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Aspen MIS Direct Support Thread, Quick-fire Aspen MIS Questions in Direct Support; Hi Greed, Very interested to read this thread. We are a school seriously considering changing MIS in the very near ...
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    Hi Greed,

    Very interested to read this thread. We are a school seriously considering changing MIS in the very near future. A couple of questions:

    1) I appreciate that Aspen takes on some of the VLE functionality that schools need, however we are now heavily invested in Frog. Does Aspen work with Frog e.g. Can Frog import new users directly from the database? Can Frog read time table data from Aspen etc..

    2) You mention automatic reporting somewhere above. Does this mean Aspen can automatically update a spreadsheet on a scheduled basis?

    3) Will you have a stand at BETT in 2013 and can we just contact you to arrange an on site demo for our school?

    Thanks for your help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchell1981 View Post
    Hi Greed,

    Very interested to read this thread. We are a school seriously considering changing MIS in the very near future. A couple of questions:

    1) I appreciate that Aspen takes on some of the VLE functionality that schools need, however we are now heavily invested in Frog. Does Aspen work with Frog e.g. Can Frog import new users directly from the database? Can Frog read time table data from Aspen etc..

    2) You mention automatic reporting somewhere above. Does this mean Aspen can automatically update a spreadsheet on a scheduled basis?

    3) Will you have a stand at BETT in 2013 and can we just contact you to arrange an on site demo for our school?

    Thanks for your help.
    Hello there @mitchell1981

    To answer you questions:

    1) We are talking with Frog as we speak about exactly what you mention. As you can appreciate I can say just that at this time, but the obvious idea is that data will be able to be sent to Frog. Initially it will unlikely be a direct database read but rather read from a specialised export (as that can literally be done instantly!). Watch this space, but that is certainly our intention.

    2) What this means is Aspen MIS can automatically produce reports and place them into a certain location, based on a schedule (or even triggered by an action!). Unfortunately out of the box it cannot update cells on a pre-built spreadsheet, although in theory there is no reason why an end user properly skilled could not code this into the Aspen reporting framework...

    3) Yes we are at BETT, I forget which stand but I will announce that very soon. If you want to book a slot at BETT you are welcome (I'm there all week... ALL week!), and yes you can also arrange an on site demo, just contact me!


    Graham

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    Do you provice any tools to migrate data from SIMS?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    Do you provice any tools to migrate data from SIMS?
    We have built a mapping toolkit that does the job for us/you. Our migration pathway is quite clever in the way it works allowing you to continue to use SIMS (or CMIS) while you train on Aspen MIS, and the data is mapped to both in real time (one way from legacy to Aspen MIS only).

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    What kind of hardware are we looking at to run Aspen? It's cloud based but is that public, private or SAAS?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pbainbridge View Post
    What kind of hardware are we looking at to run Aspen? It's cloud based but is that public, private or SAAS?
    Aspen MIS is primarily offered as SaaS. It very much depends on the circumstances your school is in with the LA, or as an Academy Trust, as has been mentioned Aspen MIS is designed as a multi-tenancy system, but that doesn't mean you cannot take it as an individual school. Ultimately it will work on whatever server hardware you have, performance is then the only issue. We recommend 2 servers (can be virtual), with the following specs:

    Application Server & Database Server

    Processor Type 64-bit dual core 2.8GHz or higher
    Number of Processors (each): 2
    RAM: 16 GB
    Hard Disk Space: 200 GB & 300 GB

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    Any more questions about Aspen MIS, or the integrated Learning Management and Platform Aspen Learning?

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    Hi Greed,

    Our timetabler asked about time tabling. How does Aspen stack up when producing a complex two week timetable, with lessons that sometimes change length depending on the day of the week! We've had a few problems getting this working well in the past with our current system. Does Aspen timetabling offer anything special?

    Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchell1981 View Post
    Hi Greed,

    Our timetabler asked about time tabling. How does Aspen stack up when producing a complex two week timetable, with lessons that sometimes change length depending on the day of the week! We've had a few problems getting this working well in the past with our current system. Does Aspen timetabling offer anything special?

    Thanks.
    That is a good question. I will defer this to one of our timetable experts and get back to you. I can tell you we can cope with differing lengths of sessions and two week timetables (we can handle odd lengths of weeks too, we have some that have a 8 day rolling timetable over 2 weeks, how that works I don't know!!! We also cope fine with weekend days, it is just another day!). Out timetable builder is very easy to use, but can produce very complex timetables and can even produce more college style 'student focused' or 'individualised' timetables should a school wish.

    Might be an idea if you share a copy of your timetable structure (privately) and we can give you some definite answers?

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    Hi Graham,

    Couldn't resist asking, when will Aspen support SIF in the UK?

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    Quote Originally Posted by penfold_99 View Post
    Hi Graham,

    Couldn't resist asking, when will Aspen support SIF in the UK?
    Thank you Ian!

    We are reviewing our approach to SIF compliance in the UK given the uptake of other emerging 'standard' forms of data exchange, namely Groupcall Xporter. As you know we are compliant with the US specification of SIF, and during investigation we know that the changes required to meet UK standards is not a difficult one, but as with everything it has it's place on the development priority list.

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    I really have enjoyed reading through all the forum posts about Aspen but other than text there is not a lot to go by as the website doesnt say much.
    What I would love to see from an MIS to replace our current SIMS is an overall all-in-one... you mention you can intergrate with Groupcall Messenger and Emerge (we already have emerge but are currently with ParentMail for messaging and online cashless catering payments)
    Does Aspen intergrate with any online payment solutions where parents can login with their same Aspen credentials and make payments etc... the other thing I would love to see is a Room/Resource Booking Feature and also a Parents Evening System -again all in the same place... one logon, one portal.

    That would be excellent.... any plans or information on this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by napsburypark View Post
    I really have enjoyed reading through all the forum posts about Aspen but other than text there is not a lot to go by as the website doesnt say much.
    What I would love to see from an MIS to replace our current SIMS is an overall all-in-one... you mention you can intergrate with Groupcall Messenger and Emerge (we already have emerge but are currently with ParentMail for messaging and online cashless catering payments)
    Does Aspen intergrate with any online payment solutions where parents can login with their same Aspen credentials and make payments etc... the other thing I would love to see is a Room/Resource Booking Feature and also a Parents Evening System -again all in the same place... one logon, one portal.

    That would be excellent.... any plans or information on this?
    A few questions to answer here!

    Our UK website is continuing to be enhanced with more information about the features and capabilities. We always prefer to speak with you directly to show what we have rather than hide behind a website!

    Aspen MIS does integrate with Groupcall products, as well as many other third party products in the UK.

    Remember that Aspen is an MIS, a VLE, an Intranet, and Resource Management tool and Communication hub all in one cloud product.

    We are currently pursuing partnership dialogues with online payment companies. That is about all I have on that, but that is definitely coming. Synchronising logins will be a feat, however we have a very neat trick to manage this which if they or any third party can use Active Directory to manage logins with, so does Aspen, and so the one and same user credentials can be used across many applications! Very cool. Same Sign On.

    I like to think I invented that term (as opposed to Single Sign On, but SaSO was thought of before I have discovered!).

    For Room Booking and Parents Evening, we has some third party plans with that too. This one will be a lot quicker and easier it must be said, in fact I should be able to announce something soon on this!

    The concepts of having is all in one portal even with third parties will be a bit further off, but once again I have plans on this. Third party products that are web based are as a significant advantage here it must be said.

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    CAM
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    Quote Originally Posted by GREED View Post
    And once again, I seem to have missed this reply, apologies CAM

    Can you be a bit more specific, are you talking support for returns in general or around the issues the government imposed on everyone by changing things at the last minute?
    Guess what, I missed this reply too by a considerably larger margin.

    SWC is the School Workforce Census which is collected to give the government an overview of the people currently employed by schools. There are also three census periods a year where details about the school and kids are picked up and sent to the government for analysis and funding allocation. The autumn one is the biggest, with details about courses being taken for each student, what exam result they got for a completed course, if the completed/dropped/transferred a course and the dates of each course duration for each student. It's massive! Also requires lists of QANs, exam codes and other craziness.

    And yes, the government do change things at the last minute.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAM View Post
    Guess what, I missed this reply too by a considerably larger margin.

    SWC is the School Workforce Census which is collected to give the government an overview of the people currently employed by schools. There are also three census periods a year where details about the school and kids are picked up and sent to the government for analysis and funding allocation. The autumn one is the biggest, with details about courses being taken for each student, what exam result they got for a completed course, if the completed/dropped/transferred a course and the dates of each course duration for each student. It's massive! Also requires lists of QANs, exam codes and other craziness.

    And yes, the government do change things at the last minute.
    Thank you for all that. We have all of that information and have been offering School and Workforce Census' for this entire academic year. We are fully engaged with the DfE to be aware of changes as soon as they are announced and work with them to identify changes and advise, along with the other players in the market, on how this should evolve.

  16. Thanks to GREED from:

    CAM (3rd May 2013)

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