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.
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…
BETT is now over for another year, the hustle and bustle of a busy ExCel Arena are already just a memory as everyone settles back to their normal work routines.
Now many will have been expecting my first article “post-show” to have been about the launch of the Teacher App. Well…that is coming soon – but first, the new “multi-platform” access to SIMS. There are lots of links between the story of the App and the story of the platform that I’m going to explore here.
Quite a delayed post here, following up on a very enlightening presentation from Rachael Marshman (@ RachMarshman – https://twitter.com/RachMarshman) – new Product Manager for Assessment. Some of you may remember Rachael from her Local Authority days.
I have been following the Teacher App (just one part of the whole SIMS App) development programme since June 2013 – as this is, in my opinion, a game changer. The aim of the first stage in the project is quite simple really, as put by Duncan Hield, Product Manager.
At the end of the first day, and over lunch – I got the chance to speak at length to Ben Jones – Product Manager for Agora, Sims Learning Gateway (SLG) and InTouch. You read that right – Ben has a challenge on his hands! Originally working on the SLG programme, Ben took over InTouch earlier in the year/end of last year – and most recently Agora. Duncan Hield now heads up the App development project – which at present, is just the Teacher App. Some of you may have seen this at the BETT Show at Excel London in January. I will come on to the App situation in the next article – to give it full justice!
It’s been a year of Tenders for Capita SIMS, reports Phil Neal – Managing Director for Capita SIMS. We opened with some statistics about the year that has been. In terms of Tenders – 10 have been won, 1 pending (which is being expected to be lost) and finally a great announcement (which followers might have seen I posted on Twitter) – G-Cloud will also host SIMS 7.
The SIMS annual conference welcomed over 260 delegates this year – from Local Authority guests to Schools/Academies and Support Units . This is a significant increase on previous years, and continues the growth of the event – which also now also includes an array of Partners, leading Educational Professionals and private individuals. We opened with a keynote from Brian Lightman from the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) – the subject of this first “mini-series”.
SLG (SIMS Learning Gateway) is a product, or should I say product suite on the change. Since Ben Jones took over the management of SLG – there has been a concerted reassessment of the aims and purpose of the project. The world has changed since the original SLG came to market… BECTA has gone, the “cloud” has happened and the emphasis on data-savy schools has increased.