The purpose of this project was to have a particular focus on supporting the delivery of online and distance education. Providing a range of software through which students and staff can access their own University storage areas without requiring to log on to a managed device. Enabling access to a common set of applications, regardless where a person is located, for online and distance learning, using their own computer, mobile or tablet, via either the Citrix Workspace app or through the web interface.
The project delivered a full build of the appropriate service environments and an initial pilot service to early adopter groups. The service is available to matriculated students and University staff.
This project deivered a working pilot as a precursor to transitioning to a new service offering apps to user devices called Lab Apps.Ed .
Understand and confirm the requirements for staff and students = the university's 'User Profile'. This will be done with the three colleges, with SCE schools explicitly engaged.
Undertake sufficient technical R&D to get to the point where a series of prioritised recommendations and options can be put to stakeholders and the project sponsor, so that the most cost-effective solutions can be determined such that the most benefit can be delivered soonest to the most staff and students, especially if there is insufficient capital budget to accommodate all solutions.
Procure hardware and consultancy to provide the technical underpinning to enable the solution to be put in place by the Desktop team.
Review of existing systems within the University that provide similar services with a view to leveraging either the lessons learned in their deployment or whether they might provide a platform for subsuming into this project.
Understand the essential applications needed to launch with to provide the new service as early as possible, and the prioritised list of other application that can be rolled out over time.
Ensure the chosen solutions provides appropriate flexibility to meet emerging/future needs.
Implement a technical solution that Pilots a new service so that the university can offer students the same applications available on on-campus desktops to students working remotely (including especially ODL) and using their own devices.
Better student and staff experience when working with their own device, from any location.
Access to a common set of software required for online learning and teaching
Enables students and staff access to software they previously could only access in Labs
Objectives & Deliverables
To provide students with a common Application set regardless of location, encompassing the same software as currently exists in central labs.
To provide a solution to the university using the resources - people and capital - that the ITI Director and Desktop Section Head have committed to the project.
A mechanism to deliver Applications to staff and students working remotely, such that a Windows environment with the core set of Applications is provided that matches that as in the Labs. This account for 90% of the users. A mechanism to provide Applications to staff and students working remotely such that they can work off-line.
A full build of the appropriate service environments and an initial pilot service to early adopter groups. A follow on project will take this pilot into full service.
Software available for users to access :
- Acrobat Reader DC
- EndNote X9
- Epi Info
- Excel 2016
- Geneious Prime
- Glasshorse Distal Limb
- Glasshorse Equine Colic
- IBM SPSS Statistics 24
- Inspiration 9 IE
- Internet Explorer
- Minitab 2017
- OneNote 2016
- PowerPoint 2016
- Read&Write 11
- Read&Write 12
- RStudio R-361
- SketchUp 2019
- Sniffy Lite
- Solid Edge 2019
- Stats for the Terrified 2020
- Survey Toolbox
- Virtual Environment 2019
- Vortex 10
- Word 2016
.Analysis of Resource Usage:
Analysis of resource usage has not been undertaken for several reasons including: A number of different Project Managers worked on this project, the project stopped several times and greatly exceeded the planned for delivery timescales, the project took 5 years to deliver.
Key Learning Points:
Did the infrastructure (purchase), drive the solution? The project manager should have anticipated the need for more/deeper/senior scrutiny and involvement by Enterprise during the procurement exercise, so that a much better assessment, questioning and understanding of the effort to support would have happened
Unacceptable risk to be building so late without completed and signed-off design documents
The approach to take the supplier at their procurement word to lead the project as PM has not been seen as successful
The project should have decided to either i) outsource all the work to the supplier, including ongoing service support ii) have UoE lead the project entirely and treat SC more as a supplier delivering a technical design, delivering build, This would also have meant the supplier designing and building to our specification
Appetite for the project was lost due to the length of time to deliver
Engagement from the supplier was not forthcoming towards the end of the project
Due to technical issues encountered when trying to integrate the solution into the existing Netscaler architecture, a sub-optimal configuration of the Netscaler to interface with the network had to be implemented. This could result in technical/configuration issues once the service is live.