Over the next 12 months we will be introducing a number of IT changes as we upgrade our desktop computing environment, our telephony and video communication technologies, the online staff and student portal, and all the background work to commission IT infrastructure in the Estates Masterplan Phase 1 building. These will affect everybody to some extent and will greatly enhance our overall IT environment. In the next few blog posts, we will take each of these areas in turn and explain what will be involved in each change, what the benefits will be, and how these changes will affect you. We will also be looking to set up some “drop in” sessions on the Campus for those who wish to have a hands on introduction to the new facilities as they get closer to implementation.
The key changes we wish to share with you to begin with are:
Future Desktop – This project will modernise our desktop, and introduce new ways for staff and students to access software and IT resources across the growing range of devices people are using today (PC’s, laptops, iPads, smart phones etc). It will help us to share spaces, improve access off campus, increase the reliability of our core services and help us to make savings on our overall energy costs.
RGYou – a new Staff and Student Portal – “RGYou” – The University’s main web site has been completely transformed over the past few years, and is the main publication platform for our externally facing web pages. The old web site is still there and is acting as the University “Intranet”, but we are about to replace this with a completely new Staff and Student Portal, – “RGYou”. The aim of this Portal is to bring together access to all the key information and online services that a student or member of staff will need on a day to day basis. First launch will be Summer of 2012, with development of further facilities taking place over the next 2/3 years.
Voice and Video Communication – Our standard communication today is mostly phone and email. We are going to join many other organisations and start to use a “unified communication” approach which will bring new ways and greater choice around how we communicate. This project will replace our telephone system and video conferencing systems, allow desktop video conferencing and links to people with Skype, introduce “instant messaging” and allow you to use the University phone system when away from the University.
IT in the Estates Masterplan – We have given a lot of thought on how technology can enrich teaching, learning and work space in our new Campus buildings. We wish to create more flexibility in space, encourage the use of mobile computing devices and provide the most appropriate audio visual facilities in teaching rooms and meeting rooms.
There’s a lot to tell, and I would really encourage you to read the next few blog posts to get an overall sense of what you can expect over the next 12 months or so.