students could not see the courses on which they were enrolled.

Any assessments due today will need to have their deadline extended by 24 hours.
Programme Administrators are already aware of this, and of what steps need to be taken.

DTS have identified the problem and we are in the process of resolving it. We will be running the enrolment scripts again and expect this process to be complete for all students by around 11:00 7/11/22.

The announcements in Blackboard regarding this will be updated when we are sure the issues are all fixed.

In the meantime, you can check the IT Status Page for updates.

Device Replacement

What is happening?

The New Ways of Working (NWoW) Programme is an ambitious project including a sub-programme to replace all University devices with a standardised, easy to support-and-use, modern and portable device. The project to replace these aligns closely with the University’s strategic aims in terms of new ways of working, and this Programme will work closely with Estates, Health and Safety and HR to ensure consistency across each of these working areas, with a specific focus on digital flexibility and efficient working.

Alongside device replacement, there is an ongoing requirement to manage the entire lifecycle of the University devices, including disposal, maintenance and repair, and security and hardware activities. There are a number of projects and events across the University that also require devices to be set up, maintained and supported.


How will this work?

The Device Lifecycle team is responsible for the successful delivery of the Device Replacement Programme, working closely with colleagues in all schools and functions.

This includes:

  • Help and advice in deciding the most appropriate device and peripherals to request
  • Access to an envisioning centre to look at the devices available and the configuration options
  • A dedicated manager to coordinate every aspect of the project for each function or school
  • A dedicated engagement analyst to ensure support is available throughout the process with logistics and planning
  • A dedicated team of four experienced User Support technicians to supply, configure, install and connect the new device ensuring it has the full functionality of the original
  • A dedicated Teams chat channel for direct and immediate communications regarding any questions relating the project
  • A fully audited delivery process ensuring every agreed expectation has been delivered before customer sign off
  • A environmentally managed disposal process for old devices

DTS are gathering details about current devices and completing the recruitment process for a number of additional positions to support the existing team along with formalising a detailed, efficient and standard process to ensure consistency.


Do I need to do anything yet?

The DTS Device Lifecycle team will be publishing plans for 2022-23 by mid-November.

Changes to email distribution lists

Email distribution list logo

Email distribution lists are used throughout the university to send one email to lots of people simultaneously. These mailing lists could include people outside the University (external) as well as University staff and students. Up until now, we’ve used Mailman ( for creating the majority of mailing lists, whether for external or internal recipients.

Moving from Mailman Lists to Outlook Distribution Groups

What is happening?

DTS assesses software used at the University to ensure it meets current standards and requirements. Older programs that can’t meet these demands are being replaced and phased out, and Mailman has fallen into this category. For this reason, we are now tackling replacing Mailman with the solution depending on the recipients of the list:

  1. Lists that have internal recipients – these are moving to Microsoft Outlook Distribution Groups (this project has been underway for a while and you may have already been advised and moved to Microsoft Outlook Distribution Groups)
  2. Lists that have external recipients – these will be moving to a new service called LISTSERV (this project is currently in a trial period with a select number of lists; there will be a further post with more information soon)

I’ll explain more about Microsoft Outlook Distribution Groups later in this post, with links to our Knowledge Item articles which will guide you through the main functionality.

Some background

The decision to move away from Mailman has not been taken lightly. The main issue we face with Mailman is that there has been nobody updating or supporting it for several years (last release was 2016).

  • No developer = no patches or updates
  • No vendor = no support
  • No patches or updates or support = security risk

With no changes since 2016, Mailman is increasingly open to vulnerabilities.

  • The Mailman admin panel has not been available offsite since Christmas 2021 due to security concerns which cannot be fixed.
  • New features to improve email security, such as Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) and Safelinks cannot be implemented.
  • Emails from Mailman lists are being marked as Junk or Quarantined. This means that emails coming from are being treated as suspicious.

Outlook Distribution Groups (for internal addressees)

If your Mailman list only contains internal recipients, then we are turning your list into an Outlook Distribution Group.

What are the benefits?

We are all familiar with using Microsoft Outlook, so the main benefit is that there’s no new interface to learn, and its contained within your Microsoft 365 environment so no new software to install and manage.

Here are some other benefits:

  • Global Address Lists – There’s no need to remember lengthy email addresses of the Distribution Group. They are all visible in the Distribution Group section of the Global Address Lists in Microsoft Outlook desktop or web app.
  • Software is up to date – Microsoft ensures the application is patched or updated to avert security vulnerabilities and users don’t need to do anything.
  • Better message delivery times – Posts are speedily delivered i.e. Mailman lists currently step through 13 hops (different servers) in order to get to recipients. With the new system, this is now cut down to 3.
  • Managing membership is easier – There’s no need to remember URLs or open a web-based link to manage members. Avoiding such unnecessary step also cuts down on delivery times and remove ghost members.
  • Accurate Membership list – There’s no need for Distribution Groups owners to unsubscribe a leaver as Active Directory is automatically updated. Currently, there are duplicate email aliases, inactive/leavers that cause Non-Delivery Reports (NDR) in Mailman Administrators mailbox on a daily basis. Removing inactive/leavers also cuts down on delivery times.

Key information for existing list owners

Much of the functionality of Mailman is also available in Outlook, but here are a few things that you need to be aware of:

  1. Most mailing list subscribers shouldn’t notice any difference. 
  2. Emails sent to a Distribution Group will appear to come from the sender. If you don’t want your name to appear on the email, please use a Shared Mailbox to send the email (e.g. “IT Communications”). The same is true of sent items, they will appear in your Sent items unless you have sent from a role-based account, in which case they appear in the Sent items of that account.
  3. Any messages you receive about your Distribution Group will come into your inbox (or, if you used a Shared Mailbox to send a message, it will come into that inbox). For example, if you need to moderate a message, you will be notified via your inbox.
  4. Moderating and approving posts can only be done through the web interface (
  5. You can only add members who have an email address. If you need to add external members, please contact the IT Service Desk.

Instructions for using Outlook Distribution Groups

How to access your distribution list: You can access your Distribution Groups via Outlook Online (

How to send posts to a distribution list: To email your members, put the list address in the To field of a new email (or the BCC field, if you don’t want your recipients to be able to see and contact all members of the Group).

Group Manager admin tools: The preferred way to administer your lists is through Group Manager, which is available on Apps Anywhere.

Outlook Web tools: You can access admin tools through Outlook Online (

Note: some lists do not appear in the Global Address list. If you cannot find yours, please raise a ticket with the IT Service Desk to perform these functions.

Further information

The best place to get up to date information for Microsoft products is from Microsoft themselves. This support page is about Outlook Distribution Groups: Microsoft Outlook 365 distribution group support page


If you have any questions or require advice, please contact our IT Service Desk.

Where do I get software from?

At the University of Reading, we provide free access to commercial level software including Microsoft Office 365 (Teams, Word, Excel), plus academic software such as MATLAB, NVivo, SPSS etc.

These are available to access in three different ways, depending on the type of software you require. In this article we will talk about the places to get software from, and provide links to detailed Knowledge Item articles with instructions on how to use them.

1. Microsoft 365:

Staff and students

Microsoft logoAll the main Office applications are available to download for free from your Office 365 home page, for up to 5 devices (note that for staff one of these is your work computer).

Instructions: How to get Office 365

Find out what is included:

2. Curriculum applications: AppsAnywhere

Staff and students

Apps Anywhere logo AppsAnywhere is our most widely used system for accessing applications, this service allows you to launch over 180 different apps. AppsAnywhere can be used with both University owned computers and also your own personal devices.

You can launch AppsAnywhere by clicking this link:

For staff, to request software on AppsAnywhere, please follow this form: Request Software for Labs

Find out more about Apps Anywhere:

3. General Applications: Software Center (SCCM) or Company Portal

Staff only

We use the Software Center or Company Portal to distribute a few applications which cannot go on Apps Anywhere because of the way they are licenced or need to be installed.

Whether you have the Software Center or Company Portal will depend on when your device was purchased and set up for the University. Some software, such as YuJa Learning Capture, is available on both Software Center and Company Portal.

Software Center

SCCM logoSoftware Center is an application installed on most older University Staff computers (pre 2021) and allows you to install certain applications that are unable to run via AppsAnywhere.

We have a knowledge article that explains how to access software via the Software Center: Installing applications from the Software Center (University staff PC)

If you have a newer device, delivered after March/April 2021, you’ll need to head to the Company Portal:

Company Portal

Company Portal logoCompany Portal is an application installed on most newer University Staff computers (anything purchased after March/April 2021) which allows you to install applications that are unable to run via AppsAnywhere.

We have a knowledge article that explains how to access software via the Software Center: Install Software from Company Portal on an Autopiloted device

What if I need software that’s not available on any of these systems?

If you need software that you cannot find on any of these systems, please take a look at this form, which will help you to log a ticket to get access to software that is not available. Install/use New Software (desktop/laptop installed)

For some software there may be a different process to have it installed, depending on the licencing of the software, complexity of the software and/or the amount of people that will be using the software. However, by logging your request via this route, DTS will be able to guide you through the process.

Important: Please do not install any software you are not sure about. By using the authorised software delivery services on this page, you will get an up to date, supported version of the software you need.

Need more help?

As always, if you require any further assistance, please get in touch with the DTS Service Desk who will be glad to help guide you.

New look IT Service Desk emails

We have designed a new streamlined look for the automatic emails sent out by the IT Service Desk. Several of you said you missed our emails as they didn’t stand out as anything important, or they weren’t laid out well so you couldn’t find the information you wanted easily.

The following screenshots show the new emails which will be coming shortly.

New ticket

Here is an example of the email you will get when you log a call.Screenshot of new ticket email

Ticket update

Here is an example of an email telling you about an update to your ticket. If you want or need to reply to the message, you can do this by clicking the “Track my ticket” button, which takes you straight to that particular ticket:

Screenshot of update ticket emailTicket completed

Finally, this is the ticket completed email, with a meaningful reason for closure (usually job completed). If you want to re-open the ticket or have comments to make, clicking the “Track my ticket” button takes you back to that particular ticket on the Self Service Portal.Screenshot of ticket complete email

Further information and contact

You can use the IT Self Service Portal to look up your ticket, add information and give us feedback, and we’ve highlighted this in the new emails with a “track my order” style button. We hope this will make it easier for you (and us) to provide you with an efficient service.

We welcome your feedback about the new email design, and would also like to hear from you if you have any suggestions about improving them. Please contact me via the Feedback section on the IT Self Service Portal, or you can email me directly.

Jubilee holiday closure: 2nd and 3rd June

The IT Service Desk is closed on Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd June 2022 for the Jubilee holiday.

TheQueen's Platinum Jubilee logo IT Service Desk will close at 6pm on Wednesday 1st June, and will reopen at 8am on Monday 6th June. This means there will be no telephone service (6262) or ticket processing between these dates.

The IT counter in the library will be open as normal 11am to 5pm Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th June.

Greenlands IT Service will be closed on Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd June, and will be open Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th as normal.

Please visit for details of our weekend opening hours.