We are all rapidly adjusting to new ways of working and new ways of keeping in touch with our colleagues, teams and customers during the CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) emergency. Many users are now working remotely where possible and this change has placed considerable pressures on our current IT infrastructure.
IT Assist teams are working hard to maintain and improve services, however, such are the demands on our resources, we are seeking everyone’s co-operation to ensure the most effective use of IT systems. The NICS bandwidth capacity is currently being extended to accommodate more online activity and access but this work will take time to complete and have fully configured.
Over the next number of weeks, whilst work continues to progress service improvements, all individuals are being asked to please follow best practice guidance to help the IT systems cope with demands and work as effectively as possible for everyone.
Please minimise use of all video communications
There has already been a significant increase in NICS video conferencing over the network particularly between the hours of 9.00am and Noon. Video conferencing uses considerable network bandwidth. We ask that users consider keeping video communications to a minimum and this should only be used where absolutely necessary. To stagger usage of this service, we would recommend that video meetings are not scheduled on the hour or half hour, for example, schedule the meeting at 9.10am.
If you are using jabber voice calls please ensure that you turn off video. For group communications, please use audio-conferencing in the first instance (using your mobile phone where possible) and only use video conferencing where absolutely necessary.
Please limit internet usage
You should also consider our need for internet browsing over this period. Where possible please use other devices (such as your mobile phone) if you want to get the latest information from news sites, view online video streams, etc. During this period, access to some non-business sites may be disabled to improve connectivity for business applications.
To ensure that ITAssist frontline teams can get on with the job in hand users are also reminded to use the following communication protocols and not to contact ITAssist Teams directly:
- email ITAssist or access the self-service portal if you need to notify an incident;
- if you have a query you should in the first instance check the FAQs in the COVID-19 - Staff Information Hub;
- contact your departmental Business Relationship Manager; or
- DSS Account Management;
- Escalated matters should be submitted to the DSS Head of Customer Services
Alternative technologies are being urgently explored in order to provide improved on-line working capability to support teams working remotely. IT Assist has also initiated a number of pilot projects to ease the current burden on bandwidth and are reviewing options for other online collaboration tools to help improve communications both internally and with external customers.
IT Assist will keep everyone updated on progress and will be sharing alternative ways to help keep in touch and work remotely. FAQs and How to Guides are available and being further developed and will be shared on the COVID-19 information Hub daily. Further information can also be found on the IT Assist Intranet How to pages.
Keep Well and Stay Safe
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