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MIS Systems Thread, Cloud Computing and Management Information Systems- what do members think? in Technical; Originally Posted by matt40k Have a word with Cambridgeshire LA, they've not long ago replaced there kit. All of that ...
  1. #46

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    Have a word with Cambridgeshire LA, they've not long ago replaced there kit.
    All of that was sorted / arranged prior to DoE and Mr G deciding to move the goal posts, IIRC. They have also just signed a deal with Virgin on connectivity too (CPSN) which should make quite a difference to school connections.

  2. #47

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    MIS - easy to use as Facebook ... a complement?

    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    Are you saying a MIS written from the ground-up as a MIS application, or an existing well designed MIS with a web front end?

    I'd be interested to hear how you would deal with say, end of year reports for the entire school, we must be talking a few hundred MB. I admit the cloud resources would make generating them a lot easier, but printing might be interesting, still I suppose you could do e-reports. Also aren't certain features going to be more difficult on a web browser?
    matt40k,
    For the efficiency, MIS software must be ground up written as web application so that a single logical instance of the software application runs on the server, sharing that executing code with all users, including across schools in this case. As users log in and out, ‘sessions’ are created to hold information related to that user, and those data are used by the shared executing application and discarded when no longer required.

    Web front end of course will behave same as above however when Windows part is fired up the benefit of web front is lost.

    Year reports for the entire school:
    Such extensive reports have been produced by hundreds of school using all web based Bromcom e-Registration system since early 2002. Printing, resource management for local or system printers are all highly configurable.

    … aren't certain features going to be more difficult on a web browser?
    We are not sure which features you mean. Yes, we had some serious challenge but mastered over the past 10 years how to incorporate wide range of features - such as ‘right click’ functions, all sort of cursor auto movements, intelligent selectors, remebering last used names etc.. Every report in the system can be scheduled to be generated automatically and printed on any printer in the system or e-mailed to a chosen receipent at a scheduled given day of the week, month, year at chosen time and frequency. All these also are built in Bromcom MIS. We now receive comments from schools saying ‘your MIS is so intituive - easy to use as Facebook” – assuming it is a complement. Please drop us PM if you wish to talk to schools using all-browser MIS.

    Please state any particular feature you like to check - happy to explain.

  3. #48

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    LAs & centrally hosted MIS

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    But Why would an LA take on a centrally hosted option in the present situation? Unless they can get long-term guarantees from schools and academies that there will be buy-in then it creates too much of a risk. Even if a school signs up now ... when they become and academy they might decide that it no longer applies and they go elsewhere ... leaving the LA with a cost to manage ... and that either gets absorbed by the LA or spread over schools.
    GrumbleDook,

    An interesting and a good point.

    At present time most primary schools appear to be sticking with LAs. With DfE-Buying Solution Framework OJEU Tender for MIS and Learning Services which is now well underway, we may see a different market structure being emerged for supply and services for MIS & Learning Services. Under new Framework contracts LAs may want to negotiate terms with software suppliers so to allow small % of drop out of primaries without a penalty. With "software as a service" (SaaS) and utility model service discussed under centrally hosted/cloud on this thread, a school should be able to switch support services/delivery/billing from the source just as billing agent for domestic gas and electricity. Hence a school may switch from LA to other without disrupting the service if stays with the same software. Changing to a different software is a different matter of course.

    Meanwhile LAs/schools will check how they will cope with spending cuts and evaporated Harnessing Technology Grant and see how much centrally hosted MIS may help to reduced deployment/support staff and lost budget to keep MIS servers up to date.

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    @BromcomPublicRelations
    As you know, few LAs (if any) specifically used to pay for ongoing costs for hosted services for MIS. They may have done for Learning Platforms (as part of capital projects to get things running) or to enable MIS - LP integration ... but there have been enough FoI requests going round to show that pretty much all of those contesting the majority providers position have that information now, as well as the papers, conslutants and many more.

    Changing from an LA hosted central service to a cloud based SaaS under the new framework will be an interesting choice for many. The analogy of viewing it as a domestic service is not quite right though ... depending on how the centrally hosted services is provided, accessed and supported it is likely to differ from SaaS offerings due to different UI, functionality, and support ... even if it is from the same generic supplier. The supplier has to persuade the LA to accept the change of service to the new style service, to take on board the possible costs for this (ranging from different hardware requirements, support requirement, software and licence requirement and training requirements) and to migrate to a new service which would allow for easier migration to a SaaS service which would be available under the new framework (when it arrives).

    Should a school leave the LA service at this point the LA could have reasonable chance to refuse to pay any penalty to the supplier. That is a position being looked at under the new framework, I believe, as transition is going to be a stumbling block for a free and open market. Transition and Migration have costs ... even moving from a like for like service.

    I will be interested to see the commercials on the new framework to see what discounts will operate for LA or large scale purchase. Whilst SaaS is viewed by some as a reason why there should not be a discount based on scaling ... this is fine for the hardware / computing aspect ... but fails to deal with support / training. Still ... that is up to the DoE to look at and I am sure that it has been considered properly.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    "MIS - easy to use as Facebook ... a complement?"

    That caught me off guard a little bit.

    Sorry, but hell no. If an MIS is "as easy to use as Facebook" then it's doing something wrong. If that was the case, just about anyone can rock up to it and get their hands dirty, breaking god knows what in the process. MIS administrators should be specifically trained people to do a particular job; the thought of randoms being able to get their hands onto it scares me - I think that's also a little on the dangerous side. After all, everyone would like to own a car that you can fix yourself but there's damned good reasons to trust qualified people to do it for you. That would seem to be another argument though, not for this thread.

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    I think they meant it in terms of the software being intuitive. IE if you've been using SIMS when you moved over to SIMS .net you didn't have to re-learn the interfaces, the processes are the same, just easier to do. Let hope the person who said that wasn't a headteacher as they're about to hire someone off the street with zero experience and knowledge and except them to start running a school lol

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    Let's hope indeed

    But yeah as the intuition goes, I agree. I don't agree with FB being intuitive though, it's intentionally obtrusive!

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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    Let's hope indeed

    But yeah as the intuition goes, I agree. I don't agree with FB being intuitive though, it's intentionally obtrusive!
    agreed. it needs a CLI to be intuitive

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    Hosted SIMS outage - anyone affected?

    My mirth is almost uncontainable.

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    This is what happens when wrongly a Windows apps is used for hosted/cloud deployment

    Wrong thread - see "Hosted SIMS outage - anyone affected?"
    Last edited by BromcomPublicRelations; 13th July 2011 at 07:14 PM. Reason: Wrong thread

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