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MIS Systems Thread, Anyone using SERCO ? in Technical; if i remember correctly the interface on facitlity can be made to look like sims or how ever you want ...
  1. #16
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    Re: Anyone using SERCO ?

    if i remember correctly the interface on facitlity can be made to look like sims or how ever you want it to look. never tried to change it though

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    Re: Anyone using SERCO ?

    Thank you all for your prompt responses!! Very much appreciated
    Have a great week, Chris

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    Re: Anyone using SERCO ?

    Quote Originally Posted by kiran
    Its important that before you take the plunge that you assess why your moving - personally I know of schools who take the plunge with 2 systems run in parallel and decide to stay with SIMS.net - due to various issues but key staff such as those doing cover/timetable and assessment finding the interface awful and it not doing what Sims does is some cases.

    Think wisely - Sims.net isn't perfect - but it is evolving all the time and personally I prefer it and so do most staff!!!

    @kiran - I really like the idea of parallel running - how is this achieved in a cost effective way. I guess you may wish to PM me ?

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    Re: Anyone using SERCO ?

    If the SMT want to trial SERCO i'll run them both in Parallel.. thats a very good idea cheers!

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    Re: Anyone using SERCO ?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisN-0123
    If the SMT want to trial SERCO i'll run them both in Parallel.. thats a very good idea cheers!
    So there will be a lot of double entrying then..... the admin staff are going to love you... :twisted:

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    Re: Anyone using SERCO ?

    I was involved in migrating from SIMS to Facility CMIS about 5 years ago. That was pre-SIMS.net and, cost aside, it was a no-brainer - CMIS was clearly the superior product.

    With the advent of SIMS.net, the two are much closer together. This means you really have to think carefully about what you want to achieve by switching systems and whether it is worth the upheaval.

    As has been mentioned above, Facility is strong on configurability, so you can use it to support you school systems and processes rather than having to change your systems and processes to match the software. However, this means the learning curve is far steeper and it's not as user-friendly 'out of the box' as SIMS.net.

    To make a success of CMIS, you need to make sure that the staff and management have the appropriate time, skills and motivation. That really means a dedicated Data Manager working purely on MIS, plus a management team who know why they want to move to CMIS and who will have a hands on involvement in managing the implementation. CMIS will be more work, not less, but is much more powerful if you get it right.

    Where schools have regretted moving from one system to another it is usually because the management team thought - 'we don't like SIMS / CMIS and it's causing us trouble, let's try something else'. The decision should be made in terms of specific things the school wants to achieve, and the knowledge that your current system definitely can't help you achieve this and the new system definitely will. It's all basic stuff, but you'd be surprised how many schools don't think this through properly.

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    Re: Anyone using SERCO ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scruff
    The administrative software is an awful mess of a UI, the database structure is god-awful and makes no sense, the nice web front end for staff is ok but sometimes suffers from memory issues which will cane your server and costs extra. Report building is ok but a shame when you realise all of the really useful functions are undocumented and only known by the devs who wrote them.

    Support is generally very good if you do have issues however.
    Patches are required quite often and seem to fix 5 bugs but cause 50 more.

    It's not all bad though in reality, it could be a lot worse.
    The sqlserver process running the cmis admin database is constantly caning between 500000K and 750000K on our server. Its very hungry.

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    Smile Terminology

    CMIS is the old name of the software but is still used for the FE versions. It should now be referred to as Facility Admin, Facility Scheduler, Facility ePortal etc.

    PS A bloody good system, blows all the others out of the water by far!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jpshephard View Post
    CMIS is the old name of the software but is still used for the FE versions. It should now be referred to as Facility Admin, Facility Scheduler, Facility ePortal etc.

    PS A bloody good system, blows all the others out of the water by far!
    Have you been using it long? Some of the stuff is a pig to work with and they certainly do not make it easy to extract information

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    Smile Facility experience

    I personally have been using Facility for approx two and a half years spread between working at schools and working for Serco - training, support and implementation.

    I do agree that getting out some data isn't always straight forward but i've found that with time this becomes far less painful.

    I don't claim to know everything but am always happy to help other users where I can. Feel free to quiz me and I'll try my best to help!

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    We moved from SIMS to Facility a couple of years ago, and it's working well for us.

    The move went well because:

    (1) We employed a very able Data Manager to configure and develop the system. It's not really a MIS out of the box, it's a kit of tools to build one.

    (2) A member of SMT took personal responsibility for the migration and ongoing development of the system. Not doing the work, but ensuring the necessary resources were made available and teaching and admin staff 'bought in' to the change.

    (3) We bought a good beefy server to run it (and nothing else) on. 4GB of RAM is an absolute minimum. Don't try to stick on an already overworked DC!

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