Oxford Mosaic operation during the Covid-19 crisis

As for many colleagues and groups across the University, the Mosaic Team has spent the last week moving to remote working. We provide more information below about how we are maintaining our service during this time.

Operations

As the first major University IT system to move to the Cloud in 2016, Mosaic is well-suited to remote operation. All our key systems are online or in the Cloud and individual team members are used to occasional working from home, and working remotely with partners and contractors. We have always had tested plans in place to provide remote operations during severe weather events or in the case of emergencies occurring during office closure periods. These have supported a smooth transition to full team remote working since 18 March.

Hosting

Similarly, our Cloud hosts, Acquia, have a robust Business Continuity Plan in place. They have a geographically distributed workforce operating in several global regions, and ‘remain committed to delivering uninterrupted service’. We have a long-term relationship in place with a dedicated Technical Account Manager who has always worked from home and continues to work alongside us. One area in which we are liaising closely is in ensuring appropriate capacity is in place for websites delivering content relating to research programmes on Covid-19, alongside the rest of the Platform, and this will remain a priority.

Related Services

Mosaic has several dependencies on separate internal and external services. These relate to things like making code updates or adding domain names, rather than to the core hosting or updating of existing sites, and all are currently operating normally. Of these, we will prioritise our capacity to make code releases, so that we keep on top of security. For less essential changes, like custom domains or provisioning new sites, we might delay service if we or the teams we depend on have reduced capacity – however, this will be able to respond to priority requirements in the case of compelling need for a new site or domain to be setup.

Support

Mosaic support is integrated with the IT Services Service Desk: by email to help@it.ox.ac.uk or oxfordmosaic@it.ox.ac.uk, and by phone to (01865 6)12345. At present, the Service Desk is dealing with a much larger than normal volume of calls, in relation to the urgent transition to remote working, so calls are taking longer to be logged. We will be grateful for your patience as we pick up calls once they come through to us. If you have an issue or query that needs to be dealt with urgently, please phone the Service Desk on x. (01865 6)12345 and your call will be expedited.

Requests for standard changes made through forms in the Mosaic editing interface or on the website - such as requests to provision a new site or enable specific features - come directly through to the Mosaic team and will be dealt with on a prioritised basis. Please indicate on the request if you have a specific or urgent schedule for your request and we will take this into account.

Training

All in-person Demos and Workshops have been suspended:

  • We are now running drop-in Workshops remotely and dates for booking workshop slots will be given on our Training page.
  • We are in the process of converting the Demo session to online video presentations. The first of these, a demo of the Page Creation process is now available. An earlier recording of the full demo session is also available on our Documentation page, and will be updated as a new playlist in due course.

Capacity

We are pleased to be currently offering a largely business-as-usual service. However, as in many other places of work, our team’s capacity is reduced by the need to care for children remaining at home during school closures, and is likely to vary in future. Other than in evidently urgent or important cases, we will be prioritising the maintenance of existing services over other activities, and we appreciate your understanding of this.

We send our best wishes to all our friends, partners and colleagues during these challenging times.

 
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