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.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Wolverhampton weekly newsletter #16

Update from Week Seventeen

  • It was a "two-day week" due to annual leave so a little quieter but busy diary as always.
  • We had a regular weekly IT scrum meeting - these are really useful way to catch up.
  • Introduction meeting with the University's  internal auditors - they are keen to be more engaged and asked for formal handover in due course with new IT Director.
  • Met with colleagues ref requirements for systems to support outreach and recruitment.
  • Timetabling Project Board first meeting - signed off Project Initiation Document.  There are some known risks with technical support (alongside other digital projects) but these are relatively modest compared to the scale of change for the academic community which personal timetabling will bring.
  • Met Aspire to HE team who have commissioned a supporting web system.  Follow up meeting being arranged.
  • Met TNE team - priorities included a CRM system to manage relationships, access to facilities and services for TNE students so not disadvantaged and requirement for document management especially relating to legal contracts etc
  • Organised ServiceNow Project Board - there are some notes being prepared. Wasn't a formal meeting - Need to thinks about sponsoring service management more generally (IT only a part of the equation).  Short-term actions agreed and going to now meet on monthly basis.
  • GDPR session with DAS Leadership Team
  • "Records Retention" dates (mentioned at GDPR) for IT are afternoons 28/3 and 4/4.  Trial to see what comes out the woodwork so to speak...

Good News

  • No P1 incidents
  • The team resolved Wi-Fi problems in George Building meeting rooms which have been going on unreported since September.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Wolverhampton weekly newsletter #15

  • Completed interim arrangements to manage departure of our IT Enquiries Manager.  Various staff announcements now ready to go for next week.
  • Update on MARS applications received to date - closing date is March 12th
  • Review of the Business Systems budget which is fully committed but we know what's in it and what's outstanding.
  • Faculty of Arts desktop replacement increased with faculty investment (£35k) in very high spec workstations for three smaller student-facing areas not part of lab replacement (to replace legacy PC kit - also addresses complaints from students and risk of inconsistent experience)
  • Further meeting with Print Unit and procurement ref deal on offer for BI reporting from the Ricoh print systems. They are now doing a nil-cost pilot with one Faculty.
  • MX building UPS system discussed in meeting with Estates and Schneider this week ref the investment plan project and getting that under way urgently.
  • Some mitigation for MI building regarding glazing and access control (an issue we have experienced during recent power cuts).
  • Apple purchasing we are working on a direct award and contract for Apple equipment after the National Framework concludes.
  • I attended level 2/3 team meeting and updated them on various changes and activities and took questions for an hour session.
  • Weekly scrum meeting dedicated to Health and Safet - we have established governance - a single committee meeting quarterly.  We have an agenda for first meeting.  Signed off a personal evacuation plan for member of team this week.
  • Held a meeting with a cast of folk dealing with Springfield.  We are going to need some dedicated IT support resource to manage a project as big as this (£45M+over 2 years) with many IT components.
  • Attended another GDPR working group led by Emma Wedge - there is detailed plan in place.

Good News
  • Investment in 24/7 out of hours service (NorMAN) approved for 17/18 pilot - kick-off meeting held and Easter targeted for launch
  • Second Line Support Analyst post shortlisting in progress.
  • Risks reduced by de-commision of WebServ3 (including some systems de-commissioned) and moving WOLF legacy to a single server.
  • No P1 incidents.

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

  • 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.