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. 

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