IT Services Bulletin: February 2012

In this issue:

  • Introducing Heidi Fraser-Krauss
  • Google Apps at York: update
  • Mobile devices help
  • Digital Workspace Service (DWS)
  • IT Services Survey

Introducing Heidi Fraser-Krauss

Heidi Fraser-Krauss

Heidi Fraser-Krauss joined the Information Directorate on 12 January as Deputy Director of Information and Director of IT Services.

Heidi was previously at the University of St Andrews where she held the post of Director of Business Improvements, and has considerable expertise in and a passion for the use of technology as a means to deliver more efficient and effective services in support of teaching, learning, administration and research.

Over the next few months Heidi will be meeting with all Heads of Department, Support Service leaders and student representatives and is keen to hear from anybody in the University community who has constructive views about how IT Services can either improve the services it currently provides or has ideas for new offerings

Heidi is based in the IT Services building near Market Square and can be contacted on (01904 32) 2101 or heidi.fraser-krauss@york.ac.uk

Google Apps at York: Update

The process of moving email and calendar provision to Google Apps for Education continues apace. At the time of writing, we've moved over 3100 staff, associates and research graduates in 32 departments to Google. Over 5300 undergraduates and taught graduates have also signed up to move their accounts.

As you'd expect, we've seen a few teething problems, but are addressing these as they arise - for example by providing detailed instructions for using Google on mobile devices as mentioned elsewhere in this bulletin. We're continuing to visit departments, both in advance of the move and on the first day that accounts are activated, to demonstrate key features of Google Apps and help with any queries. As the rollout phase draws to a close, we'll be looking at other ways to share knowledge and good practice, and we'll highlight these in future bulletins.

We plan to complete the rollout of Google Apps to staff by the end of March; students have until June to sign up for a date to move.

Mobile devices help

Do you have a laptop, smartphone or tablet? There are a number of ways you can connect to the York network and services. For example you can connect to the wireless network on campus, or use the VPN or DWS (see below) to connect from home. You can also print, and access your email or filestore from anywhere.

Take a look at our new mobile devices page at www.york.ac.uk/it-services/connect/mobile/ to see instructions for iPad, iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows, Linux and more.

Digital Workspace Service (DWS)

In January, IT Services launched the Digital Workspace Service (DWS). The DWS is a gateway to a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), and is available on and off campus.

The DWS means that rather than a user needing a desktop PC running a copy of Windows, their desktop can be "virtualised", and run on one of our servers.

The user connects to the virtualised desktop from their preferred device - this could be a thin client, tablet, Mac, Linux or Windows machine.

Once connected, they can access virtual Windows XP and Windows 7 desktops. We hope to introduce a Linux desktop later in the year.

You may already be familiar with the thin clients in the Harry Fairhurst building, which have been in place and using the DWS since last Easter.

The DWS offers a number of benefits, including:

  • Access to software available on the network
  • Lower spec equipment can be used
  • Environmental and cost savings
  • Easy access to your desktop if working from home or on the move
  • Useful for testing

For more information, including how to access the service, see:
www.york.ac.uk/it-services/connect/dws/

IT Services Survey

Survey Winner 2012

Thank you to those who completed the IT Services survey at the end of last year, your feedback and comments form an important part of developing our services.

We received over 1,800 responses to the survey and an analysis of the results will be available on the IT Services webpages shortly. An action plan is also being formulated in order to address the key issues which were raised.

Christopher King, pictured here with Heidi Fraser-Krauss, was the happy winner of this year's prize draw and was presented with an iPod Touch. Runner up prizes of University of York USB sticks were also awarded.