Tuesday, 6 January 2009

To outsource or not

Well, interesting first day back yesterday. Power off in our offices from 10.15 until 4.30am. Spent most of the day camped out in our Customer Services area with my laptop, trying to work whilst remembering how noisy it can be in an open plan space. Quite enjoyed it though - especially being able to talk to lots of customers coming through the doors. Think I'll do it regularly and really upset everyone.

Spent some of today reading UCISA and JISC's latest briefing paper on outsourcing student email services. As well as the paper there's 4 case studies - one from a University who decided to go with Microsoft, two who chose Google, and one which decided not to outsource. Peter Tinson, Executive Secretary of UCISA, has written a very good blog post about the papers which sums them up better than I could, so go and have a read - and don't forget to look at the case studies.

This morning met with representatives from the Estates department to discuss some options for our space requirments over the next few years. Our main issue is the number of different locations on campus we have staff - 10 at the last count. By the very nature of some of our services we'll never be all together, but it would be nice to reduce the number down to 4 or 5. We had some ideas, but all depends on a complicated set of moves, beginning with the refubishment of our Grade II* listed Arts Tower which will start this year.

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