ASAUDIT meeting at Richard’s Bay Campus

Published September 27, 2011 by soren

Spring Meeting of ASAUDIT at Richard’s Bay Campus

The spring meeting of the Association of South African University Directors of Information Technology (ASAUDIT) was held last week during 21-23 September at the University’s Richard’s Bay campus. Approximately 50 IT directors and senior ICT managers from 18 different institutions attended the conference, together with representatives from TENET, Meraka/SANReN and several vendors who sponsored portions of the conference programme.

The event was a wonderful opportunity for Unizulu ICT staff to gain exposure at the strategic level in the university / research ICT space.  Additionally, the technical support we provided at the conference has stimulated interest in video conferencing, online collaboration and audio/visual support among the Unizulu ICT technical staff.  The conference programme was broadcast online as a videoconference using Caltech’s EVO conferencing system (evo.caltech.edu).  About a dozen people watched portions of the conference programme online from other institutions.  Additionally, several of the presentations at the conference were delivered remotely via collaboration tools like EVO, Skype and GoToMeeeting.  We offered open WiFi access for the conference attendees during the event, and comments about the campus, venue, conference arrangements and technical facilities were extremely positive.

Highlights of the very full conference programme were:

  • Student Laptop Initiative / Collaborative Procurement Initiative between PURCO and ASAUDIT.  Preferrential pricing for several laptop models from Acer and Lenovo has been negotiated for registered students (and soon for staff and/or institutional orders).
  • Campus printing solutions managed and delivered via the cloud.
  • Network Access Control and management solutions from Khipu with cloud-based monitoring and management.
  • Kathea/Polycom on Unified Communications and Videoconferencing.  There is an upcoming meeting of NTUG (National Telecommunications User Group for Higher Ed) that will focus on videoconferencing solutions.
  • ASAUDIT benchmarking and IT governance surveys.  ASAUDIT has begun providing benchmarking data for South African HE ICT departments in the areas of services, governance, staffing and systems.
  • CAUDIT/ASAUDIT Leadership School for ICT in Higher Education initiative
  • Kuali Open Source Student (kuali.org) system, current development work in progress at NWU, who are participate in development of the system as a member of the Kuali foundation.
  • Open Source special interest group (SIG) being formed at NWU.
  • eResearch - cyberinfrastructure needs of researchers at UCT.
  • feedback from TENET and from Meraka on the plans for SANReN and also for SANReN’s rural campus connection project (RCCP).  The Richard’s Bay campus is listed on phase 3 of the RCCP, for a potential 100Mbps microwave connection to the Mtunzini SANReN node.  This would give us a redundant “ring” for our Internet connectivity on our two campuses in the event of failure of access at either campus or failure of our intercampus microwave link.

There were many networking opportunities at the evening functions during the conference, and the conference ended on Friday afternoon with a tour of the facilities at the Mtunzini SEACOM submarine cable landing station.

IT Governance presentation broadcast on EVO

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