Digital ITS Update

In our last update (March 9th) Michael Oulsnam and Ken Lai talked out about how we are developing the UC digital strategy.  This strategy not only looks at the longterm vision but also improvement projects that the team are working on now. 

This month Guy Austin, Director of Tech & Operations would like to share a summary of current key projects. 

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Guy at guy.austin@canterbury.ac.nz

Microsoft Dynamics 365 – Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Programme: 

The University has committed to transforming and modernising its IT infrastructure, people and processes.  A major part of this digital transformation will be the investment in key platforms that enable a step change in the digital experience for students, staff and stakeholders of the University going forth.  Part of the foundational backbone of this transformed architecture will be a Microsoft Dynamics – CRM Platform. 

A CRM platform will provide an omni-channel capability to capture each and every interaction with the student in the future and will transform every facet of how we engage with students from when they dream about coming to university during school years, to being alumni and life-long learners with UC. 

The priority of the CRM Programme will be the delivery of a Case management capability required by the Student Success Programme (SSP), that will help to build a 360-degree view of students.  

This piece of work is being delivered through the Student Success Management (SSM) Project, and a detailed update will soon be provided by the Office of DVC Academics.  The high-level design of SSM is currently being drawn in consultation with stakeholder groups across UC and through CRM. The CRM programme is being led out under Dana Burnett’s team (Director, Digital Product & Delivery), working in close partnership with Kaylene Sampson and the Student Success programme. 

Microsoft Teams and OneDrive for Business  

You may have heard that Microsoft’s Teams (Teams) and OneDrive for Business (OneDrive) are going to be deployed to everyone at UC later in the year.  

Teams and OneDrive are both core apps in the Microsoft 365 suite of cloud-based applicationsTeams is a hub for teamwork that brings together people, conversations, and content.  Watch this 2- min into video     

OneDrive works like your “P” drive, but betterYou can store files in one place, share and co-author files with others in real time, and access your files from anywhereWatch this 1-min video  

This project is in response to staff requests, and you telling us you want a simpler way to collaborate and communicate. Deploying Teams and OneDrive is the first phase of deploying and introducing M365 applications, and aligns with the University’s digital strategy to move from On-Premise applications to Cloud based systems and standardising the tools we use.   

We’ll provide a lot more information later how we plan to roll out this out to everyone.   Some pilot groups trialing Teams now, and if you’d like to be an early adopter for your team, contact Change Manager, kirsty.baillie@canterbury.ac.nz 

Identity & Access Management (IAM) Phase 2  

IAM is a critical part of the University’s Cybersecurity. The IAM solution will provide identity governance and access management to key UC-controlled resources such as IT User accounts, network drives, building access etc 

IAM Phase2 Project’s high priority is upgrading the Saviynt platform which will provide the cornerstone of this solution. The upgrade will ensure that the Enrolment process for Semester 2 students runs smoothly and efficiently correcting one of the major pain points in the existing platform.   

The framework for test environments & upgrading the pre-production tenant of Saviynt to the latest version is underway. This is being done to make sure the upgrade works as expected in pre-prod before performing it on the live Production Environment.   

 In parallel to the stabilisation work mentioned above, the team has also kicked off a review of how we can use role-based access control for Identity Life-Cycle Management, to ensure the right resources are provided to the right people at the right time in a secure and effortless manner.   

Regular updates will be provided by the project going forth, in the meantime please feel free to reach out to the team at iamproject@canterbury.ac.nz for any queries.  

Firewall Replacement 

The Firewall is a network security system that monitors, and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic based on security rules.  It establishes a barrier between a trusted network (UC Network) and an untrusted network (the Internet).  It’s our first line of defence against threats from cyber criminals and external parties looking to steal information, disrupt operations or damage reputation. 

The current security wall is reaching design and support limitations.  UC are moving to a Fortinet solution designed to meet growth for the next 3-5 years.  This solution will safeguard data and services the University consume which come from outside the University whether it be internet access, cloud-based software delivered solutions (Saas), or collaboration and sharing technologies (email, M365, video, etc).  It will lower our Cyber Security Risk by implementing new capability and services which detect and prevent cyber threats. 

The project team are assessing the 300 plus firewall rules working through a cleansing process to ensure the new environment is current and aligns with industry best practice.   

 We will provide more information closer to the time we migrate to the new environment, scheduled for 3 July 2021. 

Nāku noa, , 

Guy Austin