Appendix 1: Analysis of Key Objectives set in Previous Five-Year Plan

Develop infrastructure and tools for the next generation of collaborative research environments and provide a co-ordinating role for Oxford's VRE activities. The RTS will assist departments wishing to respond to future relevant funding opportunities and will seek funding to scope and, where relevant, pilot institutional VRE services. Target date: Ongoing (VRE); April 2007 (scoping/pilot proposal); Achieved, and new work ongoing. OUCS staff are contributing as Co-Investigator to the Humanities Division project, “A VRE for the Study of Documents and Manuscripts” (JISC-funded, April 2007 to March 2009).
Develop and launch an online Research Discovery Service available to all divisions, building on the system deployed by the Medical Sciences Division. Target date: MT 07. Cost: Developed by the ACDT, but maintenance cost c.£15k pa. Achieved (in part) 2007. Service within Medical Sciences has slow uptake. No funding has been identified for continued roll-out.
Initiate a project to deploy a production Shibboleth-based access management service 1 to enable access to current Athens-protected information resources and provide integration between institutional and national information environments. Target date: Jan 2007 (Funded via ESP-Grid, SPIE and ShibGrid projects); July 2007 The infrastructure was deployed by July 2007. OUCS continue to contribute to the Athens migration work through membership of an OULS-OUCS Shibboleth Working Group.
Through OSS Watch inform and advise the UK HE and FE community about open source software and open standards through briefing materials, events, advisory service and partnerships. In 2006-2008 two particular areas of focus will be: assisting JISC-funded projects with implementation of the JISC open source policy; and working with technology transfer units in UK HE and FE to understand licensing and exploitation route for OSS Target date: Ongoing. (Funded via the JISC OSS Watch advisory service 2 ) Ongoing OSS Watch has advised JISC and research council-funded projects in Oxford on the development of communities to support software development, and licensing issues. A proposal for continued funding for OSS watch, from Aug 2008-Jul 2010 has been submitted to the JISC.
Collaborate with the OeRC on projects and activities which support research across subject areas through the use of advanced ICT. OUCS is represented on the OeRC Directorate and in 2006/2007 an OUCS-OeRC liaison post will be established to assist in identifying and developing collaborative projects. Through the RTS, OUCS will work with the OeRC to establish a process and the funding models by which the development of e-infrastructure can flow into service provision. Target date: Jan 2007 (liaison post); August 2007 (service model) Ongoing OeRC-OUCS liaison post was agreed with 0.5 FTE based in the OeRC and facilitating joint activities. OUCS senior managers have contributed to the OeRC Directorate and the Management Board.
Proactively support the establishment of institutional repository services, particularly through representation on the Oxford Digital Repositories Steering Group, the Oxford Research Archive Steering Group, and joint projects with the Library Services and other departments. Target date: Ongoing; ASK completed Sep 07, BID project and other initiatives ongoing. Completed JISC funded ASK project and won further funding to integrate Learning Services with Library and e-Science services under the BID project. Project team is working with digital repositories steering groups.The Oxford Digital Repositories Steering Group, chaired by the PVC (Research & ASUC) was established in Trinity Term 2007. OUCS contributed to a successful bid to the John Fell Fund for a one year Digital Repositories Research Coordinator post, the line management of whom is shared between OUCS and OULS (with the postholder based in the OeRC). OUCS is a partner in the JISC-funded Bridging the Interoperability Divide (BID) digital repositories project led by OULS and in partnership with the OeRC. OUCS continues to be represented on the Oxford Research Archive Steering Group.
Promote OUCS (and other) services for assisting in the development of funding proposals for e-Research and the application of best practice in the creation, use and preservation of digital resources. In addition, raise awareness about IT support services offered by OUCS’s NSMS service 3 or research projects and ensure that OUCS premium services are properly allocated by research projects within the FEC model Target date: Ongoing. Funded via activities such as Oxford Text Archive, Intute Arts and Humanities, VREs etc; Ongoing. Responsibility of the newly recruited Research Coordinator, and also work has been progressed on classifying some of NSMS’s services as a small research facility.
Co-ordinate, on behalf of OUCS, a range of awareness-raising and training activities relating to services and technologies to support e-research. Target date: October 2007. Funded through existing initiatives Achieved Oct 07 Training for Graduate students has been successfully run in M07 and T08, and will be repeated. Certain services are now Bytesize courses.
Through participating in the ICT Strategy Programme and subsequent implementation planning, assist in developing an e-Research support strategy which addresses the need for clear, coherent and co-ordinated IT support for research, whether projects or individual scholars. Target date: April 2008. Ongoing Responsibility of the newly recruited Research Coordinator
Continue the roll-out of ASPIRE with the Careers Service. Target date: Ongoing; Completed. Pilot launched TT 07, full service MT 07.
Promote the outcomes of its analysis of the workshops held in 06 on IT tools to relieve the Administrative Burden on academics via training, and documentation. Target date: 07; Complete. Tools to relieve the admin burden handouts are publicised on the LTG site and available through WebLearn. Range of “WebTricks” courses run termly from MT06 onwards.
Launch the Tutorial Reporting System (OxCort) as a pilot service, and then as a full service. Target date: TT 07, MT 07 (full service). Cost: purchased by colleges and E-learning Innovation fund. Development costs partly met by ACDT, but annual maintenance cost thereafter £10-15k Completed MT07. Now handed over to BSP.
Develop and promote the use of the VLE WebLearn (see section 11 below); Ongoing Usage has risen. ITLP have revised the Fundamentals course. Development of courses through OLI is ongoing. LTG email newsletter promotes functionality.
Research and implement technology that provides teachers and learners with assessment technologies that increase the quality and ease by which questions can be authored and subsequent marking performed (IIb); Ongoing Inputting desired criteria to Sakai development (WebLearn 2.0), but currently no useable system.
Promote the effective use of ICT facilities in the classroom by exemplar teaching rooms at OUCS (e.g. the ISIS lecture room) Ongoing Facilities are promoted through ongoing courses, and 1to1 visits. Smartboard course developed and run onsite for some departments.
Research and implement technology that allows learners to share and express their understanding. Specifically this could be through the use of blogs and wikis or through more advanced shared graphical simulation technologies (IIc); Ongoing
Fund the development of new teaching rooms in OUCS. Target dates: 07-09. Estimated cost: £600k Partially completed. Identified as part of a major capital bid. Further teaching room has been identified. Windrush has been upgraded.
Continue to run a shared information environment for use of IT Support Staff (the ITSS wiki), as well as developing secure delegated services aiming to enhance the facilities available to IT support staff across the collegiate University. Target date: Ongoing. Ongoing
Explain, promote, and support good practice in web site management for the University. Target date: Ongoing Ongoing Web Design Consultancy service launched in MT07.
Promote TEI XML markup as a preferred archival format for digital texts in the University, by providing support, training and tools. Target date: Ongoing Ongoing
Test the use of the Ubuntu desktop system, using a prototype LINUX system. Help Centre provision is being evaluated against this in the wider context of the ECE. Target date: June 07. Achieved.
Introduce web-based CMS for OUCS intranet. Target date: September 2007. Ongoing
Investigate and, if appropriate, implement a further integration of OUCS’s front of house services. Target date: April 07 Achieved, TT07.
Upgrade the University’s backbone network. Target date: 08-09. Estimated cost: £1m. Identified as part of an ICT Capital bid. The current network meets the expected requirements and does not need upgrading on this timescale. We should therefore wait for the next generation of higher-speed technology to be readily available before progressing (at least 2009-2010) The cost is likely to exceed the £1M mark
Continue the roll-out of the FroDo project, and promote guidelines for the Oxford Wireless service (OWL). Target: January 2008. The FroDo roll-out is almost complete (Jan 2008)OWL guidelines are readily available (and have been well promoted)
Seek University funding to promote the use of mobile access, via handheld devices and wireless technology. Target dates: 07-10. Estimated cost: £1.5m set-up; £150k recurrent cost Identified as part of an ICT capital bid. Funding for OWL Phase 2 is being actively progressed with a view to providing wireless access in the public areas of some 60 buildings. Costs reduced to £360K plus £70 recurrent.
Investigate and support the introduction of Internet Protocol Version 6. Target date: Ongoing Ongoing
Begin to eliminate the use of clear-text passwords, and migrate users to more secure systems. Target date: 08. Ongoing This was successfully implemented for email clients. In 07/08 planning to address FTP access to oucsweb.
Plan and migrate University telecom systems to Voice over IP (VoIP). Target date: 09. Estimated cost: £3m. Ongoing A pilot project has been undertaken and plans are being made for a 'service' VOIP facility. It is hoped to introduce this shortly (2008) but the complete migration of the University phone provision is a long term project (over many years). Telecoms reserves are being used to fund the initial service and it is hoped that future developments will be self-funding through cost recovery charging.
Increase phase 2 of the storage and backup for the Herald mail facilities. Target date: 07. Estimated cost: £400k (money already received due to in-year PRAC grant) Oct 2007; Aug 2008 The herald service was successfully upgraded in 07/08 to enable all users to have 1 Gb mail quota. The upgrade included a complete replacement of the server and filestore hardware, and a migration to new IMAP server software. The final phase of the project, in 07/08, will provide extra resilience with a more effective backup policy, including offsite disk backup.
Continue to develop and roll-out facilities authentication and authorisation services. Particular emphasis here is on the promotion of the Single Sign-on system, and development of registry services in collaboration with BSP. Ongoing OUCS is participating in the Core User Directory Project, in collaboration with BSP, OULS and others.. Discussions with BSP in respect of Single Sign-on are ongoing. For 07/08 OUCS has initiated a project to provide an authorisation server, based on ldap, for the single sign-on authentication server (webauth/kerberos). This project is the first phase towards providing a groups management service on which, for example, the migration of Bodington to Sakai and the groupware deployment, depends.
Run and enhance HFS backup services by:
- Upgrading drives.
- Add SAN storage capacity.
- Replace p650 servers.
2007/08 Funding approved for the deployment of further SAN capacity, together with the redeployment of the SAN which previously supported the Herald email service. Remainder of objective consolidated into an overall HFS objective.
Ensure resilience and security of the data on the HFS by acquiring a second tape library (with drives) in a separate location. Part of a major bid to the ICT Capital fund. Dependent on provision of alternative computer room facilities.
Replace the automated tape library, now ten years old. Part of a major bid to the ICT Capital fund. Indicative budget submitted to ICT Capital Plan. This objective consolidated into an overall HFS objective.
Departmental backup servers might need to be unified. Target dates: 07-10. Estimated costs: £1.8m Part of a major bid to the ICT Capital fund. Indicative budget submitted to ICT Capital Plan.
Invest in a University filestore and repository system. Target dates: 07-10. Estimated costs: £2.7m. Part of a major bid to the ICT Capital fund. Indicative budget submitted to ICT Capital Plan. considered low priority. However, groupware project may result in a shared document repository.
Continue investigation into a Groupware solution. Finish analysis in 2007, with an aim to procurement/development of service in 2008. Ongoing Identified as one of the four highest priority capital ICT projects. OUCS contributing to Groupware requirements Panel in 07/08 and is expected to have responsibility for the deployment of a groupware solution (initially by Oct 2008).
Alongside the research projects into Shibboleth (noted in section 6), investigate, with the key personal data providers of the University, the development of a coherent, accurate, and timely Identity Management Service that will permit the provision of an effective AccessManagement service. Target dates: 07-08. Estimated cost: £220k Ongoing OUCS contributing to the Core User Directory project, the first step in a broader programme of Identity Management projects.
Via our NSMS team, we will continue to provide IT Consultancy and Managed Services on a chargeable basis covering the following support areas:- Auditing of IT facilities and requirements- Consultancy on IT services and support- Windows, Linux, Apple and NetWare server management services- Firewall management services- Webserver management services- Research project support service- Windows and Macintosh workstation support - IT staff holiday cover- Emergency cover support- Exchange calendaring service Ongoing Virtualisation services have now been developed and added to the list of NSMS services.
Continue the development of the VLE system, bringing in new tools on a modular basis, linking up especially with such international projects as SAKAI. Target date: Ongoing. Ongoing. See elsewhere, plan to complete by 2010.
Link the VLE to institutional-wide services wherever possible, such as ISIDORE Ongoing.
Develop a Training Needs Analysis tool to point people at appropriate courses. Target date: 07. Ongoing but completed for graduates via ASPIRE project.
Assist in the development of the Enhanced Computing Environment by offering appropriate support to the new ICT Team and interface their activities with those in OUCS. Target date: Ongoing. Ongoing.
Assist in the implementation of the University’s ICT Strategic Plan (if ratified). Target date: Ongoing Aug 2007
Identify new opportunities to solve the accommodation problem and relieve pressure on the machine room. Ongoing OUCS contributing to the feasibility study for a new University Computer Room and investigating the possibility of refurbishing existing facilities. OUCS Computer Room Interest group has been formed and the Department has a better idea about potential capacity in other computer rooms around the University.
Depending upon the results of the review of OUCS’s Front of House services, fund the development of the central user area to accommodate extra requirements. Target date: 07. Estimated cost: £100k Aug 2007
Fund the development of the OUCS basements. Target date: 08. Estimated cost: £425k Part of a major bid to the ICT Capital fund.
Liaise with the SFWG to review the funding of OUCS, and future developments. Target date: 07. Completed.
Align its spending plans and cycles with the recommendations to emerge from the ICT Strategy which are focusing on large-scale IT investments, timescales, and costs ( and Completed.
Investigate which premium services should be costed into research grants as 'directly incurred'. Ongoing The HFS archive policy is under review and a formula devised to help ensure an element of cost-recovery from research grants for the long-term storage of research project data.
Provide advice, via our RTS section, for researchers writing funding proposals for projects with a significant IT element, and promote the opportunities offered by our NSMS unit to purchase IT support and development. Target date: Ongoing Ongoing. As noted elsewhere we are looking at getting key services of NSMS and the HFS listed as small research facilities. Also this will be assisted by appointment of Research facilitator post.
Monitor the recommendations to emerge from the ICT Strategic Plan which focus on the ICT environment and governance ( Ongoing. Many recommendations have been enacted so far (e.g. governance, capital funding, etc).
Respond accordingly to any changes in ICT Governance across the University as a result of the ICT Strategic Plan. Ongoing. OUCS Management sub-committee to be set up.

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Shibboleth is an authentication/authorisation service system that will replace the ATHENS username and password system in 07-08.