This was the second meeting of the UCISA London Group following the inaugural meeting on the 7th April. The meeting was well attended by representatives from member institutions, HE & FE, members of the LMN Board and a corporate member of UCISA. The event was hosted by UAL at the Prince’s Street site and opened with lunch followed by 4 presentations and an open discussion facilitated by Group’s liaison officer. Below is a summary report of the day…
1. UCISA resources and communities, Chris Roberts, Head of Infrastructure, London School of Economics
Chris spoke about how they see and use UCISA at the LSE. UCISA, to them, is an umbrella for a lot of activities and sharing of good practices and it’s a great community for its members. Chris spoke about UCISA special Interest Groups (SIG) how they were the grass roots and at the heart of the things they do. The SIGs have broad representation, meet termly, organise events, do advocacy for relevant bodies, each SIG has its own mailing list; Mailing lists are very useful, very good platform for sharing, knowing what others are doing and having insight into areas of interest and getting much needed information to build business cases; Events are many covering a range of topics. The main event is the UCISA Annual Conference; Resources are of many types including best practice guides, toolkits, policy templates, etc. Good examples are Learning Spaces Toolkit and the Information Security Toolkit. Chris’ full presentation is available on the UCISA website.
2. Communication and cooperation between ICT and Estates, Antonio Barbosa, Network Infrastructure Manager, Imperial College London
Antonio gave an update based on an earlier presentation he did at the UCISA conference giving an insight on the challenges and issues with running business as usual network operations with so many major or capital projects going on at the same time at Imperial. The College has Estates and Capital Projects teams. Dealing with and negotiating with various stakeholders can be difficult and cumbersome. Both sides now work as partners and have agreed written standards that they now follow. Antonio’s full presentation is available on the UCISA website.
3. Discussion on current challenges, Facilitated by Bernard Aghedo, UCISA
The discussions centred on the three key themes that came out of the responses that respondents gave as answers to a survey conducted by UCISA that asked what challenges respondents were facing in fulfilling their role responsibilities. The three themes were Shrinking budgets, service delivery and security/cyber security. The discussions were very lively, interesting and engaging as delegates contributed their experiences to further support the themes.
4. Wireless deployment – opportunities and challenges, Dayo Ogunjobi, Director of CIS and IT Services, Richmond Adult Community College
Dayo spoke of the implementation of a new wireless system based on WatchGuard infrastructure in the College. With their network layout spread over 4 buildings, he gave the key drivers for the project as being the existing wireless infrastructure at its end of life, the implementation of a new WatchGuard 500 firewall, provisioning for BYOD and to fulfil their obligation to the Prevent agenda. The implementation has seen them move from using 61 Meru based Access Points to 38 WatchGuard Access Points. The WatchGuard system has better management interface and monitoring with real-time network reports. The college now has a good opportunity to use the WatchGuard firewall as a gateway for BYOD. Dayo’s full presentation is available on the UCISA website.
5. Securing your transition to the Cloud, how Axians helped LSE manage application traffic to the Jisc shared Datacentre, Andy Butcher, Sales Manager, Axians
Andy spoke on behalf of Axians, a corporate member of UCISA and sponsor of the day. Andy shared some information about Axians as the biggest Juniper partner in Europe and part of the Vinci Group. With help from Chris Roberts, Andy spoke of how Axians was able to support the LSE at time when they faced a critical challenge to save costs (Opex) by moving to the Jisc shared Datacentre. Andy’s full presentation is available on the UCISA website.
In all, the meeting was a great opportunity for the newly formed group to begin to take shape and become more established as a regional group with shared interests. The format for the day seemed to work well for all and the topics of presentation and the facilitated discussions were well received as well. UCISA is grateful to all the delegates, presenters and the sponsor for the day, Axians, for helping to make it happen!