IS Service Changes from 1 November

Information Services like other areas of the University is facing a significant challenge in meeting its budget reduction commitments resulting from the implementation of Future Directions. Following recent staff changes, there will be some changes to services and the types of delivery of services to reflect better the current skills and capacity of Information Services. These will mainly affect IT support for staff; there should be little effect on IT support for the vast majority of students; other services of the department such as library, e-learning and classroom support will be largely unaffected.  Information Services is committed to making its full contribution to the implementation of the University’s Information Strategy and providing a good service to support the core strategic priorities of the University.
Below are the major service changes for an interim period starting at the beginning of November while Information Services adjusts to this reduced level of staffing and implements a re-structuring.

The majority of current IT support services provided by Information Services will remain unchanged. The Information Centre will continue to be the first point of contact for queries and to report problems; this service will help diagnose problems and aim to maintain its high level of immediate resolution, although in some cases there may be longer response times and there may be some queries where there is insufficient capacity to resolve satisfactorily. Technical staff from Information Services will continue to attend to and fix hardware problems and resolve software installation and configuration problems. Support for WebCT, reading lists, STORRE, Stirgate, library catalogue, Turnitin, classroom management systems and corporate administrative systems such as the student record and finance systems will remain unchanged.
All IT support enquiries should be directed to the Information Centre in the first instance.

Software Support
There are a number of core desktop software packages commonly used throughout the University:
•         Windows and MacOS operating systems
•         Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook
•         Internet Explorer
•         Symantec Anti-Virus
•         CounterSpy

Broadly, Information Services will provide support for such software which will cover: installation of software; investigation and resolution of technical and configuration problems; endeavour to help with basic use problems (although you may be directed to relevant online services);  convenient access to appropriate online support services.
Levels of support for corporate learning & teaching, research and management systems such as WebCT, Agresso, SAP, STORRE etc will be unaffected.
There will be changes to the levels of support for other desktop software such as SPSS, Minitab, Nvivo etc..In general terms, the type of software support that Information Services will be able to provide for such software is: installation of software; initial software configuration; in event of technical and configuration problems a service of re-installation and resetting initial configuration; where available and appropriate, links to online support materials.

IT Training
Information Services is replacing its face to face IT training by providing convenient access to relevant online materials. Examples of these can be found in the “Get Started” ribbon of Word 2007, Excel 2007 and PowerPoint 2007. Work is underway to make online training and support materials easier to find on the IS web site. You may find the following link helpful for a range of training materials for Microsoft Office 2007, for example:
Other materials are available in the “My Learning” course in WebCT in the “IT & Information Skills” section.
Information literacy sessions organised for staff and students remain unaffected.

Support for Staff’s Own Personal IT Equipment
Information Services’ support for staff’s personal IT equipment which areused to University activities is being consolidated into the general University’s laptop surgery service with support fees now waived for all staff. This service will provide advice and help on connecting to the University’s network and installation of the University’s anti-virus software. Contact the Information Centre for more details and to make appointments.

IS Web Site
The IS web site is being updated to reflect these changes. This may take a few weeks to complete so please be aware that the web site might not fully reflect the services being delivered during this period.

Information Centre
Please remember that all IT support enquiries should be directed to the Information Centre in the first instance. The telephone number is 01786 46(7250) and the email address is: . During semester, the Information Centre is open 8:45-9 Mon-Thurs, 8:45-7 Fridays, and 11-4 weekends.
Mark Toole
Director of Information Services