IT News

Welcome to the IT News page. Here you can find the latest information about what is happening in IT, including projects we are working on, success stories and any upcoming events. 

For information about planned maintenance, product changes and updates, and IT-related incidents, please visit the Service Status page. 

COH-FIT survey on the effects of COVID-19 

Friday 11 December 2020

Australians are invited to participate in the world’s largest survey of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on physical and mental health, to generate new insights that can drive better health policies and investments.

The Collaborative Outcomes Study of Health and Functioning During Infection Times (COH-FIT) study is anonymous and involves filling out an online survey that takes up to 30-minutes to complete. It asks a series of questions that asks participants how they have responded to COVID-19 from both a mental health and physical health perspective.  The survey can be saved progressively allowing you to return to complete it in as many sessions as needed.
There have been more than 100,000 respondents so far from nearly 150 countries and more are rapidly joining. If you are interested in participating, you can read more about COH-FIT and complete the survey here: 

Easier maintenance and better student experience in the UNSW MakerSpace network (UNSW Making)

Friday 11 December 2020

The StARS Faculty Solutions team also delivered an update to the award-winning UNSW Making application for Occupational Health and Safety training and equipment management across the UNSW MakerSpace Network. The improvements make equipment maintenance a lot easier, for example staff are now notified whenever a piece of equipment needs an upgrade. The students using the application now have an improved experience using the application, through easier navigation to frequently accessed areas. Thanks to Cybele Wong and Stephen Cheng for making this possible!

Medicine’s myEducationPortfolio now has public, UNSW-only, and private profiles

Friday 11 December 2020

The StARS Faculty Solutions team also delivered an update to the award-winning UNSW Making application for Occupational Health and Safety training and equipment management across the UNSW MakerSpace Network. The improvements make equipment maintenance a lot easier, for example staff are now notified whenever a piece of equipment needs an upgrade. The students using the application now have an improved experience using the application, through easier navigation to frequently accessed areas. Thanks to Cybele Wong and Stephen Cheng for making this possible!

MediaBin Server Upgrades

Friday 11 December 2020

In partnership with the Windows Server and the DBA team, we have successfully completed the upgrade of the three servers running the MediaBin digital asset management software to Windows Server 2012R2, mitigating a long-standing risk with these servers. Two of the servers were rebuilt from ground-up, with the remaining server upgraded in-place. The business user of MediaBin will now be exploring a migration to a new DAM platform with DEx.

Animal Ethics Online – Animal Monitoring/Annual Compliance Forms 

Friday 11 December 2020

The Animal Compliance & Annual Monitoring Forms for 2020 projects on the Animal Ethics Online system were tested and signed off in the UAT environment, and have been cleared by the business for a migration to production on 16 December 2020 for a January 2021 start.  While this is a yearly BAU release that needs to take place in time for the monitoring period between January and February, the process has been tweaked and made slightly smoother this year thanks to the technical assistance of Banu Manubawa from Faculty Solutions who provided valuable advice.   

LAMS upgrade to BEAMS and BAMS

Friday 4 December 2020

The StARS Faculty team released their final major risk remediation upgrade for 2021 in November. The Law Academic Management System which handles casual academic contracts was exposed to risk of unplanned outages and data breaches because its application platform was outdated.

This risk was remediated by merging LAMS into the (very similar and up to date) BEAMS and BAMS system in use by Built Environment and Business School, respectively. As a result, not only did we remediate technology risk, going forward the team have to support only one single application code base for all three Faculties.

Thanks to Cybele Wong, Banu Manubawa, Peter Norton and Tomas Kaiser for their work with the Faculty on making this possible.

Course Outline Application (ACOA) updated

Friday 4 December 2020

The StARS Faculty team released several critical updates to the FASS and Engineering Course Outline Application (ACOA) which have passed user acceptance testing and have now been rolled out.

The first change was needed for assessment data from ECLIPS to be shown in ACOA and automatically rolled over from one teaching term to the next. This feature saves significant staff admin time and ensures the integrity of assessment info viewed by students.

The second change was necessary for the School of Education to be able to use ACOA for their course outlines. The School need to comply with additional audit regulations and store complex curriculum mapping data. The team developed a user-friendly feature that enables the School of Education to move away from individually created Word document course outlines.

Thanks to Lisa Yeung, Max Ma, Daniel Gov, Rowland Hilder, Alex Symonds and Stephen Cheng for their efforts on these updates.

UX improved for Engineering ChallENG

Friday 4 December 2020

StARS Faculty have built and released an update to the ChallENG application for competitive industry projects to improve student experience.

The program has been a great success since its launch earlier in the year and has now been approved for general education. This allows students enrolled in many programs to participate and as a result there is a larger influx of interested students.

A waitlisting feature and other user experience improvements were created in order for students to have a user friendly and transparent experience in applying for industry projects.

Thanks to Debjanee Barua, Saru Sood, Peter Norton, and Stephen Cheng for their work to deliver this to our Engineering customers.

iMove (cityfutures) is now live

Friday 4 December 2020

The iMove (cityfutures) project will use the Chatswood central business district as a living laboratory promoting the effective use of data to improve visitor experience.

The initial focus will be on parking with the intention to aggregate fragmented datasets managed by government, industry and community data custodians, making them accessible to Council’s stakeholders including residents, businesses, workers and visitors.

Achieving real time data sharing between these parties will enable commuters to make better more efficient decisions thereby addressing congestion and optimising transport network usage.

Thanks to the CityFutures - Built environment team (Christopher Pettit, Alireza Shamakhy, Balamurugan Soundararaj) and UNSW IT (Satish Paudyal, Victor Avramenko, Victor Lantchev, Andy Sun, Darryl Lewis) for their awesome work!

Dean’s Medal for our new Master - Pallavi Verma

Pallavi stands in front of a Jacaranda tree in full bloom holding her medal up

Friday 27 November 2020

Last week, Pallavi Verma (PMO Analyst, IT PPMO) was awarded a Dean’s Medal for her outstanding academic performance in Master of Information and Communications Technology (Advanced).

The Dean’s Medal is only awarded to graduates who achieve a GPA of 6.0 or higher in their degree which is testament to her incredible academic achievement.

Even more exciting for Pallavi is that she was the only postgraduate graduate student to receive the award this year across the School of Computer, Data and Mathematical Sciences at Western Sydney University. This means she has not only excelled in her course but also was the highest achiever across all the postgraduate courses related to computer, data, and mathematical sciences.

Congratulations on a phenomenal achievement Pallavi! We look forward to seeing what’s next for you.

Transition to Teams Calls complete

IT staff members collect desk phones on campus

Thursday 19 November 2020

We have reached the final step in the University’s transition to Teams Calls with the retirement of the old phone system (PABX). Staff are no longer tied down to a telephone on their desk, with Teams providing them the capability to communicate and collaborate from anywhere, anytime and on any device as long as they have a reliable Wi-Fi connection.

Commencing Monday 30 November, all desk phones will cease to operate, including all call diversions. Handsets are currently being collected across campus and will be completed by Friday 18 December. For desk phones or wall-mounted handsets that are required for OH&S, reception or meeting rooms, a Teams-enabled handset will be installed.


  • 8,700+ telephone numbers have been successfully activated in Teams
  • Usage of Teams across the campus community has increased by >300% since January 2020
  • 1,230 requests have been received to port desk phone telephone numbers to Teams. 730+ have been completed as of this week and the remainder are new requests in the process of being completed.
  • 418 CATS, lift and help point phones have successfully transitioned to a new 24-hour emergency response managed service provider

One Team. One dream.

Vulnerability Management Uplift project update

Graph depicting trending vulnerability data

Thursday 19 November 2020

As part of the Vulnerability Management Uplift project to improve our maturity, we have focused on the areas of Governance, Processes, and Technology to better detect and report vulnerabilities across UNSW before they are exploited.

Key achievements include:

  • Advanced scan capabilities – we now detect 80% more vulnerabilities compared to our previous solution
  • Implemented contextual view of vulnerabilities based on threat intelligence to assist a risk-based approach to patching, where required
  • Developed an in-house script which integrates with CA Service Desk (CASD) for automated ticket creation and assignment leading to significant improvements in remediation activities
  • Moved from scanning 0 workstations to 10,000+
  • Moved from a maturity level of ‘Initial’ to ‘Managed’
  • Reduced our attack surface and risk across UNSW infrastructure and assets

Mammoth Market Month

Green swirl shape on white background

Friday 6 November 2020

The project space has been buzzing over the past few weeks with market activities in train for several projects including Cloud, Network, and Integration. More than 30 people from across IT have come together to assess vendor responses to a market EOI for Cloud.

Meanwhile, the Integration evaluation panel are eagerly awaiting responses to the RFP for an implementation partner to assist us with delivering the new Integration platform in 2021.

We have more activities on the go in the next few weeks, including an RFP for the Contingent Workforce Program.

It’s an exciting way to be wrapping up the year, giving us a solid foundation for delivery in 2021!

Well done to all the teams involved in preparing market bundles and evaluating the huge number of responses!

Technology Strategy 2020 refresh endorsed

Blue geometric shape on white background

Thursday 5 November 2020

A big win for Strategy and Architecture and UNSW IT with the ITPB endorsement of the Technology Strategy 2020 refresh. The Technology Strategy 2020 was endorsed in December 2019 and has guided our investment, however the impacts of COVID-19 have required us to review our thinking to enable UNSW in a post-COVID future.

COVID impacts include:

  • Reduction in student demand (but not demands!)
  • Disruption to the University strategy implementation
  • Worldwide economic uncertainty
  • A rapid shift to an online world (learning and work)

COVID-19 has led to a reduction in our IT budget while also highlighting the complexity of technology, the high cost to change, and the poor state of our asset health and risk profile.

The strategy refresh will need to prepare us for the new reality of:

  • Lower costs to deliver education and research
  • A focus on digital delivery and a “blended” campus
  • A need to maintain our services levels with less resources

Amidst this, we need to ensure a strong focus on risk management and maintaining IT foundations under a reduced budget.

The existing strategy 2020 largely holds, but the refresh has adjusted our priorities and roadmap, shifting our thinking in key areas such as accelerating our Cloud migration and transition.

Adam and the team will be road showing the strategy refresh shortly, so stay tuned!

IT Portfolio Board - November

Pink geometric shape on white background

Thursday November 2020

November IT Portfolio Board (ITPB) provided the calm before the storm from an ‘approvals’ perspective. The Board endorsed four new MEI’s to complete by year-end, a change request supporting a shift in the TCSI schedule and the Digital Marketing Platform Stage Plan for 2021.

Most of this month’s meeting focused on the Technology Strategy Refresh and the IT Investment Roadmap, both of which were heartily discussed, and universally endorsed by Board members. These papers will now head to SPARC prior to progressing to Management Board for approval.

In addition to our papers and strategies, Rorden Wilkinson (PVC, Education & Student Experience) provided a stonking update on the future of Moodle.

The ITPB approvals runway across the next three months is extremely busy, with up to $50m of papers set for endorsement as we look to hit the ground running for Q1 2021.

Health Precinct WiFi Proof of Concept

Health staff smile for the camera. Onw wears scrubs and one holds a baby

Friday 30 October 2020

This time last week we successfully enabled a UNSW person to connect to the UNSW WiFi while at the Prince of Wales Hospital as part of the Health Precinct WiFi Proof of Concept (PoC).

The PoC is an early step in the journey towards a better connectivity experience for UNSW staff working at NSW Health locations and in time, NSW Health staff working at UNSW. The end goal is for UNSW staff to be able to connect over WiFi in any location at the Prince of Wales Health Precinct and have access identical to that available on Campus.

The PoC is testing the technology and the capacity of these two organisations to work together to improve the current connectivity solutions in place. The challenges are not small and include legacy technology, budget constraints, cybersecurity and organisational change (the need for both parties to operate as pseudo service providers to each other) but the creation of the new PoW Health Precinct provides an opportunity to improve the connectivity for all users and to halt the continuing UNSW network infrastructure sprawl. This is an opportunity that should not be overlooked.

Thanks go to Paddy Grattan-Smith, Sharon Brogan, Tun Wyn Lwin, Dave Rees and from Health – Rhodri Jenkins and Stan Krainovic.

Cyber Awareness Program update

A blue padlock icon

Friday 30 October 2020

The Cyber Awareness Program is an IT initiative in shifting the culture at UNSW to engage and empower staff to actively participate in cyber security practice at UNSW. The Program involves a range of online training courses with a preceding baseline blind phish activity and a post training blind phish activity after the training has been completed.

The aim of the campaigns is to shift the mindset of our staff members to promote awareness and ownership of cyber threats, thus protecting business and personal information. The micro-courses offered as part of the campaign help users identify phishing emails while offering other cyber hints and tips to keep them cyber-safe.

The Cyber Awareness Campaigns have now been run in collaboration with five select business divisions; FASS, IT, Law, Medicine and Engineering, engaging approximately 1,300 staff.

This ambitious project cost roughly 80K over a six-month sprint and was run by a part-time Change Manager, part-time Cyber Analyst and an SME Product Owner. So, this is an outstanding result.

In September we also released the MVP Cyber Awareness Hub that contains information on how to stay Cyber safe both on campus and at home. This Hub has already been accessed over 233 times.

As we move towards the end of the year, our cyber awareness project team are reflecting on the feedback received, which has provided a solid foundation for 2021 planning. We look forward to sharing more highlights with you on this exciting program and involving you further next year!

Adobe Campaign Launch

Adobe campaign logo an dashboard

Friday 30 October 2020

This week the DMP sent out its first emails via Adobe Campaign to domestic and international offer holders. These campaigns are the first in a set of multiple personalised campaigns built in collaboration with the Future Student Recruitment team. Scheduled mails and automated trigger campaigns are all due to commence in the coming weeks and there are more planned for 2021. We are currently seeing a delivery rate of around 99% and open rates of 27.8% after 24 hours.

This launch would not have been possible without the collaboration of many people across the organisation who worked with the integration team to build an integration layer that sits between five different systems (SIMS, CRM, RAMS, UPP and ACS). The integration layer passes the right data from the right system, stitches it together and feeds it in and out of Adobe Campaign.

The team members involved have worked tirelessly over many months to overcome multiple obstacles, from lengthy MVP discussions, to challenges with data definitions and master data management.

This is one of the first data integrations of its kind at UNSW, and has not been without its challenges, but the teams have risen to those challenges and gone above and beyond to get to this launch. We have also learnt a great deal which we are feeding into planning for the many other integrations scheduled for 2021 and beyond.

Careers Online server upgrade

Four students gather to chat wearing hot pink T-shirts

Friday 30 October 2020

On 15 and 16 October, the Careers Online server was upgraded.

Two servers were upgraded from Windows Server 2008 to 2016, along with SQL Server to 2014.  Windows Server 2008 is no longer supported by Microsoft, so this upgrade reduced security risks and resolved a long-standing issue where users experience a ‘connection is not secure’ warning when accessing the website. 

The website was offline for 36 hours while the upgrade was performed and was back online just before 5pm on the Friday. 

Valerie Caulcutt, Student Academic & Career Success (SACS,) was very satisfied with the process and expressed her appreciation for the work undertaken.  Many thanks to Van Phan, Wilfred Abrigo, Ravinder Kumar and George Michalopoulos, who worked tirelessly to ensure the upgrade went smoothly.

Network Core Transformation update

Yellow coils on white background

Friday 30 October 2020

The Network Core Transformation is one step closer to delivery, following the signing of the Program Delivery Partner on Tuesday this week. 

The engagement follows the completion of a comprehensive market exercise and approvals by the Recruitment Board. 

As a Delivery partner, Frame Group brings significant experience in large complex Infrastructure programs and UNSW IT would like to extend a warm welcome to the project team.   

Special thanks to Mark Griffith, Ian Black, Andrew Coleman and special thanks to Diana Urbina and Stuart Brown IT Procurement partners.

ANZ Gateway payment

Xetta logo

Friday 30 October 2020

The ANZ Payment gateway went live on 21 October.

Previously, Student Tuition Fee and Accept Online payments have been collected through SiMS/myUNSW by direct connection to the ANZ eGate payment gateway using a highly customised and complex solution. This aging solution has been replaced with a connection to Xetta (formerly OneStopSecure), which is UNSW’s preferred payment collection application. It uses the NAB Payment Gateway to ensure UNSW is PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliant. This connection to Xetta also makes UNSW gateway independent.

The scope for integration was to capture the receipt details once the payment is made and then automatically forward it to PeopleSoft/SiMS for reconciliation.

It’s gettin’ Xetta all the time!

Successful launch of the ID Health Data Portal

Health Data Portal

Thursday 22 October 2020

This week saw the successful launch of the ID Health Data Portal developed in the StARS Faculty team for the Department of Development Disability Neuropsychiatry (3DN) in UNSW Medicine. The portal allows staff in Local Health Districts and Specialist Health Networks in New South Wales to view a regional profile of the demographics, health profile, health service use and associated costs for people with intellectual disability.

Thank you Taeho Yoo, Saru Sood, Adrian Plummer, Mai Ha, Alana Stanford and Peter Norton for doing a great job!

Dr Janelle Weise, Lecturer, Department of Development Disability Neuropsychiatry (3DN), UNSW Medicine said: "3DN would like to say a big thank you for the IT team involved in developing the ID Health Data Portal. Your expertise and skills have allowed our vision for the Portal to be realised. We greatly appreciate your collaborative approach to the development of the Portal. We couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you." 


UNSW IT welcomes Jay Atkar

Profile shot of Jay

Thursday 22 October 2020

This week we welcome Jay Atkar in the role of Faculty of Business – Business Partner/Technology Manager. Jay comes to us from senior client service roles in NSW Treasury (as Associate Director IT Operations) and with Dimension Data (as Global Client Service Manager). He holds a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science.

Originally from Birmingham UK, Jay moved to Australia in 2009 for the warmer weather. He is married with 2 kids, a 4-year-old girl and a 1-year-old boy. Jay is a massive football fan following the UK English premier league and Aston Villa.  He has worked in service delivery, project management and IT operations. This is his first time working in an education environment.

Jay’s role (like all business partners) is to work with the Business faculty to ensure that the Business School’s medium-term needs are identified and built into technology plans and strategies.

With Jay’s arrival we would also like to thank Conan Long who has been the partner for the Business School during 2019 and 2020. Conan will transition to supporting Art and Design.

HDR self-assessment tool successfully moved

Yellow coils on white background

Thursday 22 October 2020

The HDR self-assessment tool is a web application used by prospective Higher Degree Research (HDR) candidates to assess their eligibility to enrol in an HDR program of study and to apply for an HDR scholarship.

As part of continuous improvement and to streamline the use of Azure resources, the tool was moved to the same app service plan as GRIS, which will save approximately $250 per month going forward. 

The move was done over a period of 12 hours with no outage to the service, which was largely due to the use of Traffic Manager to route traffic away from the soon-to-be decommissioned web app on-the-fly. 

Many thanks to Weng Lock and Ben Hatton for their kind assistance with this.

Network Strategy update

Yellow geometric shape on white background

Thursday 22 October 2020

Delivery of the first phase of the Network Strategy to replace the Campus Core is currently underway with the Network Core Transformation project.

The project team, in collaboration with the Enterprise Procurement Team are finalising the first market exercise to select a Delivery Partner for the project.  The team are navigating a challenging delivery environment and have made great progress, issuing a second market exercise for Hardware and Integrator Services last week. 

A Hardware supplier will be selected by the end of the year and the project is on track to identify costs for the Business Case submission at the December ITPB. 

A special thanks to Ray Burquest, Ian Black, David Rees, Andrew Coleman, Mark Griffith and the Procurement Team, Diana Urbina and Stuart Brown for all the hard work to date.

IT upgrades from Altiris to Intune for teaching applications

Intune logo white computer and iphone on blue background

Thursday 15 October 2020

To modernise our IT infrastructure and to ensure a seamless and safe experience for our teaching staff, we are moving from our legacy system; Altiris to a new cloud-based platform called Microsoft Intune.

Whether you are working on campus or from home, Microsoft Intune protects and secures data, information, applications, and devices, ensuring your machine has the latest available security updates and enabling self-service for installation of applications.

The next phase of the migration to Intune is transitioning 500+ teaching applications and testing these in the new environment.

We are currently in collaboration with schools to identify and validate the list of applications and application owners for each school.

We aim to have the complete rollout and testing of all in-scope teaching applications by end of Q4, 2020 and any new or additional applications by Q1 2021.

The project is being led by David Fuller with support from Claus Christensen and Walter Brkic.

UNSW Making wins the 2020 Innovation in Teaching and Learning CAUDIT Award

Gold confetti over black and yellow background that says UNSW Making  - Tools and Tech for everyone

Thursday 1 October 2020

Congratulations to Cybele Wong (Developer in UNSW IT StARS Faculty Solutions) and Melinda Wimborne (Engineering Makerspaces Network Manager) who have won a CAUDIT Innovation in Teaching and Learning Award for their work on the UNSW Making Application.

CAUDIT Awards are the pre-eminent awards for outstanding achievements in Australian University and Scientific IT groups. The UNSW Making application was chosen from dozens of applications across most Universities in Australia, so this is an outstanding achievement for UNSW.

Housing heavy machinery and power tools, safety is paramount in the Makerspaces. UNSW Making enables students and staff to complete safety training so they can safely use equipment in the UNSW Makerspace Network. UNSW Making has also been instrumental in allowing equipment to be shared between Makerspaces, removing the need for each Makerspace to buy its own instance of expensive equipment.

Since the release of UNSW Making, safety training and safe use of equipment in the UNSW Makerspace Network has become a quick, user-friendly process for students and staff. Prior to its release, safety training records were kept in separate files and equipment bookings required manual verification by staff as to whether makers were certified to safely operate the equipment that they wanted to use. 

UNSW Making was built in close collaboration with students and staff and was a combined effort between several University Faculties and Institutes, including Engineering, Built Environment, Art & Design and the Michael Crouch Innovation Centre. Among the many people involved alongside Cybele and Melinda are Anthony Ward (Design Lab Manager), Nichola Jephcott (Digital Fabrication Officer), Robin Au (Digital Fabrication Officer), Oni Laughton (Project Coordinator) and Elizabeth Laughton (UX Designer).

Congratulations to Cybele, Melinda and all the contributors for this outstanding achievement.


Mia al-Sharif steps up to the role of CISO and Director of Cyber

A portrait image of Mia al-Sharif smiling

Thursday 1 October 2020

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Mia al-Sharif as Acting UNSW Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and Director of Cyber Security, making her the first female to hold this position in the G8 Universities, the second in the education sector, and one of only 10 female CISOs Australia-wide.

The cyber security strategy is to identify and protect UNSW mission-critical technology assets from threats that could impact the Cyber Security Triad; Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability (CIA). This CISO and Director if Cyber is a critical role to execute the strategy, which supports the University’s mission, goals and values.

With a career in cyber security that spans over 18 years, Mia is also known as the first Saudi women to specialise in cyber security - she was a founding member of the cyber security department in the largest producer of oil in the world, Saudi Aramco.

Mia started her career in cyber security as a penetration tester. Named one of Forbes magazine’s top 50 Women in Tech, she founded the Women2Hack Academy to encourage female students to pursue a career in cyber security through mentorship, leadership, and technical training programs.

A TED, WIRED, Harvard and UN speaker and author of Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman's Awakening, she loves to write about women’s empowerment and social justice and has written for the NY Times, Washington Post, Time Magazine and other international publications.

Mia believes that more women in cyber security will make us more secure and we feel very lucky to have her in this important role.

UNSW’s Digital Marketing Transformation gathers pace with more significant milestones achieved

Friday 18 September 2020

Following on from the successful launches of the new UNSW Front Door homepage and the Future Student landing page, the Digital Marketing Platform (DMP) Program is delighted to announce delivery of further key components of UNSW’s evolving digital marketing ecosystem.

By focussing on the key goals of delivering a streamlined, audience-centric, data-driven, and personalised experience, the DMP Team this week delivered significant improvements in analytics and tracking capability.

Apply and Accept
The Apply and Accept launch eliminates black holes in analytics tracking and provides insights into Future Student journeys to applying or accepting an offer to study at UNSW. The new analytics tracking capability provides our Future Student Recruitment team with more accurate insights into user behaviour across the Apply and Accept journey. The team now has clear visibility of the user experience and will be able to identify, then remedy any impediments a Future Student may face, which will in turn improve conversion rates for accepting a place at UNSW. 

It will also allow the Future Student Recruitment team to follow a user’s journey from other UNSW sites tagged with Adobe Analytics, or from marketing campaigns, and allow them to clearly see what activities are most effective in driving prospective students to take the next step and Accept their offer, or make an application.

This has been enabled by the implementation of Adobe Launch (a robust tag management solution), and adoption of the powerful Adobe Analytics product, which collects data from different channels and enables Marketing teams to make data-driven decisions using reports and insights. 

Bespoke Campaign
As a result of implementing Adobe Launch on a number of University websites, we now have the opportunity to deploy the power of Adobe Target, which supports A/B and multivariate testing. While this capability is in its infancy, the opportunities for future use are significant, and will facilitate improvements to conversion rates, and enhanced customer journeys. 

Today we launched a bespoke campaign, using Adobe Target, to test a change in the order of components on the new web page based on the marketing activity (Facebook ad, banner ad etc) an International prospect has clicked. We are seeking to identify which component order drives more lead capture. In the near future the creation and running of tests like these will be a daily BAU activity.

Drupal Sites Analytics
While the new landing pages (e.g. UNSW Homepage and Future Student Landing page) are built on Adobe Experience Manager (AEM), there are numerous pages that sit behind these landing spaces, which are built on the Drupal content management system.  

The DMP Team have enabled Adobe Analytics tracking on these prioritised Drupal pages, so that we can continue to gain critical knowledge which will lead to greater insights and better-informed decision making in the Drupal environment.

A successful partnership
The close partnership and collaboration between IT and the Division of External Relations (DEx) continues to deliver exceptional outcomes. Special thanks to the Future Student Recruitment Team, the Digital Experience Unit Team, Student Solutions, the DMP Team and other partners who have helped deliver these milestones.

Congratulations to all involved in helping launch a series of important initiatives that ensures we can continue to deliver benefits not just for our customers and future customers, but also contribute to a powerful digital marketing ecosystem that will help support the sustainability and ongoing success of UNSW.

Improved COVID tracing solution for UNSW

a hand holds up an iphone with COVID notifications on it

Thursday 17 September 2020

Since the COVID outbreak, universities have been searching for efficient ways to trace potential COVID positive cases. Some have purchased new applications while others have created QR codes for students and staff to log into buildings with. The challenge with these solutions it is only possible to trace someone if they are vigilant and use the QR code.

At UNSW we have a building access swipe card system, which is helpful in telling us that an individual has entered a building, but it doesn’t tell us where they specifically travel to in the building. There are also several areas where swipe card access is not required, which significantly hinders contact tracing.

David Rees and Paddy Grattan-Smith of the IT Customer Service Delivery team have developed a quick and simple solution that allows us to track the general areas on campus that an individual has visited based on WiFi access points. While it does not tell us the location down to the square metre, it does provide a good trace of which floors of a building an individual has visited based on their mobile activity. It also tells us who else was in their vicinity at the time.

This solution gives the UNSW COVID response team the ability to contact trace all potential contacts within hours of receiving a positive confirmation. We can pinpoint who to contact based on time and location rather than general statements (such as: if you were on level 11 on this day). This precise targeting of communications will allow for rapid contact tracing and testing of potential contacts.

 “It is fantastic to see our team members tackling new and emerging problems and creating innovative solutions that contribute to a safer campus for everyone,” said Mark Griffith, Director, Customer Service Delivery.  “I commend David and Paddy for taking ownership of this problem and coming up with a very effective solution.”

If you are experiencing symptoms, please book in for a COVID test. These are available at the UNSW Health Service and various local clinics.

IT launches MytiBot

Black and white astronaut head on a yellow background

Thursday 17 September 2020

In March 2019, the IT Service Centre received 6411 requests and incidents requiring IT assistance. In 2020, the IT Service Centre saw a 15% jump in enquiries in March due to transitioning most of our workforce to remote working (from home). To improve the customer experience and to avoid long wait times for assistance on general enquiries, MytiBot was developed.

Launched on 14 September, MytiBot has been programmed to answer not only numerous IT-related questions but also non-IT related questions. For example, who to contact in the case of a power outage, enrolment setup, library information, parking on campus and Moodle usage.

MytiBot has also been designed to learn. So, the more questions it is asked, the more its knowledge base will grow and develop. Your input is fundamental to this process and we invite everyone who uses MytiBot over the coming weeks and months to provide feedback, so we can continue to improve the bot.

We hope that the roll out of MytiBot will not only give people a quick and efficient way to resolve the most common issues but also give the IT Service Centre greater capacity to focus on incidents that require more involved advanced troubleshooting.

MytiBot is available 24 hours per day, seven days per week, and if there is something that MytiBot cannot help you with, you can raise a request from inside the chat and one of our friendly staff members will assist you.

IT launches single sign-on for myUNSW

Students sit at a wooden table looking at a pink macbook

Thursday 17 September 2020

On 19 September, the UNSW IT Identity team will launch Single Sign-on (SSO) with Azure Active directory for myUNSW.

myUNSW will join Moodle, Office365 and other applications in the SSO ecosystem. This means that when you sign onto any application in the SSO ecosystem using your zID ( and click on myUNSW, you will NOT have to sign on again. Instead you will be taken directly into myUNSW.

The inactivity timeout period has been extended so you will not have to sign back into myUNSW for up to 12 hours.

This is a significant milestone for our cyber security roadmap in enhancing security while providing a seamless digital sign-on experience for our community. 

Having successfully migrated Moodle to SSO in July, this is the second significant milestone in our Identity roadmap to enhance our learning platform experience. In time, we plan to migrate all UNSW applications to authenticate against the same SSO directory so that you will enjoy the single sign-on experience across all University applications that you use.

Read more

UNSW welcomes its community through a new Homepage!

UNSW landing page, white and yellow with picture of students and quote

Friday 11 September 2020

The Digital Marketing Platform (DMP) Program Team, together with the Division of External Relations (DEx), are delighted to announce the achievement of a significant milestone in UNSW’s digital marketing transformation – the delivery of our new UNSW Homepage. This follows the successful recent launch of the new UNSW Future Students landing page.

These new digital marketing spaces seek to energise and enhance the experiences of our community – including future students, current students, academics, researchers, staff, alumni, industry partners and others.

Driven by a mission to guide and inspire decisions that shape lives, reflecting our “Collective Difference” brand concept and supported by our foundational framework of “Heart, Hand, Mind” the website seeks to:

  • strengthen people’s connections to UNSW 
  • drive higher enrolment  
  • attract world-leading researchers and strong research candidates 
  • grow partnerships in learning, research and commercial activity 
  • showcase UNSW’s success and ambition to attract funding 

Forming part of an extensive Co-Design discovery and build process over the last eight months, our new UNSW Homepage is built on the powerful Adobe Experience Manager content management system and works in tandem with other Adobe Experience Cloud products. The Adobe ecosystem offers access to advanced analytics and performance insights, allowing us to test and optimise content for each of our audiences and will enable us to deliver curated digital experiences tailored to the needs of the individual.

The recent launch of the Future Students landing page highlights the positive impact of this digital transformation with some impressive initial results. Organic search engine ranking stabilised quickly within a two-week window. Pleasingly, a significant uplift in organic traffic (25 - 50%) in the first week post-migration can also be attributed to the new page.

The success of this UNSW homepage initiative has been a direct result of purposeful and creative collaboration by many people, including members of the Web Co-design Working Group and Steering Committees and DMP Steering Committee, DEx and IT Teams, the DMP teams and our partners, who all contributed to delivering this fantastic outcome.

Congratulations and thank you to all involved in helping launch a key customer-led initiative for UNSW that will ultimately deliver improved digital experiences, and will help contribute to the sustainability and ongoing success of UNSW.

Please get in touch with Konrad Dsa if you have any questions or feedback.


UNSW Open Day 2020: IT helps take Luminocity exhibition online

2020 Luminocity entrance shot with pastel balloons and UNSW banners

Thursday 10 September 2020

Each Open Day, the Faculty of Built Environment (BE) hosts Luminocity, their flagship exhibition for prospective students. This year a solution was needed to take Luminocity online for the University’s virtual Open Day. The BE Faculty reached out to UNSW IT for help ensuring their beautiful virtual exhibition would load quickly in prospective students’ web browsers worldwide. The online exhibition was successfully launched thanks to a collaboration between the Faculty, DEx and UNSW IT.

So far, 1800 people from around the world have visited Luminocity.                                    

Special thanks to Ming Johan Putra, Leanne Howard, Peter Norton, Archana Arunmani and Chris Weskin in StARS, Ebony Preen in DEx, and James Hargrave and Russell Lowe in the Faculty of Built Environment.


Edge Switch Software upgrade a success

Friday 11 September 2020

On Saturday 5 September, IT upgraded the software on 1,164 access-layer switches in the Campus network. The majority of these were upgraded over the course of a few hours and the upgrade was achieved with minimal outages, zero errors and in record time thanks to the use of open-source tools such as Ansible for automated provisioning and configuration management, Netbox as the source of truth and the Robot framework for automated testing.

Thanks to Annie Yu and Henry Luo for helping to develop the network automation framework and running the upgrades, Andy Sun for developing the automated testing and David Rees and Bernie Li, who were the ‘hands and feet’ running around replacing failed hardware components on the night.

IT will continue to build our network automation capability so that we can improve the quality of the network services we provide while also improving operational efficiency