SIMS Reimagined

Finally… I can open the door on a developing story I have been following for the past 4-5 years – SIMS v/next, or now known as SIMS “Next generation”.

Many of you may have known this was coming, but few details have been in the public domain…until now. The changes will start with the release of a redeveloped version of SIMS for primary schools in Spring 2018. This is much sooner than some may have been expecting. So why limit to a “primary” version in the first instance? The first version will not have fully functionality for secondary customers, and working with primary schools gives plenty of onboarding and migration experience. The company will then follow with the MIS for secondary schools, independent schools and a revised school finance solution.

“In redeveloping the MIS, we wanted a solution that would win over the hearts and minds of teachers. The goal was to ensure teachers would enjoy using the software, no matter what task they had to perform,” says Phil Neal, customer advocacy director at Capita SIMS.

The whole system has been redesigned from the ground up, using the latest tools and technologies. Ive often asked Phil Neal and Graham Cooper (SIMS Director and Head of Product Strategy respectively) why a cloud based MIS was being developed – now I can publish the response – “We have considered offering a web-based MIS for several years, but it is only recently that the technology and infrastructure is available to support it. The very latest browser technology can provide schools with the same level of functionality and responsiveness as a client-server MIS”. So that’s nice and clear then!

I would also add to that some further reasoning and comments – namely the amount of experience which has been gained from running various other SIMS components in the cloud. It was a far “safer” choice to gradually migrate some workloads to the cloud as functionality changed or new products were developed (eg the Apps, or the other new Activities or Options components); than take a full MIS in one go.

The updated MIS series will enable teachers to fully unlock the power of the data they record on pupils. By proactively presenting school staff with student data as bright and colourful dashboards, charts and proactive alerts, teachers will be able to instantly identify when their pupils may be in need of additional support.

“SIMS will present teachers automatically with what they need to know about their pupils, and heads will instantly be able to access all they need to know about their school without having to go looking for it. Our aim is to help schools have all the information they need to improve pupil outcomes.”

Further details relating to new features and enhancements will be released over the coming months, and of course – Ill be featuring information as soon as I can publish it. Schools can register to receive their own updates at www.capita-sims.co.uk/reveals

Revision 26th April 2017

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