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MIS Systems Thread, BECTA reports on School MIS and value for money 2010 in Technical; Breaking news, Becta have published the School MIS and Value For Money report 2010 . Absolutely fascinating reading, i'm still ...
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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    BECTA reports on School MIS and value for money 2010

    Breaking news, Becta have published the School MIS and Value For Money report 2010.

    Absolutely fascinating reading, i'm still processing it myself.

    Becta Local authorities - Procurement - Infrastructure - School MIS and value for money report 2010

    Roll up - Roll up, get your copy now, before Becta disappears.

    Interesting look at the marketplace; penetration of different companies and the changing landscape.

    The best bit is a recommendation for there to be a freeze on changing governmental guidelines for reporting etc. Will it happen...?

    citation page 4:

    1.13
    Recommendation 8 – The Department considers the benefits of an immediate freeze in respect of
    further changes in the specification for data returns. This would support their commitment to
    urgently ensure all schools are freed of bureaucracy and to reduce the burden of data collection on

    schools (Paragraphs 1.49 to 1.52).
    Lots to take in.
    Last edited by vikpaw; 1st November 2010 at 11:32 AM. Reason: citation

  2. 4 Thanks to vikpaw:

    bossman (1st November 2010), GrumbleDook (1st November 2010), john (1st November 2010), timzim (1st November 2010)

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    It does make an interesting read ... as an LA we get out of most of the recommendations since the LA does not support or purchase licences for our schools ... it is up to each school to make their choice.

    I was also interested to read 1.45-1.48 ... yes ... we know interoperability needs sorting. So can folk stop knocking SIF and get on with it based on Govt support?

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    Are schools under the same obligations, so the findings are equally relevant? In as much as if they aren't evaluating their choice each time they come to renew the contract / pay for support they are in breach of procurement procedures..?

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Some of the hoops around procurement are down to the value of the contract, so each school doing their own thing is down to them running their own mini-competition or other form of evaluation. If the LA does it (or even if it is done with an are / cluster) then it can breach the procurement limit and have to go out to full OJEU process. The reasons why small amounts of money (in comparison) do not have to go through a full tender process is to remove the red tape and stop the costs being pushed up. This is why OGC have purchasing portals too ... and why Becta ran framework agreements. You can then run your own mini competition instead, without incurring legal costs, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    It does make an interesting read ... as an LA we get out of most of the recommendations since the LA does not support or purchase licences for our schools ... it is up to each school to make their choice.
    Do all your schools go single site then?

    What Becta have missed out from this report is the total cost to a school (or LA) of changing their management information system, with respect to installation, support, training, possible new hardware.

    All the report covers is annual maintenance, licences and support, and in that respect it is very limited in terms of cost savings from more competition and 12 monthly procurement processes.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    It is hard for them to stipulate the cost of re-training as if the LA provides the MIS this will cost differently from LA to LA (as they have different structures) and from school to school. When it comes to hardware it gets even stranger when you consider some folk will now virtualise the MIS ... so you have to work out a proportion of the cost of hardware instead (anyone have a good model for this as I am interested in updating the ICT Budget planning Spreadsheet to include things like virtualised servers, thin clients, etc)

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    I would break it down into Core hardware of host, plus 1 backup / fault tolerant host if it is in place divide by number of VMs. Then add in separately proportional cost of RAM and disk space. Reason for this is that i'm hosting some powerful VMs that take more RAM and diskspace alongside some basic simple devices, that still take up 1/2 virtual cpu cores, but no where near the ram or diskspace. e.g. SIMS, basic intranet. add to that a single xp vm with office 2007 since sims doesn't yet support new Office. I would say even split on cost of blade, but proportional for RAM / diskspace.

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    Has anyone heard any more on this? Have any LAs contacted the schools to say they are affected or anything like that?

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    "1.13
    Recommendation 8 – The Department considers the benefits of an immediate freeze in respect of
    further changes in the specification for data returns. This would support their commitment to
    urgently ensure all schools are freed of bureaucracy and to reduce the burden of data collection on

    schools (Paragraphs 1.49 to 1.52)."

    As if!! These things are determined by civil service pen pushers and ambitious politicians. it's their JOB to turn out a continuous stream of bumf!
    If anyone's expecting something to happen, note that the report also says that, in many respects, little seems to have changed since Becta's last report in 2005.

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    TESs take on it: 80% of school IT systems are bought illegally - News - TES Connect

    I'm not sure who exactly is going to take the legal action :s is it the european union? another MIS supplier?

    It would be shooting yourself in the foot, if say, Supplier X sues an LA for unfair bias to their usual supplier Y. They may be right, but is the LA going to go with supplier X, can they justify staying with supplier Y, if not, they may just choose to go for Supplier Z out of spite. For 90% all other options are small players so if they have to jump ship, they ... I don't know. Just thinking out loud...

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikpaw View Post
    Has anyone heard any more on this? Have any LAs contacted the schools to say they are affected or anything like that?
    It takes many LAs months to discuss something like this, if they do anything at all.

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    Just starting to see @PhilNeal 's analysis on some tweets, interesting . . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by vikpaw View Post
    ...they may just choose to go for Supplier Z out of spite.
    and thereby lay themselves open to further litigation if they cannot show that the decision was made on purely commercial grounds; but I appreciate this was just thinking out loud.
    I don't think any LA or school is going to get sued by anyone over existing contracts; I think this is just a shot across the bows to warn them to make sure it's done correctly in future.
    My company has been on the receiving end of this way of working a couple of times. Out of the blue an announcement is made that the LA has 'negotiated' an LA wide contract with 'a big, well known MIS supplier' which we knew nothing about. Next we a call from a school saying that they are dropping our product because the feel 'obliged' (their word) to use the solution endorsed by the LA - even though they acknowledged it's not as good!
    I know of one case where the LA bought in a borough wide VLE that nobody used because it was not suitable for what the schools actually needed. What a waste of (our) money.
    I'm sure you guys can come up with lots more examples of that sort of thing, I don't think it's that uncommon.
    I think tightening up on the way LA contracts are awarded is no bad thing.

  15. Thanks to EdWhittaker from:

    scholarpack (8th November 2010)

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    Did you know you have to buy the best value MIS each year?

    A lot of school in our Authority are going to become new style academies. During this change the schools will have to buy their SIMS licenses again. There was a meeting between a lot of the schools yesterday and during that meeting the attached documnet was handed out. Now I have had a quick look through it and my conclusion is that each year when you renew your MIS licensing you have to make sure you are getting best value?
    Becta Report on MIS v 4 FINAL.PDF

    Does anyone actually go through this procedure?

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reggiep View Post
    A lot of school in our Authority are going to become new style academies. During this change the schools will have to buy their SIMS licenses again. There was a meeting between a lot of the schools yesterday and during that meeting the attached documnet was handed out. Now I have had a quick look through it and my conclusion is that each year when you renew your MIS licensing you have to make sure you are getting best value?
    Becta Report on MIS v 4 FINAL.PDF

    Does anyone actually go through this procedure?
    Every purchase made ALWAYS has to be best value. However, best value does not always equal 'financially cheapest'.

    You can take into account retraining costs, migration costs (both in terms of time and money), and projected TCO etc... Also, you may not simply buy into a 12 month contract in the first place, you may buy a 5 year contract or something instead (much like LAs do with VLEs and the like).

    So, ensuring you are getting best value doesn't automatically mean you have to do massive amounts of work every year.

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