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Blue Skies Thread, MIS systems - is there room? in General; Just a quick blue Skies debate for you all. The current MIS situation in UK means we have 3 big ...
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    russdev's Avatar
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    MIS systems - is there room?

    Just a quick blue Skies debate for you all.

    The current MIS situation in UK means we have 3 big players

    1) Sims
    2) Integris
    3) CMIS

    First an interesting tidbit the market share is order above as Integris has more installs and usage than CMIS (that one surprised me when I found out)

    Is there room for small MIS system to take off or best they can hope for is that they get brought out by one of big players or a big player looking to get a quick injection into the market.

    Russ

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    Anorak's Avatar
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    Russ

    Interesting - is this across all schools sectors , i.e. state and Independent ? or just State schools ? Does your source have any numbers of schools for each product or % figs, if so would be interested to find out
    Are there any figures for Pearson (Phoenix Gold) , as I am led to believe they focus on the independent schools and have alarge market share in Scotland ?

    Cheers

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    russdev's Avatar
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    Sorry I believe that is state schools not sure on indie sector or combined I will do some digging for you.

    Russ

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    Hmm, I need an analogy

    You have been on a long boat trip, there is a great storm and your boat has sunk on a cold, dark night. You are in the process of drowning unless you freeze to death first.

    Does it matter what colour the boat was?

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    TechMonkey's Avatar
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    ermmm, I know this one. Maroon?

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Pearsons products must be classed as a big provider surely?

    Phoenix Gold and E1?

    Ben

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    No surprise SIMs is number one when you see it is made by Capita, look how many other pies they have fingers in ...

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    john's Avatar
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    hmmm doesn't surprise me either, when you look at job ads for the state sector if they are / have been majorly looked after by the LEAs IT team they tend to favour SIMS or Integris over CMIS. North Yorks only ever used to shove Integris and Sims until about 5 years ago from what I remember, and I think there is only about a dozen at the most on CMIS in the LEA. CMIS I suspect will have a better inde following.

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    There are also http://www.schooltool.org/ , http://www.freemis.net/
    both of which are free products and unlikely to be bought out by anyone.
    Think if 1% of the money that goes into SIMS/CMIS was spent on paid developers for these then there would be some real competition.

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    SpuffMonkey's Avatar
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    I would suspect that with BSF and increasing central management of school ICT, there will be very little scope for small MIS players in the next few years. Of course, when everyone tires of the expense and inconvenience of outsourcing and starts to bring it all back in house - there will be lots of opportunities (in about 10 years??)

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    sahmeepee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    There are also http://www.schooltool.org/ , http://www.freemis.net/
    both of which are free products and unlikely to be bought out by anyone.
    Think if 1% of the money that goes into SIMS/CMIS was spent on paid developers for these then there would be some real competition.
    I like to SIMS-bash as much as anyone, but when you look at the endless changes imposed on MISs by the government and the large, diverse userbase they are catering for, combined with the critical nature of an MIS, it's something which would take a very serious development team to keep up with.

    Considering it's a relatively niche area (i.e. "uk pre-uni education staff" rather than "everyone in the world who uses a web browser") I'd be surprised if you could keep up with the likes of SIMS/CMIS on a non-commercial basis or even at 50% of the cost - never mind 1%.

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    it's blue sky thinking.

    quick back of fag packet calculation - just for support sims costs us 3.50 per user plus 2000 standing charge - it doesn't include licenses for sims or licenses for software sims needs (windows,sql which we need to keep upgraded, different thread)
    Assume 6 million kids, 3500 secondaries, 17000 primaries that 62M per year already. The entire unbuntu foundation was started with 5M

    If anyone has accurate figures I'd be interested

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    Our Sims man says licensing is 4000 per year. Given figures above thats 82M per year, + 62M support. so 1% of 144M is 1.44M or 41 Full Time developers @35k (with no support)

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    sahmeepee's Avatar
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    The cost of our sims licensing including direct support from capita is well under 6k/year even if you include sql licenses etc. and we are a big school. It's very dependent on which modules you buy into though - lesson monitor for example is prohibitively expensive for us.

    I'm sure PhilNeal will be happy to decloak and give us the annual financials for CapitaES

    I realise you're only thinking out of the box (I hate myself for typing that phrase), but then you have to allow for the fact that you've not paid any NI for your developers, they don't have any heating, electricity or lighting.. not to mention an office, you don't have a sales team or anyone managing the business... and as you say, you're taking the cost of SIMS+support and comparing it with OtherMIS+no support.

    I would say that the investment required for OtherMIS to catch up with SIMS (I know nothing of other MISs tbh) in under 5 years would be sooo great that you'd have to get government to slap down a huge amount of cash to do it. The reasons that wouldn't happen include:



    Yes it's a shame, but to answer Russ's original question - unfortunately, no, I don't see that there's room for a small MIS to grow in the foreseeable future even with my seriously optimistic hat on. I would say the best you could hope for is innovation in fringe areas (e.g. 3rd party addons for SIMS) being popular enough that they would be absorbed, but even then the cost would be passed on.

    OK, I'm depressed now.

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    There are also http://www.schooltool.org/ , http://www.freemis.net/
    both of which are free products and unlikely to be bought out by anyone.
    Is anyone using either of these at their schools... ? I'd be interested to know how you get on.

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