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Virtual Learning Platforms Thread, Webanywhere SIMS Integration in Technical; We are currently having our hands forced into Webanywhere's SIMS integration solution (which I am extrememly unhappy about). We had ...
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    Angry Webanywhere SIMS Integration

    We are currently having our hands forced into Webanywhere's SIMS integration solution (which I am extrememly unhappy about). We had a forced trial a few weeks ago and it appeared unstable and sub standard. Before this inevitably goes ahead can anyone who has been through a similar process highlight any of the potentail pitfalls or maybe advantages of moving away from Overnet datas solution.

    A very dissatisfied customer!

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    glennda's Avatar
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    TBH I have to agree with you - I did't go with Webanywhere (was something like 10k for 3 years and it has to run on physical hardware separate to the web server!).

    The main pitfalls are just making sure the user accounts etc match up with the Sims names i.e somebody in AD/Moodle is called Joe and in Sims Joseph etc etc

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    @Paulo123:

    We use WebanyWhere's Sims integration package along with other developments and to date we have nothing but praise for the company along with many others around the country to my knowledge.

    As long as your Sims data and your AD is all in good shape then there is no problems as ever the computing protocol is: input, process, output, if your input data is not correct then your output data is going to follow the same route.

    As with any DB it can sometimes be a little awkward in getting the information you require out but then to publish that data through a web interface also has its difficulties.

    As with any development it is always changing and this belies the reasons for good support from the company you undertake to help you with your development.

    Take a look at all the other VLE developed solutions and how much they cost and how they are supported, for the money I feel WebAnyWhere give good value.

    @glennda:

    Our Moodle is virtualised on seperate hardware but we could have had it running on our Xenserver pool if we had requested and cost nothing like what you have displayed here.

    We didn't go with all the other VLE developers as we thought that for the costs WebAnyWhere gave great service and value in comparison.

    These are my views based on actual facts from our experience with WebAnyWhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bossman View Post
    @glennda:

    Our Moodle is virtualised on seperate hardware but we could have had it running on our Xenserver pool if we had requested and cost nothing like what you have displayed here.

    We didn't go with all the other VLE developers as we thought that for the costs WebAnyWhere gave great service and value in comparison.

    These are my views based on actual facts from our experience with WebAnyWhere.
    When I had the sales guy in he said the parts that needed to run to communicate with Sims had to run on there own physical host (it uses business objects/API does it not) in some weird way. The web server hosting Moodle itself is separate.

    I think the reason the costings I thought where OTT was that we simply wanted the Parental Reporting features of the product and in the end went with ZiLink for a fraction of the cost and the functionality we required at the time.

    And it was one of those sales people that pesters you every day asking for progress - which i don't like anyway!

  5. Thanks to glennda from:

    penfold_99 (18th July 2012)

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    Our MIS integration runs on the same physical box as our Moodle platform. I believe the solution is Overnet Data's resold by Webanywhere and they use some sort of virtualisation platform to host the Moodle platform but not a solution like VMWare or Citrix.

    @bossman

    Did you originally have the Overnet data solution and migrate to Webanywhere's or were you with Webanywheres solution from the outset? I have to say you are the first person I have heard of with real positive feedback regarding webanywhere. I also think our AD and SIMS database are irrlevant and the data is alreay in Moodle. The last time we switched to Webanywheres solution (without being told) all the passwords for our parental access were reset with no way of recovering them apart from returning to Overnet datas solution! Thank goodness they stepped in when they did! It was a complete disaster. Webanywheres solution also did not deliver some key functionality reported by my users such as conditional formatting of registers and the like. It also sucked lots of irrelavant images and unwanted data from the students Gmail for some reason. Not a good experience. I would be very interested to know if you had the original solution prior to Webanywheres?

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    @glennda

    Was your install for a primary or a secondary? HOw big was the site. £10k is a fraction of what we were charged for three years! All interesting stuff...

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    glennda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulo123 View Post
    @glennda

    Was your install for a primary or a secondary? HOw big was the site. £10k is a fraction of what we were charged for three years! All interesting stuff...
    Was for a Secondary school with 1600 kids

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    Haha! The plot thickens, a very similar size to our site. Looks like we dipped out with our sales rep!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulo123 View Post
    Our MIS integration runs on the same physical box as our Moodle platform. I believe the solution is Overnet Data's resold by Webanywhere and they use some sort of virtualisation platform to host the Moodle platform but not a solution like VMWare or Citrix.

    @bossman

    Did you originally have the Overnet data solution and migrate to Webanywhere's or were you with Webanywheres solution from the outset? I have to say you are the first person I have heard of with real positive feedback regarding webanywhere. I also think our AD and SIMS database are irrlevant and the data is alreay in Moodle. The last time we switched to Webanywheres solution (without being told) all the passwords for our parental access were reset with no way of recovering them apart from returning to Overnet datas solution! Thank goodness they stepped in when they did! It was a complete disaster. Webanywheres solution also did not deliver some key functionality reported by my users such as conditional formatting of registers and the like. It also sucked lots of irrelavant images and unwanted data from the students Gmail for some reason. Not a good experience. I would be very interested to know if you had the original solution prior to Webanywheres?
    The original solution was with WebAnyWhere and had no bearing on Overnet data as far as I am aware. As for the AD and Sims data being irrelevant I do feel that it is, as this is where all your user data is aligned to, ours pulls in the data from the Sims to create the user accounts within Moodle and then align's it with our AD using one of the fields within the users data profile, it works well as far as we have experienced but I am sure there will be endusers out there who will have had challenging experiences but I have to date not had any contact me and tell me so and quite a few people have contacted me personally asking which platform we have used for our VLE and who has provided our solution, I just tell them it is WebAnyWhere.

    Why are you not happy with your solution, what problems are you getting and can they not be rectified?

    I do find working together closely with WebAnyWhere has helped us create a good relationship and any challenges that have arisen have been quickly and effectively ironed out.

    I would not feel that it is necessary to condemn a company openly in public as this is not the done thing in my eye's, it doesn't get things resolved and also make's for a bad feeling amongst people which when all said and done can be resolved by getting together and talking it out.

    I do sincerely hope you can get your problems sorted quickly and effectively and your endusers can go about there business of teaching from your VLE.

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    I agree entirely with not condemning anyone and hope that this thread doesn't come across that way. I am only trying to gauge opinion from other users before making a decision as I highlighted in the original post!

    In our case the LDAP data and SIMS is irrelavant as that data is already in our Moodle meaning that if we switch to Webanywheres solution we loose all our passwords that have been distribute causing significant administrative overhead, cost and negative PR. I have first hand experience of this from when Webanywhere switched us over without informing us on our Moodle 2.0 upgrade.

    If you are happy with their product and can confirm it is stable than that is all the information I was after. The fact that you haven't had a migration from Overnets solution to Webanywhere's still leaves part of my question open however.

    I will say Mike Bennett is engaging with us and is following this post (HI MIKE) and we have also had discussions with Simon Smith so the door is far from closed.

    The reason for my frustration this time is due to the fact I have two days before end of term and this has been dropped on us. We have been told to continue with our Webanywhere support we have to switch to their SIMS portal and if we stick to our current Overnet data solution which they happily sold us 1 year ago they can no longer supoprt us. Now that in itself is not the end of the world. 3rd party support is 3rd party support however I flagged this to them months ago after receiving an email that was sent our publically from Overnet and they assured me all was well and nothing more needed to be done. It feels a little convenient that this happens when we no longer have the time to make a properly informed decision...hence the post!

    My analagy is this: You buy a porsche with a porsche engine and a year down the line you are informed that actually the porsche engine that you are completely happy with was actually supplied by a third party and due to corporate politics it now has to be replaced by a VW Beetle engine (a much inferior product that has been proved to cause huge problems). I can either take the crappy engine and keep my Porshe warranty of look after myself with my lovely porshe engine that was working perfectly well!

    I can't imagine anywhere else, in any other industry, anyone standing for this.

    I hope that we get a resolution quickly too! My SLT are not at all happy and don't deserver the stress that this has caused.

    I will also add that Anthony from Overnet data has been spectacularly helpful throughout and one of his employees (Guy Thomas) actually spoke to me yesterday from his personal holiday about the situation! Now that is customer service!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulo123 View Post
    I agree entirely with not condemning anyone and hope that this thread doesn't come across that way. I am only trying to gauge opinion from other users before making a decision as I highlighted in the original post!

    In our case the LDAP data and SIMS is irrelavant as that data is already in our Moodle meaning that if we switch to Webanywheres solution we loose all our passwords that have been distribute causing significant administrative overhead, cost and negative PR. I have first hand experience of this from when Webanywhere switched us over without informing us on our Moodle 2.0 upgrade.

    If you are happy with their product and can confirm it is stable than that is all the information I was after. The fact that you haven't had a migration from Overnets solution to Webanywhere's still leaves part of my question open however.

    I will say Mike Bennett is engaging with us and is following this post (HI MIKE) and we have also had discussions with Simon Smith so the door is far from closed.

    The reason for my frustration this time is due to the fact I have two days before end of term and this has been dropped on us. We have been told to continue with our Webanywhere support we have to switch to their SIMS portal and if we stick to our current Overnet data solution which they happily sold us 1 year ago they can no longer supoprt us. Now that in itself is not the end of the world. 3rd party support is 3rd party support however I flagged this to them months ago after receiving an email that was sent our publically from Overnet and they assured me all was well and nothing more needed to be done. It feels a little convenient that this happens when we no longer have the time to make a properly informed decision...hence the post!

    My analagy is this: You buy a porsche with a porsche engine and a year down the line you are informed that actually the porsche engine that you are completely happy with was actually supplied by a third party and due to corporate politics it now has to be replaced by a VW Beetle engine (a much inferior product that has been proved to cause huge problems). I can either take the crappy engine and keep my Porshe warranty of look after myself with my lovely porshe engine that was working perfectly well!

    I can't imagine anywhere else, in any other industry, anyone standing for this.

    I hope that we get a resolution quickly too! My SLT are not at all happy and don't deserver the stress that this has caused.

    I will also add that Anthony from Overnet data has been spectacularly helpful throughout and one of his employees (Guy Thomas) actually spoke to me yesterday from his personal holiday about the situation! Now that is customer service!
    As I stated in my post, we were not privvie to the internal politics between 2 companies as far as we were concerned we were dealing with just WebAnyWhere and that has remained, I have no doubt that both solutions have their strong points as well as their challenging points but you have to make a choice and that is where the problem for you lies, I do feel in a way that you have answered your own question by what you have posted, if you are happy with something then stick with it, if not look at a solution that you feel will benefit your school and go that way.

    If you are not confident in a company no amount of persuasion from anyone should detract you from doing what you feel is best for your school.

    I am confident that WebAnyWhere delivers what we as a school require and that is all I can say on the matter, I cannot give people advice based on their schools needs and requirements just our own experience.

    I do hope that both companies resolve their issues as it does seem that both companies can and do deliver similar products well based on the comments from people all over the country.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulo123 View Post
    Haha! The plot thickens, a very similar size to our site. Looks like we dipped out with our sales rep!
    Well they knew we where looking at an alternative to SLG which came in at something stupid like 12k so maybe they just slipped under thinking we would jump for it.

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    We had moodle with CMIS integration from WebAnyWhere.
    Stayed with them for a year, never really got effective support.
    Support calls had long periods with no updates, complained, got better support for a few weeks then slipped back to a poor standard of customer service.
    Moved to remote Learner for the moodle aspect and stuck with OvernetData (outstanding support and very helpful) for the CMIS integration, much happier.

    Maybe we were just unlucky but I feel we had too many negative experiences and would definitely not recommend WebAnyWhere.



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