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MIS Systems Thread, Any recommendations apart from SIMS? in Technical; Hi Guys, Does anyone have any recommendations apart from SIMS, as the school I will be working for would like ...
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    IanT's Avatar
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    Any recommendations apart from SIMS?

    Hi Guys,

    Does anyone have any recommendations apart from SIMS, as the school I will be working for would like "to move away" from SIMS?

    Regards

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    we are gonna be looking for a new mis soonish as pearson phoenix withdraw support from gold. Be good to get a few names of ones to check out. Definately not going down the e1 route.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IanT View Post
    Hi Guys,

    Does anyone have any recommendations apart from SIMS, as the school I will be working for would like "to move away" from SIMS?

    Regards
    I would check out why they want to move away - I know several schools in this area who moved away thinking that the grass would be greener then came back to SIMS. IMHO SIMS does a pretty good job and has lots of functionality that schools often fail to exploit.

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    I know of school that moved to CMIS... but then moved back.. .good luck!

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    We moved from SIMS just over 3 years ago, and would not consider moving back. And I was an advanced SIMS user involved in assessments , timetabling and reporting. But it just did not do what we wanted in relation to assessments.

    The teachers find Eportal front end far easier to use, than the various SIMS modules.

    Facility has some very powerful features for tracking assessments and behaviour via the reporting tool.

    I would not consider moving back to SIMS now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by monkeyx View Post
    We moved from SIMS just over 3 years ago, and would not consider moving back. And I was an advanced SIMS user involved in assessments , timetabling and reporting. But it just did not do what we wanted in relation to assessments.

    The teachers find Eportal front end far easier to use, than the various SIMS modules.

    Facility has some very powerful features for tracking assessments and behaviour via the reporting tool.

    I would not consider moving back to SIMS now.
    I think you need to remember now that SIMS has consolidated most its modules into the .net platform - which means that if they are entering profiles; assessments;registration information about their own classes it all be done from the homepage timeline!!! You don't have separate application modules for each part of sims now!

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    IanT I would be happy to arrange for one of our Strategic Partnership Team members to visit your new school to listen to their issues. Almost certainly a small investment in training will have a massive impact in the school and will be a lot cheaper than changing systems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiran View Post
    I think you need to remember now that SIMS has consolidated most its modules into the .net platform - which means that if they are entering profiles; assessments;registration information about their own classes it all be done from the homepage timeline!!! You don't have separate application modules for each part of sims now!
    Yep. So in other words if one bit of it breaks the whole lot goes down!

    We have finally got SIMS updating on the workstations properly (well via a script ive made as the proper update tool simply does not work even with full admin privileges) so actually accessing the system isnt the problem. The problems are when an update comes out and breaks something server side. Or the constant loss of data from the database, at last count the office staff had entered the timetables 6 times. Last year the time was never correct which was fun when teachers booked out the IT rooms at the same time as a scheduled class.

    Sorry im ranting now but i certainly symphosize with you, the vast majority of problems here involve SIMS and cachepilot

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    If the school is wanting to move away from sims because it doesn't offer the functionality they want, I'd say that's a good reason. If however it's because of technical difficulties, or reliability issues (which it invariably is) I'd say they may want to re-consider and maybe invest in getting SIMS working properly insted. In my experience if you've got a good spec server to run SIMS on and it's been set up properly, then it is a very reliable platform.

    The thing to remember is there is no consistantly good MIS system, where one system is strong, another system is weak, where one system works, another system experiences problems, it's all swings and roundabouts.

    So basically I'm saying, don't just take their desire to change at face value. If you have the oppertunity, examine why it is they want to change, you could come out smelling of roses if you save the school needless expense.

    Mike.

    Oh and by the way I'm not a sims advocate, but I have witnessed first hand how disruptive it is to a school not only changing MIS system once, but then changing back again a year later when they suddenly realise their new MIS system costs more to run, and isn't doing anything more than the old one was.

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    IanT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    IanT I would be happy to arrange for one of our Strategic Partnership Team members to visit your new school to listen to their issues. Almost certainly a small investment in training will have a massive impact in the school and will be a lot cheaper than changing systems.
    Thanks Mate, I havent started at the school BUT will be interested what you can offer.

    I will get back too you.

    Ian

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    It doesn't receive much press around here but WCBS Pass is used in quite a few independent schools including ours. Might be worth a look...
    WCBS Information Management for Schools

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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    In my experience if you've got a good spec server to run SIMS on and it's been set up properly, then it is a very reliable platform.
    .
    Id love you to share how this was done with our LEA as afaik there is not a single school in our borough which would call SIMS "very reliable" lol

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    j17sparky - if you'd like to make contact with me I will speak to your LA and see what we can do to sort out the issues. I am 100% certain that it can be fixed.

  14. #14
    coquet636
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    CMIS

    We moved to CMIS about 4 years ago and although the first year was a nightmare its all ok and running very well now.

    At first it was a horror story as there project management skills were none existent, so they installed CMIS and said get on with it after you have completed your courses.... There helplines were always busy so it was a case of try your best.

    Since then i have to say there helplines are better, and the updates they roll out dont create as many bugs as they solve anymore.

    So on the whole were happy with CMIS now, but when you get your contracts and agreements make sure you get them to do everything you want before signing it off and paying them..!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    IanT I would be happy to arrange for one of our Strategic Partnership Team members to visit your new school to listen to their issues. Almost certainly a small investment in training will have a massive impact in the school and will be a lot cheaper than changing systems.
    What kinds of training courses etc are available? We (the tech dept) have mentioned several times to SMT that we feel there is a need for training of staff, but are repeatedly told by them that people have done courses before but the courses only covered the bare basics and didnt go into any real depth on the advanced uses of SIMS.

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