19 May 2016
Day to day IT services are changing
Over the next 18 months the University will be changing the way it offers day to day IT services.
The move follows a university-wide consultation carried out in 2015 on the proposal to unify several existing services and replace them with cloud (internet)-based solutions.
Switching to cloud-based services will provide modern services to replace existing University systems, which are becoming less effective.
Cloud computing offers automatic updates to software, increased options for collaboration, the ability to work from anywhere, at any time and on any device, greater document control, greater security and more robust disaster recovery. Overall it provides more flexibility and accessibility.
Feedback from the consultation has been used to create a strategy to implement the new services across the University, so that students and staff can start to benefit from them.
A number of new products and services will be offered through the cloud-based solution, Microsoft Office 365. All staff and students will benefit from the services upgrade, which will include the following products:
Office Online – Web-based office products that are useable from any device, including well known programmes such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and One Note.
OneDrive for Business – Secure and reliable online storage, that allows access and syncing of files from any device, even offline; sharing of files with colleagues, managing who can access and edit them; and use of familiar tools to create, edit and review documents in real time.
Exchange Online – A hosted email service that allows access anywhere. The service also provides greater protection for data, reliable recovery options, and a guaranteed 99.9% uptime – meaning a virtually guarantee for email to be up and running.
Work relating to the implementation of these services has been in progress since early 2016, and milestones have been set for making the services available to students and staff:
Services for students
Email to move to Exchange Online – spring 2017
OneDrive for Business and Office Online available – autumn 2016
Services for staff
OneDrive for Business and Office Online available – summer 2017
(Staff email was successfully transitioned to the Exchange Online service in spring 2015)
Services are expected to be switched to their Microsoft Office 365 equivalents with minimal disruption and loss to functionality.
As the project progresses staff and students will be kept informed through regular communication updates. Advance notice of any service disruptions will be given, along with notices of any actions that are required.
A dedicated website has been created to provide further information on the new products and services that are being made available, as well as provide you with any progress update
Any questions in the meantime can be addressed to IT Services.