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MIS Systems Thread, Changing from SIMS in Technical; Originally Posted by matt40k I don't mean to be rude @ kinster but we've seen alot of MIS suppliers floating ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    I don't mean to be rude @kinster but we've seen alot of MIS suppliers floating around and you look alot like one. If are a school, then apologies, could you give a bit more info on your school, like @elsiegee40 said, you choice will depending on your setup. If your a simple primary then yes, SIMS is pretty bloated and something like ScholarPack would be better. If you're a secondary then ScholarPack isn't the way to go, they are primary focused. Also, like @elsiegee40 said, @GREED has pull together some data that you can download as a spreadsheet, for free, which will give you a list of schools and their MIS - so you can find out who has actually changed from SIMS to whatever MIS your interested in AND more importantly completed the Autumn Census!
    No need to apologise @matt40k. I've read your posts and know you are rude. Just because I know about technology doesn't mean I am a supplier. The schools I am involved with are in Leeds and I hear a lot of complaints about certain systems that need updating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by abillybob View Post
    I don't know, if anyone knows of any please feel free to give me a headsup!
    Bromcom MIS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    This looks good with both Cloud based and LA storage

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    Quote Originally Posted by kinster View Post
    No need to apologise @matt40k. I've read your posts and know you are rude. Just because I know about technology doesn't mean I am a supplier. The schools I am involved with are in Leeds and I hear a lot of complaints about certain systems that need updating.
    I prefer "direct". Interesting you say you a lot of complaints from your schools in Leeds - they are accredited support team, which means that a independent company has surveyed the LA's schools and they have received something like 90% positive feedback from the end user. Perhaps you've been listening to the technicians moaning about upgrades rather the actual users who spend their days working in the MIS?

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    Very kind of you @elsiegee40 to invite me to respond specifically here (despite the fact it seems to be veering off topic!). @elsiegee40 has nailed it really already. You have a range of systems on offer that are often specific to one sector (Primary, Secondary, Independent) while a few serve all equally well.

    Love it, love to hate it, SIMS is the dominant player because it does what it says on the tin. If it didn't 18000+ schools would not be using it and have been for years (See the mentioned stats at: Market Statistics | Eduware Consulting)

    If you want cloud, as in true cloud, then most of the other players enter this arena, but SIMS will be there in 2-3 years with SIMS 8.

    If you have a sector you are procuring for, then look specifically at that. Primary you have Scholarpack, Wauton Samuel and SchoolPod I believe. Secondary you can view the rest that include Progresso, Bromcom, Arbor, iSAMS, Integris.

    The big players are Capita with SIMS, Facility from Advanced Learning and Integris from RM. There are some new boys entering the market soon too, most interestingly from Ireland VSWare. There are also newer but established players like Arbor who are really going well with their adaptive analysis driven MIS offering.

    Very soon I hope to be able to publish the results of the MIS Challenge which has surveyed every supplier out there to respond with detailed pieces on their product's capability, and this should allow you to see what the capabilities are. Obviously this does not give an impression on usability nor customer experiences (that comes later!) but is a starting point and is an objective study. The statistics (linked above) also shows trends across suppliers, across LAs around the country (So check out Leeds!) and even between individual schools so you can see who has changed within the last 4 years.

    All of this is designed to give you a flavour of what is on offer. You need to carefully think about your requirements and pose these to the suppliers who initially look to fit your requirements, get them in, see and play with the software. Talk to their existing happy and also not so happy customers (important that, the statistics spreadsheet should help you there) and then make up your mind. Do not be swayed by pushy beliefs that one system or one technology is better than the other, such as cloud (ie just because a system is cloud means it is instantly better than non-cloud), but your own requirements are what is most important.

    The difficulty in what you have asked is very few people, let alone users on here, have enough experience of the multiple currently available systems to be able to give an honest opinion (ie I love SIMS or I hate SIMS because...), so you need to take many opinions and viewpoints into consideration and ensure your requirements are being adequately met.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kinster View Post
    No need to apologise @matt40k. I've read your posts and know you are rude. Just because I know about technology doesn't mean I am a supplier. The schools I am involved with are in Leeds and I hear a lot of complaints about certain systems that need updating.
    I would not call @matt40k rude. He like many others knows his subject matter and so should be considered an expert in (certain ) fields, therefore he speaks with authority... he just doesn't know when to pipe down sometimes!

    The question is valid because of some recent tactical posting by a certain MIS supplier that is trying to subvert forum advertising rules, and while a coincidence I am sure, your instant praise for said company just lends itself to speculation. It is our wish to promote impartiality both here and to those reading this thread that trepidation has wandered into our approaches.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GREED View Post
    I would not call @matt40k rude. He like many others knows his subject matter and so should be considered an expert in (certain ) fields, therefore he speaks with authority... he just doesn't know when to pipe down sometimes!

    The question is valid because of some recent tactical posting by a certain MIS supplier that is trying to subvert forum advertising rules, and while a coincidence I am sure, your instant praise for said company just lends itself to speculation. It is our wish to promote impartiality both here and to those reading this thread that trepidation has wandered into our approaches.
    I only praised the certain company because they offer both options.

    TBH I think there could be something better available

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    Quote Originally Posted by GREED View Post
    Very kind of you [MENTION=1561]You need to carefully think about your requirements and pose these to the suppliers who initially look to fit your requirements, get them in, see and play with the software. Talk to their existing happy and also not so happy customers (important that, the statistics spreadsheet should help you there) and then make up your mind. Do not be swayed by pushy beliefs that one system or one technology is better than the other, such as cloud (ie just because a system is cloud means it is instantly better than non-cloud), but your own requirements are what is most important.
    We are in the process of doing almost exactly that and are hopefully about to arrive at a decision of which MIS to choose as a successor to CMIS/ePortal. I'm agnostic in that the technical issues while different are all serviceable. All offerings are imperfect to someone's requirement - some of the users prefer X when championing their requirements while others prefer Y. It's not just about functional requirements either. Support, serviceability, the stability of the company (one of the suppliers invited to tender pulled out of the market during the process - which kind of focuses peoples mind on that kind of risk), stability of the product, price - all weigh in on the scales. One of the most difficult aspects is how to weight/prioritise requirements - is price as important as support, is personnel as important as assessment - who makes that cal;? And having done all that, at some cost, I wonder if our decision making process will really be much better than a roll of a die.
    Last edited by pcstru; 8th May 2014 at 06:47 PM.

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    Do you believe it would be worthwhile to have a basic template for scoring and or weighting to guide schools. Not to say that it is binding but suggestive based on expertise and experience in this market. I'd be happy to chat to you in more detail about your ideas and would be as interested in your perspective to guide my own efforts. PM if interested!

    That aside you are tight that technology alone is not the only consideration however it along with service and support should be the top three considerations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    I wonder if our decision making process will really be much better than a roll of a die.
    One of the things I was looking at was using (Arbor) API to extract the data then see if I could, at least some of the data anyway, get back into SIMS .net using the API in attempt to find out how difficult it would be undo that dice roll.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GREED View Post
    Do you believe it would be worthwhile to have a basic template for scoring and or weighting to guide schools. Not to say that it is binding but suggestive based on expertise and experience in this market.
    Yes and no. We have a numerical model which will spit out some numbers and even allow people to play "what if price was much more important than support". I think the model is quite useful but the process itself of building the model; of getting people to think "what *is* it I need it to do", is more important.

    You also need to make room for suppliers to sling their bling. They do have some bright sparks working for them and have experience of many schools. If anyone is going to come up with a good way of doing something, they have as good a chance as possible. If someone has thought this is what I need to do, it can close them off to possibilities.

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    Well I'd be keen to see it or something like it all the same

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    No experience of anything other than SIMS but I've been looking after it in schools for 10 years now and it not only does everything it's called upon to do but it is also kept sharp by the opposition and has had many great improvements. One thing that puzzles me though is why would it's owner the mighty a Capita hive off the Emerge part of it to Groupcall - puzzles me that does?

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    One of the things I was looking at was using (Arbor) API to extract the data then see if I could, at least some of the data anyway, get back into SIMS .net using the API in attempt to find out how difficult it would be undo that dice roll.
    Perhaps ask the developers of the routines that shunted data between old and new SIMS. Automated data transfer and conversion is often too ignorant of the meaning of the data to be much more than a crutch. Our next stage - once we select the system, is to start planning the implementation and particularly the data transfer. All those shiny data analysis and mining tools will starve if we don't feed them.
    Last edited by pcstru; 8th May 2014 at 10:36 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by speckytecky View Post
    No experience of anything other than SIMS but I've been looking after it in schools for 10 years now and it not only does everything it's called upon to do but it is also kept sharp by the opposition and has had many great improvements. One thing that puzzles me though is why would it's owner the mighty a Capita hive off the Emerge part of it to Groupcall - puzzles me that does?
    Because emerge was a Groupcall product. It was white labelled for Capita. Aspen was gonna have one too... looks like Capita have their eyes on that prize now too ;-)

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