SSG24: The Future is You! Navigating Tomorrow's Challenges Together

Booking Open

Primary Sponsor


3 July 2024

4 July 2024

Book Before

31 May 2024

Park Regis, Broad St, Birmingham


About the Event

Join the Support Services Group on our two-day mission to explore novel new technologies, to seek out new ideas and new collaborations and to boldly go where HE hasn’t gone before!

Learning from the past and predicting the future, this conference will showcase how you and your crew can harness increased automations, mobilise technological advances and tame the dreaded AI.

People are at the heart of all SSG activities, so our focus won’t just be on the future of tech but the future of you! We will examine our evolving skillsets, share new ideas for good practice and inspire with innovations in wellbeing.

With big bang presentations from your peers and unparalleled networking opportunities, SSG24 will leave you fully energised and primed for whatever the future may hold. Sign up - it’s going to be bostin' in Birmingham. 

Be sure to save the date and bookmark this page for updates on SSG24 conference!


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James Poulter

Founder and CEO

Vixen Labs (part of House 337)

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Fola Braimoh

Head of IT Operations & Support

Goldsmiths, University of London

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Wayne Winterbottom

IT Support Manager

University of Huddersfield

Vickie WIlkie

Victoria Wilkie

IT Services Operational Assurance Officer

University of York

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Antonia Jones

Customer Success Manager

University of Leeds

More Info

Antonia embarked on her IT career in 2012, transitioning from customer service to the tech world at the University of Leeds. Over the past 12 years, she’s moved from the IT Service Desk to Application Support as IT Operational Lead and Application Support Manager then back into Front Line Services as Customer Success Manager. Beyond this, Antonia is also a member of the UCISA Support Services Group and a CMDA student. Her passions lie in enhancing people’s experiences, advocating for mental health, and championing equity and diversity.

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Mike Haward

Head of Service Performance & Monitoring

University College London

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Mike has been in the IT industry for 30 years, including 20 years in the higher education sector. Mike has undertaken IT roles ranging from application development and testing, consultancy and project management, service operations, and service ownership. Mike currently heads up an IT service performance function at UCL.


Bex Cattran

Associate Operations Manager

University of Leeds

More Info

Having worked in most teams across IT since 2016 Bex made the move into leadership in 2022 and has built a number of development programs for IT staff focusing on their empowerment and mindset (IT Busters and Level Up). Completing CMI level 5 coaching & mentoring qualification in 2022 pushed Bex to pursue People focused role and was appointed Associate Operations Manager 2024. Throughout their career Bex has been using coaching to help IT staff encourage confidence, bringing creative enthusiasm to any project and now wants to share their techniques with you.

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Jake Dovey

In-Person Support Manager

University of Southampton

More Info

Jake has worked for the University of Southampton for over fifteen years and has been leading teams both small and large for most of that time. He has a strong track record for turning team performance around and building positive and inclusive team cultures. Jake is a popular speaker at UCISA known for his highly engaging talks that always give you practical takeaways.

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Iain Cameron

IT Services, User Services Manager

University of Aberdeen

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Mat Flower

(Interim) Deputy Director & Head of Digital Infrastructure/Information Security

University of Wolverhampton

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Mat is (Interim) Deputy Director & Head of Digital Infrastructure/Information Security at the University of Wolverhampton, where he is responsible for shaping and planning the University’s digital architecture encompassing core infrastructure and information security. Mat is also UCISA Secretary and a Director of USL.

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Stella Poole

Head of Core Systems Optimisation Team

University of Birmingham

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Stella is the Head of Core Systems Optimisation Team at the University of Birmingham. She holds a BSc Hons in Computing and IT, and an MBA in Cybersecurity. Her professional interests include AI, Automation and Digital Sustainability.

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Ivan Martinson

Senior Technician

University of Southampton

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James Lloyd

Support Hub Team Lead

University of Southampton

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Phil Payne

Group Director of IT Customer Experience

Bidvest Noonan

More Info

Phil has implemented ITSM across several departments over the last year, starting the journey to full Enterprise Service Management. Phil has been working in and around IT Service Management for over 20 years now and has loved how much value TOPdesk is bringing to Bidvest Noonan.

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Barclay Rae

Barclay Rae Consulting Ltd

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Barclay Rae began consulting in 1994 and has worked across all sectors as an advisor, as well as authoring several ITIl and SDI books and standards. He leads a niche consulting business (BRC) in service management. He also co-hosts the Enterprise Digital podcast. He. Barclay is an itSMF UK lifetime achievement awards winner.

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Fiona Brennan-Scott

Voice and Speech Coach, Member, Professional Speaking Association (MPSA),


More Info

Fiona is an enthusiastic cultural skills trainer, coach and speaker. She works with subject matter experts to increase their impact in organisations. She works nationally and internationally to help leaders engage with their audiences in-person and online. Fiona published her first book, ‘Breath-taking Communication: Tools and Techniques for Everyday Leaders’ in 2023.

Event Schedule



Registration and Exhibition opens


Newcomers Session

If this is your first UCISA conference, or your first for a while, please join us for a session describing how to make the most of the Conference.

Welcome and introductions

Iain Cameron, User Services Manager, IT Services, University of Aberdeen

Unlocking Opportunities: Leveraging Networking, Mentoring, and Coaching for Inclusive Participation in IT

Vicky Wilkie, IT Services Operational Assurance Officer, University of York 

Speed networking bingo


Refreshment Break

in Exhibition

Tech Hub Triumph: Revolutionising IT Support for Staff and Students (Including personal kit)


Travel time


Breakout sessions 1


Lunch and networking in the exhibition


Automation in HaloITSM

Stanley Blinco, Enterprise Account Executive, Halo Service Solutions

Breakout sessions 2


Refreshments Break

in Exhibition

Session TBC


Close of Day 1


Pre-dinner drinks reception

in Sky Loft


in Sky Gallery



Welcome to Day 2

Jake Dovey, In-Person Support Manager, University of Southampton

A practical approach for Experience Management, XLAs and SLAs

Barclay Rae, Barclay Rae Consulting Ltd

Refreshments in the Exhibition


Student Wellbeing: Using technology to improve access to support

  • Rory Hetherington, Senior Business Analyst, University of Glasgow
  • Clare Craig, Head of Student Wellbeing and Inclusion, University of Glasgow
  • Suzie Shapiro, Wellbeing Lead & PGR Mental Health Advisor, University of Glasgow

Travel time


Breakout sessions


Lunch in the Exhibition


Putting the “Self-Serve” into a “Self-Service Portal” (Sponsored by TOPdesk)

Phil Payne, Group Director of IT Customer Experience, Bidvest Noonan

Future in Focus: Our Students' Vision for University IT Services


Refreshments in the Exhibition


Enhancing Customer Experience in IT Support Services

Stella Poole, Head of Core Systems Optimisation Team, University of Birmingham

Closing remarks

Iain Cameron, User Services Manager, IT Services, University of Aberdeen

Conference close