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MIS Systems Thread, Government Cloud MIS list in Technical; Originally Posted by edutech4schools "And the hopefully successful removal of the requirement of SLG"SLG is not a requirement. We do ...
  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by edutech4schools View Post
    "And the hopefully successful removal of the requirement of SLG"SLG is not a requirement. We do not use it.
    I guess I should have been clear I was referring to the teacher app.

    As far as I'm aware you need SLG. unless this has changed or in wrong.

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    Agree with both points from localzuk - on NIST and pricing of SIMS (and think I understand why pricing is as described). Believe that the NIST definition of cloud is fit for purpose and that it should be used as the benchmark to determine if services are 'true' or 'fake' cloud. SIMS as a thick client application (even with remote desktop deployments) isn't true cloud by NIST and isn't able to effectively share resources between customers. Effectively the footprint per client is much larger than with a true cloud service. This much larger footprint means much higher costs which translate into higher pricing to customers. To be able to drive down the cost to the schools the services need to be 'true' cloud and if they are would expect them to offer the service at a much more competitive price.

    However would feel that localzuk is somewhat understating the costs/disadvantages for the on premise server option. As well as the capex there is the question of scalability/upgrades -assuming you need to add more users and remaining up to date with current technology. Does the on-premise option have the same level of resilence underpining the cloud SaaS service - so if that server breaks does that bring down the whole service, in cloud the architecture is likely to be designed to have no single point of failure.

    As for the operational costs think it is rather more than just 'a couple of hours a month'. Firstly we need to assume that you have the right skills available to do the work and that they have those 'couple of hours free' each month. As well as deployments they will need to seutp monitoring of the environment and addressing alerts when they come up as well as the all too regular Windows O/S security patching.

    Just want to make sure that when comparing prices of both options that the total cost of ownership is correctly calculated when determining which is the better value.

  3. #33

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary_Ramsay View Post
    Agree with both points from localzuk - on NIST and pricing of SIMS (and think I understand why pricing is as described). Believe that the NIST definition of cloud is fit for purpose and that it should be used as the benchmark to determine if services are 'true' or 'fake' cloud. SIMS as a thick client application (even with remote desktop deployments) isn't true cloud by NIST and isn't able to effectively share resources between customers. Effectively the footprint per client is much larger than with a true cloud service. This much larger footprint means much higher costs which translate into higher pricing to customers. To be able to drive down the cost to the schools the services need to be 'true' cloud and if they are would expect them to offer the service at a much more competitive price.

    However would feel that localzuk is somewhat understating the costs/disadvantages for the on premise server option. As well as the capex there is the question of scalability/upgrades -assuming you need to add more users and remaining up to date with current technology. Does the on-premise option have the same level of resilence underpining the cloud SaaS service - so if that server breaks does that bring down the whole service, in cloud the architecture is likely to be designed to have no single point of failure.

    As for the operational costs think it is rather more than just 'a couple of hours a month'. Firstly we need to assume that you have the right skills available to do the work and that they have those 'couple of hours free' each month. As well as deployments they will need to seutp monitoring of the environment and addressing alerts when they come up as well as the all too regular Windows O/S security patching.

    Just want to make sure that when comparing prices of both options that the total cost of ownership is correctly calculated when determining which is the better value.
    Ok, I agree I was a little flippant with my couple of hours comment. But to put it in perspective, the amount of money paid for SIMS hosting for our school would be around 1/4 of my salary and 1/5 of our server costs per year. SIMS doesn't take up 1/4 of my time or 1/5 of our server infrastructure (virtualised system, with redundancy and scalability). So, the hosting costs would still be outrageous compared to in-house hosting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Ok, I agree I was a little flippant with my couple of hours comment. But to put it in perspective, the amount of money paid for SIMS hosting for our school would be around 1/4 of my salary and 1/5 of our server costs per year. SIMS doesn't take up 1/4 of my time or 1/5 of our server infrastructure (virtualised system, with redundancy and scalability). So, the hosting costs would still be outrageous compared to in-house hosting.
    Absolutely agree and the reason for this is that SIMS is not a NIST Cloud service and so cannot build out a cost model that is likely to work. What you need to be comparing costs to is a SIMS equivalent service which is delivered as a NIST Cloud SaaS service - there must be some out there. That should be significantly cheaper than costs for SIMS and get you to the point where it merits serious consideration (remembering that price should only be one of the weighted criteria used when evaluating the the alternatives).

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    I think what @Gary_Ramsay is trying to say @localzuk is some school see the SIMS licensing cost as the final cost. It isn't. It doesn't run on air for starters and it doesn't do all the work for you. How many times have we see people moaning about needing to get new Office licenses? Or buying a SQL standard license because they didn't realise they'll need it. What Capita have done is capped the max cost. In-house vs outsourcing will always be a fight - even with the move to the cloud - it'll be employing someone to manage the cloud for you vs a 3rd party.

  6. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    I think what @Gary_Ramsay is trying to say @localzuk is some school see the SIMS licensing cost as the final cost. It isn't. It doesn't run on air for starters and it doesn't do all the work for you. How many times have we see people moaning about needing to get new Office licenses? Or buying a SQL standard license because they didn't realise they'll need it. What Capita have done is capped the max cost. In-house vs outsourcing will always be a fight - even with the move to the cloud - it'll be employing someone to manage the cloud for you vs a 3rd party.
    Indeed, and like @Gary_Ramsay says, those extra costs come from the implementation of off-site hosting hasn't included any new thinking on how to run the software. It is simply a transplant of your SIMS database and client to a terminal server, so it still has all those extra expensive costs rather than, say, them updating the software to take advantage of centralised hosting. For example, getting rid of the requirement to have Office would be a big cost cutter. Getting rid of the need for them to host the client in a Windows desktop environment is another high cost - RDS servers are resource heavy when compared to web servers for the simple fact that the page rendering is done by the browser. A web based version reduces these costs right down, as it makes the software truly client agnostic - as there isn't a specific "client" that has to be ran. OK, this wouldn't cut down the SQL server licensing costs as you'd still need that database, but it would make the TCO considerably lower.

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    I kinda agree, I think axing the client and going totally web based is pretty foolish. Look at your smartphone, why do you have apps when you can access things via the web browser? Apps are superior, they offer a richer user experience. Also getting rid of MS Office, really? I just bought Office 2013 ProPlus for £8.95, it's peanuts nuts, before that I used OpenOffice and I had issues with other peoples ODF because they used a really old version or some odd port - we ended up saying save as MS Word doc most the time! MS Office is the no1 office suite for a reason.

    With all that said, the sims .net client is overkill for 80-90% of your users. That's why I think Capita's forthcoming Teacher App will be a killer, assuming the price is right and they keep it simple (ie no SLG). I think the problem will be - based on current 3rd party products, the cost will be too high.

    ps: don't forget cam moaning about finding a browser that everything works in, just cause it's web\cloud based doesn't mean it isn't "client" specific.

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    I kinda agree, I think axing the client and going totally web based is pretty foolish. Look at your smartphone, why do you have apps when you can access things via the web browser? Apps are superior, they offer a richer user experience. Also getting rid of MS Office, really? I just bought Office 2013 ProPlus for £8.95, it's peanuts nuts, before that I used OpenOffice and I had issues with other peoples ODF because they used a really old version or some odd port - we ended up saying save as MS Word doc most the time! MS Office is the no1 office suite for a reason.

    With all that said, the sims .net client is overkill for 80-90% of your users. That's why I think Capita's forthcoming Teacher App will be a killer, assuming the price is right and they keep it simple (ie no SLG). I think the problem will be - based on current 3rd party products, the cost will be too high.

    ps: don't forget cam moaning about finding a browser that everything works in, just cause it's web\cloud based doesn't mean it isn't "client" specific.
    @Matt40, as far as we know there is no Apps concept for PCs yet! Unless I am missing something here. Yes, we all love apps on our hand-held devices and smart-phones but on PCs we all use browser for FaceTime and Twitter (probably most widely used two applications in the world!) + Salesforce.com, the most admired/respected cloud business application. If designed properly, you can maintain feature rich experience in browser.

    We are yet to see PC apps that of the type you are thinking of. Will be happy to hear some. We had a Teacher's app, a client software called WinFolder which was closest to an app because it was not based on traditional client-server - it had very small RAM footprint on PC and used a different technique (based on EARS backbone protocol) - but we replaced with Teacher's WebFolder and users are as happy.

    If you do not have browser based MIS then you lose the 50-fold efficiency in footprint on infrastructure in centrally hosted deployment. Then everyone will complain about the cost as earlier on in this thread.

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    Interesting Windows 8 store has Apps!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bromcom-PR View Post
    @Matt40, as far as we know there is no Apps concept for PCs yet!
    Really? You've not seen the Mac App Store? - https://itunes.apple.com/gb/genre/mac/id39?mt=12
    Or the Windows Store - Getting apps for your PC - Windows tutorial

    Also worth a read: Why LinkedIn dumped HTML5 & went native for its mobile apps | VentureBeat | Dev | by J. O'Dell

    As for 50-fold efficiency, if they moved to a web service and moved the business logic to the server side, you'd get that saving. The client\app side would just be UI.

    The issue Capita are going to face is the price tag. If they stick with the current model, they're going to be charging bucket loads on licensing costs so the hardware\licensing savings isn't going to make it worthwhile. Going by the fact they're charging about £500 setup cost, I assume they are doing it manual (stupid), they're not likely to introduce a new low cost web service license model.

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    Really? You've not seen the Mac App Store? - https://itunes.apple.com/gb/genre/mac/id39?mt=12
    Or the Windows Store - Getting apps for your PC - Windows tutorial

    Also worth a read: Why LinkedIn dumped HTML5 & went native for its mobile apps | VentureBeat | Dev | by J. O'Dell

    As for 50-fold efficiency, if they moved to a web service and moved the business logic to the server side, you'd get that saving. The client\app side would just be UI.

    The issue Capita are going to face is the price tag. If they stick with the current model, they're going to be charging bucket loads on licensing costs so the hardware\licensing savings isn't going to make it worthwhile. Going by the fact they're charging about £500 setup cost, I assume they are doing it manual (stupid), they're not likely to introduce a new low cost web service license model.
    Hmm... OK, largely games and some standalone tools -yes?

    It will be interesting to check how well a client application with tightly coupled database will work.

    Do you see FaceBook or Salesforce.com rushing for this? Not forgetting prerequisites for all client PCs needing to move up to Win8!!! Talking real cost.

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    I take it Microsoft haven't popped over to Bromcom HQ lately. Every other sales pitch is about Apps - lately it's how they've now done something or other so you can code your app in C# and run it on Windows Desktop, Windows Phone, Windows Tables, Android and IOS.

    Not sure what the real cost of Win8 is, you buy a new PC, it has Windows 8. It's like death and taxes, one day it'll get you. I think Facebook has an app, actually it's pretty tightly intergrated along with Twitter in Win8 and Mac OS.

    I know Business Objects has a HTML5 client and a "Rich" client - ie a Windows applications - and I find myself using the "rich" client as it annoys me less.

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    I take it Microsoft haven't popped over to Bromcom HQ lately. Every other sales pitch is about Apps - lately it's how they've now done something or other so you can code your app in C# and run it on Windows Desktop, Windows Phone, Windows Tables, Android and IOS.

    Not sure what the real cost of Win8 is, you buy a new PC, it has Windows 8. It's like death and taxes, one day it'll get you. I think Facebook has an app, actually it's pretty tightly intergrated along with Twitter in Win8 and Mac OS.

    I know Business Objects has a HTML5 client and a "Rich" client - ie a Windows applications - and I find myself using the "rich" client as it annoys me less.
    @matt40k,

    With MS Dot.Net in 1999/2000, Bromcom was one of very first companies in the UK to start ground up developments with new C# language in beta 1 when everyone was committed and suggesting using Visual Basic. Dot.Net/C# was so primitive that at that time we could not print reports unless we used Delphi applications etc... So we will be very cautious with Win8 Apps for the time being.

    In the recent past our efforts have been focused on optimising Bromcom Cloud MIS for most school friendly and cost effective 'one solution' working with most wide devices and browser types -smartphones to tablets and from Macs to PCs etc...

    Please let me know if you come across any Win8 App that is more than a game or stand alone utility.

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    And the funny thing about this ... Capita have been running similar services for a number of customers for years ... quite happily. The rejigging of things to fit in with GovStore and the way that everyone looks at the marketing blurb on cloud ... quite amusing the way certain folk are getting a little vocal about it.

    As I understand it, this is an improvement on a tried and tested service that has been out there for some time (over 10 years IIRC), available to be connected to via PSN compliant networks if required, and is cost effective for some but not for others ... as has always been the case.

    Now we are just getting into semantics and theory ... almost, "Hey guys ... if we were all to make a cloud-based solutions together for and MIS wouldn't it be brilliant if..."

    As for Apps ... are we being asked if there are apps out there that allow for local or networked working, extracting and writing back to a hosted service? Obviously Skype, Netflix, Amazon App, Evernote are all stand-alone utilities?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    And the funny thing about this ... Capita have been running similar services for a number of customers for years ... quite happily. The rejigging of things to fit in with GovStore and the way that everyone looks at the marketing blurb on cloud ... quite amusing the way certain folk are getting a little vocal about it.
    Hi @GrumbleDook

    For those that will remember, in the days of DOS to WINDOWS transition, many software vendors who were left behind 'the new technology' claimed that there was nothing wrong with their DOS software, it was "Windows compatible" because it run perfectly as good as under DOS. What they didn't couldn't say that their DOS software was 'mouse unaware', could not make use of graphical UI, it wasn't multi-tasking etc..

    20 years on - it is the same story. Yes, client-server legacy 'thick client' software will indeed run as 'hosted' application as the Same old Software as a Service (SoSaaS) but will not be able to make use of the new capabilities that cloud concept brings and 'true cloud' application can deliver such as resource sharing and dynamic environment as per NIST definition - ie 'true cloud'. This has very significant cost implication as well as highly desirable features of 'true cloud'.

    This isn't about marketing ploy - it is real benefit of avoiding 50-fold wastage in resources because legacy thick Windows application can not be made 'cloud aware', just as DOS applications run without being "Windows aware" in 1990s/early 2000s. And indeed when one says " xxxxxx or yyyyyy have been running similar services for a number of customers for years ... ", they run just as if they run under locally installed Windows application except 'relocated centrally'. In doing so Windows applications claim complete PC equivalent RAM storage of 250 Mbyte (as an example) as resource for every instance of the application opened until the session closed by the user rather than relinquish when idle back to pool of shared RAM storage resource! Web application run with shared resources and as inherent key characteristics it will only need 5 Mbyte of RAM for each instant.

    If you have watched the video - here is a blog on it too: NIST and the cloudwashing of client-server SaaS .

    I hope the above helps.
    Last edited by Bromcom-PR; 18th July 2014 at 03:27 PM.

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    zag (18th July 2014)



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