Monday, 21 June 2010

Departmental meeting

Interesting departmental meeting on Friday morning - nice to see lots of people there. I gave a short presentation on the good stuff that had come out of our last World Cafes around the 5 key challenges we'd identified:
  • Reducing Complexity
  • Doing things differently
  • Reducing Space
  • Reducing our Carbon Footprint
  • Diversifying Income
Lots of ideas and suggestions some of which will get fed into our planning process. We also like to get outside speakers in where we can, and this time it was the turn of the Director of the Development and Alumni Relations Office, who gave an extremely interesting and entertaining talk about the work of the office, and aspects of fundrasing, which I think is often misunderstood. Lots of good examples of why fundraising is important, and how it can make a difference, particularly to some students for whom scholarships are the only way they could afford to come to University.

An entertaining (as always) presentation on some new features of our phone system, and a look at the issues surrounding Common Timetabling were also on the agenda.

Finally we saw a demonstration of our remote assistance service. Users can initiate a chat session with an analyst on our Helpdesk through our self service pages:

who then takes details of the problem, and if necessary initiates a remote assistance session and takes control of the user's machine. One analyst can handle up to 10 consecutive sessions, it reduces time traveling to see individual users, provides easier diagnosis and resolution of problems, and is a much less frustrating experience for the user, who doesn't have to be asked to do things they're not comfortable with. An excellent service which we're now starting to promote heavily.

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