Category: Best tools and systems

Spotlight on: Haneen Shariff, Digital Education Support Analyst

Haneen Shariff

I am committed to nurturing the next generation of female leaders in technology and facilitating pathways for their success.

As a Digital Education Support Analyst, I provide assistance and guidance to individuals using digital educational tools and platforms. This includes troubleshooting technical issues, offering training sessions, and developing resources to enhance the digital learning experience.

What do I love about my role?

The opportunity to empower others in their educational journey through the effective use of technology.

How did I get here?

My fascination with education technology began during my time at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, where I pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Information Systems with a minor in Business Administration, and a concentration in UI/UX design. Following my passion, I crossed continents and found myself at The Harvard Graduate School of Education, where I pursued a Master’s degree in Technology, Innovation & Education.

Over the course of my academic journey, I’ve been exposed to cutting-edge educational technologies and pedagogical approaches, broadening my perspectives on education and its intersection with technology. Alongside my educational endeavours, I gained experience in student services and worked as an Applications Analyst at Qatar Foundation. More recently, I was entrusted with establishing an ICT department for an upcoming school and university.

My future aspirations

Haneen ShariffI am driven to expand my role in mentoring and empowering young women within the tech industry. My experience as an alumni interviewer for Harvard has granted me a unique perspective, now finding myself on the opposite side of the table where I once sat. Moreover, being nominated for the ‘Everywoman’ awards in the Digital Star category has intensified my dedication to supporting and championing women in digital fields.

I am determined to advance my expertise in educational technology and pursue leadership roles in this domain. I am enthusiastic about exploring opportunities for advanced training and certifications, which will deepen my understanding and enable me to make a more significant impact in the realm of digital education.

I would also love to be involved in the creation of internship programs tailored specifically for young women. These initiatives aim to provide them with invaluable opportunities for learning and growth in a supportive environment. Such programs not only offer practical skills and experience, but also foster a collaborative community where both mentors and interns can learn from each other. I am committed to nurturing the next generation of female leaders in technology and facilitating pathways for their success.

My influences

My parents have been the most influential and inspiring figures in both my career and personal life. They have always been my pillars of support, giving me the wings to fly and encouraging me to dream big. From a young age, they instilled in me the belief that nothing academically was ever off-limits, regardless of my gender. Their unwavering support and encouragement propelled me to pursue my passions and strive for excellence in all endeavors.

One of the most valuable lessons they imparted to me was the importance of continuous learning and self improvement. They always encouraged me to up skill myself and pursue further education, knowing that knowledge is the key to unlocking new opportunities and achieving success. Their belief in my potential and their dedication to my personal and professional growth have been instrumental in shaping the person I am today.

Maintaining a work-life balance

Haneen ShariffCreating a work-life balance is crucial for my well-being, and I prioritise it by taking life outside work as seriously as in work. I plan my week and weekends in advance, ensuring I have events and activities to look forward to. One activity that fulfills and energises me is networking. Being new to London, I thoroughly enjoy meeting new people and exploring the vibrant restaurant scene in the city.

Whether it’s attending Harvard alumni socials or participating in Ramadan meetups, London offers a plethora of opportunities for social engagement. These networking events not only allow me to expand my professional circle but also enable me to immerse myself in the rich cultural diversity of the city. By engaging in activities that bring me joy and fulfillment, I find that I can recharge and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

My advice

One invaluable piece of advice for women entering the tech industry is to prioritise education, recognising that knowledge is a powerful asset that can’t be taken away. Give yourself due credit for your work, and don’t shy away from occupying the space you deserve in any room. Embrace the confidence to contribute your ideas and skills and when you do so, don’t forget to portray kindness and empathy to other women who were once in your shoes.

Bonus material

Haneen is a finalist in the Digital Star category at the 2024 everywoman in tech awards.

Want to join ICT?

We have some great and diverse roles in ICT, and we are always on the look out for the best tech talent.

If you want to join our team check out our current job vacancies.

Check out our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion pages and find out about or activities to remove barriers and create a great place to work.


Spotlight on: Lalitha Kambhammettu, Head of Research Management Applications

Lalitha Kambhammettu


I feel there is something new to learn every day and it can be from anyone we meet.

I am the Head of Research Management Applications. Along with my brilliant team (Chris Gibbs, Antonio Aliberti and Anthony Thomas), I look after the various applications that support the research lifecycle at Imperial.

What do I love about my role?

Our focus is to make the journey of a researcher (from idea to publication) smooth and world-class. What I love about my job is the variety of work that we get to do as part of this. One day we are debugging complex java/python code while another day we are with a researcher to understand their requirements to conduct secure research. The range of technologies that we work on makes everyday interesting.

How did I get here?

I finished my Master’s degree in Computer Applications in 2005 when I started my career with Oracle as an Oracle Applications Technical consultant. I grabbed opportunities to progress my career as they came along and had the honour of working with prestigious companies like ADT Security Services, Hewlett-Packard. I finally made my way to Imperial in 2014.

My future aspirations

I want to build a team which is resilient and has each others’ back. I strongly believe that the success of a manager comes from making their team successful.

My influences

Lalitha with her husband and two sons posing in front of a birthday cakeIf I have learnt valuable life lessons from the most experienced people in my life, I was reminded about the basics of life by my younger son, who once said to me at 3 years old, when he noticed I was getting anxious because of an issue – “Mummy, take a deep breath and relax, you will be fine!”

Managing a work-life balance

One of the most important aspects of my work-life balance is my strong family support – a loving and resilient husband, who always has my back and two adorable and co-operative children who understand that mummy may not be always able to cook them hot dinners, yet they’re still happy to just be by my side!

I enjoy early morning runs to maintain my physical and mental health. I also love cooking and hosting parties for family and friends.

My advice

My advice to aspiring women in tech is that if you have come this far, you will be great! There is nothing you can’t achieve if you commit to it. Just remember to prioritize your health and wellbeing too.

I feel there is something new to learn every day and it can be from anyone we meet. All my managers at Imperial have inspired me and a commonality among all of them was their passion for what they were doing and excellence in their work.

Want to join ICT?

We have some great and diverse roles in ICT, and we are always on the look out for the best tech talent.

If you want to join our team check out our current job vacancies.

Check out our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion pages and find out about or activities to remove barriers and create a great place to work.





Spotlight on: Caroline Westbrook, Product Owner

Caroline Westbrook


If you are interested in human behaviour and business technology, you can help design great IT systems.

I’m a product owner in the Student Lifecycle Product Line squad, co-ordinating and prioritising the work we are delivering to harmonise and improve students’ experiences of their Imperial journey.

How did I get here?

Caroline Westbrook talking with a stakeholderI came from a customer services background, having worked in and managed centres in various industries.  I was seconded to an ICT project and saw the work of a business analyst and realised I was fascinated by how business teams and ICT have to adapt to work together to achieve the right outcomes, and how hard that is to get right!

The step from BA to Product Owner seemed sensible especially as I learned more about Agile methods of delivery and it made a lot of sense to me.

My future aspirations

I don’t really think about much the future; I’m more drawn to what seems like the most interesting challenge.  That’s probably a terrible thing from an earnings perspective, but I’d rather be happy than rich!

My influences

My heroine is Alice in Wonderland.  There are lots of good analogies in those stories – both good and bad – for how business sometimes works!  But no matter what was going on around her, Alice was always curious and open to her next adventure (plus an everlasting tea party sounds great)!

Managing a work-life balance

Caroline WestbrookI’m interested in lots of things and as part of my midlife crisis I have recently taken a drawing class, tried stand-up comedy, joined a choir, and started doing fitness classes in quite a serious way.  When I’m on campus if I’m not in the office you’ll probably find me poking around in the Abdus Salam Library – it’s an amazing perk to have one within such easy reach.  So the same scattergun approach applies in both my personal life and career!

My advice

You really don’t need to have a technical background in coding and development to find a niche in ICT – I certainly don’t!  If you are interested in human behaviour and business technology, you can help design great IT systems.

Want to join ICT?

We have some great and diverse roles in ICT, and we are always on the look out for the best tech talent.

If you want to join our team check out our current job vacancies.

Check out our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion pages and find out about or activities to remove barriers and create a great place to work.

Spotlight on: Sara Concas, Junior Developer (Interim)

Sara Concas, Junior Developer.

“I believe that the most important thing is to be curious and open minded, and not be afraid of change, because it allows us to grow and improve.”

I’m currently on secondment with the ASK Development team as a Junior Developer after having completed the ServiceNow Bootcamp during summer 2023.

What do I love about my role?

I really enjoy working with and using the ServiceNow platform, and I hope to advance to an expert level.

How did I get here?

Sara Concas, Junior Developer. Holding a homemade cake

Years ago, my background was more focused in arts and crafts. I used to have a cake shop in Sardinia before moving to the UK about 11 years ago. After working as a cake designer for four years in London, I decided to change my career path to concentrate on IT.

I began as a junior first line analyst in an investment bank before being given the chance to work in asset management. This gave me the opportunity to get a job at Imperial in a similar position. Alongside this, I resumed my academic studies to obtain a BA degree, which I completed during the pandemic.

My influences

My younger sister and one of my friends motivated me to change careers. They both helped me to realise that I did not have to limit myself and to think outside the box.

Managing a work-life balance

I love starting new activities and some of my favourite hobbies are knitting and crocheting and studying new languages.

My advice

If you’re interested in technology, start with the basics and figure out which area you want to specialise in. It is such a broad field that you will be able to pick a path that aligns with your goals.

I believe that the most important thing is to be curious, open minded, and not be afraid of change, because it allows us to grow and improve.

Want to join ICT?

We have some great and diverse roles in ICT, and we are always on the look out for the best tech talent.

If you want to join our team check out our current job vacancies.

Check out our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion pages and find out about or activities to remove barriers and create a great place to work.

Spotlight on: Jenna Kempton, IT Service Management Lead (Interim)

Jenna Kempton, IT Service Management Lead

As women in technology we should use our strengths relating to engagement and multi-tasking to deliver great solutions. You have a voice – use it! Don’t be embarrassed to ask about areas that you feel need more focus and never be afraid to ask follow-up questions.

I joined Imperial in December 2021 as the Change and Release Lead. This means I track planned changes within our environment to ensure they have been planned and tested via release management and then considered by their peers through the change management process.

For the last nine months I have also been covering the IT Service Management (ITSM) Lead role which has meant as well as dealing with change and release Management I have had to oversee the processes, procedures and work related to the service we provide. This covers a broad range of areas including advice, solution development and service improvement.

What do I love about my role?

One of the best things about this role is the variety of areas that you get to engage with. This ensures you are always ready and able to learn about other areas being worked on and allows you to consider it from all sides including the technical, user and customer journeys, as well as any impacts relating to downtime, communications, users and any simultaneous conflicting activities or changes

In my role as the ITSM Lead, I really enjoy engaging with different business areas and finding ways we can improve how they deliver their services and the way they work, which all in turn improves user experience and customer satisfaction.

How did I get here?

Prior to joining Imperial, I worked in local government working for Southwark Council for 18 years starting off as a personal assistant and moving into project management. I dealt with everything from business reviews to headquarter fitouts. I was focussed more on the customer side with an external IT Service provider where we needed to manage their service delivery and engagement to ensure any required changes to take place were planned into the schedule.Jenna Kempton, IT Service Management Lead

I worked as the equivalent of a Product Owner for a number of the property management systems which were used to manage the council’s assets and deliver the housing, revenues and benefits services. I was able to get a well-rounded view of systems and services through third-party procurement process and on occasion having to transition these service back to an in-house provision.

Having initially trained in the Prince 2 project management style I have also completed a number of courses in human-centred design and the UK Government Digital Services’ design principles.

My future aspirations

In the future, I would like to get an in-depth understanding of every product we manage. I look forward to watching the development of the replacement for ICIS and SOV as part of the Great Service programme.

I enjoy seeing the pride and ownership we show in ICT in delivering the best we can for our students and customers. I am interested in moving into a product owner role as I like the idea of being able to deep dive into one section of services and doing all I can to ensure that we are getting the best outcomes and improvements for our users and customers.

My influences

I am grateful for my experience of powerful women who have demonstrated that through commitment and hard work, you can be proud of who you are and know that you have done the best that you can.

There is satisfaction to be found in a job well done and it is so important to do something you enjoy. I have a bad habit of working too much, but balance this with knowing that I will be able to hold my head up and know that I did all I could.

I have had a number of managers who always ensured they built their staff up and supported them in progressing and developing even if that would mean they moved on. I ensure I take the same approach with my team and that my staff know exactly what they are expected to undertake and ensure they are appropriately challenged and have opportunities to learn and develop. I believe that by providing a safe and supportive team environment, you can inspire staff to take ownership and initiative of the work they do and they will then model this behaviour in their engagement with others.

Managing a work-life balance

Jenna Kempton, IT Service Management LeadI find it hard to be idle so I enjoy a number of hobbies – some would say too many! I originally trained as a chef, and although having to cook for my husband and three children means it can feel more like a chore, I still love baking and find the routine and process relaxing,delicious and not at all disrupted by listening to true crime podcasts!

When I get some time to sit down and watch television, I am usually crocheting or working on a Sashiko project which help to address my creative side and I love that at the end you have something to show for your efforts.

My advice

Always try and avoid going into a situation with preconceived ideas and solutions.

Put yourself in the shoes of your customers, the agents and the technical side and ensure that you consider the entire user journey to identify where the issues are, so that any proposed solution is fit for purpose, delivers what you set out to achieve and improves the overall user experience.

As women in technology we should use our strengths relating to engagement and multi-tasking to deliver great solutions. You have a voice – use it! Don’t be embarrassed to ask about areas that you feel need more focus and never be afraid to ask follow-up questions.

Want to join ICT?

We have some great and diverse roles in ICT, and we are always on the look out for the best tech talent.

If you want to join our team check out our current job vacancies.

Check out our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion pages and find out about or activities to remove barriers and create a great place to work.


Spotlight on: Gemma Seabrook, Information Insight Team Lead

I lead the Information Insight team and we are responsible for managing the universities business intelligence product – Power BI.

I joined Imperial’s ICT division shortly after Power BI was released, and since then, I have seen significant change in the analytics space, moving away from a small central team of programmers to an ‘analytics for all’ approach. This has empowered Imperial staff to produce the analytics they need, when they need it. The key focus for our team is to enbable people, who may have a varied range of analytics experience, to make the best use of the tools we offer.

“Don’t be afraid to give something a go. Even if you fail, you will learn from it. Often, we learn more from breaking things (in a safe development environment of course!) than from getting them right.”

How did I get here?

Gemma Seabrook showcasing her work at the ICT ExpoFor someone who holds degrees in cultural studies I came to analytics through an unusual career route! A summer job in a space planning role at a major supermarket taught me a range of skills with spreadsheets that I put into good, and enthusiastic use, when I set out on my career in higher education. My passion for this type of work soon turned into colleagues saying, ‘Gemma likes spreadsheets, let’s give her this data task’, and this became my primary role. From there on I worked with various datasets including; university data, surveys, and longitudinal studies. I started combining data and project management work, and then progressed to enjoy working in business analysis.

My future aspirations

I believe strongly that the right technologies can enable people to achieve their goals, and this is a key focus for me. Data is key to making informed decisions at every level of the business, and this scale of need will lead to more people wanting to do even more with data. I want to provide an analytics product that will help people achieve that, while also putting in place structures and guidelines that will help keep that data, and the people analysing it safe.

“Find a working environment that respects and enables you.”

My advice

Follow your passions. The more you enjoy your work, the better you will be at it.

Find a working environment that respects and enables you.

Don’t be afraid to give something a go. Even if you fail, you will learn from it. Often, we learn more from breaking things (in a safe development environment of course!) than from getting them right.

Instead of fearing change, make it an opportunity for you to get where you want to go.

Bonus Material

Find out more about Gemma’s career journey on our everywoman in Tech webinar blog post – You should never be the one to tell yourself no!

Want to join ICT?

We have some great and diverse roles in ICT, and we are always on the look out for the best tech talent.

If you want to join our team check out our current job vacancies.

Check out our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion pages and find out about or activities to remove barriers and create a great place to work.





Under the Banner of collaboration

ICT’s Student Lifecycle Administration Product Line, led by Adrian Thomas have been collaborating closely with Registry to make improvements to the Banner Student System.

“Collaborative working between Registry and ICT benefits from complimentary experience and expertise, which enables us to get the requirements right, and communicate effectively between ICT and end users.” Eleanor Grant, Senior Systems Officer, Registry

What is Banner?

Banner is used to manage the information of our student applicants and student administration.

Together, ICT and Registry have been testing and getting feedback from our Banner users on some fantastic improvements to the Student Records Management application and Banner Student Enquiry Form.

The Banner Student Enquiry form is a bespoke form pulling together vital information regarding a student’s programme so that department administrators, senior tutors, Registry and others can easily view information around specific students in one place, such as:

  • Student person details
  • Programme and programme status
  • Student record information including year of programme, level, faculty and department
  • Progression information
  • Interruption of studies
  • Modules
  • Degree outcomes
  • Research information including milestones, supervisors and thesis title

Making improvements that work for all

Learning and teaching staff from the faculties have been supporting the testing and feedback to help identify issues with some incorrect content and the challenges relating to accessing the form on Apple Mac devices.

This collaboration between the Student Lifecycle team, with Registry and faculty staff to identify, understand and resolve issues means that now Mac users get the same experience as Windows users.

Registry’s Senior Systems Officer, Eleanor Grant, was integral to the project as a subject matter expert and dedicated to ensuring improvements were fit-for-purpose.

Eleanor said, Registry (Student Administration) discussed feedback from university users on the Banner Student Enquiry Form with ICT, and teams worked together to deliver a solution. Collaborative working between Registry and ICT benefits from complimentary experience and expertise, which enables us to get the requirements right, and communicate effectively between ICT and end users. Registry and ICT work together in this way to deliver fixes and improvements across the Student Lifecycle Product Line.”

“It was great to see our digital ambitions and agile methodology in action, with the Student Lifecycle product line teams working together with Registry, faculty staff and suppliers to make iterative changes to ensure a better user experience. I look forward to continuous development and improvement for this and many of our student lifecycle products”.  Adrian Thomas.

Find out more about Banner Student System

Staff can access Banner through My Imperial.

You can find out more about the Banner Student System. or get training on the Student Records Management web page.

Further support

If you want to support or feedback on Banner and other Student Lifecycle applications, please contact our Student Lifecycle Team.

If you have any technical issues, please contact the ICT Service Desk.

ICT’s EasyBuilders

Jörg Sassmannshausen, Research Computing Analyst at Imperial, hosted the EasyBuild User Meeting 2023 in April.

What is EasyBuild?

EasyBuild is an open-source software build and installation framework for installing scientific software on High Performance Clusters (HPC).

EasyBuild is a tool that helps provide consistent and high performance, and helps Jörg and team to save time by automating repetitive tasks, which can be tedious!

A quick overview of EasyBuild

How does EasyBuild work?

Jörg and his colleagues implement the software by means of several scripts, which can be best described as three different blocks:

  1. Framework is what holds the machinery together.
  2. Blocks give generic instructions of what to do with a particular installation type, e.g. unpacking a compressed file and copying the content to a directory. More complex installations have their own EasyBlocks, and can support 41 generic EasyBlocks and over 3085 different software packages (incl. toolchains, bundles).
  3. Config – EasyConfig files are the instructions sets of where to download the software from i.e. the home page of the software, what it is and how to install it.

Jörg and the Platforms Team is very actively contributing to configuration by either providing an EasyConfig file for a newer software version or simply creating EasyConfig files from scratch for  software which is currently not in EasyBuild.

Jörg says “Right now there are around  800 config contributions open in EasyBuild, with around 90-100 coming  from us in the Platforms Team.”

Jörg informs us, “Here at Imperial we are using EasyBuild for the software installation on our HPC cluster. So instead of  installing software manually, which is often not really reproducible and definitely time consuming, for software which is already included in EasyBuild we have a robot in place who does that work for us. Given we’ve got different CPU architectures on our cluster, we are building the software several times to these architectures.”

Building a community is easy

EasyBuild is not only the software, but also a large community. EasyBuilders come from all over the world, for example from the University of Birmingham and York University in the UK, to major international research centres, like Jülich or large computer networks like the Digital Research Alliance of Canada.

Easy Build community members group photo

EasyBuild User Meeting 2023

The annual meeting is a three-day event, and not only brings the users together, but it also the domain-specific experts together with interesting talks.

The talks are streamed live on the day via Zoom, so remote participants can ask questions, but are now available on YouTube.

Watch the content from the User Meeting online:

The second and third day were dedicated to a workshop of how to install EasyBuild, which was predominantly visited by UK system administrators.

Jörg said “Overall, we were really pleased with the event and both the meeting and the workshop were rated excellent in the user survey.”

As well as the EasyBuild meeting, authors can come along to TechTalks to discuss their particular software throughout the year.

Bonus materials

Easy Build interactive tutorial video – This video will provide a high-level introduction to the software build and installation framework EasyBuild ( EasyBuild is focused on supporting the installation of software on High Performance Computing (HPC) platforms and is increasingly widely used as a tool to simplify this process. Jörg Sassmannshausen, Senior Research Analyst at Imperial College London, introduces how EasyBuild works with this interactive tutorial.

Audio Podcast – Listen to this Code for Thought podcast entitled ‘ByteSized RSE: Easy Does It – with easybuild’ with Jörg Saßmannshausen

Get in touch

If you want to find out more about EasyBuild User Meetings email:

To discuss Imperial’s involvement or EasyBuild installation contact Jörg Sassmannshausen, Research Computing Analyst

Building a CRM community

Creating the Imperial Community CRM

ICT have built and launched the Imperial Community CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform in collaboration with a number of departments across the College, including the Grantham Institute – Climate Change and the Environment.

The Governance and Community CRM activity team, headed up by Squad Product Owner Caroline Westbrook, have been working directly with users to create a collaborative tool that allows you to record, monitor and improve all the interactions that you have with external business and community partners, so that you can leverage those relationships for the benefit of the wider College and society as a whole. 

The CRM features a contact database for people and account database for business tracking interactions. You can log phone calls, emails, letters that you send to your contacts and track if they’re engaging with your communications.  

show a 'Contact' (i.e. People) view
The Sandbox development version of the CRM showing the Contact view (People view).
A screen shot of the 'Accounts' (i.e. Organisations) view
The Sandbox development app showing the Accounts view (Organisations view)

The team work in an agile delivery model, where work is completed in two week sprints and therefore iterative improvements are made – which will include; email marketing, events and process management in the near future.

Benefits to you 

The major benefits for building a Community CRM include:

  • Customer data and interactions or interests can be shared to ensure engagement is optimised. 
  • Saves time and resource via automations and reducing repetitive data inputs across the College.
  • Increased compliance with data protection and GDRP, removing the need for locally saved spreadsheets or the reliance on external systems like Eventbrite.
  • Removes the need for paying for additional external clients, e.g. MailChimp.  
  • Centrally provided training and guidance for new staff.

 “The best bit of the new CRM is the fact that all of our contacts will be streamlined in into one system – it helps us see our reach and how wide our network is.Rhea Samra, Project Coordinator, The Grantham Institute

How is the CRM built?  

The CRM is built on Microsoft Dynamics, this is a great as it compliments Office apps like Outlook. The Outlook plugin is synched so you can send and receive emails, share your emails across platforms, and update contact information seamlessly. 

A screen shot of the record of an interaction
The Sandbox development site shows the record of an interaction.

Caroline is also testing an app using Microsoft Dynamics that can scan business card and upload instantly saving time and resource.

Caroline says “ At the moment Directors are going to corporate events and collecting business cards from all the contacts they’re making, taking them back, and then their PA is laboriously typing those business cards into spreadsheets. This new phone app can scan and create an entry automatically. So we’re making that a lot quicker. And the app can quickly look up event attendees so you can see any logged history of the interaction Imperial has had with them, which is great for philanthropy!” 

A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) of the CRM for the Grantham institute was built by listening to their requirements, and working closely with them. The Grantham team were able to test and feedback on the CRM, and iterative improvements made. 

Rhea Samra, Project Coordinator for The Grantham Institute, was integral to this activities success as she was able to explain the issues they were having with collecting various types of data about contacts. Rhea explained “This information is at the heart of what we do, forming the basis of our invitations to events, and the core of our broader communication. Our current tools include multiple Excel databases, distribution lists in Mailchimp and attendee lists in Eventbrite. We needed to improve the design of our data management tools, one to be GDPR compliant but also, to be more personalised in our outreach, measure and record impacts and to be more efficient!

Rhea enjoyed working with the ICT team as they were “so patient and thorough to really understand our different audiences, why we talk to them, how we talk to them and made sure we ultimately have a system that we can all use and get the most out of it.

“Having a demo/test site before launching was really useful for us to figure out what it is that we needed, and being able to feed all this back to Caroline and team via regular meetings was really important”. Rhea Samra

Rhea feels reassured because Dynamics is part of the Microsoft suite, and is user friendly and works well with all existing tools.

“Being able to add contacts via a Outlook plugin when you’re sending an email is perfect! We’re able to have data centrally with just a few clicks and you don’t even have to leave Outlook to do so! We hope that by having a system that isn’t onerous will help us keep on top of using it effectively.” Rhea Samra

Register your interest and join the CRM working group 

Caroline has a number of interested departments already who are being prioritised for roll out, but if you would like to get involved and utilise the CRM please let Caroline know, and she will book in a time to talk.

Caroline is excited to see how the new CRM will change the working practices across the College to create a more collaborative and sharing culture to improve engagement.

“You can see a lot more about how one external contact is interacting with multiple parts of the business and that’s where we hope things like the working group will use the same agile process to iterate and improve the product.” Caroline Westbrook

Rhea said she is looking forward to using the Marketing app within the Dynamics tool “as it will give us a chance to unlock insights into our audiences, information on emails sent, received, opened, events registered for and attended. It will really help understand what our audience engage with the most so we can make our outreach relevant to the those interested in what we do as an Institute.

It will help us target our communications, hopefully help us see our gaps in our network and where we can improve. These personal touchpoints will help us make the most successful relationships. The Marketing app is beyond our initial ask of a contact management tool and that’s great!”

Want to know more and see the CRM in Action? 

Join Caroline and team at the ICT Lunch and Learn on 4 May 2023 at 12.00-13.00 for a demo, to ask questions and register you interest further. 

A collaborative effort 

Caroline couldn’t do it alone and congratulates her amazing ICT colleagues in launching the new CRM MVP: 

  • Stephen Squires, Product Engineer, ICT
  • Andy Doe, Product Engineer, ICT
  • Lindani Ndou, Software Developer Apprentice, ICT
  • Rhea Samra, Project Coordinator, The Grantham Institute

With honourable mentions going to those who supported the activity:

  • Brendan Whitfield, Head of Cross Functional Product Line, ICT
  • Nick King, Solutions Architect, ICT

ICT Expo – from ‘Technophobe’ to ‘Tech’Xpert’ in 2 days!

ICT Expo servcie desk standOur ICT team came out from behind their laptops in Sherfield and went on the road with our first ever ICT Expo.

The ICT Expo took place on Tuesday 7 and Wednesday 8 February in the College Main Entrance at the South Kensington Campus.

The ICT Expo is a showcase of our support and products, and is a great space for collaboration and innovation enabling you to achieve your learning, teaching and research ambitions.

The two day event was a great way for the team to get talking to you – our customers, colleagues and our brilliant students.

It was really beneficial for our staff to talk to you about what you are trying to achieve and how we can support this, with many of our teams saying that had insightful chats that would impact the work we do.

We helped support many of you on the day, be that from our tech support at the Service Desk, or with Office 365 tips and tricks. We discussed digital accessibility, GDPR to High Performance Computing and data analytics. There were many opportunities to talk about the future of our current products, services, tools and apps with our Product Teams, tooling team, cyber security team and with Heads of Functions and the roaming CIO, Juan Villamil.

Phew, we talked so much my voice got hoarse!

Adrian Mannall, Office365 guru showcasing at the ICT Expo

Our Office 365 guru, Adrian Mannall, was very busy on the day training and supporting our staff and students.

Adrian really enjoyed the event, “The best thing about the day was the opportunities for staff and students to come and meet members of ICT and the Business School’s Ed Tech Team in person and to have a chat, ask questions and take away some answers. We got great feedback from attendees saying that they loved the fact they could come and ask lots of different parts of ICT about things that were either causing issues or for which they wanted a bit of a chat and they could do that all in one dedicated space.

“I covered everything from To Do lists for personal planning all the way to resolving SharePoint and OneDrive issues and confusion.” Adrian Mannall, Microsoft 365 SME, ICT

Staff member using VR headset

The Business School’s Ed Tech team Stephen Vaz, Senior Learning Technologist, Phil Tulip, Senior Online Developer and Joe Pollard, Senior Online Learning Designer were a special VIP guest team who came down with their Virtual Reality (VR) headsets and telepresence robot showcasing what the future of education may look like in the virtual classroom.

It was great to meet lots of students, faculty and professional services staff to try out VR and to see our robot. It also provided a great opportunity to meet other individuals and teams across the College who I may not have met otherwise. Joe Pollard, Senior Online Learning Designer, Business School

ICT Expo goers wanted to know how VR could be used in a business education context/wider education context. It was nice to speak to both those who were keen to see it used within their learning and those who were sceptical about its use case in a business education context.

Stephen said, “it was also useful to see how students responded to VR in action and to also hear their pros and cons of its use. It was a great opportunity to try out a new technology and get in front of students and some faculty members in person.

I spoke a lot to attendees about how VR would be used in education in future and they wondered when this would happen.”

It was a great showcase into the types of technology being used now in the College and what the future might hold. Stephen Vaz, Senior Learning Technologist, Business School

What did you think?

It was great to hear your feedback on our products, services and roadmap’s for the future.

Our customers said “ I liked being able to talk to someone in person about IT issues I have been having”

What did you think? We would love to hear your feedback on the event so please do complete this survey.

“It was really well organised and fun, with lots of engaging materials.” Anonymous

Future Expos

We ran another Expo in May – watch our roundup video:


The ICT Comms team were also on hand at the event to welcome guests and to hand out exclusive fun badges that indicated if you were a self-confessed technophobe or a savvy tech’xpert.

Don’t worry if you missed out on a badge or the Expo event, we will be coming to a Faculty near you very soon.IT Savvy #ICTExpo

We intend to take the ICT Expo on the road to other campuses very soon, and to create smaller fringe and online events throughout the year.

Watch this virtual and physical space 😊