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MIS Systems Thread, Academies, 'new' SIMS licenses and the EU concept of 'Exhaustion rights' in Technical; Originally Posted by sparkeh Tricky isn't it, as the reverse could be argued, using their dominant position to charge excessive ...
  1. #121
    Sivadam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkeh View Post
    Tricky isn't it, as the reverse could be argued, using their dominant position to charge excessive fees. I don't actually know the figures I understand from posts here that SIMS is significantly more expensive that its rival products. If the market was working, this would not be the case.
    I have been contacted by Capita to ask if I would host a visit from a school based not that far from here, to see our SIMS in action. They are currently with another 'popular' MIS Supplier and their 'contract' is due for renewal. Apparantly they can save money, over 5 years, by moving to SIMS!

    Having said that, the school has not yet contacted me and so I do not know which of the packages they have been quoted for!

  2. #122
    EdWhittaker's Avatar
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    They could save even more money immediately by moving to ScholarPack or iSAMS.

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    Sivadam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdWhittaker View Post
    They could save even more money immediately by moving to ScholarPack or iSAMS.
    Yep! Maybe so!
    But with the risk of losing funtionality!
    Or, in this case, not getting the extra functionality that SIMS would bring!

  4. #124

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sivadam View Post
    Yep! Maybe so!
    But with the risk of losing funtionality!
    Or, in this case, not getting the extra functionality that SIMS would bring!
    I'd question this statement - have you compared the products? For example, we were hard pressed to see any missing stuff from ScholarPack when we saw it a few months back, and they've added a raft of new features since then.

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    I have to agree with localzuk. We saw three products (and considered three others). The three we saw were all web based so no need to have software on PCs and had lots and lots of good features. At my age I wouldn't be considering a move to iSAMS if I didn't think it could do as much as SIMS if not more. I can do without the hassle of the move - I am only considering it because we believe it is the best move for our school.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sivadam View Post
    They are currently with another 'popular' MIS Supplier and their 'contract' is due for renewal. Apparantly they can save money, over 5 years, by moving to SIMS!
    Capita obviously didn't mention the costs of keeping up to date with the prerequisites that sims requires - SQL upgrades, Windows Upgrades (yes they forced some LA's off W2k back in the day, CALs, MSOffice upgrades and the ridiculous system requirements of Discover.

  7. #127
    EdWhittaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sivadam View Post
    Yep! Maybe so!
    But with the risk of losing funtionality!
    Or, in this case, not getting the extra functionality that SIMS would bring!
    Of course this is true; but please see my earlier point regarding early adopters, above. The extra functionality will build with time and as the userbase increases. If no-one takes it on because it doesn't have all the bells and whistles right now, then of course it never will have. If we wait for a complete and total replacement for SIMS (Integris, CMIS etc) then we're likely to wait a long time. I'm sure, in the current economic climate and with so many schools converting to academies, there will be plenty of schools willing to compromise functionality for price. I also think that many head teachers are aware that by working in collaboration with smaller providers to develop functionality, they are more likely to get something that suits their needs.

    The introduction of competition into the MIS market will be good for everyone, including SIMS users. If competition means that SIMS has to be priced more keenly and has to become more reliable and user friendly, then SIMSophiles will be happier too! However, currently there is little incentive for major providers to change.

  8. Thanks to EdWhittaker from:

    Sivadam (7th June 2011)

  9. #128

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Most MIS (as with many things out there) will do what the school wants, or can do what the school needs. The amount of change involved going from one particular implementation to another will vary, depending on staff, time, resources for training and the strategy of SLT at the school.

    For many SIMS ticks the boxes and then some ... but even then, few schools make the full use of the SIMS ... and swapping to another MIS to get features can just mean that they have not looked hard enough at what they already have.

    For some other schools, the amount of effort required to take full control of the MIS is outweighed by the ease which particular products do certain tasks, and so they will look to move away. Sometimes this is linked with cost savings (not just in the MIS costs, but in staffing, training, teacher time, etc) and other times it is down to someone up the chain wanting to change ... often to support a particular agenda of change with a school. In the past this could have been around pupil reporting (not specifically online reporting but linked to AfL and other areas), timetabling, attendance and many more. Then when SLT changed you can sometimes find the agenda and needs of the school changes. @SpuffMonkey put this as 3 years in a recent post ...

    There is no right or wrong MIS. This is no right or wrong way of using it. Whatever fits your schools needs is fine ... but just try to make sure that you are not sticking with one MIS on the grounds it is the only one that does something or that it is too complex to change, but in the same way ... don't just change because it will be better elsewhere, it is *bound* to save you money or the latest ideas for SLT will be around *forever*!

    It is good to hear people taking a lot of time and putting a lot of effort into their choices ... I wish more schools did that about a *wide* range of things.

  10. Thanks to GrumbleDook from:

    Sivadam (7th June 2011)

  11. #129

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sivadam View Post
    I have been contacted by Capita to ask if I would host a visit from a school based not that far from here, to see our SIMS in action. They are currently with another 'popular' MIS Supplier and their 'contract' is due for renewal. Apparantly they can save money, over 5 years, by moving to SIMS!

    Having said that, the school has not yet contacted me and so I do not know which of the packages they have been quoted for!
    I really don't see how. I've had quotes from a list of companies, and none of them, even over 5 years, come close to the cost of SIMS.net. As CyberNerd says, look at the requirements too and it is an easy choice. Shame our school decided to stick with SIMS.net for now, as we're too busy during the changeover to academy status to think about changing! In the future though, I've been told we will be looking to change, as we are sick of the cost.

  12. #130
    Sivadam's Avatar
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    One smiles with amusement!
    Until I have further details I can only repeat what I have been told!

    As for what may be missing in other systems, then the recent additions to SIMS of Alternative Curriculum and Discover are just a couple that may be worth a mention.
    Then again - other systems may already have this functionality anyway! I am sure there are many waiting to pounce on me again!

  13. #131
    EdWhittaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post

    For many SIMS ticks the boxes and then some ... but even then, few schools make the full use of the SIMS ... and swapping to another MIS to get features can just mean that they have not looked hard enough at what they already have.

    For some other schools, the amount of effort required to take full control of the MIS is outweighed by the ease which particular products do certain tasks, and so they will look to move away...
    True, but it's not just 'what' it's also 'how'. Let me give a little example: last September two of our schools stopped using our product because they were told that SIMS could do it. True, it could ... in a way. It was so difficult for class teachers to use SIMS they just didn't bother and the school managers found that they couldn't get the type of analysis they wanted out of it. Both schools have now stopped using SIMS and have come back to us.
    It simply isn't enough to look at a list of features and compare systems by what it says in the brochure. Two systems may be comparable on paper, but differ wildly in useability.

  14. #132
    Sivadam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anjelica View Post
    .... We saw three products (and considered three others). The three we saw were all web based so no need to have software on PCs and had lots and lots of good features.......
    With the state of our Internet Connection, via YHGfL, then that would rapidly kick out all those three options!

  15. #133

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sivadam View Post
    With the state of our Internet Connection, via YHGfL, then that would rapidly kick out all those three options!
    Web based != Externally hosted. Ok, for some it does, but for others it doesn't. And maybe spending more on your internet connection, and then going for a cheaper solution that is externally hosted/web based might give a better service...

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    Sivadam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdWhittaker View Post
    ........ Let me give a little example: last September two of our schools stopped using our product because they were told that SIMS could do it. True, it could ... in a way. It was so difficult for class teachers to use SIMS they just didn't bother and the school managers found that they couldn't get the type of analysis they wanted out of it.....
    Unbelievable!
    As has been said many, many times. No matter what the system is then it will be no good in not used efficiently!
    SIMS is specifically aimed at Teachers in the Classroom! If the Admins cannot set it up in the background to work for Teachers then that is NOT the fault of the system!

  17. #135
    Sivadam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    ..... And maybe spending more on your internet connection, and then going for a cheaper solution that is externally hosted/web based might give a better service...
    Myself and my technical expert have been trying for years to pursuade the school to opt out of the current provider and buy in our own ISP. It would actually be cheaper AND more efficient!
    But that is another story!

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