Information Services

Future Proofing the UniDesk Infrastructure

The University of Edinburgh recently launched a project to simplify the UniDesk technical architecture to better meet member needs and enable streamlined service delivery.

UniDesk logo

UniDesk, the shared service management solution tailored to the Higher Education sector, continues to improve its service delivery for member institutions with its current migration to TOPdesk software as a service (SaaS). UniDesk delivers its services in partnership with TOPdesk’s software to enable shared information technology processes, guidance and support across its member community.

Following the recent celebration of its tenth anniversary, the 11 UniDesk member institutions are completing the project to transition to the new software environment. With 24 Test and Live environments the complex transition required planning, coordination and collaboration across Edinburgh, TOPdesk and other member institutions.

The TOPdesk SaaS transition was the first component of a larger project within the University to simplify the UniDesk technical infrastructure. Historically, UniDesk has operated as a shared SaaS for members with infrastructure hosted locally by the University of Edinburgh. However, due to its growing membership the group required a stronger service to support the Test and Live environments of each institution.

The move to TOPdesk SaaS, overseen by the UniDesk Board, is part of the extensive migration project that remains a high priority for University of Edinburgh’s Applications Directorate. Substantial work has been undertaken by the Service Management, Production Management and Development Services teams to migrate each UniDesk members’ environments to the new service.

“Access to new features and improvements is a big benefit,” said Matthew Saliba, Senior IT Officer at the University of Malta. “We are most excited about integrated chat support, task notifications (especially with the browser notification option), duration reports and notification of other card viewers.” 

The migration affords a number of benefits to UniDesk members, enabling a more frequent deployment model so new functionalities and releases can be accessed more quickly. The new service also provides opportunities to engage members in piloting new modules, such as Chat functionality, Asset Management and improved data reporting, which will benefit the entire UniDesk community.

The migration to TOPdesk SaaS does not include local integrations which are currently managed by Edinburgh University. As such, the University project now seeks to simplify the remaining the UniDesk architecture including Quick Calls, Data Imports and the Domain Name System (DNS), currently owned by Edinburgh. This project will enable the Edinburgh UniDesk Support team to focus on efforts related to the Service Roadmap and continual, value-added service improvement.

“I am hopeful that the resulting shift in some of the work to TOPdesk enables the UniDesk service management team to focus on other service improvements,” said Matthew. “We are very grateful and appreciate the hard work put in by all those involved in the UniDesk service.”

UniDesk looks to continue its progress by directly supporting members in the transition and aims to complete the optimisation of the UniDesk architecture this summer. For more information, visit the UniDesk website and follow the @UniDesk_SM account.