5 Key Take-Aways from Bett Show 2019
We had a great time at the Bett Show 2019 at ExCel London; it was fantastic to catch-up with so many of our partner schools and it was really interesting to learn more about the wider challenges many of you are currently facing in the education sector, discussing how we might be able to support you in overcoming them.
Here are 5 of the key take-aways we picked up from our conversations with you:
1. We like web-based
In a digital era where we're used to being able to access information 24/7 wherever we are, why should it be any different for schools?
From its infancy iSAMS was designed as a web-based platform that would provide members of staff, students and parents with an easier way to access the vital school information they need, whenever they need it. We've been continually enhancing the software for over a decade which means we're fully experienced in the web-based MIS arena, and are in a good position to solve some of the problems you may be experiencing with a more restrictive system.
Because iSAMS is 100% web-based, your members of staff can access it via a secure online login, without having to be logged into a school computer at school. This is also true of parents and students who can view key information specific to their children and individual records respectively via dedicated portals.
This means that you can now get hold of information outside of school hours and during the holidays without having to stay late or travel into school. Not only this, but it makes keeping on top of critical updates and communicating with relevant members of the school community even easier.
2. We need to support your school's budget
There's no denying it; when your budgets are stagnating or reducing, it's difficult to justify investing in new technology for your school. However, don't let this close you off from long-term cost-saving opportunities that could in fact support you in achieving your school's financial strategy.
We may be slightly biased, but because your MIS has a substantial impact on the experience of your entire school community, it's worth the investment - particularly if it supports your school in running more effectively and efficiently.
One of the reasons we built our MIS using a modular approach is because we don't like the idea that you have to spend money on large, elaborate packages when you're only going to use 20% of the features they include. We want to make sure you get the best value for money from your management information system so, beyond our core package, you can scale up your system depending on how big your school is and which of the modules you'll actually need.
In addition, our unique iFinance platform integrates with our MIS to further support your Finance team and Bursary in planning, implementing and monitoring your school's budgeting and financial strategy. Seamlessly bringing together your administrative, academic and wellbeing data with a comprehensive finance system, you can avoid duplicating data across multiple systems and reduce the risk of errors when managing every aspect of your school's finances.
3. We're tired of the same-old
They say these days that technology becomes outdated after just 18 months. This, coupled with the fact that your school is never stagnant, just highlights the need for a Management Information System that can evolve as your school and technology does. We understand that circumstances and situations can change, and you need an MIS that's flexible enough to adapt to these.
The modular approach of the iSAMS system means you can scale it up or down, adding new features when necessary, building a custom system entirely based on your fundamental needs at that current moment in time whilst future-proofing for further growth. More than this, our team of highly skilled Developers keeps on top of current trends and developments within the Edtech and Technology sectors, to ensure we're always offering our schools the best possible solutions. For example, our suite of intuitive multilingual apps provide teachers, parents and students with the enhanced ability to communicate, complete several of their daily tasks and access important updates on-the-go via their mobile devices.
If you're not sure what you can expect from a management information system and which one is the best one to suit your needs, our team of experts will be able to discuss this with you and make suitable recommendations that will produce the results you're looking for.
4. We want to support our teachers
With some staff shortages, budget cuts and the uncertainty of Brexit looming, it's more important than ever that your teachers feel supported as they help their students achieve the best experience and outcomes possible on their journey to higher education.
iSAMS was first developed working very closely with teachers, to ensure the emerging software fully supported each of their fundamental needs. As the software grew into the hollistic system iSAMS is today, our development pathway was guided by feedback from our partner schools, thus ensuring that teachers' voices continued to be heard as we enhanced and updated various aspects of our MIS.
This has resulted in the production of numerous time-saving and effective features that simplify lengthy administrative jobs, increase the ease of doing daily tasks like taking the register, improve report writing, enable quicker communication with students and other staff members, and more. Plus, with our powerful iTeacher App, teachers can now gain instant access to key information and complete 70% of their important tasks while they're on the move.
As an added bonus, our MIS is so intuitive in its functionality that it requires very little training, so your teachers will be able to pick it up and run with it virtually straight away. If you do need any module-specific training though, we have a team of trainers who are happy to visit our partner schools to run structured sessions covering whatever you need.
5. Migrating to a new MIS is easier than expected
Moving all your data from one MIS to another is a pretty daunting prospect - but it's actually a lot easier than it may initially appear. At iSAMS we have a dedicated Installs team, who are experienced in migrating schools from a range of products.
They'll be able to advise you on extracting the data from your current MIS and will use this to build your new iSAMS system. After the data has been imported, you'll be able to review the system to make sure everything appears as you expected. You can then switch off your current MIS and roll out iSAMS across your entire school.
Sound too good to be true? Well, it really isn't. Plus, many schools see it as a great opportunity to do some data cleansing, ensuring there aren’t any data gaps and that everything is accurate.
You can find out more about our migration process on our website here.
These are some of the common topics we picked up on from speaking to the various professionals within education who we were fortunate enough to chat to at Bett - and there's nothing like Bett to showcase the best and brightest edtech developments that could help drive the progression of your school.
A huge thank you to everyone who stopped by our stand; we thoroughly enjoyed speaking with you. If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
We'll also be attending a variety of upcoming events across the UK throughout the year, including the COBIS Conference for Bursars, Business Managers and HR Staff this week and the Society of Heads Conference early next month - so, if you're attending either of these, we hope to see you there. If not, watch this space to find out which other exciting events we'll be attending in 2019!