2018 at iSAMS: Last Year's Highlights
It’s that time of year again: the decorations are coming down, Santa Clause has been to town and we've welcomed in a brand new year. As we say goodbye to 2018 and start looking ahead to its successor, we wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on the past year and everything we’ve achieved.
When we sat down to think about it, we were amazed at how much has been accomplished in just 12 months and, as we looked through the developments this has meant for the iSAMS software, we thought it would be nice to share some of our highlights with you…
1. We launched our Data Protection module
Following the release of the new GDPR regulations in May 2018, schools will now face fines if they don’t comply with the latest data protection laws. So, to take some of the pressure off, we developed our Data Protection module which ensures you’re fully compliant with the new EU laws and protects the personal details you process and store. Plus, managing and recording consent, and gathering the details needed for DSARs has never been easier.
2. We enhanced our Wellbeing Manager module
Feedback from our users is hugely important to us in our goal of ensuring iSAMS empowers learning through the accessibility and efficient management of school information - so we encourage ideas and suggestions from our partner schools, and do our best to initiate changes where necessary.
As part of this, we updated our Pastoral Manager module - including its name, which became 'Wellbeing Manager'. Many of the schools we spoke to believed the term ‘wellbeing’ is more reflective of this module's features and capabilities, for both UK and International audiences.
Designed to relieve some of the daily pressures facing members of staff in providing proactive and preventative care for every student, this module enables you to manage, monitor and set actions for every wellbeing and safeguarding concern in a single place.
3. We improved our User Interface (UI)
To improve and modernise the iSAMS experience we released our brand new UI, which saw the dashboard completely redesigned from the ground up and the entire iSAMS framework updated.
Still 100% web-based, the new UI features a modern interface with improved navigation so you can access the most important information you need more easily. This includes the way you can access and open modules, the module display, how you use the Wizard bar, and where you login and out.
With customisation options, simplified navigation and greater accessibility, our UI is now even more intuitive then before.
4. We introduced our Single Sign-On (SSO) feature
Alongside our new UI, we're in the process of conducting a controlled roll-out of our new single sign-on feature. This means you will be able to seamlessly access multiple iSAMS applications through a single login platform, making it easier for you to access the wide range of extended products and services we offer in addition to the iSAMS management information system.
New and Updated Features
1. We added Multi-Period Registrations
We have added a feature which enables teachers to register set based lessons in bulk. This means that if more than one lesson exists that follows on from a previous one, you will only need to complete one registration; the data recorded will be automatically applied to the subsequent periods should you wish it to. This contributes towards our central aim of supporting your teachers in the completion of they daily tasks; increasing efficiency whilst enhancing experience, so they can focus on teaching.
2. We developed an integrated finance solution
Specifically with your Bursar and Finance team in mind, we released iFinance in early 2018. This unique software brings academic, wellbeing, administrative and fee billing elements together with a powerful accounting and finance solution. Fully integrated with the iSAMS MIS, we developed this platform to save your Finance team time and increase efficiency, making it even easier to keep on top of budgets and balance your books.
3. We made important updates to the Medical Centre
Central to ensuring your students have access to the care and wellbeing they need is our Medical Centre. This module will provide you with everything your school needs to maintain and manage the medical records of every one of your students – it’s simple, safe, and secure. Only accessible by authorised users, this module includes a general section filled with key information, as well as an overview of conditions and vaccinations.
Plus, with recent developments, it now also gives you the ability to record and monitor overnight stays. This will feature in both the student's individual record and the calendar overview. Find out more about what this module can do to support your staff and take care of your students here.
4. We improved the management of the School Workforce, School and ISC Censuses
Censuses are one of the most important and time-consuming tasks of the year for any school. We've been working on enhancing our features surrounding the School Workforce Census, DfE School Census and ISC Annual Census to make it more manageable for you and your members of staff.
One such element is the introduction of the functionality to run builds on any day between Census Day and the deadline date, with the data output always reflecting the situation as it was on Census Day. Therefore, simplifying the user experience of running the census.
5. We set rules around data retention
This year we also launched a new applet within the iSAMS Control Panel, called Data Policies. This feature supports you in managing and documenting any data-related policies you have in place. It enables you to set rules for how long you retain every communication output from iSAMS, including offering the choice between manually removing the communication history or setting it to run automatically after a set period of time. Explore the additional features of the iSAMS control panel.
6. We made some exciting additions to our approved Partner APIs
At iSAMS we're very proud to have a fantastic array of partners, each specialists within the EdTech space. These partnerships are central to meeting our goal of offering our schools an ever-growing range of plug-ins to choose from - all of which are available from our Marketplace. Every tool has been tested and approved to connect to your iSAMS installation, and you’ll have dedicated support on an ongoing basis.
We're pleased that throughout 2018 we have continued to add to the range of plug-ins available. In our Marketplace you'll now find everything, from cloud accounting to staff appraisal integrations and efficient admissions domains; whatever you need to start streamlining all your internal processes and bring multiple bespoke systems together.
Curious for more?
As you can see, 2018 has been a particularly busy year for us - but we're even more excited about the upcoming developments we're currently working on, which are due for release this year. Watch this space!