Overview DRAFT

Background

The use of a central notifications service will transform task-related communication at the University.  It will ensure that the full benefits of the changes introduced by Service Excellence, are made easily available to students and staff through an efficient and personalised notifications interface.    It will improve the end-user experience, increase efficiency and effectiveness of internal communication,  and standardise and simplify key communication processes. 

The study completed by Headscape, "Transforming students digital lives at the University of Edinburgh", highlighted the "lack of notifications for current students" as one example of the "you'll bright, you'll cope" approach to digital service, and questioned if this was an appropriate quality of digital service for one of the world's top universities. We aim to realise Headscape’s “picture of the future” for notifications:

  • Notifications are delivered how and when students want them
  • Notifications need not be by email.
  • Notifications would arrive at the student’s device.
  • Users choose how they want to be notified and when they want to be notified – aggregation service

Two previous IS Applications projects (WEB007 and WEB010) have already been addressing this challenge, by building a production-ready Notifications Backbone, which:

  • Securely imports, stores and distribute personalised notifications 
  • Supports initial integrations with the following publishers of notifications
    • EUCLID
    • Learn
    • Administration Support
    • Emergency Notifications
  • Providing a user interfaces for schools or other groups to create notifications, targeted at groups

The overall project will now roll-out a Notifications Service incrementally over a period of three years, including:

  • Integrating it with more sources of notifications for students and staff
  • Enabling users choose their preferred mediums for certain notification types
  • Delivering native device notifications * Enable tracking and auditing use of notification-based communications
  • Providing a solution for any user-authenticated web platform in the University to display the notification feed
  • Actively engaging with the open source community, preferably through an existing organisation, such as Apereo, to build a community of adopters, supporters and developers. 

Scope

The scope of this Phase 1 project will cover :

Staged roll out of notifications service for all student users including: 

  • Consult-on and draft, policy and guidelines, including
    • Choice of communication channel
    • Use of notifications versus email
    • Integration with Digital Experience Standard (being managed via DTI010)
  • Define SLA, and agree OLA, support plan and budget with Production
  • Business-process and technical documentation for integration partners

Integration with further publishers of notifications for students including:

  • Library Management Platform
  • eFinance
  • Card systems
  • Accommodation systems
  • Unidesk self-service

Integration of priority subscribing channels

  • Email - Office 365, Timetable on My Phone
  • SMS

Research and Review Learn APIs integration (Cloud)

Consult students about their priorities for integrations for delivery in Year 2

  • External subscribing applications, such as WhatsApp or Facebook 
  • Internal or external publishing sources

Out of scope

WP6 Notifications from USG systems (Include specific applications ): It is expected that integrations with USG systems will be owned and implemented by the SSP, using the existing email integration facility, but a USG activity thread is included for completeness, and the project to be ready to support any additional integration features required by the SSP being delivered via SAS002 Student Centred Portal Pilot.

 

Year 2

  • Integration additional priority subscribing and publishing applications for students
  • Integration with priority publishers of notifications for staff, including
    • EUCLID admin operations
    • Unidesk
    • HR systems
    • Finance systems
  • Roll out notifications for staff users  
  • Consult staff about further priorities for integrations for delivery in Year 3
    • External subscribing applications
    • Internal or external publishing sources

Year 3 

  • Integration additional priority subscribing and publishing applications for staff
  • Solutions for tracking and auditing use of notification-based communications o Integrating existing analytics and data-warehouse solutions where relevant
  • Enable users to choose their preferred receiving medium(s) for a defined subset of notification topics or publishers
  • Increased support for “Push” notifications

Objectives, Deliverables,

No

Description

Priority (MoSCoW)

Responsibility

 WP1

 Notifications Service Roll-Out

 MUST HAVE (1)  

 O1

  • Agreement between key stakeholders about operation and support of the Notifications Service

 

 

         D1.1

  • Consultation-on and drafting, policy and guidelines, including 
    • Choice of communication channel 
    • Use of notifications versus email
    • Use of personal mobile phone numbers for SMS
    • Relationship to User Experience Standard 

 Must Have

 

         D1.2
  •  SLA, OLA and agreed support budget with Production 
 Must Have  
         D1.3
  • Controlled deployment to live environments, with all relevant technical documentation in place
 Must Have  
         D1.4
  • Business-process and technical documentation for integration partners
 Must Have  
        D1.5
  • Development of additional support features
    • Live monitoring of notifications
    • Ability to freeze scheduled tasks on "Pull" publisher integrations e.g. Learn
 Must Have  

        D1.6

  • Address other outstanding issues from WEB007 and WEB010 
    • including notifications of assignments in Learn

 Must Have

 

        D1.7
  • Research and review Learn APIs integration ( Cloud)
 Could Have  
        D1.8
  • Communication and Training plans aligned to rollout of Service and new notifications as they come on stream
  Must Have  

 O2

  • Students to see supported notifications in MyEd

 

 

         D2.1

  •  Roll-out working notifications service to student users
    • Small trial group, followed by larger group, followed by controlled roll-out

 Must Have

 

 WP2

 Notifications from Alma and Card Services

 MUST HAVE (3)

 

 O3

  • Students to see current notifications about relevant events in the Alma library system, https://goo.gl/hhoiwP

 

 

         D3.1
  • Notification integrations with the following systems, according to user and process priorities agreed with the relevant business teams:
    • Alma 
    • Card system
 Must Have  
 O4
  •  Ability to activate equivalent functionality for staff and other affiliation types when required
   
         D4.1
  • Notification integrations with the following systems, according to user and process priorities agreed with the relevant business teams:
    • Alma 
    • Card system
 Must Have  
 WP3

 Notification of Timetable Changes 

 SHOULD HAVE (4)  

 O5

  • Students can receive notifications of changes to timetabled events, within a defined period before the event
   
         D5.1
  • Research on feasibility, options for implementation, and effect on timetabling load/performance 
 Should Have  
         D5.2
  • Timetabling integration as publisher to notifications backbone
 Should Have  
 O6
  • Students have option to receive such notifications via SMS (depends on New Notifications Subscribers WP4)
 Must Have  
         D6.1
  • User preference to opt-in/opt-out of SMS receipt (depends on New Notifications Subscribers WP4)
 Must Have  
 WP4  New Notification Subscribers  (dependency with WP3)  MUST HAVE (2)  
 O7
  •  Students can receive notifications via Office365 email
   
         D7.1
  • Email subscriber integration to notifications backbone
    • Configurable by system administrators to receive on specified topics only
 Must Have  
 O8
  • Students have option to receive notifications, on pre-selected topics, via SMS text
   
         D8.1
  • Selection-of and subscription to SMS service
    • including agreed budget for SMS charges 2017/18
 Must Have  
         D8.2
  • SMS subscriber integration to notifications backbone
    • Configurable by system administrators to receive on specified topics only
 Must Have  
 WP5

 Notifications from Corporate Systems

 SHOULD HAVE (5)  
 O9
  •  Students can receive notifications via selected Corporate Systems
   
         D9.1
  • Notification integrations with the following systems, according to user and process priorities agreed with the relevant business teams:
    • eFinance 
    • Accommodation 
 Should Have  
 WP0  Aperero Open Source code  Should Have  
O10
  • Actively engaging with the open source community, Apereo, to build a community of adopters, supporters and developers. 
   
      D10.1
  • Agree scope of work relating to the handover activity of the basic code
Should Have  
      D10.2
  •  Agreement between key stakeholders about technical support of the Notifications Open Source code
Should Have  
      D10.3
  • Agreement between key stakeholders about operational support of the Notifications Open Source Code
Should Have  
      D10.4
  • SLA, OLA and agreed support budget
Should Have  
      D10.5
  • Business-process and technical documentation
Should Have  

 

* Please note WP0 can be progressed and completed independently of other work packages

Benefits

Benefit 

Owner   

Recipient(s) 

How Measured  

Estimated Value Over 5 Years (£) 

Better-targeted and more-personalised communication with students and staff, leading to fewer internal emails received by staff and students 

IS LTW WGI 

 

Students and staff 

Measure growth in internally sourced emails received by staff and students, and compare post notification numbers with background trend. 

Email use costs at least £5,000 per employee each year1.   1% fewer emails received could save at least £50 per staff member per year.   ~ 6000 FTE staff. 

 

£1.5M 

Better completion rates for key tasks and activities 

IS LTW WGI 

 

Support and academic staff 

Measure rate of timely task completion, and follow-ups needed, by processes supported, e.g. Matriculation 

Avoiding 1 major follow-up incident, per 100 students, per annum, at £100 an incident, for 30,000 students. 

 

£150,000 

Cross-media communication in the case of emergencies 

IS LTW WGI 

 

Everyone 

Click through rates on emergency notifications. 

Hard to quantify, but better communication in emergency situations would clearly have significant value to the University, by reducing risk of harm to students and staff. 

Better potential to track success, and audit receipt of, communications, leading to better designed communication strategies.  

 IS LTW WGI 

Communications teams and groups, such as CAM 

Comparative click rates on different styles of notification. 

Average click rates on event-related emails to employees are 27%2.

Top organisations can achieve 46%.   If improving these rates reduced the number of communications needed by a further 1%: 

 

£1.5M 

Success Criteria

  • Engaged stakeholder groups (IS and Corporate Services) that will contribute to requirements gathering and committed to assisting with the delivery of the new Service
  • Engaged stakeholder groups (Students, Colleges and Schools) that will contribute to the Pilot Rollout of the Service and provide feedback to be incorporated into the Full Rollout of the Service, committed to assisting with the delivery of the new service and will seek to engage with continuous improvement post-implementation.
  • Engaged stakeholder groups (Service Excellence, Digital transformation, Core Systems programmes) that will contribute to requirements gathering and committed to assisting with the delivery of the new Service and continuous improvements post implementation
  • For Admin Support, users are able to access the Notifications UI to create, submit and support types of notifications within the Service
  • For the Pilot rollout, users are able to access the Notifications UI to create, submit types of notifications
    • Learn
    • EUCLID
    • Emergency
  • For the Full rollout, users are able to access the Notifications UI to create, submit types of notifications
    • Learn
    • EUCLID
    • Emergency
    • Other notifications as per agreed Work packages
  • For Pilot Rollout, Students are able to receive notifications from relevant sources via MyED, E-mail, SMS
  • For Full Rollout, Students are able to receive notifications from relevant sources via MyED, E-mail, SMS
  • All publisher users of the Notifications User Interface are adequately trained in the functions of the system to perform their roles at rollout of the Service and introduction of new notifications.
  • Clear guides for the use of the new system available on go-live.
  • Training available for new users of the system, provided across all user groups.
  • Agreed support via SLA and OLA with IS Applications

Project Milestones

Target Datesort descending Title Stage
05-May-2017 Project start Initiate
11-Aug-2017 Planning complete Plan

 

   
     
     
     
  Delivery Deliver
  Closure Close