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MIS Systems Thread, School MIS and OFT MARKET STUDY: "Supply of ICT to the public sector" in Technical; After Becta Report 2010, this is new Market Study published today by OFT that also covers school MIS in substantial ...
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    School MIS and OFT MARKET STUDY: "Supply of ICT to the public sector"

    After Becta Report 2010, this is new Market Study published today by OFT that also covers school MIS in substantial way.

    Very notable references to suppliers and local authorities procurement practices:


    Key recommendation:
    "This is an important sector of the economy and the CMA should give careful consideration to prioritising an investigation into any evidence of anti-competitive behaviour"

    (CMA = Competition and Markets Authority)

    http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/mar...es/OFT1533.pdf

    Supply of information and communications technology to the public sector - The Office of Fair Trading


    Previous OFT investigation into school MIS market:
    See page 12: http://oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/ca98_ca...043C8ED5A72EB1



  2. Thanks to Bromcom-PR from:

    matt40k (25th March 2014)

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    I read that (http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/mar...es/OFT1533.pdf) as a confirmation of @GREED #MISChallenge

    Worth highlighting the following before we jump to any conclusions.

    The OFT asked buyers and suppliers for their view of the allegations
    made in The Public Administration Select Committee report
    ‘Government and IT – ‘a recipe for rip-offs’: time for a new
    approach[1]’, in particular 'the serious allegations of anti-competitive
    behaviour and collusion.' Buyers did not provide any evidence in
    response to this question. Suppliers, both large and small, strongly
    refuted the allegation, asserting that the sector is fiercely competitive.
    However, given that unlawful collusion between suppliers is almost
    invariably carried out in secret (to avoid the significant penalties that
    may be imposed on businesses and individuals that participate in such
    collusion), we cannot reach any conclusions about the existence
    or otherwise of unlawful collusion in this sector from these responses.

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    GREED's Avatar
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    I have not read it full, I will do tonight... bedtime reading!

    But is this not an industry - wide investigation, not just education MIS suppliers.

    I would like to think this was prompted by my MIS Challenge... maybe I will #BigHead

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    Oh indeed, it's basically slamming my whole industry, but I suspect education, particularly MIS systems, being so critical is a key part of it.

    I'm hoping they pick up on your MIS Challenge as it's a foot in the right direction, ok it's baby steps but Rome wasn't built in a day!

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    Well you know it only needs some interested parties to point them in the direction of the survey and I am sure they will make use of it.

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    Bah, I just wrote a essay reply and it's disappeared

    Crux was, tender process is flawed. It's more of a legal exercise then a common sense exercise. Ideally the feedback LAs\Academy Trust get from Schools regularly should be formalized and that should be the new more agile "tender" process. So when Census workshops happen, for example, the LA should tack on, hey, who's going to BETT (or whatever) and ask what they're looking for and help them find other suppliers to investigate then feedback to the LA who should work with the supplier to do a intro to the rest of the schools in the LA, then do a bit of validation\due diligence. Hopefully then when things like Capita MultiView appear on the market, people are looking at new MIS systems as well as bolt-ons rather then thinking ok maybe a new MIS system would be the best solution but not after the cost of tendering. Of course this will only work if the suppliers are ok with some feedback like your friendly user interface isn't user friendly, or it just simply costs too much, or we have high unemployment and we want to boost jobs locally where possible - ie outsourcing support to a company in London isn't an option.

    At least your work Graham will give a list of suppliers, so that's step one done and you don't have to worry about Google missing anyone off or the DfE for that matter!! If suppliers are honest and only list what areas they are really good at operating in then step two of filtering the list down can be done within an hour (once you've got the requirements of course!)


    PS: Who are those suppliers who aren't happy?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GREED View Post
    I have not read it full, I will do tonight... bedtime reading!

    But is this not an industry - wide investigation, not just education MIS suppliers.
    Let's hope we can enjoy an 'adult like' discussion on very important aspect of school MIS market.

    Indeed the Market Study is across public sectors. However school MIS is recognized as one of extreme cases and the study makes plenty references to school MIS, Local Authority procurement (LA) practices and questions anti-competitive behavior of incumbent dominant supplier.

    After DfE and Becta Report 2010, this is central goverment taking keen interest in school MIS market and buyers and suppliers behavior and address issue of non-compliance to EU/UK procurement laws by LAs and anti-competitive practices by dominant supplier.

    OFT invited Bromcom for a lengthy meeting earlier on during their investigations with the full team working on the Market Study and appears to have taken onboard input provided. We understand at least one other supplier also has been contacted and asked for input over a telephone conference.

    For good of the school MIS market/suppliers and of course for the children education, the market needs to work. OFT report clearly saying that it is working and hence key recommendation speak for itself: "This is an important sector of the economy and the CMA should give careful consideration to prioritising an investigation into any evidence of anti-competitive behaviour"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bromcom-PR View Post
    Let's hope we can enjoy an 'adult like' discussion on very important aspect of school MIS market.
    I hope you're not insinuating we are anything but 'adult like'.

    The bits I read are very non-specific. They want to say something is wrong without actually saying something is wrong, or naming any names.
    I suspect they will utilise the age old tactic of introducing lots of red tape and new processes to cloud ( ) the issues and hope the problem goes away without them having to get heavy handed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vikpaw View Post
    I hope you're not insinuating we are anything but 'adult like'.

    The bits I read are very non-specific. They want to say something is wrong without actually saying something is wrong, or naming any names.
    I suspect they will utilise the age old tactic of introducing lots of red tape and new processes to cloud ( ) the issues and hope the problem goes away without them having to get heavy handed.
    Adult like:
    We do not mean badly - but this is very serious market-wide issue hence being taken up by OFT and likely to be followed by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Therefore should be discussed without taking defensive position by reading the subject matter as an attack on to a specific company and product. In our recent thread on cloud topic, the subject matter was kept taken from technology discussions into product comparisons and companies. We even invited a globally renowned cloud specialist to participate on the forum. Yet in the end the thread ended up with T-Shirts being promoted!

    They want to say something is wrong without actually saying something is wrong, or naming any names:
    Surely what is wrong is clearly stated - "LAs not tendering for school MIS" and "anti-competitive behaviour". However such Market Study will not name parties. It will be down to CMA to do so in the next stage.

    Yes we agree that red tape should not be introduced around cloud. That will be a bad outcome!

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    If you repeatedly mention companies, one in particular, then no matter how much you intend to keep the topic focussed on technology, it will always end up being a comparison, or a discussion about why it shouldn't be a comparison.

    Stay unbiased and hopefully the discussion will as well.

    With regards to what is wrong, what i meant was that they still seem to be very guarded about what they say.

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    With regards to the t-shirt comment, the idea was give people, like Graham, who have engaged with market and have taken feedback on board in hopes to improve the marketplace a way to visually show their effort. I'm sure anyone who invests the time and money in more official routes would be displaying the logo on their emails and website.

    I hope OFT, CMA and any other authority will acknowledge LAs\Schools ARE fully engaged with the market and that LAs not tendering for school MIS isn't because they are anti-competitive, but because no business case has present itself to warrant the cost of entering into the tendering process. I personally suspect if this was less of a legal issue, we'd see more transparently appearing and we'd see what engagement is actually happening then we could see how anti-competitive the School MIS market actually is.

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    I agree, lets let the discussion progress, but lets also not try to cloud () the issues or make a bigger issue of items than is actually there for those who may read this yet not be fully aware of the background and market status now.

    In particular, this is NOT just about MIS software, there are 6 distinctly different software application types under review, so it would be wrong to assume that this MIS is solely under the spotlight.

    It is very important for our market, I agree. Assuming there is findings that there has been "non-compliance with EU Law", which is wholly different from "anti-competitive behaviour" which is wholly different from what I would call somewhat immoral behaviour, and many people could probably agree with more on the right of that scale than the left. I'm sure some would have the opinion more towards the right. Perhaps a discusson is worthy around that? Perhaps, perhaps not, depends on how much individuals would like to share.

    One might argue that having such a discussion publicly now would not give the investigation a completely unbiased review of the sector and it's suppliers, and ultimately we cannot do anything to implement that other than to pre-tarnish anyone on both sides of the argument prior to a ruling by OFT. I certainly wouldn't want that on anyone, either with accusations that become unfounded according to OFT, but mud sticks, and at the same time being perceived as accusing left right and centre and losing future kudos!

    All I am saying is lets discuss but not accuse!

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    With regards to the t-shirt comment, the idea was give people, like Graham, who have engaged with market and have taken feedback on board in hopes to improve the marketplace a way to visually show their effort. I'm sure anyone who invests the time and money in more official routes would be displaying the logo on their emails and website.
    My 'I survived Matt40K Tee is ordered....

    Sorry @Bromcom-PR I couldn't resist! I will go back to being sensible!

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    Again, it could be argued this warrants being discussed outside of just the MIS forum, as it affects many different areas.

    With regards anti-competitive behaviour i would like to re-highlight part of @matt40k 's quote
    in particular 'the serious allegations of anti-competitive
    behaviour and collusion.' Buyers did not provide any evidence in
    response to this question. Suppliers, both large and small, strongly
    refuted the allegation, asserting that the sector is fiercely competitive.
    In terms of MISes. Is it really that hard to get a quote from a rival, and, is tendering really that expensive? I'm sure there are plenty of stories to say yes it is, but i know loads of MIS companies and you could just send them an email and get a quote if you really wanted, it's easy enough to get a demo too.

    So what really is stopping people from jumping ship? - The pain and hassle that it involves. Measures to enforce a degree of uniformity between suppliers in terms of moving data will for sure create a fairer playing field.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vikpaw View Post

    So what really is stopping people from jumping ship? - The pain and hassle that it involves. Measures to enforce a degree of uniformity between suppliers in terms of moving data will for sure create a fairer playing field.
    Change Management for staff is by far the biggest issue and the biggest cost.

  17. 2 Thanks to GREED:

    GraemeBC (30th April 2014), mburland (30th April 2014)



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