Senior IS executive:Alistair James, CIO (acting)
Name of organisation:Massey University
Reports to:Assistant vice chancellor - Strategy, Finance, ITS and Commercial
Size of IS shop:166
Address:Tennent Drive, Palmerston North
Key IS projects this year:Student Management System replacement, HRIS upgrade and expansion, business intelligence, ITSMF toolset and business process re-engineering, identity and access management initiation.
THE KEY BUSINESS technology programme for Massey University this year is the replacement of its legacy, internally developed, bespoke student management system.
Acting CIO Alistair James says the university will deploy a ‘commercial off the shelf’ solution. “This is a multi-million dollar project that will impact on all areas of the university. The project is in full swing with a targeted date for ‘go live’ of 2017,” says James, who took on the acting CIO role in December. His previous role was associate director ITS (applications) at Massey.
Other major components in addition to the core SMS replacement project include provision of solutions for CRM, curriculum management and redevelopment of the existing business intelligence solution to incorporate data from the new SMS. The objective of this project is to provide a modern digital environment ref lecting the university’s commitment to ensuring the experience of its student community is positive in every way, says James.
As a continuation of early activity focused on improving the customer experience for staff and students engaging with the university’s ICT function, 2016 will see the execution of a major project focusing on implementing an integrated ITSMF toolset. This toolset will enable cross-team collaboration, work pipeline visibility, and better understanding of work priorities. Furthermore, it will result in enhanced service level management and KPI reporting, clarifying ITS accountabilities and enabling continuous improvement.
A major upgrade to HR Information Systems commenced in 2015 and continues during 2016. The focus of this project is to digitise and automate, says James. Areas covered by the project include digital timesheets online, an upgraded staff portal, online recruitment toolset, improved Health and Safety management tools, staff performance and development management, plus an online solution for managing academic promotions.
James says a number of IT projects were completed in 2015. He says the most significant improvement was in the service delivery area of the ITS department where increased focus on the service desk as the first point of contact saw customer satisfaction rates increased to and maintained around the 90-plus per cent level.
In addition, the sector wide higher education benchmarking exercise across Australia and New Zealand saw the university’s IT services ranked 6th on overall performance.
James says other ICT projects that delivered significant improvements included the transition to Microsoft Lync for unified communications and decommissioning of legacy telephony systems, deployment of Office 365 for students and completion of the deployment of a lecture capture system based on MediaSite.
He says the ICT team also deployed a range of innovative solutions to enable the work of the academic community and move Massey University into becoming a fully digital university.
This includes continuation of activity around implementation of security systems, refreshment and enhancement of the existing network with a particular focus on improving wireless access across all campuses, he says.
Funding is in place for refurbishment of major infrastructure components and renewal of collaborative and interactive technologies used for supporting teaching and research.
The development of a new intranet will continue with a focus on providing staff digital collaborative workspaces, automated forms underpinned by workflows, and access to information and applications needed for undertaking business activities.
This year, staff will be progressively migrated to Office 365, with planning for upgrading to Windows 10 and Office 2016 underway.