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MIS Systems Thread, Summer 2013 Release in Technical; Breaking News from SupportNet According to the pre-release notes ( SupportNet resource number 21036) this was planned to be released ...
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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    Summer 2013 Release

    Breaking News from SupportNet

    According to the pre-release notes (SupportNet resource number 21036) this was planned to be released by COB on 5th July, however it has been delayed.

    *** SIMS 2013 Summer Release Date - Please Read


    As a result of our end of release testing processes several issues have been identified in the Exams portion of our SIMS 2013 Summer update. Some issues were first brought to our attention through the Beta customer testing process and later via our UAT process. We are committed to delivering a strong, quality product and due to the nature of the issues identified must take the time necessary to investigate further. It is clear that correcting them will cause a delay to the current published release date. When this investigation is complete we will publish a news item to SupportNet confirming the new date and providing further information.


    We appreciate that the published Summer release date is not ideal and that a further delay will be difficult for many schools and Local Authorities, especially given the inclusion of new Exams enhancements to SIMS. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience that this delay causes and thank you for your patience while we work through a resolution.


    Please feel free to email me if you have any concerns about this.


    Regards,
    Jonathan Wood
    SIMS Product Manager (Technical and Releases)
    It's not great, but better than installing something with bugs, and a good sign that the testing has caught the issues early.

    On the bright side, some highlights to look forward to:

    Agora, the online payment solution is fully released and available.
    The ~ from duplicate assessment columns will be gone, and numbers in Marks Aspects will export as numbers.
    The Data Entry columns can be made read only with the tick box - double yay!
    Attendance screens will show if a medical condition exists for a student - really useful. AND can be made default by admin
    Discover - Key Pastoral Graph has Pupil Premium and Young Carer.
    FMS will allow POs to be sent by email.
    FMS will require a SIMS user ID / password to connect to SIMS.
    The Personnel area has a tabbed structure to make details easier to see and manage.
    If you purchase the Staff Performance licence, this will add tabs for CPD and Appraisals.
    Quick Search has been massively improved to increase the number and type of searches. - This is available on request pre-release. I'm testing it at the mo'.
    SIMS MultiView - to manage school groups.
    Minimum password length increased to 8 chars.
    Homepage Timeline shows correct week when start day is set to Saturday or Sunday. - HUZZAH!!
    Homepage Timeline opens to current date and time rather than 9.00am on the date.
    Homepage Timeline, Messages and chart based widgets now do not refresh if user closes Homepage.


    There's more, but you'll have to read resource number 21036 on SupportNet to see all that.

  2. 8 Thanks to vikpaw:

    Ben-BSH (19th June 2013), CAM (20th June 2013), glen_j (19th June 2013), HughR (2nd July 2013), Soulfish (19th June 2013), speckytecky (10th July 2013), Steven_Cleaver (19th June 2013), zag (19th June 2013)

  3. #2
    zag
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    I for one welcome the fact they are testing it this time!

    How those performance issues got through their testing regime last time I will never know. We are not even a big school and had awful cpu issues after updating.

    Does anyone have any more information about the Personnel performance management bit?
    Last edited by zag; 19th June 2013 at 08:33 AM.

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    There was a little bit of info in notes and some screenshots. Have you tried their website or talk to you supplier / account manager.

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    So Capita have broken Exams again just said so before everyone gets to exams time.... Its sounding familar this that Exams is broken in SIMS. It's not hard to get it right I'm sure of that I don't hear much of the oh exams is bust again for any other product of late..... Better and earlier testing of exams is needed when releases are so late, bring the releases forward to help with that would be good.

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    zag
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    Here are some more details on the Performance Mangement bit:

    For those who have purchased the staff performance licence for SIMS Personnel licence, you are required to upgrade to the Summer 2 version of the summer 2013 release. Upon upgrade you will have access to an additional panel with the ‘Professional Details’ tab called ‘Continuing Professional Development, alongside a new ‘Appraisals’ tab that includes the new staff performance functionality.

    Staff Performance in Personnel enables school leaders to record, manage and report on core areas of the appraisal process including individual objectives, lesson observations, employee reviews, together with staff development.
    A new menu route under Tools | Staff | Performance Management allows you to setup your appraisal periods, whole school objectives, professional standards, and your line management structure which will then drive permissions to the Personnel record.
    Enhancements will allow you to:
    - Manage the performance of both teaching and non-teaching staff with a basic record in Personnel, as well as those occupying more than one role.
    - Assess members of staff alongside professional standards, assessment criteria or competencies related to their role.
    - Customise the appraisal tools in line with your schools’ workflow.
    - Record objectives, lesson observations and reviews together with staff development, with the opportunity assign grades and link evidence where necessary.
    - Link individual objectives to whole school priorities.
    - Maintain a portfolio of evidence throughout the appraisal process.
    - Record any pay recommendations during the review- particularly useful to maintained schools affected by performance related pay from September 2013.
    - Define what the SLT, line managers, appraisers and the staff member can access on the Personnel record.
    - Report on staff performance and core areas of the appraisal process.
    The new staff performance enhancements to SIMS Personnel are available to you for a one-off fee of £500 per secondary school and £200 per primary school. These costs do not incur an additional annual entitlement fee.
    For further information on SIMS Personnel enhancements please call 0845 520 3013 or email info@capita-sims.co.uk

  7. 3 Thanks to zag:

    CAM (20th June 2013), speckytecky (10th July 2013), vikpaw (21st June 2013)

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john View Post
    So Capita have broken Exams again just said so before everyone gets to exams time.... Its sounding familar this that Exams is broken in SIMS. It's not hard to get it right I'm sure of that I don't hear much of the oh exams is bust again for any other product of late..... Better and earlier testing of exams is needed when releases are so late, bring the releases forward to help with that would be good.
    To be fair a lot of last minute changes get thrown around which takes time to implement on such a large product. Your school would have made a good candidate for User Acceptance Testing - oh no, hang on, what do you care now ?!

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    Quote Originally Posted by vikpaw View Post
    To be fair a lot of last minute changes get thrown around which takes time to implement on such a large product. Your school would have made a good candidate for User Acceptance Testing - oh no, hang on, what do you care now ?!
    I do care still I have friends that are exams officers who will be stressed by this, but alas the sales rep from Capita was we never have issues with Exams and those that make decision ignored my info from here, other schools etc... meh

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    PO by email straight from within FMS will be useful.

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    No delay to release.

    Great news: it won't be delayed.
    *** SIMS Summer Release Update - Please Read

    Following our update earlier this week we are pleased to advise that the official date for the SIMS Summer release remains 5th July 2013, as previously published. We have been able to resolve a number of the more serious issues identified in the Exams area and are now fully into our Beta and UAT programmes. Many of you have expressed your concern about any further slip to the published date, particularly given how close schools are to the end of term and how critical the Exams enhancements are at this time of year. For this reason we have made the decision to condense our end of process early adopter testing programme – Beta and UAT will complete as planned -- so that the Summer release reaches you as early as possible and allows you to install, test and rollout the release in your own environments’ prior to the important Exams period.

    Due to improvements in the exam process for non EDI entry, we are introducing several important information exchange and communication activities that will start now and continue into the summer with the objective of informing you about the new software and helping you and your key colleagues minimise any installation issues. A full set of activities and dates will be published next week, but these will include:

    - Updates and explanations throughout the National User Conference being held 25-26th June 2013
    - Regular Twitter, SupportNet, Blog and other news feeds, ensuring the latest information is available and at your finger tips
    - Clear Documentation, Tutorials and Guides, including Quick Reference Sheets, Video Tutorials and Updated documentation highlighting steps that need to be taken and best ways to implement
    - Named points-of-contact to help answer your questions and work with you to ensure a smooth upgrade

    We are very aware that the timing of this Summer release is far from ideal and are looking at a variety of approaches to help mitigate the problems you may encounter. If you have further suggestions we are always open to receiving them. In the meantime please stay tuned for further information and updates.

    Kind Regards,
    Jonathan Wood
    SIMS Product Manager (Technical and Releases)

    Posted: 21st June 2013

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    Steven_Cleaver (23rd June 2013), zag (24th June 2013)

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    as previously published
    When was the date ever previously published?
    Did I miss a bit of news?

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikpaw View Post
    According to the pre-release notes (SupportNet resource number 21036) this was planned to be released by COB on 5th July, however it has been delayed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostgame View Post
    When was the date ever previously published?
    Did I miss a bit of news?
    In the OP - it was mentioned in the pre-release notes. You know those notes that get emailed to all customers to let them know what's going on and what's happening in the future. Along with all important notifications that appear on SupportNet. You're on the mailing list right?

  15. Thanks to vikpaw from:

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    Hmm, i need to get on the mailing list.
    I find out SIMS news by logging onto the website.

    Must not have read that post carefully enougth

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    You're not going mad, i was only pulling your leg, there's no mailing list

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    Har-har

    Shame I cant take my thank post away then

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    There will be soon. We go live with the new SupportNet in autumn.

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