I know this has probably been asked before but for a variety of complex reasons I am in a hurry for some views.
3 VLE choices:
3. Ramesys - Assimilate
Anyone with any experience of using these, I'd be grateful for your views on the products and the companies.
About 6 months ago we looked at these three as well as some other providers and we chose LP+ for the following reasons:
Based on Microsoft technology, integration with Office which was crutial for teachers, managed service allowed us to have other people developing and managing the platform instead of it falling to us, opportunity to use Outlook, teachers found the product the easiest to use, flexibility of SharePoint, Customisation of the look of the platform, able to use existing office resources teachers had created within the platform, opportunity to collaborate with other schools on LP+ both england and abroad, the LP+ development roadmap was superb (MIS, mobile, parent, community), and we were very impressed with their knowledge around education/pedagogy and how a learning platform fits within a school environment and the challenges we face.
I can say that we were really dissappointed with Ramesys, their product is old, unfriendly and generally needs a complete overhall.
Frog were good and had a really great looking product on the surface, but this is really only a VLE and we were after a MLE. The sales guy was very good when kept within his comfort zone but once we delved down into specifics the functionality/flexibility did not compete with SharePoint and were poor on collaboration if you had more than one school (feeders etc), which was key to us.
Since going with LP+ we have not regretted it and have a good relationship with them, the support is good and we feel we made the right choice 6 months on.
LP+ is the way forward
I was in the same situation as you two years ago. Before I purchased a solution I looked at all the technologies on the market, Digital Brain, LP+ Plus, Moodle, Frog etc
I had to make some decisions first: 1) On site or off site 2) what technology
There were lots of pros and cons to a self hosted site compared to a hosted site, I went for a hosted site as it means that it is one less thing for me to worry about. Especially as this is such an important part of school life now, knowing that i do not have to worry about backups is brilliant. If content is deleted you make a call and it comes back. Brilliant!
Next was to decide on the technology.....I wanted a solution that was future proof and chose Microsoft. They will never go bust, and your users will no doubt use Micrsoft products in the future. When you pupils leave they will most likely use some sort of portal and that will be a Microsoft product.....how many corporate companies use Frog? If HP and Microsoft use SharePoint for all their document management then that is a good enough reference for me.
I chose LP+ as their portal had all the functionality of the Microsoft platform, the document management features, content management, workflow etc as well as a brilliant intuaitve GUI/front end.
Whenever I called LP+ for support they have always been brilliant and answered my questions striaght away..........what more can you ask for?
My account manager contacts me regularly to ensure I do not have any problems, which is nice as it common for companies to sell you something and you never hear from them again, that is not the case with LP+
In my honest opinion you will not be disapointed with LP+, I know I am not and nor are my 900+ users!
Cheers guys. Very useful & full answers. Much appreciated.
Assimilate has improved over the years ... talk to folks in Liverpool about it though.
Northants has rolled out LP+ so if you want a chat I can help you out there. A quick search will show a number of posts about it.
You can also search about Frog too ... there have been a number of posts about that too.
Personally ... I prefer a sharepoint setup, so I am happy with LP+ ... just gotta get some more time to continue to migrate our stuff from our existing VLE (FisrtClass) onto it.
If LP+ is SharePoint based i'd go for that for the simple reason that the teachers find that great at our place that they find it looks and feels like Word and Outlook so they feel comfortable and it has a very low training need which is great :)
@Grumbledook When LP+ were in this week they were trumpeting Northamptonshire as a reference. How far through roll out is it? We are trying to get something to support our federation which is 8 secondary schools in South Lakes so collaboration is a big thing. Do you have any schools using it like that in your area? If possible it would be great to have a guest logon to a working implementation to see how it looks and what is on it.
It is but then so is Assimilate.
Originally Posted by john
We are starting to get there ... but we do have primaries that work well as clusters doing it ... I'll try and dig out a few screen grabs for explanation.
Originally Posted by jcollings
I know that a sixth form consortium are having a virtual school built that operates between four schools.
Drop me a PM and we can have a chat.
Oh rete, I didn't know that, I was talking in a more generalised SharePoint way there because I use my own made system built on SharePoint Server 2007 myself, I'd assume that they all use a similar kind of setup and integration into it so the staff will find it nice to use and feel right.
Originally Posted by jcollings