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MIS Systems Thread, [FMS] Evaluation or scoring document to review functionality and suitability? in Technical; Hi all, I have been asked to evaluate several MIS and FMS providers. In order to enable us to score ...
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    [FMS] Evaluation or scoring document to review functionality and suitability?

    Hi all,
    I have been asked to evaluate several MIS and FMS providers. In order to enable us to score each product effectively I have started to develop a document which outlines if the product is compliant with the needs, not compliant or compliant via 3rd party. A basic example in relation to the MIS side in particular Attendance would be
    a)Populate Daily statistics,
    b)Lesson by lesson registration
    c)Teachers can view historical data
    d) Notification to parents of absence via email and SMS
    etc etc

    Unfortunately my dealings with the FMS side of things are fairly basic, and I wondered if anyone has any particular questions they asked when considering an FMS or if you have developed a similar kind of scoring system. The system required would need to fulfil the basics of a purchase ledger (which includes invoicing and payments), payroll, and reporting as well as support for a ODBC link between the system itself and spreadsheets etc

    Thanks in advance

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    Regarding FMS choice, when we were looking it boiled down to...

    Basic "must do these things"
    Intermediate "must do $list better than current FMS"
    Advanced "must do these things that current FMS isn't capable of doing"

    What those things are is best discussed with your finance dept, since they're the one who'll be using it.
    Last edited by pete; 27th November 2012 at 09:48 AM.

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    Max_Power (10th December 2012)

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    As @pete said, finance will tell you best, but if you can come up with some as well it might give them some new things to think about. I know when we looked at someone else's system we found they were doing lots of random custom things using a bespoke db and spreadsheets, but some of them were better / more efficient than our own processes with the dedicated app.
    It's a good opportunity to go in and do a system analysis and talk to them about what they'd like in an ideal world.

    Also in the sticky thread about DFE stuff, there are a few links to some documents that will help you analyse your system, it was geared towards an MIS, but the same principles will apply in terms of building a statement of requirements.

    Some of the stuff i can think of randomly might be:

    print receipts / invoices on dedicated stationary
    handle multiple printers
    not need to have a printer installed in order to turn on (!)
    link to MIS system (one way, bi directional)
    import / export formats
    concurrent users
    payroll projections
    online purchasing
    email POs
    handle BACS
    link to parent pay systems
    where is the general ledger and how does it link
    can it handle assets
    depreciation
    for us: store basic parent/student data for fees
    ...

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    Max_Power (10th December 2012)

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    Technical things to insist on:

    - PDF export for emailed orders. Idiotic HTML orders that nearly everyone's email client blocks as dodgy or doesn't render correctly isn't acceptable.
    - Sane mailing functions - by which I mean can talk SMTP without needing Outlook to glue things together. If Sage Instants can handle it, no-one else has any excuse.
    - Any time they use the word "automated", insist on an explanantion. "Automated" to some companies means "oh, you'll need to leave someone logged on with the program running under their credentials".
    - First-line Helldesk people who don't attempt to blame every problem with their software on spurious technical things that don't actually exist. Or whose solution to every problem isn't "it must be a network crash" or "let's make it insecure rather than fixing our software".

    Yeah, this probably should be BTRD.

  7. Thanks to pete from:

    Max_Power (10th December 2012)

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