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MIS Systems Thread, iSAMS or 3SYS in Technical; We have been looking at replacements for out CMIS\ePortal products and these two are at the top of our list. ...
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    Danp's Avatar
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    iSAMS or 3SYS

    We have been looking at replacements for out CMIS\ePortal products and these two are at the top of our list. Both have been in to show what they can do but thought I would ask for any user\tech\admin experiences of these in an Independent school environment.

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    bodminman's Avatar
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    We've just gone with 3Sys and had the install a few weeks ago.

    We had a good demo here and to be honest we were really impressed with it. However, there are certain functions that still need the traditional PASS portal login thingy!

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    I would strongly advise against 3Sys.

    We switched to PASS a couple of years ago, and added 3Sys when it was released. I hate to ruin bodminman's day so close to the end of term, but although we were also impressed with the demo, we have had a lot of problems with it since that fateful day. Right now we have 14 issues still outstanding with WCBS support, more than one of which has DPA implications. The longest has been with them since October 2010.

    Please feel free to PM me if you'd like to discuss.

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    Netman's Avatar
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    We left PASS for iSAMS on the curriculum side in 2009 (accounts are still on PASS) - very few issues in that time and we don't regret the move at all. iSAMS intranet was poo though, so we've since moved on to Firefly for that and VLE which integrates nicely with iSAMS. The biggest downside I could say is that iSAMS still needs IE to run and isn't going to support all browsers when it does open up apparently... still, better than PASS for us...

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    Danp's Avatar
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    All interesting comments, thank you.

    We have our own intranet and separate VLE, so we can ignore that side of it.

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    iSams were working on an iDevice app that looked pretty smart (saw it at BETT). who else is on your list @Danp ? I think we have at least 2 independent iSAMS users on the forum who can give you some feedback, but they are most likely on vacation.
    Have you looked at ASPEN? It appears to be extremely flexible which is exactly what an Independent needs.
    Last edited by vikpaw; 1st April 2012 at 02:36 PM. Reason: citation

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    We moved from CMIS/ePortal to iSAMS this year and are so glad we did. iSAMS has been very well received by all of our staff both teaching and non teaching. Our main reason for changing was due to the upcoming migration to Progresso as we figured that if we had to migrate to a new system and train staff accordingly we would review all systems on the market to ensure we picked the best product.

    The key to any new system is a careful implementation process and to this end I would recommend you request an onsite meeting to go through everything and spend as much time as you can on preparing your data for migration. We spend a good 3 weeks tidying everything up and although there were a few errors in the data our migration went incredibly smoothly.

    We are a independent pre-prep, prep, secondary and sixth form school and managed to merge several different systems together which were CMIS (secondary school MIS), CJM School Manager (prep school MIS), parentmail (used for emailing/txting parents) and RS Admissions (admissions). We still use PASS for our accounts suite and will continue to.

    Should you have any specific questions please feel free to ask.

    Stuart Winfield
    St Edmund's College

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    GREED's Avatar
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    Nice subtle plug there @vikpaw

    On a completely open basis with no disrespect to the 2 products mentioned, what put them at the top of your list over the bigger players (Capita, Serco, RM, etc) in the market, for you?
    Last edited by vikpaw; 2nd April 2012 at 08:52 AM.

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    Danp's Avatar
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    Thank you Stuart, sounds very much like the same setup as us, we too are pre-prep - 6th. We also have RS Admissions and PASS that are staying for the foreseeable future.

    Tbh, I have not really been involved much with this side of things, its mostly been my boss as the final decision falls to her, our DTL and the other SL team.

    For us, these are the top two from the 4 companies who have been in to see us, Serco was first, but we were not impressed with what they offer now, they look to be directed more to state schools and lost the touch with independent side that they did so well with covering in the past. Also, I think we need to wait a year for multi browser support for Progresso, this wont work for us.

    Still open to suggestions, but we need to make our decision soon as we want to start the new school year on the new system

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    Do bear in mind then that iSAMS only works in IE as NETMAN mentioned above. They are working on a mobile device version to work on android and apple devices, as VIKPAW mentions, but they do not have any plans to make iSAMS work with other browsers at present. The mobile device version is about to go into beta testing with a launch expected for September.

    As for Serco, they closed their Independent Schools department and merged everyone into local groups. A lot of independent schools jumped ship around this time as it was clear that Serco were not taking Independent Schools seriously. Our new account manager did not contact us for 2 years and seemed put out when I contacted her to cancel our support. For us Progresso is too new a product which was running too far behind competitor products.

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    Danp's Avatar
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    For a few reasons, but mostly with our Music dept being all Mac, we have to have multi-browser support.

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    Just had an update from iSAMS. They are in the process of employing someone to work on multi browser. Although they do not have a exact timescale their hope is that this will be on the way within 12 months.

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    We implemented iSAMS about 3 years ago and are very happy with it. Am happy to chat on the phone if you wish - pm me your number and I will call you. We have implemented most of their modules including parent portal, pupil portal, intranet (which we love, incidentally) and have bought most of the administrative modules.

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    We use Isams and I have been very pleased with it. There are a few minor issues with certain areas such as exam managment especially seating plans and invigilation and the alumni/past pupils is not useable as anything more than a simple database but on the whole it is very good and much easier than CMIS which we used before.

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    Danp's Avatar
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    Still between these too, 3SYS look to be leading though

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