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MIS Systems Thread, Sims, spawn of the devil i tell you in Technical; @kingswood: I don't disagree that SIMS has all the features we need and NOW. My point about the investment by ...
  1. #46

    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: Sims, spawn of the devil i tell you

    @kingswood: I don't disagree that SIMS has all the features we need and NOW. My point about the investment by several local authorities is that they intend to have programming teams adding the functionality which the authority requires. By adding the functionality that is required, it should please the government.

    I think the that the thing that annoys people more than anything else is the fact that we have such a little choice of MIS systems and the fact that the software doesn't appear to run in a sensible manner - despite the amount of monetary investment it receives. I mean, how many years has a polished (integrated) NOVA-T been in the making?!?

    Anyway... that's the end of my little rant.

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    Re: Sims, spawn of the devil i tell you

    I think we agree Ric- at least in principle again. Choice is a different topic- and that's important.

    SIMS. Sensible. Now I never said *that* :-)

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    Re: Sims, spawn of the devil i tell you

    Arr but Ric you forget reason nova-t is notas polished is due to fact that nova-t was not written by capita they did a MS/google and brought a company out.

    So nova-t is hacked into the system I think things will imrove once it all moves over to sims.net then might start to see it stable up..

    Russ

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: Sims, spawn of the devil i tell you

    Quote Originally Posted by kingswood
    I think we agree Ric- at least in principle again. Choice is a different topic- and that's important.

    SIMS. Sensible. Now I never said *that* :-)
    If SIMS were free (or even cheap) it would be a different matter too

    BTW - you only need to check my latest blog entry to see SIMS rearing its ugly head again!

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    Re: Sims, spawn of the devil i tell you

    @Kingswood

    I don't see a problem with companies making money by offering training and commercial support it works with a variety of OSS applications - Novell,Sun,IBM,Redhat etc all support, offer training and make money from OSS applications. Again, continuing the moodle example, there are plenty of companies offering commercial support http://moodle.com/support/

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    Re: Sims, spawn of the devil i tell you

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd
    @Kingswood

    I don't see a problem with companies making money by offering training and commercial support it works with a variety of OSS applications - Novell,Sun,IBM,Redhat etc all support, offer training and make money from OSS applications. Again, continuing the moodle example, there are plenty of companies offering commercial support http://moodle.com/support/
    Yeah. Quite true. And I think was a basis for Eric Raymond's "bazaar" model. Would it work quite so well with something as important as an MIS system for schools though? Well, I mean, it would have to match or exceed the support currently given to schools that use SIMS.net; and it would have to offer the same feature extensions and upgrades (especially ones that break the bloody system) and updated documentation ;-)

    I understand what you are saying- I'm just cynical. Again, it's just an ideal world situation, and one that I would love to see come about but might never. And I have to admit to being a little wary of this concept of "community" and support models from third parties and using it to promote the idea that OSS is cheaper. Would it be cheaper if we turned to a service delivery model and offered software and hardware for free or reduced price?

    Well, I'm not really qualified to say much more on this. But thanks for making your points- interesting discussion and one we all will be involved in more as the years progress I think (especially when SIMS is at version 13.7 and *still* not working properly

    Paul

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    Re: Sims, spawn of the devil i tell you

    I have 3 problems with OSS and MIS.

    Firstly: I need to know that should I fall under a bus that I have left things in such a state that anyone with half an ounce of sense can come into the job and pick up where I left off after either minimal training or reading the manuals / documentation. With OSS instigated models this is not often the case and it causes mayhem and confusion ... and puts staff off using anything vaguley IT for a few months.

    Secondly: I need to know that my data is going to be accessible and can be sent to the various parties who need it with the minimum of fuss, as well as importing information from others. There are many files in XML formats that do the rounds in schools ... not all of them work properly but at least I know how to force them to work of a fashion in SIMS. And that there is a bank of people all trying to make sure it works for me.

    Finally: I am actually happy with SIMS. Yes, it has its problems and quirks, but so does every MIS. I will keep looking to see if there is something better but at the rate that SIMS is improving (not a single break from patching in nearly 2 years) I can't see anything enticing me away. I done the move to another MIS and will only do it again if there is a major benefit from it. At the moment FreeMIS will not give me anything extra I do not already have within SIMS or other systems we use.

  8. #53

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    Re: Sims, spawn of the devil i tell you

    The thing SIMS has on its side is time. It has been in schools since... a long time I'm lead to believe; and I for one minute don't believe it was perfect to start with (and still isn't). Did SIMS get into the majority of the schools its in now overnight? I don't know, I wasn't there but I doubt it did. SIMS has a lot of functionality and features, but not all of it works all of the time.

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    Re: Sims, spawn of the devil i tell you

    @GrumbleDook

    Absolutely, I'm sure the OpenUniversity considered the same points when they offered Moodle courses to 200,000 distance learners.
    As I said earlier, I don't think any of the OSS MIS applications are ready just yet, but with some investment problems can be worked through, opening up a wider range of possibilities to the benefit of schools everywhere. Maybe some (OSS) competition would actually give Capita/Serco a kick up the A** to improve their services.

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    Re: Sims, spawn of the devil i tell you

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd
    @GrumbleDook

    Absolutely, I'm sure the OpenUniversity considered the same points when they offered Moodle courses to 200,000 distance learners.
    As I said earlier, I don't think any of the OSS MIS applications are ready just yet, but with some investment problems can be worked through, opening up a wider range of possibilities to the benefit of schools everywhere. Maybe some (OSS) competition would actually give Capita/Serco a kick up the A** to improve their services.
    But the OU have made significant investment and are doing this *whilst still running a working VLE / Learning Platform*, having already continued to commit to FirstClass for the next 4 years whilst this is being prepared.

    As a single school I cannot commit to the move to a project liek FreeMIS.

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    Re: Sims, spawn of the devil i tell you

    yeah, vicious circle - until someone puts some investment in we're stuck. Glad your happy with SIMS though 8)

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    Re: Sims, spawn of the devil i tell you

    @Grumbledook: I understand where you are coming from there... you do need large-scale adoption and dedicated support. The CLEO Moodle Project is similar to this... utilising Moodle as an RBC-wide VLE, expanding it where necessary and integrating it into existing systems.

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    Re: Sims, spawn of the devil i tell you

    Yep ... one of the examples I was thinking of actually :-)

    I would like to see this sort of thing within my county ... but as far as the MIS goes that is highly unlikely now (support is provided by .ICT ... pronounced dot I C T ... or more correctly Capita dot I C T!!!)

  14. #59

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    Re: Sims, spawn of the devil i tell you

    @Grumbledook: At least that is one company. We have to go through our county support desk with SIMS problems and then they ask Capita (or read the answer from the Capita support website which we don't have access to). I should point out that we pay quite a bit of money for this priviledge!

    At least we have CLEO - an RBC that tries its best to provide services for its schools.

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    Re: Sims, spawn of the devil i tell you

    Looking at Ric's posting, I wonder if people are aware that all SIMS licenced schools can register with our SupportNet site which gives you complete access to our solutions database - that is the same database that is available to support units.

    http://support.capitaes.co.uk/

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