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MIS Systems Thread, SIMS Server side to be 64 bit in Technical; Originally Posted by matt40k I don't think people know how difficult a task it is. We know it is difficult ...
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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    I don't think people know how difficult a task it is.
    We know it is difficult - but we pay them enough to do it! Other companies manage it!

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    If Capita cut the price in half, people would still moan it's too much. SIMS is a LOT bigger then other MIS packages, with alot more legacy stuff and alot more add-ons from 3rd parties.

    Anyone fancy re-writting Nova-T in .NET?

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    If Capita cut the price in half, people would still moan it's too much. SIMS is a LOT bigger then other MIS packages, with alot more legacy stuff and alot more add-ons from 3rd parties.

    Anyone fancy re-writting Nova-T in .NET?
    Is it the customers' fault that there is a lot of legacy stuff in there? No. Sorry but I don't buy it. Capita seems to suffer from 'large company syndrome' - namely that doing anything is like making a supertanker turn around - a long and slow process.

    Maybe they should consider something like moving to agile and scrum development methodologies?
    Last edited by localzuk; 7th April 2010 at 01:39 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    SIMS is a LOT bigger then other MIS packages, with alot more legacy stuff and alot more add-ons from 3rd parties.

    Anyone fancy re-writting Nova-T in .NET?
    I know just how legacy certain SIMS components are (when are we getting that oft-promised System Manager rewrite?), but if they've let those components, their market share and people licensing the api for add-ons turn their development process into a lumbering dinosaur, that's their problem to fix.

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    Lovely buzz words, still doesn't mean it's easy to keep 20,000 odd projects up-to-date.

    Sysman7 is pending SOLUS3 P2 begin finished. Believe it's going to be the same lucky\poor development team.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    Lovely buzz words, still doesn't mean it's easy to keep 20,000 odd projects up-to-date.
    Sorry, what? I'll give you an example of a giant database based piece of software, with hundreds of thousands of concurrent users - Eve-online. Yes its a game, but it still requires active development, and is massively complex. They use agile and scrum methodologies in order to ensure they get things done on time, and fast.

    Also, 20,000? What?

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    Agile and Scrum are just ways of working. They only help when you need to improve the way you work, Capita's problem is they need more bums on seats, ie more developers. You think a number of them are already working 6 days a week.

    In programming terms, SIMS would be a solution, it would be made up of loads of little projects. I'm guessing around the 20,000 mark.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    Agile and Scrum are just ways of working. They only help when you need to improve the way you work, Capita's problem is they need more bums on seats, ie more developers. You think a number of them are already working 6 days a week.

    In programming terms, SIMS would be a solution, it would be made up of loads of little projects. I'm guessing around the 20,000 mark.
    My point is that they need to change the way they're working! Also, if they're not using enough developers, then that's another issue for them to deal with. There are tens of thousands of out of work developers in the UK at the moment...

    You're throwing up excuses - there are no valid excuses, plain and simple.

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    I'm sure Phil would be happy to send you the bill for the extra developers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    I'm sure Phil would be happy to send you the bill for the extra developers.
    They already do - via our licensing costs. I really don't understand why you're so keen on justifying Capita's slowness to support an OS which came out almost a year ago...

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    I'm sure Phil would be happy to send you the bill for the extra developers.
    Have you ever seen how much Capita actually pay? I know a lot of us do it for the love of the job... But their pay scales are decidingly stingy even by Education standards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    If Capita cut the price in half, people would still moan it's too much.
    Oh, look, back here again.

    The reason I bother to humour you with a reply, is because it's not fair you slating Capita. I've got alot of respect for them, they work extremely hard and all people (not everyone) seems to do is moan about how they've made a little mistake, which they quickly fix or how they don't instantly support that shinny new programs\os etc.

    They are the biggest for a reason.

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    Oh, look, back here again.

    The reason I bother to humour you with a reply, is because it's not fair you slating Capita. I've got alot of respect for them, they work extremely hard and all people (not everyone) seems to do is moan about how they've made a little mistake, which they quickly fix or how they don't instantly support that shinny new programs\os etc.

    They are the biggest for a reason.
    Last I checked, the reason they're the biggest was under discussion - ie. lots of negative reasons were put forward by customers, the DCSF and Becta.

    It is perfectly fair to slate any company I do business with, which doesn't provide what is needed. I'm not asking for 'instant' support - but 2 years after an OS has been released (as they are planning) is a bit ridiculous.

    You appear to be blindly supporting them. Yes, they fix some issues reasonably quickly, but one good deed doesn't fix all the problems.

    I will admit, as I have various times, that some aspects of SIMS.net are very good. But I will not sit back and allow those good aspects to tie my hands when it comes to the issues I (and others) face.

    Just to give you some numbers. The average fee paid, according to wikipedia, is 2.50 per pupil for licensing. Now, depending on how much of the market they have - some say it is 95%, some say it is 85%. I'll go with the lower to be fair, that is 17m income a year. Now, if the company can't employ enough developers, manage new OS releases etc... and still make themselves a profit on that then they are doing something very wrong.

    That figure doesn't include support contracts by the way - just license costs. Oh and those figures are from 2005, so won't include the large number of SLG customers they now have also.

    Also take into account the origins of SIMS...
    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia, with sources on that site
    The origin of SIMS has been surrounded with controversy. This is due to the fact that private fortunes were made from a system developed with public money. Philip Neal (who was then working as a teacher for Lea Manor) wrote a program allowing teachers to produce computerised pupil reports. Bedfordshire then developed the scheme using thousands of pounds of its own money. The assets were then passed onto SIMS Ltd. MP Margaret Moran described this as ‘using council resources to effectively set up a private business’.

    Tony Callaghan, the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers executive member for Bedfordshire, has branded the episode a "disgrace". A member of the council's education committee when SIMS became a private company, he told The TES: "It seems amazing to me that this was allowed to happen. I was always amazed that there wasn't a full and thorough investigation. I would like to see an investigation to see if any of that money can be retrieved and paid into the coffers of the county council, which funded the original operation."
    Last edited by localzuk; 7th April 2010 at 03:14 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    Why would Windows 7 affect your choice of OS for your SIMS server? Surely you wouldn't install SIMS and AD etc on the same server? Specially with virtualization.
    in all my primary schools they do the admin network has a server and 2 maybe 3 workstations how can you justify 2 servers for that?

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    @sted
    Would question why you have a server for 2 workstations. Central hosting could be another way forward. They're are other options.

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk
    Last I checked, the reason they're the biggest was under discussion - ie. lots of negative reasons were put forward by customers, the DCSF and Becta.
    Here we go... I don't want to get into Capita "good" business methods - buying other companys etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk
    but 2 years after an OS has been released (as they are planning) is a bit ridiculous.
    Sorry? R2 hasn't been out for 2 years - July 22, 2009 (Windows Server 2008 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). Windows Server 2008 has and is supported.

    I know a number of companies going Vista because Windows 7 isn't mature, even though they are going to be stuck with it for many, many years.

    I stick by my statement of Capita needs more people or at least open source some of it (yes, lets start that argument!)


    PS: Wonder why Capita is keeping quiet

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