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MIS Systems Thread, SIMS Learning Gateway in Technical; Originally Posted by PhilNeal I do hope members take a look at SLG for themselves! I speak reasonably frequently with ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    I do hope members take a look at SLG for themselves!
    I speak reasonably frequently with a chap in the Capita 'Extra Modules' marketing department. (The team that tries to get you to buy InTouch, SLG, Emerge, Agora etc)

    We have 'an understanding' shall we say, about one comment I made to him a while back: SIMS as a core product is (generally, SOLUS3 aside) a good product. When it comes to extending those features, be in text/email messaging, a VLE/Parent Portal, Staff Professional Development, iPad apps (leaving aside today's BETT announcement) etc - SIMS are better off leaving them to their Technical Partners because they all do a much better job than Capita's own foray into these technologies, and when Capita release a SIMS update, the Partners release their updates alongside/soon after - and they work from update x.1, not the 3rd un-withdrawn release of update x.4 that has some new features temporarily disabled whilst they fix them.

    Peter

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    Steven_Cleaver's Avatar
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    Another vote for Insight and Tasc which we use for Staff, Parental and Students to access all information, use our own Gateway (remote access) with simple dual factor if staff want to access SIM's full version and has proved much cheaper, another school in the borough has sort of adopted this method once they saw how Insight and the Gateway worked.

    I have looked at SLG a couple of times at various schools and spoke to relevant staff as well as other SIM's products as well as have demo's from Capita and just weigh up the pro's and Con's against comparable systems in regards to price, features but particularly ease of use as this is key if it isn't easy to use and relatively quick, staff, Parents and Students become frustrated and systems aren't used well, my concern with a lot of Capita products is the user front end is not user friendly again even had someone from Capita say this once we mentioned this.

    As previous post has sort of said I think that SIM's is really good at the Core things with the odd issue, I have looked at other MIS systems as well but felt that SIM's does the Core things better than most or I wouldn't really gain any advantage from moving from the SIM's Core products to another MIS. Once it branches out into other areas and you look at Partner products these seem a lot better in general and better value for money. I understand the idea of going to one system for everything but think you have to weigh up what you lose or gain by doing this. I have also heard similar things speaking to people unofficially as previous post as regards SIM's products.

    Look at other products as well as SLG including Insight and Tasc Software but also SLG and go to schools if possible where these are in place as going to a school that is using these as well as sales pitch is always a good idea. Saying all this I am sure their are a lot of schools using the vast array of Capita SIM's products very successfully.
    Last edited by Steven_Cleaver; 22nd January 2014 at 10:32 PM.

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    We are a SIMS Learning Gateway school. We love the product as do our parents. The Insight product would be what I would go with, if we were ever to change.

    I don't think the SIMS Learning Gateway is to blame, but more the Sharepoint infrastructure when people say they aren't happy with the clunkiness etc.

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    CAM
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    I do hope members take a look at SLG for themselves!
    I have to admit, I do miss SLG after changing jobs and landing back in paper reports land. I was helping develop it for the LA (and was using it before the downloadable reports came in) before leaving and it was coming along nicely. Unfortunately the cost and the SharePoint infrastructure left my new employer wary of it so I looked for alternatives and ended up taking interest in TASC Insight because it's cheaper and doesn't rely on corporate grade overkill to operate. (Still on paper though, the gateway project hasn't moved anywhere yet).

    I'd love to see how it has changed at BETT on Saturday but without a significant price drop the system is outclassed by other, easier to operate parent gateways.

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    I would say go with anything but SLG, it's a very painful platform and as previously mentioned the SLG updates are always problematic.

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    zag
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylv3r View Post
    We are a SIMS Learning Gateway school. We love the product as do our parents. The Insight product would be what I would go with, if we were ever to change.

    I don't think the SIMS Learning Gateway is to blame, but more the Sharepoint infrastructure when people say they aren't happy with the clunkiness etc.
    EXACTLY!

    The idea is good, the software platform decision was awful.

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    We have slg and it is not good at all even when it works!! TASC insight has amazing reviews and for the cost seems to be much better!

    The problems we have with slg are often down to broken links between our server and the sims hosted server for slg, and we often find that provisioning new users / removing does not work in a timely fashion even when you run the process manually rather than waiting for the scheduled task to run!

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    zag
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    Quote Originally Posted by athornton View Post
    We have slg and it is not good at all even when it works!! TASC insight has amazing reviews and for the cost seems to be much better!

    The problems we have with slg are often down to broken links between our server and the sims hosted server for slg, and we often find that provisioning new users / removing does not work in a timely fashion even when you run the process manually rather than waiting for the scheduled task to run!
    We once went to a school who had SLG to see how it works before purchasing it. The guy was quite enthusiastic about it at first but as the day wore on and we wanted to see how it worked, he said we couldn't as the "link" was down for some reason.

    Its just a badly designed piece of software. The Provisioning app looks like its designed for local authorities not individual schools, the updates were ridiculously frought with danger and the logins complicated. It inteferes with your active directory by adding some "custom fields" to the entire forest which cannot be removed when you stop using the software.

    We ditched it after trying very hard for 2 years to make it work in our school.

    Since installing TASC insight its like night and day, we have 100% parents logging in and many positive comments. All reports are now done online, parents evenings electronically booked, options chosen by students on the system and behavioural statistics available to the parents anytime.
    Last edited by zag; 30th January 2014 at 08:49 AM.

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    Like Zag, we are letting Students choose their Options via Insight. It's a slightly odd thing that third party software makes really great use of this part of Sims and yet (as far as I know) Sims own online product doesn't offer this.

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    we have slg and its a pain in the arse to manage. The updates are just lines of code and is quite easy to bugger it up.

    I was once asked by the head to see if there is a way to take registers for SIMS on something other than a windows laptop so asked the guy who insisted on SLG if you can take registers on it and the response was "you can but its really not easy to do so"..... absolutely no idea why we stick with this thing. Went to BETT last week and found various systems which do the job and in a clear and easy to use way.

    Saying that, the mobile package for SLG is fairly nice

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