So, its now a year on since levels were removed – and while some are well down the journey and have built their own systems; lots haven’t and there is still a lot of uncertainty. The title of this post is a nod to the well known song (just missing the Winter (and, Fall is Autumn in our case). Still, there’s a bit of creative licence! Anyway, I digress… where does the SIMS Assessment, Performance Suite and Discover fit into this jigsaw now?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock – you can’t have missed that Microsoft have been rather busy for the past 18 months.
Back in late 2014, Microsoft surprised everyone when it took the wraps off the Technical Preview of its next Windows operating system. It had been widely expected that there would be a next generation of Windows: we just didn’t expect it to be called Windows 10, and nor did we expect such a drastic change in user engagement. The preview programme was huge, and I think it can be considered that Windows Insider was a huge win. Over 4 million people joined the programme and helped test and shape the next version. So much of a win was it, that it was extended to the Windows Mobile version, and also to Office 2016 as well.
As I mentioned in an earlier article, Phil Neal (Capita SIMS Managing Director) very kindly agreed to meet with me to discuss his views on Education, and his products in general. My continued thanks to Olga and Cath at CLPR (www.catherinelane.com) for arranging the meetings.
So – on to the actual discussions! We started off looking at the development of the Azure Hosted platform. You can read more about this solution launch here. This has led to a shift in support from Capita SIMS explained Phil – as this meant they were now supporting 24/7 working. This is a pattern that has grown of late – starting with the Agora payment system launched at BETT in 2013 – and one which will only continue as new products and services are launched.
The Capita SIMS annual conference opened with a change this year – gone was the “external host”; and instead we had a welcome return for Graham Cooper – Head of Product Strategy. Grahams opening had one key message – “where SIMS is used well in schools, it has the power to make a difference to children’s’ future”. Fitting, in a time where there is so much focus on the complete journey of a child.
As is traditional at the SIMS Annual Conference, which took place in June at Alton Towers, Phil Neal (Managing Director of Capita SIMS) took to the stage to review the previous year – and give some insight into the company targets and highlights in the forthcoming year. This, I was able to follow-up with Phil later – as he kindly agreed to speak to me further to elaborate on some of the ideas for the future; and his own personal highlights and opinions on the sector and Education. That article will follow soon – but for now, on with an overview of what has happened and the road ahead…