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MIS Systems Thread, Academies, 'new' SIMS licenses and the EU concept of 'Exhaustion rights' in Technical; I think this is going off topic if you want to talk about confidentiality and data protection issues then you ...
  1. #61
    Lipjam's Avatar
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    I think this is going off topic if you want to talk about confidentiality and data protection issues then you should really start a new thread. This thread is about licensing of SIMS and I took some time to make (what I feel is) a very important point. I haven't had any significant contribution reply or input on this point. The fact that Capita is ripping schools off for millions across the ccontry evokes little or no response... I don't get it is no one interested in where or taxes are going?

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lipjam View Post
    I think this is going off topic if you want to talk about confidentiality and data protection issues then you should really start a new thread. This thread is about licensing of SIMS and I took some time to make (what I feel is) a very important point. I haven't had any significant contribution reply or input on this point. The fact that Capita is ripping schools off for millions across the ccontry evokes little or no response... I don't get it is no one interested in where or taxes are going?
    Well, as I started this thread, I would both agree and disagree here. The Foia stuff mixes in here, as it appears that someone is requesting information about MIS usage from schools.

    Also, people have responded about the licensing here, and the thread was started covering the issue you have pointed out. However, it is not a simple issue, and we are never going to get a simple response - I highly doubt Capita are going to suddenly change their licensing prices due to a few of us questioning it. Too many schools are willing to simply pay it and get on with their lives.

    Put it this way - to many schools their choice is either pay £13k+ for a license and carry on using what they're used to with very little messing, or upset their entire applecart, and implement a new system. What are most schools going to choose?

  3. #63

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    I see where you're coming from lipjam, which is why i added the line about whether someone is going to challenge these renewal charges. As localzuk says, there appears to be a link here, thus i didn't offer to split the thread. The tecnicalities of FOI were just a minor aside.

  4. #64
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    I’m sorry when I received the quote from Capita asking for the best part of £20k, I laughed, its ridicules.
    Luckily our business manager see sense and has decided to go with another package which a school very close to use is also going to use instead of FMS (I’m at home at the moment so don’t have the name) ok does costs a fair of setup bit but looks a million times better than FMS.
    That’s now reduced our quote a fair bit but it’s still high, I do understand that Capita incur costs for all this and of course need to make money that fair enough. But I’m not going to stand idly by and be mugged.
    I think really there should be a transfer rate of ownership from the LEA to the new Academy and plus however many days consultancy for changes would be perfectly acceptable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vikpaw View Post
    I didn't mean bounce the whole request to LA i meant specifically query #2:



    I still don't understand the way the questions are phrased. Why would the school have someone responsible for the LA MIS system? Unless they mean, who makes sure data is fed back to their system correctly.

    Like i said, it would be easier to call up and ask who is the database manager please, and who handles the VLE. Social engineering seems a much easier approach. Has anyone else had this request?

    I'd be interested to know if someone really is going to challenge these charges / renewal processes.

    I would start the paperwork cost starting at when i first had to post on Edugeek, until i got a definitive answer just like a lawyer would. At the least you can charge for a minimum of one hour. At least it might make the person think twice.
    The FOI request is asking for the person who 'buys' the LA MIS/LP licence (at a discount) for schools and the Capita One (LA version of SIMS)

    For LAs the annual maintenance that they buy for schools (Sims) technically constitutes the awarding of a new contract. If that contract is worth X amount then that LA should have gone through a full procurement exercise (every year) before that contract is awarded.

    If the LA does not go through the OJEU (the LA advertises and invites tenders Computing Tenders - www.tendersdirect.co.uk) process then the contract can be challenged in court and the contract set aside.

    The cost of changing an MIS system does not feature in the procurement process!

    > As far as I know only 18 MIS contracts have gone through OJEU
    Last edited by Banjo; 5th April 2011 at 09:52 AM.

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    I wouldn't know who at the LA bought the licence for the school, let alone the LA MIS. I think the questions should go to the LA, or are you at an LA?

    With regard to the bulk buying by LA for e.g. SIMS. Unless the county imposes SIMS which i doubt they can really do, could you argue that the school elects to use SIMS or A.N.Other product and goes through the LA who can get a good deal. The LA doesn't make the choice for the school, simply that a group of them band together to form a buying consortium and thus get a discount.

    They may choose ONE, but they don't choose SIMS.

    Just asking...

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    Quote Originally Posted by vikpaw View Post
    I wouldn't know who at the LA bought the licence for the school, let alone the LA MIS. I think the questions should go to the LA, or are you at an LA?

    With regard to the bulk buying by LA for e.g. SIMS. Unless the county imposes SIMS which i doubt they can really do, could you argue that the school elects to use SIMS or A.N.Other product and goes through the LA who can get a good deal. The LA doesn't make the choice for the school, simply that a group of them band together to form a buying consortium and thus get a discount.

    They may choose ONE, but they don't choose SIMS.

    Just asking...
    If the LA buys (ie negotiates an LA/bulk discount) the product on behalf of the schools and the contract has a certain value, then it needs to go through a procurement process.

    99% of the LAs in the country break this rule.

  8. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by Banjo View Post
    If the LA buys (ie negotiates an LA/bulk discount) the product on behalf of the schools and the contract has a certain value, then it needs to go through a procurement process.

    99% of the LAs in the country break this rule.
    But how can you put out a contract for a discount? That's not a tender situation is it? Basically lending the schools money up front, then reselling a service to them.
    They could do this for all MIS vendors on the market and it would be a separate closed pool for each one.

    It would be different if they asked which schools would like to change MIS, and they then went out to tender based on some basic specs such as the BECTA requirements, then all MIS providers could join in.

    I may be oversimplifying or misunderstanding how it works.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikpaw View Post
    But how can you put out a contract for a discount? That's not a tender situation is it? Basically lending the schools money up front, then reselling a service to them.
    They could do this for all MIS vendors on the market and it would be a separate closed pool for each one.

    It would be different if they asked which schools would like to change MIS, and they then went out to tender based on some basic specs such as the BECTA requirements, then all MIS providers could join in.

    I may be oversimplifying or misunderstanding how it works.
    The problem is, the LEA pays the contract at a fixed price - regardless of whether a school then uses that license or not. So, in effect its one giant license and therefore one giant contract each year being renewed.

    So, if it goes over a certain size, it is supposed to go to tender under EU procurement rules.

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    I'm generally staying out of this debate however for us the LA pays per pupil of the schools that are electing to use our software.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    I'm generally staying out of this debate however for us the LA pays per pupil of the schools that are electing to use our software.
    Why are you staying out of the debate? The very topic of this discussion is Capita's licensing practices towards academies, and how they are, quite frankly, ridiculously high!

    I'm pretty sure that many schools want to know why the price is so high. You will be losing customers because of it, no question about that.

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    I can't add to my original statement and there's a lot in here off topic i.e. FOI requests etc. FOI requests are clearly a competitor trying to gain competitive information.

  13. #73

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    Ok then, I'll take you up on a specific point from your original statement

    Even after licence fees our charges compare very favourably with leading competitors.
    No, they don't. When you take the license fee into account, the break even point compared with a competitor is around 10 years! So, we'd have to use your software for 10 years in order to spend the same amount as using a competitor's product! How is that in any way favourable?

    You say you have to employ people to market, demo etc... but all your competitors do too!

  14. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilNeal View Post
    I'm generally staying out of this debate however for us the LA pays per pupil of the schools that are electing to use our software.
    That's how i thought it would be, so the LA is like a middle man, that gets you a discount, and may provide some level of combined support to help out it's schools.

    If it was how you said localzuk then i would agree, but then they would have to implement a minimum number of schools to uptake the offer before it became ridiculous for them to do that.

    Back to topic though, it would interesting to hear from any non-sims schools going through the process and what other MIS suppliers are charging. that would show how fair the fees are...

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    CAM
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    So what if the school goes back to the LA support team after becoming an academy and says "Hey, can we subscribe to your SIMS expertise and support and use your licence please? Here is some money."

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