Archive for December 2012

Project updates

Since 2009, the Programme Management Office (PMO) has overseen all significant development projects for IS Services. A few projects of note are:

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) … There are two major components to this project. First, it will provide a new hosting platform for College IT services.  This is a large-scale migration job which will replace all existing storage and some of the existing server platforms.  IaaS is also being configured to support the provisioning of future College IT systems including the eStrategy systems.

Virtual Learning Environment Blackboard 9 Upgrade … Recently completed, this project has provided College with an upgraded, modern VLE.  It integrates with the relevant College services and is hosted in the Cloud, by Blackboard in Amsterdam.

HR Programme … A programme of work to implement process and technology improvements which streamline the delivery of HR information and services.  This includes:
– Workforce Planning
– Employee First
– Core Upgrade
– Pensions Administration System
– Time & Attendance

GeneSIS … This was a project to provide the technical infrastructure and systems integration necessary to ensure that the SITS student information system functions correctly. SITS will bring many benefits to College, including a better student experience and improved academic administration.

FIS (2013) … The introduction of a new Finance System is to provide functionality that will facilitate the College in achieving strategic financial objectives, for example:
– Improved integration
– P2P solution
– Real time reporting
– Self-Service facilities

Research Proposal & Award Management System (RPAMS) … The scope of the project is to procure, implement and interface an ‘end to end’ Research Proposal and Award Management System. The system aims to support and track all documents relating to research proposals and awards until point of transfer to post-award management.  It is a project for the Trinity Research & Innovation (TR&I) unit whose primary goal is to produce a more efficient and effective contract review and signature process for the College community.

Please see our website for a full summary of PMO services, projects and works.

IS Services

IT Security Week

IS Services will be hosting an IT Security week from 21 January to 25 January 2013.  We will deliver 5 IT Security topics each day that week via our blog, including the topic of securing your phone.  There will be two events that week where you can drop by our desk and meet our IT Security Officer and discuss any queries you might have.

Keep an eye on our Twitter page and blog for further updates and information.

IS Services

Connect your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch to College Wi-Fi – pilot service

IS Services recognises the transformative role that mobile technology can play in enabling and enhancing teaching & learning, research & innovation, support & administration and the student experience in College.  As part of our continuous service improvement ethos, and in response to demand for wireless network connectivity for mobile devices, over the last six months IS Services has been expanding and enhancing Wi-Fi services in College. The improvements are targeted at providing for greater levels of wireless coverage and connectivity for higher numbers of devices to the College Wi-Fi Network. This work is on-going but we are now in position, on a pilot basis, to provide for increased connectivity for mobile devices for staff and students.

For students

Students can now connect their iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) to the College Wi-Fi network. Changes have been made to this network to ensure that many popular web based services will operate on these devices. For complete instructions visit our getting connected webpages: http://isservices.tcd.ie/network/tcdconnectmobile.php

Connectivity for other smartphone devices, such as Android, will be provided later in the academic year as Wi-Fi and TCDconnect services are further expanded.

For staff

Staff can now connect their Android and iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) mobile devices to the College Wi-Fi network. For complete instructions on getting your device connected, please visit our webpages: http://isservices.tcd.ie/network/staff-mobile-device.php

Staff and students should be aware that with the increase in number of mobile devices on the College Wi-Fi network this will increase the number of areas that are ‘oversubscribed zones’ at times. These zones occur where many devices contend for the same limited, shared wireless resource and are likely to be found in large communal areas for example the libraries or in lecture theatres. IS Services are monitoring the wireless infrastructure for these zones and, where possible, will take action to improve coverage.

While not anticipated, IS Services reserves the right to suspend or discontinue these pilot services in the event that they adversely impact on the College Wi-Fi Network for laptop devices. In these circumstances, updates will be posted to our website at isservices.tcd.ie and on Twitter at twitter.com/tcdisservices.

Kind Regards,
IS Services

November Helpdesk statistics and top-ten issues

In November the IS Services Helpdesk received over 4,660 queries via phone, email, walk in and web. You can see more details at http://isservices.tcd.ie/help/helpdesk_statistics.php#month

Your Top Ten issues reported to the Helpdesk in November can be seen via the link below: http://isservices.tcd.ie/help/helpdesk-top-ten.php

IS Services

MATLAB license availability

MATLAB is a high-level language and interactive environment for numerical computation, visualization, and programming. Using MATLAB, you can analyze data, develop algorithms, and create models and applications.

College has now renewed its site license for MATLAB.  Existing users should be able to renew from within the application by following the steps outlined below:

1) Click on Help
2) Click on Licensing
3) Click on Activate Software
4) When at the MathWorks Software Activation screen, enter your login details and provide the following activation code:  12648-42916-29709-40391-08954

The licence covers use for all Academic Staff and Postgraduate Research students on College-owned computers and for home use on personally owned computers. The software licence also covers classroom and lab installations in College. Undergarduate student use is restricted to on-campus computing facilities. The licence covers use in academic research and teaching and learning activity, and commercial use of MathWorks products is not premitted under the College TAH licence.

For more details and installation instructions, please see our MATLAB licence page.

What we did to support students & staff at the start of the Academic Year 2012-2013

Each year, IS Services works hard to deliver a welcoming IT experience to new students, while also remaining dedicated to supporting and assisting existing students and staff during the busy period at the beginning of the academic year.  With this in mind, we’d like to share what we have achieved this year so far and how we measured up to last year.  Here are just a few items for your consideration:

  • 20 extra hours each week, 2 new staff at the Helpdesk
    To resolve as many queries as efficiently as possible, we brought on-board an additional two new staff members at the Helpdesk for the start of the Academic Year.  This allowed for 20 extra hours of support for students & staff each week
  • Seven hours each weekday –
    We opened the ISS Information Desk in the foyer of Áras An Phiarsaigh to provide a ‘quick question’ facility.  The ISS Information Desk was open for seven hours each weekday for the first six weeks of the semester
  • 127 network clinics in September & October
    We held 127 network clinics, in the daytime and the evening during September and October,  on Campus and at the Residence Halls in Dartry
  • 10,317 calls, 13% up 
    The Helpdesk handled 10,317 calls from students and staff, an increase of 13% from last year
  • 38% walk-in, 33% email, 29% phone 
    So far this academic year, we have seen a shift in the way students are interacting with the Helpdesk.  38% of the interactions are walk-in, down from 43% last year; 33% are via email, up from 22% last year; and, 29% are over the phone, down from 35% last year
  • 20% of the overall annual call volume in the first six weeks 
    During the six week period of New Student Registration & Induction 2012, the Helpdesk handled 20% of the overall annual call volume
  • 46 Induction Events & 3,442 new students
    Our User Communications Group ran 46 Induction Events and met 3,442 new students during the third week of September
  • 10,750 user guides & 36,790 hits
    We published and distributed approximately 10,750 user guides, and received 36,790 hits on the IS Services website
  • 7,000 connected, 16% up
    By the end of October 2012, 7,000 of students connected to TCDconnect, a 16% increase from the same time period in 2011
  • 11% of students needed more help, 5% down 
    11% of the students
    connected to TCDconnect needed assistance from a network clinic, a 5% decrease from the same time period in 2011
  • Simplified the TCDconnect connection process and increasing the number of approved anti-virus software applications
  • Replaced 172 workstations in our Public Access Computer Rooms and rebuily all the Public Access workstations to improve performance.
  • Upgraded the AV equipment across 18 Lecture Theatres and Seminar Rooms, deployed new  microphones across College rooms and updated the College Digital Signage.   All the AV and PC equipment in lecture theatres and seminar rooms was audited to ensure it would work from day one of the new Semester.

We hope that the work we did made a difference to ensuring the Academic Session 2012-2013 started successfully and we are committed to delivering service improvements going forward to maintain that success.

IS Services