IT bulletin, January 2013

Welcome to the January 2013 edition of IT bulletin.  To ensure you are informed about the next edition join the mailing list You can subscribe by visiting the subscription request page in Sympa .

In this edition:

New Information Security PolicyNew Information Security Policy word cloud lock

The University has adopted a new Information Security Policy that both complies with stringent legal requirements, as well as providing the necessary assurance that data held and processed by the University is treated with the highest appropriate standards to keep it safe. 

What do you need to know?

It is not necessary for staff to read the policy in its entirety but the University does expect staff to be familiar with the key principles of the policy and associated sub-policies. Further information on these key principles is available in the form of a table of information security do's and don'ts

Also, if you have not already done it, staff are asked to complete the mandatory data security tutorial.

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Google project update

Work on implementing various elements of the project are ongoing. In particular,  the migration of staff email to Google, shared mailbox evaluation, Google Calendar testing and departmental / School pilots.

Shared mailboxes to become Google delegated accounts

A message has been sent to shared mailboxes (1,534) about migration to "delegated accounts" as part of the move of staff email to Google later this year.

The message asks mailbox users to complete a brief survey to assess if "delegated accounts" are appropriate for their needs. If you have access to a mailbox, please ensure the survey is completed by the deadline.

Email sent / received before 1 October 2012 will be copied to Google

All staff were informed that from 28 January any moves or deletions of emails sent or received prior to 1 October 2012 will be undone when they get Gmail, as older emails will be copied to Google prior to launch. Newer emails will be copied over as a part of the final migration process. Please note that we will replicate your folder structure in Gmail. We'll also copy across any emails held on our central servers - this includes both your 'inbox' and your 'archive'.

Pilot groups

Pilots are planned for Human Resources on 29 January and for the School of Veterinary Sciences, Langford, on 25 February.

Launch of Google Gmail and Calendar to all staff

We plan to launch Gmail and Google Calendar (along with Google Drive and Docs) to staff in a few months time.  The exact date has not yet been confirmed, but we hope to do this shortly after evaluating the pilots and remaining activity needed to go 'live'.

Further information

Prior to the launch of Google services a range of support and information will be made available to staff.

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KPMG benchmarking projectKPMG logo

The past 18 months has seen significant change in the way IT services are provided at the University. Whilst we have seen real progress in a number of areas, we've also seen increasing pressure on resources to maintain our high quality of service and to meet the very varied needs of staff and students.

To help develop medium to long term plans we need to evaluate where we are with IT service provision and what the real needs of the University and our users are. To help us achieve this consultants from KPMG have been engaged to assist with a benchmarking review to identify opportunities for improving our services, set measures which will allow us to appropriately judge our activity and resources against others and to monitor our progress in achieving the goals we set.

The project started at the beginning of January and will run on towards the end of March. In the first few weeks, the KPMG will be gathering information from staff and students on their views of IT services across the University. There are 12 workshops planned and about fifteen to twenty individual meetings. The workshops are likely to include discussion on IT services for teaching, learning, research, support services, current IT capacity, IT strategy and governance arrangements.

KPMG aim to put together a draft report by the end of February and the final meeting is scheduled for 25 March when the report will be presented to the Registrar, Finance Director and the rest of the project board.

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Replacement programme for Windows XP

Microsoft support for Windows XP is ending on April 8, 2014.  After that date no security updates will be available. Therefore, it will be necessary to replace computers using XP, or isolate them from the main network, by that date.  At the beginning of this academic year we had identified that we had around 6,500 computers using Windows XP.

IT Services is actively working to replace XP machines.  We have so far dealt with 2,200 computers.  Some Windows XP machines have been replaced as they have reached their end of life and new machines with Windows 7 have been supplied. In other cases computers have been swapped for machines running Windows 7.

Please be aware that if you currently use a computer with Windows XP, including laptops, that we will need to replace the device or remove Windows XP and install a new operating system over the next year.

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Check your possiblespam / spam folder

We are currently making changes to the University email system, including the process of identifying and blocking 'spam' email (unsolicited bulk messages, especially advertising).

As we configure the system it is possible that legitimate emails may be tagged as spam. We would recommend that you check your "possiblespam" / "spam" folder regularly.

We would also ask staff to please be extra vigilant to avoid potential phishing emails or emails with links to malware. Please see the Information Security website for advice.

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Upcoming maintenance

Details of other maintenance work can be found via the IT status page

IT maintenance Google calendar (with iCal feed) which is available at:

  • Friday 1 February, 1-2pm - Proactis unavailable.
  • Friday 15 February, 12pm - Monday 18 February, 10am - upgrade to SITS. News item
  • Monday 18 February, 7-10pm - PIMS & Oracle Applications unavailable. News item

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News and contacting IT Services

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