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East Midlands Broadband Consortium (EMBC) Thread, Derbyshire schools - Kaleidos to RM Unify? in Regional Broadband Consortiums (RBC); Just wondering how many schools have signed up for, or are thinking of signing up for, the free trial of ...
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    kaphc's Avatar
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    Derbyshire schools - Kaleidos to RM Unify?

    Just wondering how many schools have signed up for, or are thinking of signing up for, the free trial of RM Unify which is being offered to schools alongside the last year of their Kaleidos contract.

    I've had a look at RM Unify this afternoon and it looks like a completely different product from Kaleidos, and is very much based around accessing online apps/content, some of which have to be subscribed to.

    The Office365 link that they offer also seems to be great for document sharing, but the email / calendar functionality overlaps with the Capita OpenHive service as far as I can see.

    Anyone got any other thoughts on pros or cons of trying it out?

    Many thanks

    Katharine

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    funkyfin2000's Avatar
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    I am based in Entrust in Staffs and we are bringing just over 170 schools (majority from RM's LP to RM Unify with O365 integration)

    It's going extremely well - schools are loving the brand new interface (SSO to Cloud based services) and then absolutely loving the O365 SharePoint/SkyDrive side of things.

    We offer training in this element and transition schools over and we have had nothing but positive comments - mainly because technology has changed and 6 years on from RM LP being developed things are so much easier and more user friendly

    If you have any specific questions, let me know I can probably help.

    Rich

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    kaphc (27th November 2013)

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    We've been using RM Unify for about a year now having piloted it within our LA. I've been very impressed with it compared to other RM software solutions I have used. The user experience is very simple and intuitive and staff here took to it very quickly.

    You're right that Unify is not a like for like replacement for Kaleidos. It is really just a SSO solution for 3rd party apps but you have control over which of the available apps you want to make available for your establishment. I believe you can also buy subscriptions to some of the 3rd party apps through the Unify interface itself.

    You can also create tiles for any URL you want within the Unify interface which enables you to customise it as a landing page for your users. I think it is still lacking a few features in terms of how much customisation you can do but then it is still quite a new product. Also, it is up to the 3rd party app developers to make their applications Unify compatible so many aren't currently supported but for the ones that are it's great!

    My one reservation would be whether the pricing for Unify will remain at the current level once it has established itself more or whether it will creep up once more schools are hooked on using it...

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    funkyfin2000 (26th November 2013), kaphc (27th November 2013)

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    kaphc's Avatar
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    Thanks for your replies, they are helpful to clarify the best course of action. I have one school which is using the Kaleidos Learning Platform to run the school website as well, and it seems pretty clear that they will need to switch to an alternative solution for their website, as this is not functionality which RM Unify offers.

    RM Unify looks like a great product, but with it being substantially different from Kaleidos, we need to step back a bit and look strategically at whether it's right for the schools.

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    funkyfin2000 (28th November 2013)

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    If your schools are using Office 365 then maybe the most obvious solution would be to go with O365 Sharepoint for replacing the Sharepoint functionality of Kaleidos as this will probably be the most familiar to staff familiar with Kaleidos...

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    funkyfin2000 (28th November 2013)

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    funkyfin2000's Avatar
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    Just about what I was about to say - SharePoint 2013 is a no brainer. It's exactly where we are taking our schools and combine it with RM Site Creator and you are on to a winner.

    Would you mind if I PM'ed you @kaphc

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    @funkyfin2000 Do you have a demo of the RM Site Creator at all?

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    Yup. I can demo it although slightly tricky to complete as it will start building your structure in a site collection. How can I be of service?

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