We currently use iSAMS. Installed last year but didnt go live due to an issue with the Agents module, Then went live this year and its a pretty good system.
iSAMS i think.
I use and manage networks running both SIMS and CMIS. They both have their pros and cons and it's difficult to say which is the better out the two. SIMS without a doubt is brighter and more colourful, but is a lot heavier on system resources.
The future for MIS is definitely online. It's beginning to be used across classrooms and not just administrative staff for various purposes, so central management becomes more important. It also means anything from a 486 66MHz upwards could be used as the bulk of the processing is done server side.
Mic here from Serco. I'm biased because i've only ever used Facility and ePortal in a school environment and now i work for Serco! But i can testify that i didn't come across anything i needed that wasn't available. I now work in the technical team at Serco, doing installations, server management and consultancies, etc. I also know the software well from working as Data Manager at a large secondary school and working in second line support at Serco. You shouldn't need to write any sql to access any data, in fact, we greatly discourage it. There is a report module, as you'd expect. The system comes with a set of default reports, we share reports on out forums and you can also build your own. If you're looking for the really complicated stuff we offer training courses on this.
I'd also like to mention we have a Learning Platform called Skillspace. This integrates with ePortal for things like login, timetables, etc. It is hosted away from your school site by us. I'm sure the person delivering your demo will be able to tell you more but if you have any questions, especially technical ones, feel free to fire away.
Hope that wasn't too much of a sales pitch for you! I'm just genuinly personally confident in the software and would of recommended it before i worked for Serco, speaking as a Data Manager.
My favourite MIS is Sims.net - having using CMIS I know which one I, and admin staff prefer - it is just far easier to achieve things that you one like reports, tracking etc.
I have used a little of both of SIMS.net and CMIS.
Now i am nowhere near an advanced user, maybe i can give a novice user POV.
The good thing about CMIS is the Eportal. It is web-based and this therefore allows a bit more flexibility i think, but i only used it in IE so not sure if it is compatible with other browsers. But as far as i know SIMS does not have an online option at all. Someone correct me?
The downside i found with CMIS is that entering data could be a pain. If you entered data in one way and ran a report to get the data but went in a different method. The report would be right but the data wouldn't be there as you didn't access the correct location for the data, if you get my drift. SIMS on the other hand seems relatively easy to create reports on and extract data. I managed to do it and had never used it before. So can't be too hard. I just wished they introduced more flexibility. I don't need an entire client on each classroom system just to tick a few boxes for a virtual register.
How much is the sims learning gateway?
A browser-based connection should be standard really.
Is it not just a form that then writes the data into the right tables using an SQL statement when you click send with a page that tells of the success or not?
Why did you ditch E1???
From what I understand each time we evaluated E1 we found something wrong, something unusable or harder than it was in Gold. Each time we walked away with promises of improvements and each time we went back and either t wasn't fixed or we found something else not right.
Unfortunately I was not involved with the evaluation or the set up of the MIS so all the above is second hand info I'm afraid. I'm certainly open to evaluating E1 for my new school who are in a very different position regarding their needs and starting point for a new MIS.
As from Bromcom, yes it is all web based. From what I've seen it is very well designed and laid out. Our admin staff positively rave offer it. The class room registration works extremely well. I certainly like the fact it's all browser based. No need to install clients on every terminal. It's hosted in school. The only real performance issue we have seems to stem from the fact that we installed it on a Virtual Machine. There appears to be an incompatibility between MS-SQL and VM-Ware ESX. We are purchasing a new dedicated server and moving it across over half term.
SchoolBase is tailored to how each independent school wants it to work i.e. it is built to suit you - yet still works from a generic platform. As you are in Farnham, why not contact Frensham Heights for their views. Alternatively I can give you a number of schools in Hampshire and Surrey who would be pleased to discuss SchoolBase with you. For more information please mail me at email@example.com
Perhaps if you were to draw up a set of requirements for your MIS, then you could present it to the relevant suppliers and make sure they sign up to deliver them, and/or demonstrate that it meets the requirements. How can they deliver what you require, unless you explicity ask for what you want?
We had quite detailed requirements in terms of assessment, attendance, behaviour and ease of use for end user.
We decided to go with Serco. It has delivered what we required, especially in relation to our assessment requirements.
I posted on a similar thread about Bromcom so i'll just try and link to it here:
Any recommendations apart from SIMS?
everything is browser based, reporting can be autoscheduled and also redirected to specific users by the admin, speed is great on a nice shiny new HP server that they will install and maintain.
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