Id stick with CMIS, or move to SIMS.NET to be hoenst
I know this question has come up in preious topics and entries but I would like a more recent impression on available MIS'.
We were previously a SIMS user but, due to numerous problems, we decided not to upgrade to SIMS.NET and instead moved to CMIS. Initially we had not major problems with CMIS but over the last couple of years have been plagued with a large number of faults, incredibly poor bug fix times and general lack of development in the product. This has led us to consider moving to a new MIS and we are currently looking at WCBS Pass, which we use for our accounts system, or Hebron which has apparently improved considerably over the last couple of years. We are looking specifically at these two products as we would like to combine both our academic and accounts systems (as long as the product does both well).
I know this is a lot to ask but I would apprecate feedback from users of either system with comments on
Accounts (for Hebron only as we are happy with PASS Accounts)
Core data and reports from it
Id stick with CMIS, or move to SIMS.NET to be hoenst
SIMS.net is far better now then SIMS v6 - you should certainly not rule it out - which includes an very good accounts system FMS.
If your already using PASS for you accounts why not take the step to using it for the academic side too all in one package then rather than running too.
We've been using PASS for the last 3 years for finance and are now expanding into the academic side, to be honest i'd not use SIMS after all the posts on here with issues about it. We get a handful of issues over the year and usual user problems not software.
Ask WCBS to go view a local school using it, that is what we did when we moved to it.
Thanks for the comments so far.
We have ruled out switching to SIMS due to our past history with the company and the comments on this forum back up our decision.
Although it would be easy to upgrade to the PASS academic system we want to ensure it is a good package before we jump in. I have heard a few comments regarding timtable integration which concern me and would appreciate any feedback.
We have been using PASS for about the past 3 years on the academic side.
PASS is very simple and easy to use, although it is looking slightly out of date. WCBS are going to be releasing PASS.WEB very soon, which will eventually allow users to access most of the academic side from webpage’s.
PASS doesn’t have built in support for actually creating timetables, but does have support for importing from NovaT, and TimeTabler. So you would need to use another product for creating timetables/cover.
Since PASS is based on a SQL database, you can get any type of report you want from it. The report builder within PASS is very powerful, and easy to use. Failing that you can use the ODBC views that PASS provide to get data into Excel, Access, Web pages etc..
WCBS are a very good company, one of the best things is there support. You do not get passed around from one department to another, all the support team are very helpful and knowledgeable. They are big enough so you know they wont be going bust any time soon, but still small enough to listen to their customers.
It does save a lot of time/work by having just one system across the entire school. We also have our admissions department using PASS, so when a child registers interest there details are added just the once into PASS, then if the child becomes a pupil, all it takes are a few clicks and then the bursary etc.. all are able to access there details. No need for duplicating details in different systems.
Hope that helps a little.
WCBS PASS or Hebron - is either based on Web?
For longterm strategy you can't go wrong in insisting on Web based solution.
Have you checked out to see if you can get a demo of all web based solution?
Drop me a PM if you want a name.
WCBS PASS will be available as PASS.WEB soon so yes that one will be web based and will be fully integrated into your accounting package.
We have been using PASS for the past 3 years on our finance and basic admin and are currently starting to use the academic side.
I my experience there is only one choice - PASS
Hebron.net is good - although customer support and service has tailed off recently for us.
Having read this thread, may I add some feedback direct from Hebron?
Our recent success with hebron.NET has increased our customer base considerably and far faster than anticipated, and our Customer Support Unit (CSU) has recently been under strain. We acknowledge that, and we apologise.
If any school is suffering, please let me know by PM and I ensure the matter is dealt with rapidly.
To restore matters, we have had an intensive recruitment and training program running which should see support return to its normal excellent levels shortly where we receive nothing but praise for our support.
hebron.NET is now in some 70 schools, including the whole Alpha Plus Group. Read more here.
Hebron's VLE and eLearning module (Hebron Engage) allows full web access enabling teachers and staff to work from home (or anywhere for that matter).
One school's buying criteria included Disaster Recovery. What if the school was shut down and no-one could attend. Since hebron.NET allows full operation in this scenario, it was chosen.
We had used Phoenix Gold for about 10 years and felt it was coming to the end of its useful life and was not being developed at the same rate as other MIS systems. We have recently taken on Schoolbase a MIS developed by Furlong Business Solutions. The overall package is excellent and Furlong have an outstanding back up team of developers and helplines. I would be happy to expand on this should any School, independent or otherwise wish to contact me on email@example.com
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