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MIS Systems Thread, Discover delayed already :( in Technical; Originally Posted by LosOjos I'd love to take part in UAT & Field Trials, how do you go about getting ...
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    Sivadam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LosOjos View Post
    I'd love to take part in UAT & Field Trials, how do you go about getting enrolled on them?
    I suggest you contact Capita directly. Ask for Georgina Trodd - she is the UAT Manager.

    Check out the Sticky Items document on SupportNet called 'SIMS User Acceptance Test'.

    Also watch out for the announcements on SupportNet and apply to attend one of the sessions!
    Last edited by Sivadam; 28th January 2011 at 10:05 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    So as the MD of SIMS I am saying its later than we said at BETT 2010; no its never been on our schedule as autumn 2010 but that is what we had thought at the start of 2010.

    It does deal with the 5 A* to C (of course it now needs to deal with the English BAC as well but that won't be in spring).

    There are still improvements we know we can make to speed and hence it will work on lower spec kit in the future. I'm not a games player but I understand the same kit spec issues exist in this environment. I'm in Bedford on Monday and will see what the latest guidance is.
    Thanks Phil, just needed clarification, so no-one can be accused of knocking SIMS inappropriately or making untrue statements with no basis!

    It does seem however, that some people are unclear on exactly what Discover does, and who it's aimed at. Is there any more literature available that we can share?

    Any news from Bedford will also be gratefully received.

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    Our experience

    Hi there

    My name is Dave Cattlin and I am lucky enough to lead a great SIMS Support team in Rochdale and also be involved in the Discover Field Trial.

    WRT performance our feeling here, and with the caveat that we have been working with a pre-release version which may not be as efficient as the released product, is that the min requirement to make use of Discover may not be as high as previously stated.

    Sure it runs a bit slow on underspec workstations but we have found that it remains very usable.

    Direct on one of our school servers which has 4Gb RAM but no dedicated graphics card it runs like a train.

    I would suggest that colleagues here may be best served by awaiting experience of the released product whilst maintaining options in planned replacement of kit.

    I am sure that there will be many factors which will affect the user experience, not least their expectations and the quality of the data available as well as hardware and other systemic limitations but I feel that SIMS should be congratulated on making the investment in what will be, I am sure, a step change in the way in which MIS will be used in schools.

    It's bold and the support implications terrify me - not mainly the support of discover itself but the work required in widening and maintaining the breadth of data which it will encourage schools to make use of.

    The implementation of discover at a time of such change within the education sector and particularly as the government's spending review bites hard will need to be very well managed indeed.

    Dave
    Last edited by krtek; 29th January 2011 at 08:58 AM.

  4. 4 Thanks to krtek:

    NickBryson (29th January 2011), pottd (11th February 2011), Sivadam (29th January 2011), vikpaw (29th January 2011)

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    Sivadam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krtek View Post
    I would suggest that colleagues here may be best served by awaiting experience of the released product whilst maintaining options in planned replacement of kit.
    Sound advice krtek.
    And exactly what I have been trying to imply thoughout this thread!
    Patience is a virtue!
    Last edited by Sivadam; 29th January 2011 at 10:14 PM.

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    A quick uodate on spec of kit required. I'm afraid it still isn't clear at all as to the exact requirement. We have 30 trial sites with a wide variety of kit and pupil numbers and there is no obvious pattern as to what gives a speedy response and what doesn't. Some kit that you would have expected to perform badly infact flies.

    We'll be looking more closely at the variants over the next week and I will post again. I do know that a 30 graphic card made the difference bewteen acceptable and hopeless in one case.

  7. Thanks to PhilNeal from:

    Sivadam (31st January 2011)

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    Saw some interesting tweets today from yourself (phil) and johnhowarth. I take it testing is going well. I believe the term 'awesome' was used...?

    Is it possible that some other factor is at play in affecting performance, not just graphical capabilities. I guess, the graphics card handles all the graphics on screen, but the actual data that it needs to deal with, must be processed in the main CPU / RAM . . . ? Actually, it sounds like it could be pretty complex interactions. hmm.

    Interested in the feedback re. deploying via SOLUS 3 too, that will save some headache, when it comes to doing the spring update hopefully.

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    Sivadam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    A quick uodate on spec of kit required. I'm afraid it still isn't clear at all as to the exact requirement. We have 30 trial sites with a wide variety of kit and pupil numbers and there is no obvious pattern as to what gives a speedy response and what doesn't. Some kit that you would have expected to perform badly infact flies.

    We'll be looking more closely at the variants over the next week and I will post again. I do know that a 30 graphic card made the difference bewteen acceptable and hopeless in one case.
    Thanks Phil,
    I am eagerly looking forward to the update workshop next week! Anticipating a 'Wow!' from my Data Manager colleague who is attending with me!
    I hope that some pattern to the specs issue can be evaluated by then!
    Last edited by Sivadam; 31st January 2011 at 09:42 PM.

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    Bit surprised there are only 30 sites to represent 22000+ (?)

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    We used to involve more sites but found that many didn't have the time to do a through job but we were thinking everything is being hammered. We now limit the numbers and stay in touch with each site on a regular basis.

  12. Thanks to PhilNeal from:

    Sivadam (1st February 2011)

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    We used to involve more sites but found that many didn't have the time to do a through job but we were thinking everything is being hammered. We now limit the numbers and stay in touch with each site on a regular basis.
    Is it possible to take data from other sites, and carry out some predefined tests on that?
    I'd be happy for my data to be used, even though it's taking me ages to get the latest files down to the FTP server. On my last of 10, because some unknown person (accidentally deleted it!), now internet is v.flaky, so it's taking ages.

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    Thanks Vik - unfortunately Capita's rules don't allow us to use customer data in tests. Customers can but not us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    Thanks Vik - unfortunately Capita's rules don't allow us to use customer data in tests. Customers can but not us.
    Aren't Capita just really annoying sometimes!

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    It's to avoid data protection complaints.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    It's to avoid data protection complaints.
    Fairy Nuff.
    Maybe the workaround would be if i logged a case to say i'm concerned that my data will not work with Discover, then you could take it and test it under the guise of a support incident.

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    I doubt that you'd need a dual-core gfx card, any modern ATI or NVIDIA based gfx card should be able to cope with Discover. But you would probably need a computer with at least a dual-core, or ideally quad-core+ CPU. We've just received an update saying that Discover will require at least 4GB Ram (which doesn't make any sense to me unless they're thinking of releasing a 64bit version of SIMS ).

    Does anyone actually have a release date for Discover - all we've got is Spring 2011.

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