Friday, 16 February 2018

Wolverhampton weekly newsletter #14


  • Road map for legacy BI reporting tool emerging along with a briefing paper on options considered (although many options "not viable" these will be included for completeness).
  • IT Out of Hours support service paperwork prepared and passed for discussion/approval next week.
  • Attended DAS Leadership Team meeting including review of all budget areas to complete Q2 forecast.  There are a number of specific budget related follow-ups to arrange.
  • 1-2-1 sessions with team. JISC Penetration testing report reviewed and by the end of the week, all four of the high priority issues had been dealt with.
  • Orders placed for Faculty of Arts student desktop replacement.   Dealt with student feedback from the Faculty.
  • Completed a staff handover meeting and agreed communications.  Met with purchasing to discuss potential priorities from Purchasing perspective with respect to IT activities.
  • Met with Print Unit manager and Ricoh regarding BI reporting from the Ricoh print systems.  No implications ref interfaces as stand alone reporting solution.
  • Met with Organisational Development regarding request for Alluminate product.  Full business case shared together with procurement justification.  We will need to deal with a few things such as GDPR and ensuring contract covers information security requirements.  This is a system already used by External Relations.

Good News
  • IT Investment plan 17/18 approved in full.
  • Second Line Support Analyst approved - and post advertised on fast track internally before the end of the week.
  • Two of out three PMO posts approved in principle.
  • No P1 incidents.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Wolverhampton weekly newsletter #13


  • Prepared an outline of next stage for potential Office365 project. Requested a proposal for the initial business case element of the work for University consideration.
  • Reviewed "first cut" IT budget for 2018-19 against 17-18 and identified a number of potential differences.  Follow ups required over the next few weeks.
  • Continued discussions with suppliers around out of hours IT support service (first level).
  • Attended DAS Exec and DAS Leadership Team meetings this week.
  • Further 1-2-1 sessions with team.  Among other things some very useful feedback from the visit to Birmingham University regarding AV futures.  Scrum meeting took place extract from rough notes:
  • Discussion about Future Proofing email to all staff and MARS scheme.  There is a month until closing date (March 12th).
  • Submitted Software2 to Educause for review - decision June.
  • Discussion about our level of oversight for IT related projects and managing pinch points for developer and integration resource.  Tools available could include Planner (O365), F&G system (construct) and others. 
  • Budget discussions various.  
  • Good PR resulting from the GeTech/Lenovo framework.  Opportunity to exploit others including Virgin Media, EE, Apple
  • Looking to see if we can streamline GeTech order processes - still got issue of recharging so long as budgets are devolved.

  • Dealt with amends for presentation of IT budget investment to VC's group.
  • Went along to the first level team meeting, thanked them for contributions and briefed them on various changes.
  • Met with potential supplier helping us with the initial business case for MI data centre migration.  They appear to have relevant expertise in HE and NHS (case studies available).
  • Mid-session review of Face-to-Face service took place.  Decision to carry on through to end of session with some tweaks suggested.  Going to revisit the original business case paper.
  • Attended GDPR working group meeting.  Systems audit data now provided.  Offered IT as place to trial approaches if appropriate.  Also mentioned possible records retention day (TBD),  Egresso secure email, encrypted laptops and acceptable use of IT.  Questions raised about (not using) USB for sensitive data.  New information governance committee to be established.
  • Organised Panopto Working group ahead of project board on Friday.

Good News

  • IT invited to attend the student feedback group for Telford Campus.
  • Dean of Faculty of Arts delighted about the upcoming Student Desktop Replacement Program and opportunity to promote to our students.  Signed off this week.
  • Met with Estates as they have initiated the condition survey of IT comms rooms across all the campuses.  IT will be fully involved in the activity.
  • No P1 incidents.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Wolverhampton weekly newsletter #12

Update from Week Twelve
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  • Discussions with team and individuals about interim options for handling recent resignation – further discussions are in progress
  • Webinar with Diligent who have a “Board Pack” solution with key user inputs.  Seemed to be very positive reception to this sort of solution.  Next step is more work on our requirements and also some indicative pricing and timelines.  Suggested target timeline is parallel running with a key committee for ramping up next year to other related groups.
  • Provided some good suggestions for NSS promotions relating to our services which will be taken forward by the communications team.
  • Gartner Group proposal received – passed to procurement for further discussion.  Also potential student benefit regarding access to research materials as an e-resource.
  • NorMAN 24x7x365 service proposal being progressed.
  • Various 1-2-1 meetings
  • Agreement between teams to move some resource for a few weeks to support the packaging efforts by the desktop team.
  • A few new support requests this week e.g. Akero integrations, contract/legal team system request, international travel system request, financials for the Multi Academy Trust.  The pipeline has been busy this week!
  • Attended Project Lessons Learned meeting for Telford Engineering facility.  Only item for us was the ongoing AV issues in the Board Room and Pitch Room.  A plan was agreed including some Estates funding.
  • This week’s scrum meeting - rough notes:
    • UCISA Exec – useful updates including JISC subscription: risk of potential increase but may be modest
    • UCISA Mentoring scheme (pilot) and also mentoring opportunity via Liverpool University contacts
    • Digital signage pilot agreed for MU building – stretch objective to get it running for open day mid-Feb in partnership with Faculty and External Relations
    • Meeting with Wolverhampton City Council:
    • looking at email quotas and plan to allocate more “golden tickets”
    • GDPR meetings are coming up
    • Making good progress on the Digital Library Project and potential Finance system integrations
    • HR starting investigation of absence solutions with aim to have sickness absence running for June.

Good News
  • Excellent kick off meeting with Getech regarding the Lenovo contract.  Hopefully added value by making sure we promote the benefits of the deal to all staff and students – External Relations being provided with social media collateral and opportunity to link to recent sponorship by Lenovo of the race team.
  • No P1 incidents.  Wi-Fi service recent issues hopefully addressed with supplier fix implemented early on Thursday morning.



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Friday, 26 January 2018

Wolverhampton weekly newsletter #11

Update from Week Eleven

  • Start of week meeting with Strategic Planning progressing positively and actions in progress.  Among other things we are working on options relating to renewal of reporting software tool or alternative approach by end February deadline.
  • Managed 1-2-1s with most of my direct reports this week.  We also had a one hour "scrum" meeting.  Another round up of everyone's activities - potted highlights include:
  1. Stafford Place is now up and running.
  2. Digital signage - piece of work progressing on feasibility of a standard solution cross-campus.
  3. Security of devices when travelling abroad raised by International Office which we are picking up
  4. Pentest completed - written report will be circulated within two weeks.
  5. WebServ3 migration in progress - aim to complete end Feb
  6. MobileIron for mobile management - need to get going but also need to manage the administration and where it will sit.
  7. The team calendar feature allows us to synchronise leave requests and planning these as a team when we move to IT improvement periods - suggestion that we have one more week of consultation on this internally before we go out to wider consultation.
  8. Records Retention Day discussed - physical and virtual records and equipment. Date to be decided.  Scope to be decided.  Might need to sort out lost keys for filing cabinets etc .  There is an existing "clear desk policy".  Useful to give everyone some bullet points to follow so we approach consistently. Several drivers including having a safe and secure environment.
  • Few staff related matters this week briefed separately via email and 1-2-1.
  • Meeting ref Clearing - discussion much broader than this.  Nurturing workshop followed next day and that was a good session. We have a business lead for the strategy group going forward to bring this together (IT is enabler, business leading).
  • Discussions with NorMAN regarding potential 24x7 outside hours support and quote organised.
  • Met with Wolverhampton City Council IT Director.  Topics included digital transformation council initiatives, Data Centre sharing potential, digital signage approach and shared content, Clearing - potential use of Council Contact Centre facility as an option etc.
  • Held call with Gartner Group and obtained competitive quote based on prior relationships.  Passed to procurement for follow up in due course
  • Finished week with external returns group. 

Good News Stories

  • F&G Directors visited - they would like to do a University of Wolverhampton case study and would like to share thinking about project management automation tools that they use across Estates and IT.
  • Excellent meeting with Timetabling project manager.  Project set up is going well.  Moving to join the PM "pod" as base.
  • No P1 incidents.