MDE Newsletter
Article Date: 14/02/2017

 

​What's been going on?

As we approach the first anniversary of the MDE in May of this year, the programme is beginning to turn its attention to improving the engagement of staff and students; trying to work more effectively with, and get the most from, this programme of new technologies and ways of working. To help us with these challenges, the Programme Board is delighted to welcome Gareth Johns. Many of you will be familiar with Gareth, who leads the IT Training Service. Gareth brings with him a strong background in digital engagement, having worked with, and been an active participant on, UCISA's Digital Capabilities Group for a number of years. Gareth is also a member of the newly formed Digital Engagement Committee, which is assisting with delivering our Technology and Information Strategy. We look forward to working with you Gareth.

 

Office 2016 and Skype for Business were made available to all Cardiff Met Staff at the end of last year. Office 2016 offers staff the lastest version of office products to use both on and off campus, and Skype for Business provides a video & audio conferencing and instant messaging tool for all staff. These developments are already allowing Cardiff Met staff to connect and collaborate with co-workers across campuses, at home and on the other side of the world. 


Amy Olsen, from Business Improvement Services, shares some of her experiences and thoughts on the Programme and its developments. You can read the full article here.

 

What's happening?

There is lots going on in the MDE Programme at the minute! For a brief summary see the following diagram below, more detail is provided below. 

 

OneDrive for Business

January 2017 has seen the release of OneDrive for Business. Providing staff with 1TB of cloud based storage, integrating with Microsoft Office Apps (e.g. Word, Excel & PowerPoint) on both PC, Apple Mac and iPad & Android Tablets. It should be used as a replacement for your SharePoint MySite and other cloud based storage used for work documents.

Staff MySite's will be made 'read only' in March, so please make sure you transfer anything you need over to OneDrive.

CloudPaging 

The CloudPaging project allows Cardiff Met to deliver apps to computers on demand, anywhere on campus, and September 2016 saw a major milestone reached with a rollout to students in the Cyncoed Learning Centre where it is now delivering 60% of the student software usually available. Llandaff Learning Centre IT Suite will be brought on-board during March 2017 followed by rollout to Teaching Rooms across both sites in the following months.

We're all really excited about the possibilities for CloudPaging: we are currently investigating being able to deliver the apps you need to undertake your work and learning, directly to your own devices, whenever and wherever you require them.

SharePoint Upgrades

As a pilot, the Library and Information Services (LIS) SharePoint Team site was successfully upgraded from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2016 at the end of December 2016. This upgrade was a significant milestone in the 'SharePoint 2016 Team Site upgrades' project, which will see all Team Sites at Cardiff Met migrated from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2016.

LIS graciously (well that's how we see it!) acted as initial guinea pigs for the project and since upgrading we've already started to benefit from the improvements in areas including page appearance and editing, drag and drop file uploads, enhancements to search results, the change of web address (from teamsites.uwic.ac.uk to teamsites.cardiffmet.ac.uk) and an improved mobile browser view.

As the project progresses we'll take advantage of enhancements for creating and visualising workflows, further improvements for accessing SharePoint from off-campus and over WiFi as well as evaluating the iPad & Android SharePoint apps to ensure we're getting the best SharePoint experience on Tablets and Mobile Phones.

In the meantime, we'll be liaising with the rest of the University to schedule their upgrades, starting with ASQU in March.

What's New?

You may have noticed that, alongside the MDE Programme, we're developing a Strategy to manage your technology. Cunningly titled the "Your Technology" Roadmap, over the past few months staff and students were asked to identify their most common issues with Cardiff Met's systems and services. By a long way, the single most commonly reported issue was having to log into multiple systems too frequently.

In response to this, we have recently decided to include a new project, within the MDE programme, to deliver a technology commonly known as Single Sign-On, or SSO. This technology will allow your credentials (username, password and access rights) to be securely and automatically passed through to our commonly used applications. Put simply, on and off campus, you should only have to log in once and Cardiff Met apps will know who you are without having to ask you again, until you leave the session or log-off.

Although plans are not yet firm, we have already identified a potential supplier. We'll be looking to start running our first trials leading up to Summer, after which time we'll put together a plan to roll it out to other systems over the following year.

What's next?

The Digital Collaboration project kicked off at the beginning of this term.  The project aims to investigate, pilot and evaluate some Office 365 tools aimed at helping with digital communication and collaboration at Cardiff Met.  We are currently at the investigation stage; researching how the tools – which includes Yammer, Delve and Outlook Groups – are used elsewhere and how effective they have been.  The beginning of March should see the first technology being piloted with Library & Information Services staff, followed by a planned rollout to the organisation.

Got a story?

Have any of the developments in the MDE Programme affected you, either positively or negatively? Drop us a line describing how the MDE Programme has affected your work or study. We'd love to hear about your experiences.

You can email the team on mde@cardiffmet.ac.uk.


For more information on the Programme, please visit our website or contact us