CAM (6th April 2011)
Ok as I have said before. School is licenced through original LA scheme, and gets support from LA.
What happens when the school become a SIMS direct site? AFAIK the licences transfer to the school do they not as support is paid direct to capita and nothing to the LA. If this school then becomes an Academy then surely they already have the licence and dont need to pay over the odds?
Phil surely you see that this is morally wrong? New style academies retain the same DfE/DFES/DCSF number, they do not close and reopen they just change type of school. Do schools that become Trust schools have to follow the same re-licence? I can fully understand your novate clause but surely in this instance you can see that the end user/institution is the same not different!
Looks like we get to join this debate after all. Last week we had a visit from Capita to inform us that we would need to buy licences etc - Total cost for Year 1 about 21k then 14k+ Year 2 onwards (Annual Entitlement + Support). The Governing Body have told the SMT to look into another MIS; we are after all spending public money and have to be seen to be getting best value. We had our first demo today and have another one later in the week. All quotes have so far come out cheaper from Year 4 onwards. The product viewed today was browser based and is even upgraded automatically by the company concerned (our biggest worry as our LA refuses to support the Sims upgrade process).
For myself - I had thought I would using Sims until I retire but now it looks like this old dog is going to have to learn some new tricks. Oh yes and I'll be in the high Arctic while it's all going on!!!!
The 21k is purely re-licensing plus annual entitlement (there is an early bird discount in there of a couple of K). Our Annuall Entitlement doesn't cover support so we will have to buy that too year on year. There is no training / on site support in the package.
Our LA run what they call Central Sims - they host the database, backups etc. We didn't buy in because they couldn't do SLG (we were one of the very first schools to use it) - they can do it now but as we had already bought the kit and spent time getting it working we stayed standalone. There was some jiggery-pokerey a few years ago and we were "persuaded" to buy their support. Turned out that because they upgraded all the other schools centrally they didn't think it was fair that we got upgrade support from them when the other schools didn't so they refused to help. Now tell me guys, "when is it that your support contract really pays?" - when you are upgrading the system!!
Interestingly we are now also talking to ISAMS - they want to get into the state sector. Watch this space.
It might be worth talking to the LA again. The LA can claim back 20% of your AM that you pay Capita on top of the support that you buy from them. Ask them if the £1500-£2000 extra they will get from supporting you (cash back from Capita) will cover the upgrade process?
The quandary I'm seeing with respect to a Phase 2 conversion, is that, as I understand it - the application process can be complete with 3-4 months (or maybe less?) and the desire from management to get up and running as an Academy asap can be understable with respect to access to funding and freedoms, so they will not want to wait.
Then you get this situation with Capita and the obvious thing you'd want to do is take a fresh look at the market, compare pricing and capability and decide if there is merit for change. But even if you had the time to do that, and initial cost wise it looked favourable - the time pressure I just mentioned could well mean that you could not do all of that, and plan in an appropriate time to migrate from your existing MIS to another (lets assume always the summer break?), within the short window that management then decide as the time prior to Academy "go"!
So you end up paying out to stick with what you have cos it's the least risk scenario and the only path feasible in the timeframe.
Capita must be laughing all the way to the bank on this one.
Anjelica if you already hold a SIMS licence in your own name there is only a nominal transfer fee. Our AM quote would include support from Capita.
The other important factor is that if you are under an LA they can claim back the AM they have paid and they might pay that back to you. I would have expected your licence charge to be around £12K.
Resin1 you should not assume that academies are a no cost extenstion for Capita far from it; the disaggregation costs are huge.
Phil: We hold our own licence for SLG but your people say that doesn't count. We asked the question about how much support was available with the Annual Entitlement and we haven't had an answer. £12k - I think that's what I said plus somewhere around that again for Annual Entitlement in Year 1
Thanks Anjelica - the team is right about SLG not being enough but they shouldn't be charging that as its in your own name already. The refund from the LA is an important figure.
Sorry resin1 didn't mean to be defense.
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