JANET is the network dedicated to the needs of education and research in the UK. It connects the UK’s education and research organisations to each other, as well as to the rest of the world through links to the Internet. JANET(UK) manages the operation and development of JANET on behalf of the Joint Information Systems Committee.

JANET, the UK’s education and research network, connects UK universities, further education colleges, Research Councils, specialist colleges and Adult and Community Learning providers. Managing the operation and development of JANET on behalf of the Joint Information Systems Committee, JANET(UK) relies on effective communication and collaboration across the education community, with suppliers and within the organisation itself.

Peter Kent, Head of ICT Services, JANET(UK), explains: “We frequently work on ICT projects with suppliers and need to share information and track project progress quickly and efficiently. Email often results in confusion over document versions and overburdened inboxes. Having used online collaboration tools when previously working in the construction industry, I did some research into suitable services for JANET(UK) and came across Huddle. Its simplicity and scalability made it the ideal choice.”

Huddle recently proved invaluable when JANET(UK) decided to take part in the National Computing Centre’s (NCC) IT Department Accreditation Scheme (ITDA), a business improvement programme designed to help organisations align ICT with the business. The ITDA specifies a set of requirements in five key business areas: management, direction, business or service generation, delivery and operations, and customer relationships. Faced with the challenge of gathering evidence, such as policy and process document, audit trails of work orders and projects, and other content that fulfilled the ITDA’s criteria and creating the accreditation process documents, JANET(UK) created a folder structure in Huddle that matched the ITDA’s requirements.

“Rather than dumping a wealth of paperwork onto the accreditation assessor when they visited us onsite, we decided it would be far easier to share all the information online,” Peter continues. “Using Huddle, the 51 documents we prepared for the audit were easily accessible to both parties in one secure online place and the response from the NCC was extremely positive.”

While the ICT Services team was the first department in JANET(UK) to use Huddle, adoption has become more widespread and Huddle is now being utilised on projects run by the Training, Product Management, and Finance teams.

“Huddle has made our working lives far easier and now we can ensure that we have a record of all the questions and responses associated with specific projects. We certainly rely far less on emailing project documents than we used to and Huddle’s task functionality should significantly improve the way we manage our IT projects in the future,” Peter concludes.