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MIS Systems Thread, PARS/PARS Connect vs SIMS Lesson Monitor/Attendence in Technical; This isn't really a technical question, but I thought some people here might have an insight anyway. We currently use ...
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    Geoff's Avatar
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    PARS/PARS Connect vs SIMS Lesson Monitor/Attendence

    This isn't really a technical question, but I thought some people here might have an insight anyway. We currently use PARS at the moment, however we are considering ditching it and just using the relevant SIMS modules. Does anyone have any thoughts on this, eg how the two packages compare? Is there anything PARS can do that the SIMS modules can't for example?

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    Quackers's Avatar
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    We run PARS, i would not do it, biggest reason being TASC Provide the best support i have ever seen from a company so far.

    Also PARS loads quicker than SIMS, you have PARS Connect offering a web browser based version, so nothing need be installed on the client, which is handy.

    Suppose they both take registers, just PARS looks and feels better put togeather, IMO its a better product, and our staff like it.

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    I see. The PARS Connect sounds very interesting too. Are you actually using that? Or using the bespoke client?

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    *tumbleweed* :/

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    Tasc are more responsive to feature requests and left-field requests than Capita are. My end-users prefer PARS as an interface to SIMS than using SIMS, ymmv. Ask your users, demo both and see which way they lean.

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    Quackers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    I see. The PARS Connect sounds very interesting too. Are you actually using that? Or using the bespoke client?
    Yes we are using it, some staff use it, just 1 click from the Intranet to load pars, some users use the full client.

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quackers View Post
    Yes we are using it, some staff use it, just 1 click from the Intranet to load pars, some users use the full client.
    Is there any reason your mixing things up like that? Is it user preference? Or just because PARs isn't installed everywhere?

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    We dropped it. While staff liked the interface and it was good for registration it didn't integrate well with structures we had already set up in SIMS for behaviour and assessment and we didn't want the confusion of staff having to use PARS for some things and SIMS for others or giving ourselves the chore of redoing it all in PARS. If you haven't got much set up on SIMS already and can use PARS for your behaviour management and assessment it's well worth considering

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    From the horses mouth

    Hiya

    Thought a little input from the horses mouth wouldnt hurt on this occasion after reading posts.

    Behaviour on all aspects from logging incidents to referrals, detention registers, On Report Target levels (dont want to give too much away due to competitive eyes) .. is completely configurable by a school and I have not yet found a school who cannot use our behaviour feature. Data entered into PARS can be seen in SIMS if required. If PARS is configured as required, there is no need for teachers to have to jump between systems and all is available.

    Grading is extremely easy to configure whether it be grades only used in PARS or Assessment Manager links allowing grading data to be read/write back into SIMS if required. With the Connect functionailty offering teachers access to enter data from home in their own time writing back to ASM.

    I am not going to give comparisons of software on a Forum as it will only enable other potential competitiors to see what is available from PARS.

    My advice is to contact the office; we have seminars running in July for all PARS users to update them on what we are doing due to many new features added over the past year. We have a team here who will be happy to visit onsite to update the school on the software if required and support are available here at anytime to call.

    If a school has moved from PARS, its usually due to not realising what is available or pressures from outside sources who once again probably unaware of how PARS has helped schools. (Very frustrating!) We do also have schools who have left us and come back again....one incidently located in Cumbria.

    Thanks

    Jenny

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    Steven_Cleaver (14th July 2009)

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Indeed, it looks to be 99% sure we're going down the PARS route. We're also hosting one of your Seminars.

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    Sivadam's Avatar
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    For some reason these forums genarally give a negative view of SIMS. If you posted query on SupportNet then I am sure you would get a different set of opinions.
    I have never used Pars so cannot comment on it. All I can say is it must be very, very good in deed if it is better than SIMS! And, for me, SIMS Support is nothing short of excellent!

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    russdev's Avatar
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    Hi

    One of the things about Sims is as people have pointed out on other forums such as supportnet some people do not understand the potential a MIS can have. To be fair there a lot of people on here technical and non technical who do know that. Even if some people on SupportNet do not think that.

    The fact that we have a very good relationship with Capita as they welcome the feedback that they get form places like EduGeek.net and SupportNet.

    Problem is you always going to get a positive outlook on SupportNet same as get positive feedback on RM Communities as you always will do on official forums. But best feedback for any product is from ones that have moved away.

    Again Capita is bit like RM they are always going to be seen as the bad guys. All you can do show where you have had positive examples from a product but be aware other people might not have same experience of a product that you have had (heck Tony reminds me this all the time when we talk about RM).

    Russ

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    Sivadam's Avatar
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    I have been a reader of these Forums for a while before I started contributing.
    The reason that have started to respond is that I am apalled by the lack of knowldge re. SIMS Systems by some contributors and/or the way that some schools have SIMS set up so that it will not deliver what it is intended to do.
    This in itself is not what I take issue to, but it is the fact that many of these contributors actually blame SIMS itself (or Capita) when in fact SIMS will do most what we want it to do in a very efficient way.
    Last edited by Sivadam; 23rd June 2009 at 02:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sivadam View Post
    For some reason these forums genarally give a negative view of SIMS. If you posted query on SupportNet then I am sure you would get a different set of opinions.
    I have never used Pars so cannot comment on it. All I can say is it must be very, very good in deed if it is better than SIMS! And, for me, SIMS Support is nothing short of excellent!
    To be fair, Edugeek gives a negative view overall of most MIS, hell - most software. We (as IT people) generally see end-user software in two states a) while we're installing it b) when it's misbehaving. Hence ASSAHS.

    Sims works fine 99.9% of the time here and for "X is broken, how do I fix it" type problems the Capita helldesk are good. Where they fall down is the left-field, not completely straightforward queries that require some input from 2nd/3rd line or developers - these issues often appear to have been abandoned (though they haven't) because of a lack of updates.

    From my point of view, where Tasc differentiates is that they're smaller and it's easier for them to respond and implement a feature request (i.e "can we have a button on X that does Y"). I know why Capita can't be that responsive, but I like the fact that Tasc can.

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    vikpaw (23rd June 2009)

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    Quote Originally Posted by jenny_urey View Post
    Hiya

    Data entered into PARS can be seen in SIMS if required. If PARS is configured as required, there is no need for teachers to have to jump between systems and all is available.
    Jenny :
    I don't want to get into a huge debate on this because there was a lot about PARS we liked but I would like to take issue with Jenny on this one point. When we were using PARS (up to last July) we couldn't get the assessment and behaviour data across into SIMS in a form we could use with our existing report templates etc and we decided we didn't want to junk 18 months work spent in setting up SIMS and redoing it in PARS. If we hadn't had so much already set up we may well have stayed with PARS

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