Senior Systems Specialist

University of Derby

Job details


Digital Solutions and Services

Responsible to

Business Systems Manager


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus


£34,976 to £37,904 per annum (For exceptional performers, there is scope for further progression up to £48,190 per annum)

Closing date

Sunday 18 June 2023

Contract type


Post type




About the role

We are seeking an experienced and innovative Senior Systems Specialist to join our team, with a primary focus on Customer Relationship Management (CRM). As a Senior Systems Specialist, your main responsibility will be delivering modern digital solutions for our University’s CRM needs.

Working closely with our Systems Team, you will play a crucial role in driving CRM transformation and automation throughout the University. Your expertise will be utilised in providing specialised support to users of CRM systems and overseeing the entire release management process. This includes planning, coordinating, and executing upgrades and updates to ensure the successful implementation of new features and fixes across production and non-production environments.

In this position, you will collaborate with functional Subject Matter Experts within the University to research and implement new Microsoft Dynamics features and improvements, continuously enhancing our production environments. Our Systems portfolio covers a broad range of self-hosted applications running alongside a growing suite of cloud applications.

The Senior Systems Specialist will work closely with the Systems team, as well as stakeholders, to harness the full potential of Microsoft Dynamics for the University, while maintaining a strong focus on security, accessibility, and data protection.

The ideal candidate will possess a strong background in providing comprehensive functional and operational support for CRM systems within an enterprise or learning & teaching environment. Additionally, you should demonstrate a track record of exploring new technologies with the aim of continually enhance our systems portfolio. Experience in end-to-end release management and exceptional problem-solving skills are also highly valued.

Principal accountabilities

  • Take a lead role in providing support to users of Cloud Based systems.
  • Responsible for creating, managing and continually improving the process for updates and upgrades. Project-manage all upgrades and updates including risk mitigation and issue resolution. Responsible for planning, coordinating and delivering updates and upgrades timely. Responsible for reporting release progress to key stakeholders at regular intervals. Responsible for internal and external resourcing in relation to releases. Accountable for the end-to-end validation of upgrades and updates (testing). Establish and maintain Cloud Notifications distribution lists.
  • Responsible for user access to Production environment ensuring all approvals are in place. Conduct reviews of user roles and tailoring to University of Derby requirements, ensuring full documentation and approvals are in place.
  • Responsible for working with Subject Matter Experts to introduce new features and configuration to the Production environment.
  • Provide technical knowledge and insight to peers and colleagues
  • Be an advocate for Cloud best practices.
  • Provide a high level of support to users, through continuous monitoring of service provision and customer satisfaction. Consistently review, and act upon any feedback provided which will result in an improvement in the level of support offered to users.
  • Understand, and interpret both technical and functional specifications in order to ensure the appropriate level of development work is undertaken when producing solutions.
  • Play a lead role in gathering, and interpreting user requirements, understanding how such requirements can be met by existing software platforms within the University. Where it is felt that existing software platforms do not meet requirements look at alternative software platforms outside of the University to identify a solution.
  • Document, model, and analyse business processes in order to come up with recommendations regarding suitable software platforms for users to adopt.
  • Work with the Enterprise Architecture team in identified new technologies, and software platforms, which would provide a business benefit to the University. Consider emerging trends in technologies across higher education sector and beyond, and to identify where possible we can exploit such technologies.
  • Play a lead role in rolling out both new and existing system functionality across all software platforms. Where appropriate, undertake training with users, and ensure appropriate user guides are in place, and any governance disseminated.
  • Build collaborative working relationships with external suppliers and consultants, ensuring delivery of solutions within mutually agreed deadlines, and playing a key role in ensuring smooth transition of responsibilities once projects are handed over to the team.
  • Support Digital Solutions and Services in delivering ‘best in class’ customer service to all areas of the University.
  • Represent the University of Derby at external events within the region or nationally.
  • Update skills and knowledge through ongoing staff development, in line with any relevant continuing professional development requirements.
  • Manage strategic relationships with key stakeholders/customers within the University, suppliers and other external organisations, both within and outside the Higher Education sector, promoting the University.
  • Support the Senior Management and Leadership teams within Digital Solutions and Services in developing and enhancing customer service with key stakeholders/customers within the University, managing and maintaining the profile of Digital Solutions and Services.
  • Support clear, effective and timely communication as appropriate from the Digital Solutions and Services Department to its internal and external stakeholders.
  • Person specification
    Essential Criteria

    • Relevant first degree (or equivalent qualification) or comparable knowledge gained through professional experience.


    • Demonstrable experience of full lifecycle system implementations including both on premise and on cloud.
    • Experience of implementing and supporting innovative solutions that are customer and future focused.
    • Experience in contributing and advocating the design and implementation of best practices.
    • Experience of working on system implementations.
    • Experience of building open and transparent relations with colleagues and establishing credibility as a trusted expert from technical, personal and management perspectives.

    Skills, knowledge & abilities

    • Understanding of cloud technologies and their potential application to deliver services.
    • Strong industry knowledge through self-study, training, research and events.
    • A desire to remain technically capable and an expert in current technologies.
    • Ability to understand and interpret business and administrative processes.
    • Ability to define system requirements, including production of functional and technical specifications.
    • Ability to work both as part of a team and independently.
    • Good stakeholder skills to lead, promote, persuade, influence, and coordinate improvements.
    • Ability to evidence excellent communication, engagement, persuasion and influencing skills with technical and non-technical audiences (verbal and written).
    • Proven analytical, conceptual, and problem-solving skills.
    • Develop and utilise expertise for the benefit of customers and colleagues. Can apply knowledge quickly to new challenges.
    • Strong understanding of information security and governance.
    • Organised approach to dealing with workloads and capacity.

    Business requirements

    • A commitment to the University core values and for these to be actively reflected in all aspects of work.
    • An ability and commitment to work additional hours to meet deadlines as appropriate.
    • Willingness and flexibility to travel and work between University and external sites in a cost effective and timely manner.

    Desirable Criteria

    • Professional and /or technical qualifications, e.g. PRINCE 2 / ITIL or substantial, applied equivalent experience.
    • A postgraduate qualification in a relevant subject area.


    • Experience of Cloud technology – e.g Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle ERP Cloud.

    Skills, knowledge and abilities

    • Good understanding of the Higher Educational sector.
    • Project Management.
    • Excellent Analytical and Organisational Skills.

    How to apply

    You can apply by submitting an online application. Once you have signed in or registered with us you will be able to begin your application. If you are creating an account for the first time, please ensure you provide an email address that you access regularly as this will be our main means of contacting you regarding your application.

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    If you require any assistance, including the provision of any documentation in an alternative format, please contact the Recruitment team at [email protected] .

    Please note all applications must be submitted online by Midnight GMT on the closing date of the vacancy.

    Important information

    Applications from job seekers who require sponsorship to work in the UK are welcome and will be considered alongside all other applications.

    Whilst this role is eligible for sponsorship under the Skilled Worker Route, we recommend that you assess your individual eligibility before applying for this position.

    Visit for more information.

    To be eligible for sponsorship you must provide evidence that you hold all essential qualifications listed on the job description. Please note, equivalent experience will not be accepted as evidence of the essential qualifications.

    Equality, diversity, inclusion and wellbeing

    The University of Derby is committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion. However you identify, we actively celebrate the knowledge, experience and talents each person brings.

    A university that celebrates youA university that celebrates you

    Further details

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    Why join Derby?

    Challenging, interesting and constantly changing, the University of Derby is an extraordinary place to learn and an incredibly rewarding place to work.

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