Keeping informed about IT activity

Signpost

[22 May 2014]

It is a cliche that technology is a fast moving environment. Not only do things need regular updating and maintenance but new services are introduced and external developments mean we have to adapt to meet the varied demands of users in an organisation such as the University of Bristol.

It's often a struggle to get the right communications to the right people at the right time, while avoiding overloading people with unnecessary information.

We also have a commitment to ensuring staff are informed of the services available to them and what they can access and how to get help and support.

Below is a quick breakdown of some of the key channels used by IT Services for communications.  Hopefully, if you've not come across some they will help you stay informed.

Help & Support

IT Service Desk

There are various teams in IT Services dealing with servers, fiestore, networks etc as well as local IT support teams (known as zonal IT teams) across the University.

To avoid you needing to know exactly which team to contact we have a central IT Service Desk - simply send your query to that team and they may be able to help you straight away or they will get it to the right team.

To submit a request for help or report a problem you can contact the Service Desk by email, phone or use the online self-service form.

Website and handbooks

If you have a problem or want information on available services then the IT website has a lot of information (too much at times).

  • To help you access relevant information we have the Service Catalogue that lists all services (with support info) split under various categories and users eg. staff, student, PGRs.
  • We also provide a series of 'Info for' pages providing links to services most relevant to staff, students, homeusers etc
  • We also provide a guide to IT services for staff (PDF) and students (PDF).
  • IT Training is also available free to staff and students on a number of topics.

News and status information

As mentioned there is always something going on.  This may be short periods of maintenance, an upgrade to a service or the introduction of a new service.

IT Services will use appropriate communication channels to let staff and students know about such activity if it will be disruptive or helpful.

  • For activity affecting a small user base or users in a location we will attempt to contact then using a specific user mailing list for a service or use local communication channels to send out messages. For example, a mailing list of website editors or request that a School contact staff or students on our behalf.
  • For activity affecting large umbers of staff / students we will use the bulk email lists.

In most cases a news item, status page update and entry in our maintenance calendar (which can be accessed in an individuals calendar) will also be added. The news items are published via:

IT bulletin, staff bulletin, MyBristol and it-update mailing list

We produce an IT bulletin every two months and provide regular updates on activity to the mailing list it-update@bristol.ac.uk. You can subscribe to that mailing list by visiting the subscription request page (UoB only) in Sympa.

In addition, we add regular news items to the fortnightly staff bulletin and to announcements in the University portal, MyBristol.