+ Post New Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 22
MIS Systems Thread, Leaving LA Support and moving to Capita Direct Support? in Technical; Despite the 'look' of my username/low post number, I'm actually a reasonably well established member who has created a new ...
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    6
    Thank Post
    10
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Rep Power
    0

    Leaving LA Support and moving to Capita Direct Support?

    Despite the 'look' of my username/low post number, I'm actually a reasonably well established member who has created a new username under the direction of senior colleagues who specifically don't want to upset LA colleagues with the enquiry!

    As the title suggests, I am looking for stories/pro's/con's from people who may have moved from LA-based SIMS Support to support direct from Capita?

    More generally, I would welcome any feedback from anyone else who gets support direct from Capita (whether you have moved from LA support or not). Are they good/bad/indifferent? Do you feel you are getting value for money? How quick are reaction times to issues etc?

  2. #2
    dwhyte85's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Berkshire
    Posts
    1,226
    Thank Post
    161
    Thanked 150 Times in 135 Posts
    Rep Power
    104
    We go direct to Capita for support

    They remote connect if they can't solve it over the phone or e-mail (normally they'll bung over a patch), issues are always resolved quickly but it helps if you are a bit technical to help as they guide you.

    One instance they've not found a fix quickly was with something we had with timetabling... this was fixed in a seasonal release - we had to wait a bit for that one, but it wasn't really critical they did give a work around.

  3. Thanks to dwhyte85 from:

    itdirector (24th November 2010)

  4. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Northwich
    Posts
    13
    Thank Post
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Rep Power
    0
    The problem we have with the LA is experienced staff are leaving and we know more about SIMs than the help desk do!
    You wouldn't get that with Capita!

  5. Thanks to Debby from:

    itdirector (24th November 2010)

  6. #4

    vikpaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Saudi Arabia
    Posts
    5,785
    Thank Post
    715
    Thanked 1,440 Times in 1,193 Posts
    Rep Power
    359
    Quote Originally Posted by Debby View Post
    The problem we have with the LA is experienced staff are leaving and we know more about SIMs than the help desk do!
    You wouldn't get that with Capita!
    Ahem, you've got your fingers crossed right?!

    @itdirector - this recent thread 3rd Party SIMS Support Companies wont be that much use to you, but there was another one quite recently that weighed up the pros and cons well, as an active member you would have seen it...?

    personally, i wouldn't want to go back to LA support after being supported directly by Capita, however, i have met some awesome LA bods on here, so maybe it was just my experiences that weren't all that good.

    We get very quick responses now, even considering our working week only overlaps by 3 days and then only for 4 hours a day. So the only bugbear is we still pay full price. Saying that, Zoe at Bedford, often works late evenings and even responds on weekends, and we couldn't live without her support or any of the other girls (and boys) on the team for that matter.

    The bulk of our incidents are reported online and get responded to fairly quickly, i've only once needed a remote session. Usually i just get a phone call and we work through things together with me in control. My old support team always seemed to want to see it for themselves!

    I think it works out more expensive than local support, but in my opinion it's definitely worth it. so i guess it really depends on what your local support is like, and what other options are available in the area.

  7. Thanks to vikpaw from:

    itdirector (24th November 2010)

  8. #5
    Sivadam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Dronfield - Derbyshire
    Posts
    1,449
    Thank Post
    136
    Thanked 208 Times in 175 Posts
    Rep Power
    55
    This school did exactly what you are suggesting a few years ago.

    I would not recommend this unless you are absolutely certain that somebody in the school has a complete understanding of all aspects of SIMS and that somebody also has a complete understanding of the Technical side re. installations, networking etc etc. This could, obviously, be the same person but I have yet to meet anybody working in a school who could claim to be that proficient.

    We moved because, at that time, the LA did not support all aspects of SIMS and we were using SIMS Products that we had bought into directly with Capita and were obviously supported by them, such as Learning Gateway. We were also involved in Field Trials such as Cover7, which again were supported by Capita. It made perfect sense to have all our support with the same support team.

    We have never regretted the move and the support we have had, direct from Capita, has been nothing short of excellent. That is not to say that we have had preferential treatment! Because I can log all cases directly on to SupportNet, I can explain in detail what the issue is, what I have attempted to do to the resolve the situation and any workarounds that I may have sorted out. Trying to do this via a 3rd party support team is often not that successful as, sometimes, the gist of the information can get accidently corrupted as it is passes through the intermediary.

    The move also, I believe, benefitted Capita to some extent as we are now heavily involved in Field Trial Testing, UAT, Software consultation etc. etc. because they also respect the expertise that we have in the school.

    Having said all this, I reiterate - unless you are fully proficient in all aspects of SIMS then I would not recommend you to take this step. I have said the same to some other staff in Sheffield Schools who have asked me the same question. Your knowledge of, and expertise in, SIMS needs to be equivalent or, preferably, greater than that of the current Support Team!
    Last edited by Sivadam; 24th November 2010 at 07:47 AM.

  9. Thanks to Sivadam from:

    itdirector (24th November 2010)

  10. #6

    vikpaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Saudi Arabia
    Posts
    5,785
    Thank Post
    715
    Thanked 1,440 Times in 1,193 Posts
    Rep Power
    359
    Quote Originally Posted by Sivadam View Post
    Having said all this, I reiterate - unless you are fully proficient in all aspects of SIMS then I would not recommend you to take this step. I have said the same to some other staff in Sheffield Schools who have asked me the same question. Your knowledge of, and expertise in, SIMS needs to be equivalent or, preferably, greater than that of the current Support Team!
    I disagree, moving to a different Support company in this case Capita, is not like an upgrade, because you've outgrown the existing company. They should be able to provide the same level of service and in some cases better service. The issue of not being fully competent with SIMS shouldn't affect the support, else by your standards they would have very few schools on their books!

  11. Thanks to vikpaw from:

    itdirector (24th November 2010)

  12. #7

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    6
    Thank Post
    10
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Rep Power
    0
    Thank you all for sharing your comments and experiences. They are greatly appreciated and very useful.
    I imagine that Capita wouldn't be keen on pricing being posted here, but if anyone would be able to PM me a rough outline of the support cost, and possibly contact details you might have, that would be great.

  13. #8

    Ric_'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    London
    Posts
    7,592
    Thank Post
    109
    Thanked 770 Times in 598 Posts
    Rep Power
    183
    I looked into this last year and discovered Capita's pricing was considerably cheaper than the local support provider. We didn't move for some reason, despite the change in support not affecting our ability or pricing on SIMS courses with the local support contractor.

    I would also agree with vikpaw, that the school's competence with SIMS has no bearing on the moving of your support direct to Capita. It is very much a 'sideways' move, much like changing your utility supplier (you just pay someone else for an equivalent service).

  14. Thanks to Ric_ from:

    itdirector (24th November 2010)

  15. #9
    scholarpack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    191
    Thank Post
    12
    Thanked 30 Times in 20 Posts
    Rep Power
    38
    If you're changing support providers to the original creator of a piece of software, surely you wouldn't need to increase in-house technical knowledge too. Sivadam you make it sound like there's a small army of people working to keep on top of everything MIS wise at your school, then say the support is excellent. I'm not doubting that - but doesn't excellent support mean less time spent on technicalities in-house.

  16. Thanks to scholarpack from:

    itdirector (24th November 2010)

  17. #10
    Sivadam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Dronfield - Derbyshire
    Posts
    1,449
    Thank Post
    136
    Thanked 208 Times in 175 Posts
    Rep Power
    55
    Quote Originally Posted by scholarpack View Post
    If you're changing support providers to the original creator of a piece of software, surely you wouldn't need to increase in-house technical knowledge too. Sivadam you make it sound like there's a small army of people working to keep on top of everything MIS wise at your school, then say the support is excellent. I'm not doubting that - but doesn't excellent support mean less time spent on technicalities in-house.
    The support I need almost always refers to new functionality that has been introduced and is, in my view, not operating as intended. Invariably, my Support Cases are quickly moved up to escalation as they are 'real issues'. The software is repaired or enhanced so that my issue is resolved via a Site Specific Patch, or all schools that use SIMS benefit as a result of the release of Global Patches or Fixes included in future upgrades. There are a couple of such fixes included in the Release Notes for SIMS v7.136.

    I do not need to use SIMS Support re. normal use of the Software because I am obviously here and can inservice our staff in the functionality that we require. This includes much of the new functionality included in new releases, as I will have normally already tested it at UAT.

    Hence my comments in my original post! It is also why I suggested that competence in the software was important before moving to SIMS Support! In my case 'support' is obviously a different concept to 'support' that others are referring to. Any gaps in my knowledge of SIMS are quickly filled by use of SupportNet 'Solution Search' or via the SupportNet Forums. I do not normally 'need' a support desk to do this!
    Last edited by Sivadam; 24th November 2010 at 11:40 AM.

  18. Thanks to Sivadam from:

    itdirector (24th November 2010)

  19. #11

    vikpaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Saudi Arabia
    Posts
    5,785
    Thank Post
    715
    Thanked 1,440 Times in 1,193 Posts
    Rep Power
    359
    Then you don't need Support if everything is happy in your house, but you can't expect other schools to be that 'perfect'. For the sort of 'support' you need, you shouldn't have to pay for it, fixing issues and bugs with new features should be free, they should pay you for it!

  20. #12

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    6
    Thank Post
    10
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Rep Power
    0
    We are actually somewhere between vikpaw and sivadam. We have a very experienced SIMS user base, but no centrally trained support person who has an overview of all modules. This is why in some cases normal sims user problems are passed to external SIMS support. In an ideal world I would like this to change regardless of where our external support sits, but the important thing for us is knowing we are able to get a high quality of 'support' (whatever that may be) from those who we pay money to via a support contract/SLA!

    Continued thanks for all input.

  21. #13
    User3204's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Wirral
    Posts
    769
    Thank Post
    55
    Thanked 66 Times in 62 Posts
    Rep Power
    34
    I have found the Capita SIMS support to be the best around - no I don't work for Capita !

    Whether we break the database or their software does something, they have been able to fix it quickly.
    Sometimes we have to send them our database, but they will then send us back a patch to fix it.

    I would recommend someone on site being responsible for SIMS, although we also have regular SIMS Management meetings, where we get together the main / heavy users to discuss ongoing developments. I think we're some sort of partner school.

  22. #14
    Sivadam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Dronfield - Derbyshire
    Posts
    1,449
    Thank Post
    136
    Thanked 208 Times in 175 Posts
    Rep Power
    55
    Quote Originally Posted by itdirector View Post
    Thank you all for sharing your comments and experiences. They are greatly appreciated and very useful.
    I imagine that Capita wouldn't be keen on pricing being posted here, but if anyone would be able to PM me a rough outline of the support cost, and possibly contact details you might have, that would be great.
    As regards costing, I would suggest that you contact Capita directly to get a quote for what your school actually requires. The actual cosats that you will pay will depend on which packages you want to buy into, the level of support that you require and the size of your school. You will have to pay an administration fee for the move to be made. Once you have such a quote then you can make a more informed decision.
    We opted for the cheapest level of support for the reasons I have stated above. What I did not say is that this also includes telephone and remote access support if/when we need it.

  23. #15

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    102
    Thank Post
    4
    Thanked 20 Times in 13 Posts
    Rep Power
    23
    We are currently looking at this too. The cost for being a Direct site is usually less than being supported by the LA. I am at my 3rd school in the same LA, and my two previous schools the first was already a direct site, the second became one when I started.

    I have always found Capita to provide better support than the LA, but I think that is issues in my LA.

    The only potential issue I ever had was with transfering the license. I was led to believe that some of the license could be owned by the LA and you have to have their consent to transfer the license with you. But they should tell you if this could be an issue when you request pricing.

    In my case Capita Direct was about £3000 less PA.

SHARE:
+ Post New Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Managing costs and moving to *nix
    By localzuk in forum *nix
    Replies: 67
    Last Post: 20th July 2010, 04:40 PM
  2. Moving to XHTML
    By OverWorked in forum Web Development
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 16th March 2006, 03:41 PM
  3. Free MSI Creation and how to do it
    By daverage in forum Wireless Networks
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 22nd November 2005, 10:03 AM
  4. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 1st October 2005, 02:55 PM
  5. School networks and aid to Africa. A comparison.
    By Dos_Box in forum General Chat
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 5th July 2005, 11:36 AM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •