Projects and programmes update for Trinity term 2020

Our project teams continue with delivery of active projects

While many colleagues in IT Services – and across the University – are engaged in business continuity work in response to Covid-19, our project teams are progressing work that we hope will improve life for all IT users after things get back to some kind of normality.

IT projects have always relied on people from throughout the University, whether that’s for providing ideas and subject-matter expertise or for testing new software and systems - or anything in between. We want to thank everyone who has been contributing over the past couple of months, especially as we know that some of you have been exceptionally busy. 

While timings for some of our work have inevitably slipped, mostly we are on track. Here is an update from some of the projects we have been working on.

E-expenses

Work continues to replace the paper expense claims form with an online system, SAP Concur, and a phased rollout is planned from August 2020. This means most staff and student expense claims will be submitted and approved electronically, via computer or smart device, and can be progressed wherever you are working.

Thanks to all who took part in the online demonstrations of SAP Concur in April, which provided invaluable feedback. Finance colleagues in departments, colleges adopting SAP Concur and UAS are now involved in ensuring the information uploaded to SAP Concur is accurate and appropriate.

Learn more from the IT Services website news item and on the Finance Division website, or contact expensesproject@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Core HR - Upgrading the University’s HR Information System

corehr upgrade project logo 2019 2020

In partnership with University Human Resources, we are working to upgrade CoreHR. To date, we have:

  • moved to a supplier-hosted service, enabling faster, more frequent system updates;
  • transferred the recruitment functionality to a modern user-friendly interface; and
  • introduced a blended learning approach to support system users.

Due to Covid-19, the current and final phase of this project is being extended and will complete in the summer. This phase will oversee the upgrade to the latest software version and migrate the personnel functionality to a more modern interface. To learn more about what this means for users, please visit the project website.

HR Reporting

A project is underway to implement a new reporting solution for the University’s HR Information System. HR Reporting will replace Oracle BI Discoverer, which is being phased out by the supplier. After sourcing a suitable replacement, the team have been undertaking the sizeable task of transferring each report to the new platform. Over 95% of the reports have been completed and are undergoing testing. Delivery has been delayed to the summer, as a result of Covid-19 restrictions. Guidance material will be shared with users, once this is released. For further information, please contact corehrupgrade@admin.ox.ac.uk

Paperless payslips and P60s

Payslips tree toolkit image

As a University employee, you have been able to view your payslips and P60s online since we launched HR Self-Service in 2018. This service has been essential for many staff in recent months, due to the Covid-19 restrictions preventing the circulation of paper copies.

From June this year, the University will stop issuing paper payslips and P60s altogether for the majority of staff and you will need to access these through your HR Self-Service account.

Access HR Self-Service within the University network, or from home using the University’s free VPN service. For more information, please visit www.ox.ac.uk/hrss.

IRIS - New online incident reporting system

On 1 June, a new online system will be introduced to record health, safety, and environmental incidents. Delivered in partnership with Human Resources, the Incident Reporting and Investigation System (IRIS) will replace paper forms, enabling staff and students to log incidents securely online.

With instant access to data and analysis tools, IRIS will enable the University to log, process and report incident data faster, increasing compliance with UK safety legislation. Moving this process online will also save paper (approximately 100 forms a year), printing and courier costs.

For more information visit our website or email the project team irisprojectcomms@it.ox.ac.uk.

Canvas Programme  

The focus of the Canvas Programme during the pandemic has been on supporting the Centre for Teaching and Learning with preparing the University for teaching remotely. We’d like to say a huge thanks to everyone who has helped us to deliver to incredibly tight timescales and shown amazing patience in extraordinary circumstances.

Work has continued on Canvas in the background, where we’ve recently delivered some essential enhancements to improve the user experience, providing users with more detailed search functionality and administrators with more oversight over the courses they manage. We’ll shortly be contacting departments and faculties to discuss moving to Canvas in Michaelmas term, as well as resuming work where activity is already in progress.

For now, please visit the Teaching Remotely website, where you will find a wealth of resources as well as information about the Teaching Remotely Service Desk.

Data Governance Framework

We have spent the past few months working with stakeholders from across the University to define data, develop policies and procedures, and identify potential data stewards, establish data standards, and assess sources for high-priority data associated with ‘students’, ‘employees’ and ‘organisational units’. We have also secured funding to apply data governance in further key data areas and continue our longer-term work to embed the Framework throughout the University.

Our timetable has been affected by Covid-19 but we have been able to carry out much of our planned work. For details about our next steps, please see our webpages.

SharePoint Online project

SharePoint Online, the cloud-based version of SharePoint, part of Nexus 365, should be available to members of the University towards the end of 2020, although this timeline may change, as the project is currently going through the approval process.

The launch will include the new features and functionality of SharePoint Online along with user guidance. Existing site owners will be responsible for eventually moving content over and we would encourage you to start reviewing your sites now with this in mind.

We will provide further updates as this project progresses, but you can find out more on the SharePoint Online project page and FAQ, and if you have any questions, please email the SharePoint Online project team.

Teaching Management System (TMS)

This project is delivering a new system (replacing OxCORT) for academic and administrative staff involved in undergraduate teaching in colleges and departments. The project aims to deliver the solution in time for Michaelmas term 2020, allowing time for initial data set-up prior to the start of term. Some additional features will be ready for Hilary Term 2021. 

TMS will be used by around 18,500 people, including tutors, administrators, finance teams, departmental staff, and students. The new solution will better support the recording and management of teaching provided by both colleges and participating departments, including museums. 

Teaching Options Sign Up (TOSU) project

The Teaching Options and Sign Up (TOSU) project is delivering a teaching programme structure database. This will include data about teaching options, which are referred to across Oxford as papers, courses and many other terms. A teaching option is a topic covered on a programme of study, typically made up of several events, e.g. lectures, seminars, laboratories. This data will feed through to other systems, initially TMS and Canvas, to aid processes there. The project will also plan a joined-up approach between the various methods of student sign up that will be available (e.g. to a Canvas Course, TMS teaching arrangement and teaching options). Briefings for users of the new system will begin later in Trinity term.