What's New in IT Services – October 2023

A lot’s been happening behind the scenes in IT recently. Here are just a few of the latest developments. 

The pop-up service desk in LUU

Quarterly IT Open Meeting 

We’re holding the next quarterly Q&A session with the IT Executive Leadership Team on Friday 10 November at 10:05am.  

This session, which is open to all University staff, is your chance to put any questions you have to them. You can register to attend this online meeting and submit your questions, or use the same form to submit questions if you can't attend. 

The session will be recorded, and the Q&A notes circulated after the event. 

The Q&A from the previous session is available on the For Staff site

Back to top

Identity and Access Management 

Work on the Identity and Access Management (IDAM) solution for new staff and students is continuing. We are currently resolving a few issues which have affected a very small number of staff and are thoroughly testing the new student process before it goes live. 

Back to top

Pop-Up Service Desks 

Thank you to everyone – both within IT and our team of volunteers from around the University – who helped make our pop-up Service Desks during this academic year’s welcome period such a success. 

Throughout October we’ve had teams in place in the Edward Boyle and Laidlaw Libraries, the Parkinson Building, and the LUU foyer to help anyone stopping by with a technical support query during the first few weeks of term. 

These have been a fantastic in getting people help quickly during their initial days at the University, so they can get settled into their life on campus.   

Back to top

Residence wireless personal network (WPN) 

We’ve made great progress upgrading the wireless network across all University-managed accommodations. This new network will enable secure, high-speed connections for all wireless devices while a student is a resident with us. 

Find out more

Back to top

Reopen or repeat an incident 

Two new buttons allowing you to reopen or repeat a closed incident have been introduced on our website. If you have an incident which was closed in the previous seven days, you will be able to reopen it and it will be reassigned to the same team. If the incident was closed more than seven days ago, you will be able to repeat it, which will open a new incident but link it to the previous one. 

To reopen or repeat: 

Screen grab of the reopen incident box

Back to top

Unlocking Data in BMJ Open 

Congratulations to our Chief Data Officer, Monica Jones, who had an article published on Thursday 5 October in BMJ Open.  

She wrote it over the past year, with colleagues, as part of a project called ‘Unlocking Data to Inform Public Health Policy and Practice’.  

You can read Navigating data governance associated with real-world data for public benefit: an overview in the UK and future considerations on the BMJ Open website.  

She said: “It is an aide memoire to help folks understand data governance, not to be frightened of it or use it as the excuse 'The computer says no!’  

“Hope you find it interesting and useful.” 

Back to top

Getting a move on (again) 

Following a complex programme of work the dedication and determination of the project team has ensured the successful move of Symplectic our publications system from on-site hosting to an Azure cloud environment. Implemented a new reporting hub, additional modules (impact and assessment), new reports and completed an upgrade to the latest version of Symplectic.  
The move to Azure has enabled users to access additional functionality e.g. new reports, undertake output reviews and create records of impact in Symplectic, both previously undertaken in another system, IRIS.   
It is now possible to carry out future upgrades and implement the Research Excellence Framework (REF2028) functionality when it is released and enabled the retirement of IRIS a legacy system, reducing costs and other maintenance overheads. 

Back to top

What’s New: April 2001 

We’ve hopped in the time machine again to see what was going on in a previous departmental update, this time from April 2001. 

The IT website from around the time.

The big news was that: 

“Banner2000 Student Management System went live at 9.00 on 23rd April 2001. At the same time the Web for Faculty system that allows staff in academic departments to see details of the programmes, modules and students they teach and administer also went live.” 

It was the culmination of work that began in September 1999. 

We were also implementing purchasing through the SAP system, and plans were afoot to open move the ISS Helpdesk – as our Service Desk was then known – to the Edward Boyle Library Extension/Learning Centre. 

Finally, a project to update the University’s telephone system was just getting underway, as was one to redevelop our website. A shot of the result (from a paper version of the newsletter), is above.  

Back to top