IT bulletin, January 2018

Welcome to the January 2018 edition of the 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:

Top items

Maintenance activity and communications


Implementation of new operating model for IT Services

IT Services is implementing a new Operating Model. We are currently recruiting staff to new roles in the organisation with the aim to complete the changes by May 2018. During this period there may be some impact on normal working, and we would ask for your patience as we implement these changes.

The revised structure for IT Services recognises the change in focus and skills needed to meet the future demands of the Digitial Strategy and greater alignment and engagement with the rest of the University as we support changes to student numbers, the campus space and the growing demand for digital solutions.

In 2016 IT Services began a review of current structures to allow the organisation to better deliver on the challenges of the IT strategy.

We developed a new operating model at the time and ran a series of workshops and consultations to explore that model.  It was refined and approved in principle by the appropriate governance bodies within the University in November 2016.  The IT Senior Management Team accepted new roles in January 2017.  During the early part of 2017, we planned the new Operating Model against the budget, reviewed job descriptions and continued to consult staff and Unions. Due to work commitments over the summer, the change was put on hold, but discussions and briefings continued.

In October 2017 we restarted the formal process and on 1 November launched the official consultation with IT staff on the proposed changes. Following the formal consultation period all feedback received was reviewed and applied as appropriate to make changes to the model.

For details of the changes, please see the IT Operating Model webpage (UoB only).


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Digital Workspace Programme UpdateOutlook logo

The information in all staff, research postgraduate and room calendars will be opened from 5th February to show the subject, time, location, notes, attachments and attendees for events, in line with the six guiding principles for calendar use at the University. Prior to that all calendar entries occurring before 5th Feb, except recurring meetings, will be set to private. Advice on using Outlook calendar can be found on the online support site.

Guidance for Office 365 apps, including top tips for document management, a glossary and confirmation of user support levels available at the University, are now accessible via the online support site. The Programme will continue to monitor feedback, tickets raised via the IT Service Desk and general queries to ensure that content is added and refined to suit user needs.

A proposal with recommendations for role-based accounts (e.g. has been submitted to the Ways of Working Board (formerly SPIB). The paper recommends that staff primarily use their individual University account for day-to-day work. Where a staff member needs to separate some communication and tasks, they will be provisioned with a secondary IT facility such as a shared mailbox. The Programme is keen to agree on a policy for these accounts ahead of the rollout of Windows 10 to all staff. 

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New Ways of Workingnew ways of working logo

New Ways of Working (NWOW) has been successfully deployed in Augustines Court in January. All four floors have been fitted with the new furniture and IT equipment. The staff moving to these locations attended orientation sessions in November in preparation for activity-based working, and IT services have been heavily involved both in the provision of the new equipment and providing training and support on the new features implemented as part of this project.

As part of the new ways of working staff have all been transferred from MyFiles to Microsoft OneDrive, allocated with a portable 'OneNumber' telephone number and have received new lightweight laptops.  Behind the scenes, the network team have been busy rolling out networking and access points.

Feedback has been positive, with Zonal support being singled out by staff for their excellent post-implementation support!

Planning has just started on implementing NWOW for staff moving t,o and already located in, Great George Street and 5 Tyndall Place.

Further details can be found on the NWOW website, and the new ways of working protocols provide details on what NWOW will mean for staff. You will also find interesting content on the NWOW Yammer group such as the Top Ten FAQs.  

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The University achieves Cyber Essentials accreditationcyber padlock

To support a bid for funding, we have successfully achieved certification by the government-backed Cyber Essentials scheme.

This involved reporting on the measures we have in place for network security, user education, malware protection and the secure configuration of UoB machines.

We have recently been informed that we have successfully met the criteria and have been issued a certificate. While this is not a comprehensive endorsement of the security of the University, it shows that we are committed to delivering secure services and preventing computer-related crime. 

The certification will assist in future funding applications and partnership working with external organisations.

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Upgrade to the network link for the Bristol Veterinary School at Langford

Over the weekend of 20th January, the Netcomms team completed a long-running major upgrade to the network at Langford.  The upgrade was the final step in a series of activity over the past year.  

The principal benefits are new network links between the campus and the Bristol Veterinary School and other services located at Langford, providing greater capacity and resilience.  This means that Langford is now connected at the same speed as most other major University buildings.   The provision of a pair of links, which take different routes between the precinct and Langford, means that risk of network outages is drastically reduced.

We have also moved the core networking equipment for the Langford site into a new purpose-built room. This is a much-improved environment for the equipment and comprises better cooling, improved power supplies, and improved security.  We have also been incrementally upgrading fibre links from other Langford buildings back to this new central core network room. 

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Offisite Data Centre DevelopmentsData Centre - completion of Phase 2

Pase 2 of the Offsite Data Centre Programme has been completed, and we have established the infrastructure platforms which will underpin the move of our business services to that location.  This move will provide much greater resilience and the ability to manage those services with reduced impact. The completed work is an essential step in provisioning our services to meet our aspirational Service Level Agreements of Gold, Silver and Bronze.

We will now move to Phase 3 of the Data Centre programme, to plan how and when services can be migrated. Some work is still needed before we can start the migration of existing services, as well as the implementation of new services. However, the completion of Pase 2 is a significant achievement and has engaged staff in considerable effort over past year.

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Looking to purchase a new IT service or solution?signpost

Thinking about buying or developing a new system with an IT element to it? If so, then speak to IT Services.

However large or small, hosted by a 3rd party or within the University, IT Services are here to help you make sure you choose the right solution.

We have recently updated our processes and documentation to make the process easier for you. The most important thing to do is talk to your IT Services zonal contact as early as possible or contact the IT Service Desk. IT Services can help guide you through our process and make sure that your service is secure and meets the standards we require within the University. We can also help you to pick a supplier if you need to go through the tender process. We work closely with Procurement and Strategic Projects and Programmes to ensure that the supplier is reputable and can provide you with the level of service you need.

The full process is documented on our New Service webpages so if you are thinking of buying or developing something new come and talk to us.


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Self-service options

There are tasks which can be efficiently done by staff online allowing you to get the information, tools and services you need as efficiently as possible.


Using IT self-service formsself-service badge

Options include the ability to report an IT problem or requesting support (UoB only) and to view the progress of previously reported incidents or requests (UoB only) on the service desk system. Please note that you can set the priority of your request using the self-service form. These links can be found prominently displayed on the IT Services homepage.

A range of self-service forms (UoB only) exists for specific requests, which ensure efficient delivery to the relevant team.


Software self-service

The Software Center [sic] allows staff and postgraduate researchers to find and install software available to them on their University Windows computers. A version of this service also exists for Mac computers.


Password Reset tool

A self-service password reset tool is available, allowing staff to reset their password if they have forgotten it. This avoids the need for students and staff to visit the IT Service Desk. It also allows new staff to create a password without having to go to the IT Services Desk.

The reset uses the person's personal mobile number and email address stored in SITS or PIMS to allow the change. It is possible for all staff and students to use the service where this data is available.


Elevated User Rights (Admin Rights)

If you need something more than software available from the Software Center you can apply to have Elevated User Rights (EUR). EUR is available to full members of staff or postgraduate research student where there is a work-related need to install software or make other administrative changes to a University Windows computer that you have sole use of. For more information and details on applying for EUR visit:


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Maintenance activity and communicationsServer maintenance


Incident and request statistics

Monthly reports are produced providing details on incidents and requests handled by IT Services. These reports are available at


Upcoming maintenance

Details of upcoming maintenance work can be found via the IT status page.You can also subscribe to the IT maintenance calendar.


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Keep up-to-date with IT news


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Contacting IT Services


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