SOAS University of London

IT Services

Disclosure date: 30 July 2012

Reference: FOI2012/046


1. What is the title, name, email address and direct contact number of the Director responsible for IT?
2. What is the title, name, email address and direct contact number of the person responsible for Strategic IT Planning?
3. Do you have a dedicated member of the IT department responsible for your desktop and/or server environment and, if so, what is their; title, name, email address and direct contact number?
4. How many sites / data centres do you operate?
5. Have you virtualised your data centre and, if so, on what platform and version?
6. What SANs (make and capacity) do you have and how much space is used?
7. What current OS are you running on the desktop?
8. How many IT users are there in your organisation?
9. Have you deployed or considered VDI?
10. Have you deployed or considered Online Hosted Services / Cloud IT services?
11. What IT projects are you considering over the next 12 months?
12. Has budget been approved for these projects and if so how much?


1. SOAS operates Library and Information Services (LIS) as a converged service.  The director with ultimate responsibility for IT is John Robinson, Director of LIS.  IT is managed by two assistant directors:  Martin Whiteside, Assistant Director (Information Systems) who is responsible for ICT, Corporate Systems, Systems Development and Desktop Development; and Libby Homer, Assistant Director (Operations) who is responsible for LIS operational services which include Media, Printing and IT User Services.

  • John Robinson, Director LIS, Tel: 020 7898 4160, Email:
  • Martin Whiteside, Assistant Director (IS), Tel:  020 7898 4948, Email:
  • Libby Homer, Assistant Director (Operations), Tel 020 7898 4192 email:

2. Strategic plans are developed by John Robinson assisted by Martin Whiteside and overseen by a Corporate Systems Programme Board.

3. Ultimate responsibility rests with Martin Whiteside.

4. SOAS operates two sites with a data centre on each site.  SOAS also leases six racks in the University of London Computer Centre.  ULCC is considered SOAS’s primary data centre.

5. SOAS uses VSphere 5 though not all servers are virtualised at this time.

6. Our SAN is an NS120.  Its capacity is approximately 130TB with 50TB spare capacity.  This capacity is split between SATA and Fibre Channel Disks.

7. Windows XP SP3

8. Approximately 5,800: 5000 students and 800 staff.  SOAS also attracts many visitors who might use the wireless network to connect to the Internet.

9. SOAS operates Windows Terminal Servers to give staff offsite access to applications, but we do not use virtual desktops.

10. SOAS utilises cloud IT for some services, notably Google Gmail, and continues to look into new ways of utilising this technology.

11. New online admissions system for students, new telephony and unified communications project, improvements to student online services, Windows 7 rollout, CRM deployment, and staff intranet.

12. The Information Systems project budget is approximately £300,000.  This amount is then divided amongst all corporate systems projects.  The majority of this figure would be spent on the projects outlined above, with the exception of the telephony project.  There will be a separate budget for the telephony and communication project, but the budget has yet to be agreed.