Monday, 23 June 2014

Best Service Desk Award 2014

As I've reported many times, we're a member of the Service Desk Institute and are currently the only University in the UK to hold 3 star accreditation.  Last week our Service Desk team attended the SDI annual conference, which features their annual award ceremony - IT Service Excellence Awards.  Earlier in the year, the team put forward an award submission for the title of Best Service Desk (small team) at the event.  Taking part in the award process was no easy task - writing a 5000 word report, producing an extensive evidence folder, a judges visit, presentations - and making a fun film featuring the Service Desk.  At Tuesday nights award ceremony, the University of St Andrews was announced as the winner of this prestigious award. 
The award ceremony was attended by around 500 IT professionals - including companies such as 02, Liverpool Direct, Virgin Media, TopDesk, Telindus and several other Universities. This category was judged by IT professionals from other industries.

I just want to congratulate everyone in IT Services on this success - particularly of course the IT Service Desk team.  

This award is well deserved by IT Services.   In recent years, significant effort and hard work has improved our customer-facing support and services, which resulted in us earlier this year being ranked #1 in the iGrad survey for IT Support.   This of course is underpinned by highly available and robust systems and services to which everyone in IT Services contributes.

Awards such as this provide great external validation that we are delivering our services in a very professional way and are amongst the best in our industry vertical and beyond.

a very happy team!

Monday, 9 June 2014

Award-winning Data Centre

Last year I reported that we achieved Participant status from the EU Code of Conduct for our data centre.  An achievement in itself - as participant status was not easy to achieve.

I was therefore shocked and delighted to be told last month that we had won the 2014 annual award for the category.   Unfortunately I was not able to attend the lavish award ceremony in Monaco, as part of the Datacentres Europe conference! 

It’s almost two years since we were awarded GOLD CEEDA (Certified Energy Efficient Datacentre Award from the BCS).   Having this accreditation has brought many benefits -  in terms of our own internal management of the DC - and externally in terms of raising our profile and reputation in this field as experts and promoters of Green IT. 
To continue with accreditation, Data Centres are re-assessed every two years.  Work on gathering evidence has begun and the audit will take place later this summer.  The Data Centre Ops Group continue to meet regularly to report on and recommend actions to demonstrate continuous improvement in order to maintain future CEEDA accreditation status and to continue to operate the facility as efficiently as possible.


Saturday, 7 June 2014

Microsoft Scottish Apprentice of the Year - Sam Foster

Sam Foster, who is an IT Apprentice in my IT Service Desk team, won Microsoft Scottish Apprentice of the Year - at an event recently at the Scottish Parliament.  Sam beat off 450 other nominated apprentices to win the prestigious title.

Sam Foster - Microsoft Scottish Apprentice of the Year

Our first three IT Apprentices joined IT Services in September 2012 (including Sam) - and it’s been a huge success.  Since then, we recruited another four IT Apprentices in 2013 and I’m delighted that we’ve received approval to recruit a further four later this year. 

It’s really important we give these young people the best opportunity and training we can - and I’m delighted that everyone in IT Services has embraced this  - as these young people really benefit from being supported and mentored by a wide range of very talented and experienced staff.

QA (who provided Sam's training in year one) made this great film about him last month.

Sam also did a blog:  "How I became Microsoft Scottish Apprentice of the Year", to encourage others to consider an apprenticeship as a great start to a career.