Monday, 30 September 2013

MyJob / MyTeam work Wednesday evening

MyJob / My Team will be unavailable for upto 2 hours on Wednesday evening whilst the University theme is applied. The new theme will bring it inline with the visual identity of University's public website, giving it a familiar and consistent feel and making it easier on the eye.

We will start this work at 7pm on Wednesday October 2nd, and expect to be finished by 9pm.

Friday, 27 September 2013

uSpace work on Monday evening

If you have used uSpace since the new version of MUSE was launched, you have probably noticed that it asks you to sign in to ye olde version of MUSE before you can get to uSpace. However, from Monday you will be able to get straight into uSpace from My Services in MUSE, no ye olde MUSE required.

To make this happen uSpace will be unavailable between 7pm and 8m on Monday September 30th. If you are in uSpace at that time your session will close so make sure you have saved any updates.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Returning students' filestore

This week we will be doing some work on the student filestore servers for returning students.  The work will affect files and folders returning students use on computers around campus.

Over the summer we have purchased and set up some new, more powerful hardware to run our virtual server environment and we have been moving other services such as printing and MyPC, from the old equipment to the new. So far we have seen performance increases from the new hardware and are confident that you will see improvements in filestore. 

The moves will take place over three days, with two servers being moved per day. The work will take place at 7am and each student server will be unavailable for 15-30 minutes whilst it is moved. 

Here is the schedule:

Wed 25th - Redmires and Foxton - this will affect students with '09' or '12' in their username.
Thurs 26th - Roydmoor and Broadstone - students with '08' or '11' in their username.
Friday 27th - Ramsden and Barbrook - students with '10' in their username.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Helpdesk responds to your feedback

In response to the staff satisfaction survey (sent December 2012) we have made several changes, as detailed below. Your feedback is essential in helping us to provide a high quality service.

You Said: Not all of our customers felt valued.

We Did:
  • Created six new posts within the Helpdesk, recruiting dynamic, customer-focused staff with strong communication skills.
  • Created the role of Incident Coordinator (IC); the IC monitors real-time demands on the Helpdesk and provides support, advice and information. There is always an IC on duty.
  • Provided more customer service training.

You Said: The quality of the Helpdesk service wasn’t as good by email or via self-service, compared to phone and face-to-face service. (Reported by approx 15% of users)

We Did:
  • Introduced Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for all queries received via self-service. This allows our call logging system to escalate any queries that are not responded to swiftly, by sending regular notifications to our Helpdesk staff and also to the on-duty Incident Coordinator (IC).
  • The IC monitors the response times for email queries and ensures that these are handled promptly.

You Said: There were inconsistencies in the way different staff responded to requests, e.g. giving out conflicting or inaccurate information, or willingness to take ownership of problems.

We Did:
  • Following the introduction of quality control measures at the start of the year - recording Helpdesk calls and sampling email responses every 3 weeks - we have been able to identify training needs, inconsistencies in the level of customer service, good and bad working practices and many other ways in which we can improve.
  • The Helpdesk Manager and senior Incident Coordinator are able to give regular feedback and advice to the team as a result of this process.

You Said: You wanted more Google training.

We Did:
  • A number of IT Support staff have attended ‘Train the Trainer’ courses, giving us the flexibility to deliver more sessions in various areas, including Google. In doing this, we have tripled the number of trainers in our team from 3 to 9.

You Said: Not everyone found the classroom-based CMS training useful.

We Did:
  • We now offer two options for CMS classes:
    • For beginners: an instructor-led, classroom-based course
    • For more experienced users: we support self-guided training by providing booklets and exercises and follow-up support via email.

Friday, 13 September 2013

uPlayer work: 17th September 2013

uPlayer will experience a (hopefully) short period of downtime, expected to be around 10-15 minutes at 13:00 on Tuesday 17th September. Both uploading and streaming of media will be unavailable whilst work is done to migrate the service onto a new server platform. 

Every effort has been made to minimise the time uPlayer is unavailable. However, due to potential licensing complications, we may need to get a new license following the migration. If this does happen the system will be down until new license keys can be obtained which, unfortunately could take up to a day. Fingers crossed it all goes cleanly.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

My Sustainable Print progress report


My Sustainable Print (MSP) is the new printing service being prepared for launch to all staff across the University later this year. It will deliver a unified network of fast, efficient multifunctional print devices offering colour and mono print, scanning and photocopying.


Final Print Audit Report

Following a comprehensive audit comprising a physical count exercise, electronically counting a representative sample of print jobs and a University wide staff survey on printing, the auditors have submitted their final report, which has been accepted by the project board.

The full report can be read below and we would like to commend our auditors from Wyse solutions who have done excellent work during the audit and have worked closely with departments, impressing colleagues with their dispassionate methodical approach to calculating genuine print need.


The audit report recommends a unified network of around 600 multifunction print devices giving staff access to to fast, high quality, mono and colour printing. Printing may be released from any device on the network and there will be secure printing release for confidentiality. The network will also support future development of printing from mobile devices.

The proposed solution will generate environmental and financial savings. Annual CO2 production is projected to fall from 86 tonnes to 18 tonnes, with annual running costs to fall from £2.5m to £1.4m.

Rolling Out the Recommended Solution

One department from each faculty will test the practicalities of the recommended solution by running a simplified version of the service. Feedback from these departments will inform implementation throughout their faculty and across the university.  

The transition to the full recommended solution will begin in November 2013. We aim to complete the transition by March 2014, and will review progress early in the new year. We will agree a plan with each department to make the transition from the existing print service to My Sustainable Print.


Funding Model

Departments currently pay for all their own printing and this will continue to be the case but on a much more efficient funding model. MSP will be funded centrally through the shared costs budget via CICS. We will contract the print supplier to provide, manage, service, repair and provide toner and staples for all print devices. Departments will have their budgets adjusted to meet this cost based on the number of devices they have. From then on there will be no charge back for printing but departments will have to provide paper for the print devices they use regularly.

The projected annual running costs are £1.4m, which is a saving of £1.1m against current annual running costs. There will be a projected one off set-up cost in the region of £34k.

Printing and photocopying costs to research grants will, in most cases, be absorbed in the overhead charge. This means that research grant applications should include printing and photocopying charges as “overheads”, rather than as a recoverable cost.


Tender Exercise

We are currently preparing a tender inviting print suppliers to submit proposals to supply and manage the network of print devices. Once the supplier has been selected and contracted we will work with departments to implement the system, on a building by building basis, from November 2013.

University Wide Print Policy

The final details of the recommended solution is being documented in a University Wide Print Policy which aims to ensure the delivery of an accessible, sustainable, secure and cost-effective print service for the University and support the University’s Faculties and Professional Services to reduce the cost of printing and to reduce the environmental impact of University printing. Once the policy has been finalised by UEB we will circulate more widely.