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Current Projects

What’s the project about?
ITD are currently carrying out a number of major strategic investments in the University IT infrastructure and systems. The Campus Wi-Fi project is part of this investment and will provide enhanced wireless coverage for all buildings and select outdoor spaces throughout the campus.

To comply with best practice security requirements the current open unauthenticated access to the wireless network via “ulwireless” will be phased out and all students and staff will access the network via eduroam. Eduroam is a secure international roaming infrastructure used by affiliated educational facilities to allow their staff and students to visit other participating institutions and continue to have wireless connectivity.

This project will greatly enhance the teaching and learning experience for the 15,000 students on the campus and provide significant benefits for the staff and guest population who require access to our wireless network.

What does it mean for you?
Students and staff will see increased wireless coverage throughout the campus. The quality of the wireless system has been significantly improved and can now support video, voice and data requirements.

All users will transition to accessing the wireless network via the eduroam network, the existing “ulwireless” and “UL Secure” networks will be retired.

Visitors to the university campus will access the wireless network through the new authentication-based Guest solution which has recently been deployed.

Status?
The overall project is in the Ramp Phase, status Green. 

Campus Wifi Status

The installation work is complete, the transition to accessing the wireless network via the eduroam network has commenced and will continue throughout 2020.

The following is a summary of the key project activities and their status.

Project Activity

Access to Wireless Services

Project Name University of Limerick Office 365 Migration Project 

What’s the project about?  The existing University of Limerick Microsoft environment had a combination of on-premise exchange servers for staff email and a legacy Office 365 environment services for student email and data and some staff data. The legacy 365 environment is not suitable for future needs of the university.

The University of Limerick Office 365 project incorporates the setting up of a new single Office 365 environment under which all student and staff Microsoft services will reside. The new Office 365 environment will contain Email, One Drive, One Note and SharePoint data. All legacy IT email infrastructure will be retired.

What does it mean for you? Users will have access to an expanded set of Microsoft services and enhanced security features. The new environment will also facilitate greater collaboration between staff and students. Shared links will now contain ‘ULCampus’ as opposed to ‘Studentmailul’.

Status? The overall project is in the Ramp Phase, status Green.



Status

Staff One Drive, One Note and email data has been moved to the new University Microsoft Environment. Student Microsoft accounts will be setup in the new environment from September.

The following is a summary of the key project activities and their status. 

MS365 Project Activity

 

Project Name University of Limerick Multi Factor Authentication(MFA) for staff MS 365 Services

What’s the project about? The University of Limerick has been subject to a number of security attacks on Microsoft Services over the last year. These attacks pose a major risk to our networks and computer systems and have the potential to compromise critical applications and cause data protection issues. ITD have recently commenced the deployment of Multifactor Authentication which will enhance the security processes and help minimise the impact of future attacks. This project is one of an overall set of security measures being deployed by the University of Limerick.

Multifactor Authentication (MFA) is a security system that requires more than one method of authentication from an independent source to verify the user's identity for a login or other transaction. MFA is an effective control to insulate against remote attacks and has been recommended by the Data Protection Commission.

What does it mean for you?  Staff and affiliates with a University of Limerick Microsoft 365 account will be asked for MFA when accessing Microsoft 365 services, e.g. Email, One Drive, Skype, SharePoint etc. when connecting to the network remotely. This means a user will be required to use a second method of authentication e.g. a code sent to your smart phone when accessing any Microsoft service remotely. The design principles will endeavor to minimize inconvenience for the user while still achieving our security goals.

Status? The overall project is in the Plan Phase, status Green.

mfa status

MFA has been enabled for a pilot group of 150 users. Planned rollout to all staff from May 2020. The following is a summary of the key project activities and their status. 

MFA Project Activity

Registration Process

Click on the following Top Desk Link for information on the MFA Registration process

https://ul.topdesk.net/

Project Name 
SharePoint Migration to Office 365


 
What’s the project about? The project involves migration of all data from the current SharePoint 2010 environment to the new Office 365 environment. The end vision for this phase is to provide a stable and secure solution that can facilitate intelligent content management and a modern user experience for staff. Document management and collaboration will be simplified and enhanced, and security will be streamlined and improved for all users across the systems.
 
What does it mean for you?
  • ITD will contact impacted departments well in advance relating to their SharePoint migration to jointly agree timelines
  • Migration of identified site collections from the current SharePoint platform to SharePoint Online in Office 365 is a ‘Lift and Shift’ of user data
  • Workshop Training will be provided department SharePoint champions\site owners
  • Training Materials and fortnightly Drop-in Clinic Support will be provided
 
The migration process for each department:
Migration Process

 
  • Preparation: SharePoint Site Owners input will be required to plan new structure
  • Site URLS(website address):  Any published links and documents with hardcoded links will need to be identified and updated with new location
  • New User Experience:
    • New clean look and feel
    • Improved Search functionality
    • Office Integration
    • Versioning and Co-Authoring
    • Updated Document Management Structure
This is an exciting development which will provide a further integration of the Microsoft suite of services for staff at the University of Limerick.
 
The overall project is in the Execute Phase, status Green.
Sharepoint Project Status
 
The following is a summary of the key project activities and their status.
Project Activity
 
 
 
Project Name
Windows 7 to Windows 10 Migration
 
What’s the project about?
Official Microsoft support for Windows 7 ended on January 14, 2020. After this date, Microsoft no longer provide security updates or support for PCs running Windows 7 and any PC still running this version of Windows will become more vulnerable to security risks. Support for Internet Explorer on Windows 7 devices will also be discontinued. In response,. Any devices that are not upgraded or replaced by the deadline will be removed from the UL network as they will pose a potential security risk.
 
Categories of Devices
ITD have carried out detailed analysis on devices that have connected to the UL network and have identified three main categories of devices: 
 Category Recommended Action  Alternative Action (if applicable)
Windows 7 In Warranty Device and can be upgraded to Windows 10 Upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 N/A 
Windows 7 Out of Warranty Device and cannot be upgraded to Windows 10 Device Replacement (New device will ship from Dell with Windows 10) N/A 
Windows 7 Out of Warranty (or near) Device and can be upgraded to Windows 10 Advisory Device Replacement (New device will ship from Dell with Windows 10)  Upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 and extend hardware warranty. 

 

What does it mean for you?
ITD are in the process of contacting each department to help bring this project to a conclusion and to discuss how this project will affect their areas and to develop a local plan for Windows 10 rollout.

ITD are planning to complete the upgrade of all remaining Windows 7 to Windows 10 from March. These will be user-led upgrades with ITD support when required. Over a 1,000 devices have already been successfully upgraded/replaced.

Specialist Software on Windows 10
During the upgrade process, an integrity check runs against the applications installed on the device and should highlight any unsupported software. However, ITD recommends that each department test any specialist software in use in their area on any devices currently running Windows 10 to identify any other potential issues in advance.

Laptop Encryption  
Any laptops that are upgraded to Windows 10 as part of this process will also be encrypted to ensure compliance with GDPR and IT Security Policy.  https://ulsites.ul.ie/itd/encryption

Status?
The overall project is in the Execute Phase, status Green. 
Windows 7 Project Status
 
The following is a summary of the key project activities and their status.
WLindows 7 Project Activity
Windows 7 Reason for Upgrade
Project Name
University of Limerick Classroom Refurbishments Project
 
What’s the project about?
The Classroom Refurbishments Project is in its 4th phase and is continuing to upgrade rooms across the campus. The project involves improvements at multiple layers in classrooms.  New podiums, projectors, screens, audio, controllers, visualisers and additional whiteboards have been installed. Electrical and network points have been relocated to make them tamperproof.
 
What does it mean for you?
Lecturers & Students will benefit from a consistent teaching environment that’s easy to use. ITD have seen a reduction in calls due to upgraded equipment and better cable management. With the continued progress, ITD is be able to remotely view and control the AV equipment without having to physically go to the classroom.
 
Status?
The overall project is in the Execute Phase, status Green.
General Teaching Spaces Status
88 room upgrades have already been completed with the final 24 rooms being had been planned by July 2020, however due to COVID-19, this is unlikely due to campus closure. Once campus is open again, a new plan will be drafted with revised dates
The following is a summary of the key project activities and their status.
General Teaching Spaces Activity
 
Podium
Podium before upgrade
 
Pordium 2
Podium after upgrade
Project Name
Online Forms & Workflows
 
What’s the Project About?
The scope of the project is to introduce an Online Form & Workflow solution, which with time, will replace existing, manual, paper based form solutions. The solution will help drive efficiencies, by reducing the time and effort of processing paper forms. Future state, Online Forms & Workflows will be made up of three key components:
  1. Ability to complete Online Forms
  2. Ability to assign the Online Form through the various stages of the given approval process electronically.
  3. Reporting – It will be possible to capture the status of a process, who currently owns the process as well as capturing the full audit trail of the process, including date and timestamps.

What does this mean for me?
Human Resources are one of many divisions who have expressed the need to migrate onto an Online Form & Workflow solution. The consensus throughout the campus, was that the HR Recruitment Pack Process would drive many efficiencies, throughout many departments, and was therefore identified to be the pilot solution. If you are an Originator or an Approver within the current HR Recruitment Pack Process, you will soon be migrated onto the electronic version. The solution will be delivered in a Phase 1 & Phase 2 approach. Phase 1 will deliver a working & operational solution, while further enhancements and fine tuning will be delivered in Phase 2. Watch this space for further details.

Status
 
Phase 1 Timelines
Online Forms Status
 
 
 
 
 
Project Name
Network and Email Account Management

 
Network and Email Account Management
 
What’s the project about?
One of the strategic IT projects that is within the portfolio of modernisation initiatives was the review and update UL’s IT Policies.   All users of the University of Limerick’s Network and Computing Resources are subject to the following University of Limerick IT Policies;
  • The University of Limerick’s Acceptable Usage policy
  • The University of Limerick’s IT Security Policy 
The two policies referred to above were approved by the Governing Authority of the University last September and can be found on the ITD website at:- https://ulsites.ul.ie/itd/policies-procedures-1.
The project includes a review of procedures surrounding the maintenance of UL network and email accounts. It incorporates some additional automation of the processes to grant, maintain and expire the accounts. An audit of all existing accounts will also be conducted as part of the project to ensure the accounts are provisioned in line with UL IT Policies.
 
ITD will keep you informed on key developments as the projects evolve and more detailed communications will be issued to users directly impacted by the changes. 
Why are we doing this?
  • To implement controls that are required in order to ensure that the University of Limerick remains compliant with Data Protection laws.
  • To improve efficiency of processes through automation.
  • To reduce Microsoft licensing costs paid by the University of Limerick
  • To reduce user support costs - with the adoption of newer technologies and enhanced collaboration tools, the need for some accounts will be removed, and so will the costs associated with supporting those users.

What does it mean for you?

  • You may notice some changes as you may receive automated emails when your account is about to expire, or asking you notify us of changes in the details we hold on your account like your ID number, or Department.
  • If you are a Head of Department you will receive requests to sign off on ID Cards for contractors/employees of approved suppliers working for your department or to re-approve temporary ‘guest’ accounts - exceptional basis only – all users must ensure that any access to UL assets, which they grant to others, is for University use only, is not excessive and is maintained in an appropriate manner.
  • If you are employed by an Affilliate/Subsidary/Supplier of UL you will be required to attain approval for your account and a UL ‘Authorised User’ ID Card on a regular basis, you will receive automated emails when your account is about to expire or is in need of review.  Following the HR ID Card Policy https://www.ul.ie/hr/current-staff/hr-policies-procedures-forms-z.

Status?
The overall project is in the Ramp Phase, status Green. 

Network and Email status
The following table outlines the key ‘high-level’ phases within the overall project.
Project Phase Planned Start Dates
1 Review and update procedures and working guidelines for maintaining network and email accounts. Completed
2 Deliver additional automation of processes to grant, maintain and expire network and email accounts. In Progress (Complete April 2020)
3 Audit of all existing ‘non student’ accounts In Progress (Complete June 2020)
Project Phase Planned Start Dates
1 Review and update procedures and working guidelines for maintaining network and email accounts. Complete
2 Deliver additional automation of processes to grant, maintain and expire network and email accounts. In Progress (Complete April 2020)
3 Audit of all existing ‘non student’ accounts In Progress (Complete June 2020)