Wednesday 5 July


Transforming learning: aligning pedagogy, technology investment, and support services.
Richard Aird, Director of Service Delivery & Change, University of Stirling

Everyone made the rapid flip to online and then hybrid learning during the pandemic, but how has this changed our longer term thinking about what teaching looks like in future, and how we provide the necessary technologies and support for this? Find out how the University of Stirling are taking the lessons from their pandemic experiences and are embedding them in an innovative approach to learning technologies – delivering a £10m+ transformation project that is driven by sound pedagogy, ground-breaking technology, student experience at the fore and which takes a truly integrated approach to its development, implementation, and ongoing support.


Kill the Carrot & Snap the Stick - Rebooting, Refocusing & Recharging demotivated and unengaged support staff
Jake Dovey, Incident Response Team Manager, University of Southampton

Highly motivated and engaged staff are essential to team performance but this can seem impossible in the support environment. Commonly, support teams feel unappreciated and put upon, and with staff who have no control over the unending stream of work flooding in, stress and anxiety are to be expected right? WRONG!

In this session Jake will share a blend of tools and techniques created, cribbed or dam wright stolen that turned around a support team at rock bottom. Implementing these is not just easy and essential but also fun, resulting in a rebooted team and a rebooted you.


IT Support Hub - the changing face of support in IT Services
Caroline Hackman, Head of IT Customer Services, University College Dublin

Back in the early 1990’s, email was the new shiny thing and IT Services embraced this technology to enhance its customer support services. While IT Services have changed support models, ITSM tools and restructured support teams over the years, the main channels by which our community could contact us were still the same as they were 30 years ago: telephone and email.

In 2021, we commenced a journey of support service transformation using the power of ITSM tools to deliver a knowledge centric Service that would empower our community to find resolutions to their queries themselves, freeing up our support teams to concentrate on more complex issues and focus on activities that add value to our business. The removal of an email address as a support channel coincided with the introduction of a comprehensive knowledge base, self-service requests, user based call logging, and a Virtual Agent, which transformed the delivery of our support services.


The IT Service and Shared Service Trends that will improve student support and agent experience in 2023 - in conversation with Freshworks and Brunel University
Sonja Browning-Page, CDIO, Brunel University; Bhagya Bherwani, ITSM Education - Account Executive; Dean Marney, ITSM Education - Account Development Specialist; and Max Templeman, ITSM Education - Account Executive, Freshworks UKI

Join Freshworks Higher Education Account Leads Bhagya Bherwani and Max Templemant in conversation, presenting the latest emerging technology trends that are creating more efficient shared services in Higher Education. See how generative AI is being implemented at scale and how you can create an employee experience through your IT service desk that your agents love.

The second half of our session will see Freshworks' Dean Markey in conversation with Sonja Browning-Page, Chief Digital Information Officer at Brunel University. How Brunel University have cracked a shared services strategy that delivers a personalised, frictionless and timely service toit's student base, but also supports agents to reduce the time and cost to serve students and colleagues across the organisation.


Parallel sessions 15:00

  • Our Business Continuity journey
    Jenine Shaw, Business Continuity Lead, University of Sheffield

    Project Phoenix is our story highlighting how we moved from an undocumented and untested business continuity and disaster recovery programme. Phoenix was designed to focus on all the elements of the business continuity lifecycle, to build, manage and embed an effective programme, ensuring that all relevant business continuity and disaster recovery plans were created and tested to ensure that we are able to recover from an incident within the required timescales.

  • Transforming Professional Services
    Simon Corbett, IT Director; and Michael Askell, Assistant Director for Enterprise Development, Northumbria University

    How Northumbria have used principals founded in IT to build an enterprise development platform in which all of our professional services teams work in a single way on a single platform. We have used our technology and process platform to ensure we can quickly and effectively share information and build new applications.


Revolutionising IT Support with Generative AI: Durham University’s remarkable journey
Beth Gordon, Head of Collaboration Services; Calv Reid, IS Specialist; and Andy Scott, Senior Manager (Service Desk & Field Teams), Durham University. Joined by Andrew Smith, COO, ICS.AI

Join us for an informative showcase session led by Durham University, and partner, ICS.AI, as they reveal their practical experiences with AI implementation for IT Support. Learn about how their latest AI Assistant, Chat-e-Cathy acts as a single digital front door, providing a conversational user experience for student and staff seeking IT support. By harnessing AI, Durham University aims to reduce IT support tickets by 40% and significantly decrease waiting time, resulting in better overall student satisfaction.

The session will cover:

  • Real-time results – A detailed look at the measurable outcomes Durham’s IT team is seeing as a result of deploying Chat-e-Cathy
  • Impact of Generative AI – A discussion on the influence of Generative AI, focusing on the role of ChatGPT to help efficiently create and manage large content data sets, demonstrating an innovative ChatGPT content crawler in action, showcasing how it aids the creation of comprehensive language models with thousands of intents and responses
  • Multichannel approach – A focus on Durham’s plans to extend AI usage even further across channels to optimise AI deflection, and its implication on other modes of communication I.e. email


Join us to gain valuable insights from Durham’s AI journey and explore the tangible benefits of AI in enhancing IT support and empowering users.


From awareness to acceptance - a no-holds barred conversation about what it's really like to be autistic
Tree Hall, CEO, Charity IT Leaders

Tree is an openly autistic CEO with two autistic and ADHD children. In this presentation / Q&A / discussion, she'll share some of her experiences as an autistic woman, and parent, and answer questions from the audience. If you want to find out more about the realities of autism, ways to make the workplace more accessible for autistic people, or just want to ask about autism and neurodivergence, come along and bring your questions and queries.


Thursday 6 July


A Day in the Lifecycle: The Managed Device Story
Adam Harding, Technologist Practice Manager, Softcat

Adam will talk through how to make your life much easier, through an effective Managed Device Lifecycle (MDL) service to support the Joiners, Movers and Leavers process. Using examples from other sectors, he will demonstrate how IT departments can win back time to focus on other priority areas.


REmix and REflect
Antonia Jones, Interim Application Support Manager; and Bex Cattran, IT Operational Lead (Application Support), University of Leeds

Join Antonia and Bex for their honest joint journey becoming IT Operational Leads within the University of Leeds at a time of unprecedented change, whilst also finding their leadership groove through the Aurora Leadership Programme. A journey full of laughs and tears, highlighting the power of peer to peer mentorship, investing in others and discovering that what we first see as vulnerabilities are often our biggest strengths.


Parallel sessions 11:05


  • The challenges of representing gender diversity in IT systems
    David Wilson, Application Support Manager, Loughborough University

    The number of staff and students who identify using names, pronouns and genders not assigned to them at birth is increasing rapidly. Capturing their data in a way that is respectful and legally compliant presents complex challenges around data which has previously been considered simple. This session will discuss the issue, why it is so important to individuals and institutions, and some possible solutions.

  • REDEFINING Cyber Security at USW - CE, CE+ and whatever comes next
    Susanne Smith, Deputy Director (Business Development & Operations) and Catherine Misljen, Digital Project Manager, University of South Wales

    Like many HEI's at USW we need to achieve CE accreditations to meet contractual requirements and also to ensure best practice and focus on cyber security. This session will start at the beginning of our CE journey in 2020, where the award of a significant contract drove the requirement and subsequent achievement. The focus will be on lessons learned, especially managing impact on users through project and front line service teams.

  • Apprenticeships - what's all the fuss about?
    Andy Scott, Senior Manager (Service Desk & Field Teams), Durham University and Lucy Bolton, Head of Support, University of Hertfordshire

    Everybody seems to be talking about Apprenticeships but what’s all the fuss about? Do I need them in my Team? Should I become one myself? How do they benefit the individuals and the employer?

    Andy Scott (Durham) and Lucy Bolton (Hertfordshire) will share their firsthand experience of apprenticeships both as managers and as apprentices themselves.

    They both support multiple apprentices within their teams and will talk about the benefits of developing staff through this route and why it is so rewarding. They will talk about how they support their apprentices in their learning and what the commitment to these staff members means for the employer.

    Andy and Lucy also have both recently started on their own apprenticeship journey, undertaking Senior Leader apprenticeships within the last 6 months. So can give an understanding as to what it’s really like going back into education as a student after so long!


Goodbye to emailing the Service Desk. Why, How and What the Results were
Katherine Craddock, Service Desk Operations Manager; and John Ireland, Director of Customer Services, University of Oxford

On July 27th 2022, the central IT Service Desk of the University of Oxford stopped accepting email as a channel for raising support requests. Instead, our customers are now being directed to phone or to use a carefully designed web form which allows us to prioritise calls and direct queries straight to specialised support teams where they exist. We'll take you on the journey that lead up to July 27th and illustrate the effects on service desk operation through some interesting statistics.


AI Changing the Operational Landscape
Iain McCracken, Assistant Director of IT, University of Sussex; Tanaz Gould, Chief Revenue Office, Roc Technologies; and Jamie Pitchforth, Head of Strategic Business, Juniper

Roc and Juniper combined provide a platform for the HE sectors to change the operational landscape for service desk, moving away from traditional network connectivity and up time matrix for SLA’s and support, to a new powerful AI driven Enterprise, delivering different outcomes to users and support desks. Releasing, service desk personnel to concentrate on more important task to help business grow, and ensuring user have a network that works to enable them in both a work and social context, that is both secure and protects them for the desktop to the edge.


Making the right deposits in your resilience bank
Laura Dawson Governor, Charity Trustee and Founder, Leaderly Consulting

Laura will discuss the inevitable ‘slings and arrows’ that affect service teams within organisations, particularly when handling major incidents and how to build up resilience for when the inevitable happens. She will cover:


  • creating the professional culture you need,
  • identifying the barriers that get in the way of building resilience, and
  • the importance of building trust and credibility in the quiet times so you are stronger and more adaptable in the noisy times.


Based on real life experience of working not only in the education sector but in global charities, this talk will discuss what works and what hurts and provide tips and techniques for being able to weather the storms to come.