Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is WesternNow?
WesternNow is a contemporary portal where both staff and students can access services and knowledge articles specific to their needs, across many service areas of the University.
Think how ServiceNSW allows you to easily renew your licence or find out more about how you can get help with their services, and you’ve got the right idea. It is that easy.
Why are we doing this?
Over the years it’s become challenging to easily find and make requests for services, as we have grown as a University. It is also been challenging to see where those are up to, and where you can go for further advice. We are making that simpler for everyone, so you always have the latest knowledge and service at your fingertips, as we evolve this approach.
We want to make it easier for everyone fulfilling those services too, as our processes and services have evolved over the years.
The portal makes that an easy process - and you can ‘favourite’ those services and articles, so you can swiftly find them again. We’ve also included guidance and links to the wider University service offerings outside of WesternNow, to help bring you to the right place, for the right support.
Is this a new initiative for the University?
While there are new service areas, you’ve already been using the essential capability for some time with your ITDS requests and have doubtless seen those evolve over time.
We’ve been working since late 2018 on what areas are coming next, including the Student Experience Office (SEO), Office of Marketing and Communications (OMC), Academic Division and Procurement. All these areas will be accessible via a single simple portal (each for staff and students) to help you. You can find out more on this website about what is coming up.
Of course, the services and knowledge being offered will evolve over time. This is only the beginning.
Does this include all of the services I use?
Most of the services you request from each area will be via WesternNow, from the teams that are coming on board.
However, some services offered are better handled through our other systems (for example registering for training sessions or booking annual leave). While these requests will remain the same, we have included guidance and links to those requests on the Portal, so you are clear as to how and where to get your help.
See this website for a snapshot of what’s covered by each service area.
When is it going live?
WesternNow is now live.
You would have been using services from ITDS and the Project Management Office since last year. Along with the newly added services from the Office of Marketing and Communications, Academic Services and Strategic Procurement, over time, we will be adding new services to WesternNow. Likewise, we will continually improve our services and knowledge, giving you a seamless user experience all at your fingertips.
What’s the advantage to me in using it?
We want to make it as simple as possible to find your service and get it underway to help you to get your answer faster. That means more time on your research, teaching and on your day to day work or study.
No guesswork as to what is required, who your request or query goes to, or where it is up to.
For staff delivering those services, it helps show what’s coming up, makes sure you have all the right information from moment one to help (eliminating ‘to and fro’ emails) and have a consistent record of where everything is up to - eliminating spreadsheet and email approaches which can be challenging to maintain.
How do I use it?
Easy! Access the staff or student portal (once live) and you can use the search bar to find the service (and knowledge supporting it) - then use the form to make your request. That starts the process to get it to the right people, ready for them to help you.
You can also explore the large range of services offered by each area, via the service catalogues - which include helpful guidance as to what this service is, in plain language.
Once your request is made, you’ll be able to see it listed in on the Portal - along with all your other requests. When there is a key change in your request you will also see an email notification.
As an approver, you’ll see your normal approval notifications via email, with clarity as to what this is about, and can access all of your current approvals or tasks via the Portal too (in the top menu and on the ‘To Do’ section of the Portal.
What is the best browser to use for WesternNow?
ServiceNow recommends Chrome for the best user experience, however, other browsers are still supported including MS Edge.
How did we determine these services?
We’ve been working over the last year with the relevant teams to agree on what services make sense to include, how they should work (factoring feedback from people using those services over the years in many cases) and how we can evolve those services further, once we’ve got them underway.
Wherever possible we’ve sought to make it simpler, intuitive and paperless - and without long email ‘to and fro’ conversations.
This is just the beginning - and we are using this to help us with continuous improvement of those services, and the introduction of new services over time.
How does this align with the new Student Management System (SMS) that goes live in 2021?
The new Student Management System will cover off everything Students and Academics need to manage and maintain study and related programs. WesternNow handles the services outside of that, and the WesternNow and SMS teams have been working together to help create a seamless experience. For example, you’ll be able to find SMS services via the WesternNow Student portal too – and you won’t have to log in again to access them - you’ll get straight through to where you need.
Where can I get further help or make an improvement suggestion?
While forms and knowledge articles have been written in plain language you may still have some questions or a need for specific advice.
We are here to help and there are general enquiry forms for each Division (as well for the Portal itself).
The portal query form itself is a great way to note improvement suggestions and helps drive our continuous improvement focus on services, alongside the Divisions.