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VPN and EduRoam Ugrade

Firewall upgrade to improve VPN and Eduroam performance

As part of our ongoing process for improving services, we are planning to upgrade our firewalls between Wednesday 13th – Friday 15th September.

This will increase the capacity and performance of the Eduroam and VPN (remote access) services. 

It is envisaged that the risk to services will be kept to a minimum but there may be brief periods of disruption while the work is undertaken.

If you experience problems over this period, please contact the IT Service Desk.

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Slow login for some customers

Logins for some customers are taking up to 20 minutes. Once logged in, the system performs normally. Subsequent logins are not affected and appear to login normally.

IT Services are aware of a problem being experienced by some customers this morning relating to long login times. Whilst the first login takes a long time, please be patient while we investigate. Your login will complete, even though it may take a long time.

Once logged in, systems are responding normally and as expected, in addition, Subsequent logins are not affected are completed within a normal time frame.

Investigation is currently focused on the OfficeScan anti-virus system.

12:00 Confirmed that the slow login is a result of the OfficeScan anti-virus pushing 7 updates out to client machines during the login process - slowing it down. Unfortunately, this can't be altered at present. In the future, OfficeScan updates will be decoupled from the login process, reducing the impact on customer.

We apologise for the delay your are experiencing.

Updates to follow.

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**Resolved** Problems accessing Office 365 applications

Office 365

We are aware of a problem affecting some staff and students when trying to access Office 365 applications which include SharePoint, OneDrive, Yammer etc.

The issue is related to the allocation of the correct user license.

If you are experiencing a problem with Office 365 or SharePoint, please contact the IT Service Desk for help.

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COMPLETED: Server maintenance tomorrow morning (Tuesday 1st August)

This work was completed at ~10.30...

….and apologies for the over-run, although hopefully no Exchange Mail service outage was noticed after 10.00.

IT Services


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Server maintenance tomorrow morning (Tuesday 1st August)

Tomorrow morning (Tuesday 1st August) IT Services are planning to carry out server work during the period reserved for systems maintenance.

This work is due to start early in the morning and is expected to be completed by 09.00 but affected services should be considered 'at risk' until 10.00.

The work is to complete security updates and VMware tools updates to our Unified Access Gateway, VPN services and Exchange Email Services.

The services that will be affected will be:

VPN Services - the Staff VPN Service at (
Exchange Email Services - All external connectivity to Exchange Email (briefly), along with several prompts for Outlook users, both internal and external, to re-authenticate while work proceeds.

We will keep service news updated on progress, and I will circulate another message to confirm that the work is completed.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

IT Services


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Residual email issues following HR system problems

Following the HR system problems on Saturday 15th July, a number of staff users had their computer account closed. In addition, email delivery to those users was affected while their accounts were closed. When the computer accounts were re-enabled once the problem was fixed late on Saturday, email delivery restarted, but during the accounts' outage, senders would have received a Non-Delivery Record (bounced message) informing them of the failure to deliver.

In addition, staff using the student email service would have received email to their exchange email accounts, rather than to gmail, until email routing was corrected. 

We're investigating the extent of the bounced and misdirected email, and will contact staff affected in due course. In the mean time, if you have any queries, please contact the ITS Service desk. Apologies for the inconvenience caused.

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***RESOLVED*** Problem with staff user authentication - Sat 15 July

20:30 RESOLVED: A problem earlier today caused a number of staff user accounts to be suspended in error. This problem has now been resolved and the affected accounts have been reactivated over the course of the afternoon and early evening.

We are aware of a problem affecting many staff users authenticating to services today (Sat 15 July). Affected users are unable to login to:

  • Email (MS Exchange)
  • Office365
  • My Birkbeck for Staff
  • VPN
  • Workstation PCs


We are in the process of fixing the problem - this message will be updated when the problem is resolved. Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience caused.

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Some limited functionality during HR/Payroll Implementation

During the implementation of the new HR/Payroll and Finance system (Unit4 BusinessWorld) some HR/Payroll functionality from the old system (Alta HR) must be withdrawn before the replacement can be deployed.

This includes:

  • HR Sickness Recording
  • HR Reports
  • My Birkbeck for Staff options to update equality monitoring and qualifications data held by the college


Replacement functionality will be released over the coming months, but in the meantime please contact the HR Operations Team who will be able to assist you in the first instance with any data updates or report requests that you are temporarily unable to satisfy yourself.

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