Sunday, 20 May 2018

Wolverhampton weekly newsletter #23

Weekly Update.


  • Diesel Generator "at risk" - this issue is ongoing for MI Building - replacement standby generator in place and hooked up but requires manual start.  Estates providing daily update on request.
  • Setting up the remaining Shadow IT workshops and the rest of the 1-2-1's with the support team members.  Also held further 1-2-1 meetings during the week as usual with direct reports.
  • Scrum meeting notes from 16/5:
  1. In order to use the Estates Helpdesk system you need to Register first - different username/password required.  Not the same as HR/IT and ServiceNow.
  2. Discussion about the background to Estates Helpdesk system.
  3. It has been agreed that all teaching spaces should be managed/booked centrally through new timetabling approach. This will likely have impact on expectations ref funding of spaces (e.g. AV).
  4. Noted Meeting Management system and decision to pilot/parallel run in September for CMT and Governors.
  5. Big changes may be coming for Adobe licensing next year - no panic though for next 12 months
  6. Shortlisting for the engagement and comms role
  7. Feedback to HR ref shortlisting grid
  8. Web App Developer post not filled - Cath leading on next steps ref review

  • Attended the Tribal Account management meeting with Student Registry team - updated on GDPR, HESA Data Futures, Curriculum manager and Dashboards/reporting capability.  Roadmap for product which will be presented at next month's SITS conference - includes new product called Edge.
  • Put together IT budget materials for 18/19.
  • Reviewed the new draft of  the IT Acceptable Use Policy .
  • Completed P1 incident report for recent network/power interruption.
  • Chaired CAB meeting and obtained agreement to proposed approach for standard changes, non-standard changes and emergency changes.  There is a need to clarify DAS business changes process going forward.

Good News

  • SOABE/Springfield - positive meetingref using the UX training and techniques which DAS organised to apply to the project.  We also had a very positive meeting with Estates preparing the IT related strategy for network (local area and wide area) for the Tender
  • No P1's this week.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Wolverhampton weekly newsletter #22

Weekly Update


  • Have been continuing with 1-2-1s meeting all the IT team individually. Some quick-win actions are being progressed already.
  • A number of Shadow IT workshops have been scheduled including Finance and HR, Estates and Facilities, Library, Registry and Student Systems.  I have also accepted an invite from Faculty of Arts to attend the next Dean's Advisory Group ref the proposal to undertake an IT benchmark exercise.
  • Discussed network activity management information which we could put together for the Campus Experience Committee.
  • Discussed various mobile-related activities which were raised through the ServiceNow project (this is one of the three priority areas for the administration team) e.g. lost/broken phones, faulty phones, disposal/re-allocation of phones etc.  Looking to see how we can use ServiceNow to automate jobs and self-service via the portal.
  • Attended very useful supplier meetings with S2 who support Apps Anywhere.
  • Held second ServiceNow Project Board - various actions progressing.  We should have first set of management monthly reports from the system shortly including some trend reporting, and making progress on using system for standard changes.
  • Discussed resource planning across the Digital Campus program as well as the other IT projects that are in progress.  There is a capacity constraint which is not yet explicit so we will put together a program level resource plan as next step.
  • Final meeting of week was a Finance monthly review - a number of follow up actions, however, broadly on track with latest forecast and no nasty surprises.

Good News

  • Timetabling Project Board received positive report on IT risk assessment and endorsed recommendations.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Wolverhampton weekly newsletter #21


  • GDPR Action Plan developed and will be turning into a tracker.
  • Making progress with getting the Office365 Business Case activity under way with external support.
  • Discussions taking place about external support for our Windows 10 upgrade project.
  • Health and Safety Committee for IT initiated and first formal meeting held.
  • Contracts reviewed for out of hours support including data sharing agreement and data privacy impact assessment.
  • Further demonstration of Board Packs software solution.
  • Potential income arrangement ref Residences W-Fi provider agreed with Purchasing support - Max dealing with the details.
  • Worked with Planning and BI team regarding a BI schedule going to Senior Management next week.
  • Completed risk assessment for timetabling and with Helen for circulation - risks were not as bad as they first appeared once we started digging - especially the budget risk which appears to have been dealt with.  Lisa running some numbers to confirm.
  • Good meeting with External Relations - quite a few new actions from that to follow up next week.
  • We are reviewing the IT acceptable Use Policy draft - we are hoping to have consulted on that for May 18 deadline.
  • Supported external auditors who have been on-site ahead of the annual finance audit later this year.

Good News
  • No P1 incidents
  • Internal review of Ts and Cs for CRIS project completed and passed to legal.

Monday, 30 April 2018

Wolverhampton weekly newsletter #20

Weekly Update

  • Started a series of 1-2-1 meetings that I have planned on return after Easter with all IT staff - seeing those people first who have taken on new things.  Also usual 1-2-1s with direct reports this week.
  • Met with FSE for a briefing and demonstration of Replicon.  We also called the account  manager for a discussion about enterprise pricing on basis it might be an alternative to Agresso if that is not delivered quickly.
  • Budget forecast meeting follow up ref infrastructure budget.  Identified £27k approx of positive changes.  Identified issue with budget to follow-up.  Budget discussion with Estates about future air con and fuel costs for generators - £10k impact in 17/18 on IT budget.
  • Estates/IT monthly meeting reviewed the DAS activity tracker and marked a number of projects as completed.
  • Completed PCI-DSS review based on NCC audit February 2018 and started to develop this year's action plan together.
  • Met KPMG auditors and started work on data collection processes - this relates to pre-work for the financial accounts audit September.
  • Reviewed the out of hours IT support contract including the data sharing agreement (now with DPO for sign off) and the data impact assessment (also with DPO for review).
  • Worked on the JANET upgrade have now obtained costings.
  • Met with facilities systems and in particular the incident logging system and mobile apps.
  • Held our second Servicenow project board including useful feedback on a review of its reporting capabilities.
  • Attended GDPR working Group.
  • Met up with Dean of Students covering league table performance and recent Faculty Student Council feedback.  Key themes are being extracted for a report based on 3-400 students engaged in process.

Good News

  • No P1 incidents - however dealt with another phishing attempt.
  • GDPR Audit completed and returned.
  • ATwo team members completed a week's PRINCE training
  • One of our team has successfully been admitted to membership of the BCS.
  • Our team is mentoring one of our students who has obtained an internship at JISC.

Friday, 20 April 2018

Wolverhampton Weekly Newsletter #19

Weekly Update

  • Lots of GDPR activity has been going on - a real team effort across the Directorate to identify and document key assets which may be affected.  Management team meeting on Wednesday pulled this together (for IT elements) and also identified some University-wide areas for consideration.  Trying to use same process to identify "red flag" higher priority areas.  I am tasked with DAS action plan after audit completed.
  • Budget forecast meeting too place.  No major differences to the last run through with the DAS leadership team.  Follow ups being arranged.  Sent Finance a further copy of budget information for 18/19.
  • Been in discussions with the Aspire2HE project as it turns out they are having a bespoke web system developed (external HEFCE funding).  We are in touch with the external developer and have follow up call arranged - we need to understand and mitigate risks including exit strategy and sustainable approach. Timeline is live by start of May for the marketing and information elements of the website (low risk) and further functions for August/September including data collection etc.
  • Sorted an outstanding issue with ProAV loan kit and confirmed plan that was tabled at LATSAG - where it appeared to be well received.
  • Panopto Project Board meeting took place - seems to be going well no major issues to report.
  • CRIS Project Board met for first time and making positive progress on procurement stage.
  • Various 1-2-1 meetings. We also had a scrum meeting this week.
  • There was also a DAS Leadership team meeting, JISC account management meeting, Timetabling Project Board and Faculty review meeting.

Good News

  • No P1 incidents (again - including over the Easter weeks)
  • Telford Board Room AV and related issues have been resolved.
  • Pricing for JANET subscription is positive outcome of review.
  • Joint DAS and HR Service launched - for access to the ServiceNow portal.

Friday, 23 March 2018

Wolverhampton weekly newsletter #18

Update from Week Nineteen

  • Visited Wolverhampton City Council to take a look around the contact centre and discuss potential opportunities relating to Clearing 2018.  Excellent facility for up to 150 stations and with 'burst' capacity available in excess of that. Professional expertise on our doorstep and they are keen to support.  Next step is for them to make a proposal for an initial review with us of our current arrangements and workflow - at the very least the analysis could tell us the number of stations that we need to maximise call volume pick ups.  Need to also follow up with the Admissions team to update them on these very preliminary conversations.
  • Attended DAS Leadership Team meeting .
  • Fed back MARS updates to relevant team members.
  • Useful catch up relating to piece of work on implementing project process (as a project).  Confirmed new PM start date of April 29th.   
  • We had a follow up meeting about mobile phone administration issues and agreed an action plan. Steps to deal with higher risks (such as dealing with lost phones) and handing over a new device which has been enabled with the new MobileIron managed software.
  • Azorus are visiting for product demo on March 29th (External Relations and Registry). IT is involved.

Good News

  • No P1 incidents.
  • Logicalis completed scripting for telephony system to enable IT Service Desk calls to be automatically diverted to NorMAN out of hours.  Testing successful.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Wolverhampton weekly newsletter #17

Update from Week Eighteen

  •  A busy week for IT committees with a meeting of the IT Task and Finish Group and Digital Strategy Committee.  We took away a number of new actions.  The "Shadow IT" workshop approach seemed to have gone OK and I have begun following up in background with Faculty of Arts and FHEW.  The presentation on the Systems Audit also appeared to be well received and some of the issues beginning to get understood.
  • Arranged follow up calls with Gartner Group about its proposal.  The decision to not renew the IT intelligence contract with Mercato for procurement of IT commodities in the main may provide some partial budget funding but I have not yet been able to trace but who was paying and from which budget. At moment I have suggested this might be from next financial year subject to budget and new IT Director's interest.  We said we would speak again w/e April 21st after we know who has been appointed.  I learned that Gartner's Research Director for HE is Paul Saunders whose name I came across at Dundee last week.
  • Arranged call with NCC Group - we have used them for various information security related activity including SECTIS, PCI-DSS and Penetration testing.  PCI-DSS came up later in week at our scrum.  There are deadlines looming for PCIDSS and plans to renew cyber essentials accreditation which is up for annual review (we only did it for one small area for research in July 2017).
  • We had a regular weekly IT scrum meeting. 
  • I spent an afternoon at Walsall meeting with the local team, colleagues from FHEW and Research and Enterprise.  I shared my notes as there was mention of 400 Moodle users and academic expertise in L&T spaces (among other things).
  • We have been dealing with a storm of phishing emails (million+ per week) most of which do not get into the system but a few that do.  A new email URL filter implemented quarantined 133 "clicks" on malicious links which might have led to issues and there were no reported account compromises so far this week.  
  • Met with Estates to discuss NorMAN launch and Easter business contingency planning - we agreed to share documents.  Very useful discussion on Estates creating campus "hubs" and a business case going to CMT shortly.  Perhaps an opportunity for Estates and DAS/IT to work together in future when we progress with face-to-face services - for example Hub is being created at Science park.
  • New legal case management system approved with agreed caveats and controls as it is cloud based subscription service.  We will be running in time to migrate data from local desktops in the legal offices (and iDrive) to new service during Easter break.
  • Meeting on Replicon led by procurement and the various users.  All were agreed that Replicon would continue in short term until Agresso solution and if we have all data in one system then potentially easier to migrate it across.
  • Final meeting of the week dialled in on Friday to FHEW meeting on data storage. Wide ranging set of requirements - another example of a need for collaborative working solutions - also touched on WOLF (non L&T uses) and reassurances.

Good News

  • No P1 incidents.