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MIS Systems Thread, LA SIMS Support vs. Capita Website/Forums in Technical; I'm sure this is the wrong way round but I find much more satisfaction and solutions to SIMS problems by ...
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    WithoutMotive's Avatar
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    LA SIMS Support vs. Capita Website/Forums

    I'm sure this is the wrong way round but I find much more satisfaction and solutions to SIMS problems by visiting the Capita Support Forums than going to my own LA's SIMS Support team. It's quite often that they visit the same site, anyway, or give the same answer of "we'll have to take this to Capita" every time.

    Couple of minutes of frustration there.

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    That is is exactly what Solution Search is for. I would never dream of logging a case if there is already a solution available for a problem.
    If more people actually looked at Solution Search first then I am sure that Support Desks would become even more efficient when more complex issues are logged, that do need real support.
    We are supported directly via the Capita rather than the LA and virtually every Case I log is a genuine software issue. I suspect that many support desks spend time pursuing issues that are not really problems - just a user who does not know how to do something!

    As for the Forums on SupportNet - well that is where some of the real SIMS 'experts' are. Some of these experts are within schools, because they are working with live data and not with a pre-prepared dataset that Support Desks may be using. I am one that offers real help on the Forums but many users that post there could actually find the solution themselves from Solution Search!
    Last edited by Sivadam; 26th January 2010 at 09:53 PM.

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    meastaugh1's Avatar
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    We used to take support for SIMS and FMS from Capita but switched to our LA (Hertfordshire) support last year. From my perspective the change has been positive: no more having to persuade the helpdesk that an update has caused a problem rather than our anti-virus or some other randomly selected excuse.

    However we do still use Capita for SLG support and that is very good.

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    Sivadam's Avatar
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    And we went the other way a couple of years ago on my instigation. I cannot praise Capita Support highly enough.

    No longer do I get back 'solutions' that I have already tried before logging the Case or 'solutions' that bear no resemblance to my initial case due to the corruption of info caused by it passing backwards and forwards between School, LA & Capita Support.
    Last edited by Sivadam; 26th January 2010 at 08:03 AM.

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    I agree, use SupportNet. Solution search works - sometimes!

    I always encourage users that report problems to me, to click on the 'Search for Solution' button if they get a SIMS exception.

    I've even incorporated a link to the search for solution button on our intranet helpdesk facility so you can just paste the fault code into the url if a user quotes a fault code.

    The problem is, many LA / independent support companies regardless of what troubleshooting you have tried will insist on going through their process/flowchart of solutions. So many times i've logged a case and said i know the solution, can i have this patch, and been told that i have to try all the recommendations in the KB first, or worse still, they want to try it remotely as they don't trust the school to correctly do it.!!

    Very frustrating.
    Last edited by vikpaw; 26th January 2010 at 08:37 AM. Reason: typo

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    Sivadam's Avatar
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    One wonders why I don't get those problems Vic! Maybe it's 'cos Capita Support know that I know what I am talking about!
    When I used to go thro' LA Support I had exactly the same issues. Thankfully, now I don't!

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    i'm glad i'm at a school that goes direct, and have a dedicated support team for independent schools.
    plus there's always Zoe who is a little superstar at solving problems and sorting stuff out for me

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    rh91uk's Avatar
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    We use our LA support team, like pretty much every school in our area does. they do seem to be very good, and will always endeavour to try and get an answer for you if they can't get it themselves ... but I agree sometimes I'm fed up of hearing "I'll go back to Capita and ask them" when it's an issue that really needs fixing!

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    zag
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    We don't subscribe to our LA support any more, its much easier to check these or official forums or phone capita ourselves.

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    Out of interest. What were the cost differences? Was it cheaper to go direct to Capita?

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    Capita support all the time, and only when the excellent solution search fails me.

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    Out of interest. What were the cost differences? Was it cheaper to go direct to Capita?
    NO.

    i can't remember the exact figures but the cost was much higher, as LA provided support, the fees were spread out across a number of schools, but then, so was the support!

    i'm just plucking a number at random out of the air, but i'm sure a day of support / installation from Capita was close to 1000, but local support was more like 450, but that's a total guess from memory of a few years ago. i know we considered going to a lower level of support from capita in the hope nothing went wrong, and then paying ad hoc for any major support.

    you have to consider what level of support you need though, and whether it's worth the move to get much better help, not to mention quicker...

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    Dancer's Avatar
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    Support for LA support

    A post in support of an LA support desk

    We are not in a SIMS county so no LA support desk for it.

    The school is a single site, purchasing SIMS direct from Capita.
    Included in the annual license cost is support from Capita.

    In addition we purchase SIMS support from a neighbouring LA.

    We do use both Capita and a LA help desk.

    Feeling the different offering of the LA support makes it worthwhile purchasing additional support.

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    WithoutMotive's Avatar
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    I'm always keen to go to Solution Search first then the forums. More often than not, the answer is there staring me in the face.

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    I've been using our LA for sims support recently, logging calls via the web helpdesk, but was told yesterday to stop doing this as it was coming out of a call allocation that we have with the LA?

    I can't see how web based support calls can count as part of a support contract; maybe someone could explain it to me as most companies dont charge for email support normally?

    I've started using supportnet for all our sims problems now whereas before it was only for problems with sims mobile.

    I have to say i do find the supportnet design and drop down menus frustrating sometimes to navigate.

    I've heard I'll go back to Capita and ask them" a couple of times and i just roll my eyes.

    I also hate hearing "oh its working on our system so it cant be a problem with sims".

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