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.
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.
simpsonj (9th May 2014)
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.
Last edited by pcstru; 8th May 2014 at 06:47 PM.
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.
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.
Well I'd be keen to see it or something like it all the same
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?
Last edited by pcstru; 8th May 2014 at 10:36 PM.
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