Monday, 13 December 2010

Festive Signs

Students admiring the Christmas Tree at Emm Lane School of Management. Seasons Greetings.

Monday, 6 December 2010

IT Services Newsletter #24

More updates and news from November.

From the Systems Team
Finance: The new Finance system implementation continues to take lots of time with much still to do. Thank you for all the efforts on this.

Examinations: The tean has been involved in a major data extraction process for the Exams Office. This data is processed by the Exams Office and Academic Schools prior to the issue of the online Exams Timetable during December – every student gets a personalised exam timetable.

HESA data online: HESA data was made available by the HUB on 3rd November. Data was then loaded to the Strategic Planning reporting tool in 4 working days. Thanks to the team for turning this work around so quickly and efficiently.

eVISION Developments: Th team has been working on online admissions forms developed for Compact scheme students. This feeds applications through into the student record. All the work packages for Overseas Agents are now complete, reports for staff from eVISION being the last step. All PG enquirers now get electronic (email) responses instead of letters. These are triggered when they submit the request. This went Live during November and replaces the sending of letters and prospectus to PG enquirers, tied in with the launch of the online PG prospectus.

eFile/Scanning Developments: The team has been involved in scanning/eFile set up for Careers/Job Shop. A new document type and batch class has been set up, demonstrated and now ready to go. A new scanner is now in use in The Hub, and the old scanner taken off maintenance, saving £2,500 per annum. The Schools of Life Sciences and SCIM now have the email-to-eFile facility and are using it without problems. This speeds things up as it cuts out the separate scanning process.

From the Infrastructure Team

JunkMail – service improvement: I guess most of us are aware that junk email can be a major inconvenience. This is also true for phone users who sometimes rely on their devices for accessing email. In order to improve the experience of corporate mobile users. At the beginning of November, we moved across to a new PureMessage anti-spam system. A major benefit of this new system is improved accuracy in identifying spam, and rather than it appearing in a separate folder that still needs checking for false positives, you receive one email per day listing all the items that have been quarantined on the server as spam. At the moment PureMessage is available for University NotifyLink users ands we are about to conduct a feedback survey. The plan is to add the rest of the University staff and students to PureMessage at a later date.

ResNet/RoamNet updates: Drew has been updating the ResNet/RoamNet usage graphs to include October 2010. The file is here. Headline news is that for October over 5,000 different usernames logged on. That's a record. All the raw data is there but that were 4,406 RoamNet users (a record) plus 1,104 ResNet (highest total since May 2008 when Kirkstone was knocked down) minus 415 usernames that used both ResNet and RoamNet. The ResNet increase is probably be due to Vernon Barnby and Heaton Mount now having students back in. Not too certain what might have caused RoamNet usage to go up, could be Student Central, could be more students. In response to requests, since October, we have allowed the same username to log on to RoamNet more than once concurrently, to aid people who have more than one device. At peak times there are now 1000 concurrent users using RoamNet; see here. It's 700 for ResNet.

From the IT Support and Telecomms Team

The monthly highlight report (for October) is now available with all the other monthly reports here. The total number of jobs completed in October 2010 was 1,376, with a completion rate before or on target of 92.3%. There were 511 jobs carried forward to November 2010. In December, we are going to start up again the monthly RMS review meetings and among other things we are going to start identifying the top recurrent issues and continue with some more detailed root cause analysis. As usual thanks to all in the team for another excellent set of reports. Of the jobs completed in October 2010 we received over 100 responses to our web based Customer Satisfaction Survey. 98% of respondents gave a rating of satisfied or very satisfied. Hard to complain about that – great work everyone!

Any Other Business

Minor Works (JBP level 01):
The requisitions are now placed for Salto locks for room 01.59 and for the proposed student “zoning” on Level 01. The aim is to have this in place for start of the New Year. The corridor painting starts this week in the “new” corridor to complete the transformation to a “woodland glade”. OK, its not going to be quite like that, but it will freshen up the environment for the first time since it was built. The four new prints selected by the people who live on that corridor will go up next week hopefully. We also heard from Estates and Facilities that plans have been approved for a major toilet refurbishment which will include level 01 gents and ladies. Some may say about time too, but this is good news for all of us that the facilities are being improved – should include those taps which cannot be left on that some have campaigned for over many years!

Action from Data Protection Training
Some of us have recently attended data protection training which is a University internal course run by Staff Development. I took a couple of actions from the event on a post it note that we were all given (i.e. what are you going to do when you get back to the office!). My three things were

Sort physical zoning of staff versus student spaces – we now have a plan of attack agreed. Job Done.
Audit of laptops and memory sticks – this is something that is being picked up by the Heads of each team.
A request for all staff to attend the training courses – there is another in December (or alternatively provide a cascade via team meeting or buddy system as an alternative)

Student Union Newspaper

This article in response to recent issues on the University Halls computer network was included in the latest (December) edition of the Student Union newspaper. Thanks to Phil Lickley for enabling this response.