Did you make it to Bett Show 2020 this year?

It was great for us to see so many of our partner schools at ExCel London. We thoroughly enjoyed catching up with you on how you’re finding iSAMS and what future developments you’re most looking forward to.

We also enjoyed speaking to many new schools to find out more about some of the broader challenges you’re anticipating and currently facing in the Education sector, particularly when considering how MIS technology can better support you in overcoming them.

If you couldn’t make it, or if you were so busy while you were there that you barely had time to catch your breath, please find our 5 key take-aways from the event below:

1. Automate where possible

Feeling like there just aren’t enough hours in the day is a surprisingly common problem, particularly among professionals working in Education. In fact, recent research shows that teachers typically work around 50 hours a week – but all is not lost.

The same report also highlights that 20-40% of this time could be saved through existing automation technology. This amounts to a staggering 13 hours a week. Just imagine what you could do with all that extra time…

By using technology that your school already needs to invest in, such as your Management Information System (MIS), you could automate many of your core administrative processes without your budget having to take a substantial hit. In doing so, you could free up more time for you to concentrate on your additional tasks.

If you also choose to invest in an MIS that’s entirely web-based, this automation could be extended across multiple school sites with ease. Not only does this mean that all your key school information is shared instantly in real-time, but you can also save substantial amounts of time by reducing the duplication of work.

That’s why we’ve established in-built automation across our 100% web-based MIS, so you can immediately start saving time throughout the school community; whether it be managing streamlined paperless admissions process with iSAMS admissions or coordinating academic and exam timetables.

2. Join the mobile revolution

With the evolution of technology, we’ve grown far too accustomed to accessing the key information we need whenever we need it and wherever we are. So why should it be any different when it comes to school information?

Our dependence on mobile phones has increased exponentially to the point that the World Advertising Research Center (WARC) recently predicted that almost 75% of internet users will be “mobile-only” by 2025.

We’ve already seen significant developments in the EdTech sector following this trend and, when you consider how simpler daily tasks become with the 24/7 access mobile devices afford us, it just makes sense.

So, bearing this in mind, and in accordance with our ethos of supporting every member of the school community reach key information more easily, we spent last year enhancing our suite of multi-lingual mobile apps.

Compatible with both iOS and Android, these now come with a slicker look and feel, smoother user experience and an array of features dedicated to helping you access and manage school information whilst on the move.

3. Seek style AND substance

When you’re looking to invest in EdTech, the Bett Show is a good place to explore the best and brightest the sector has to offer – but how do you sort through the range of thrilling, top-of-the-range developments to decide what it is you really need?

To avoid getting bogged down with multiple contracts for a variety of different providers, you want to try and find one solution that meets as many of your needs as possible. This is especially important when it comes to your MIS, which is so fundamental to the day to day running of every aspect of your school.

At the same time, you need to be sure that what you’re getting is good value for money. One of the reasons we decided to build iSAMS using a modular approach is so you can avoid shelling out for huge packages of which you only use 50%. By giving you the flexibility to choose which modules you use, with the option to add to this core system over time, you can customise your entire MIS experience and ensure that you’re only paying for what you’re using. And you can use a lot…

From our Admissions package and building comprehensive student records to our fully integrated fee billing and financial management software, we have a module to cover each of your needs. Plus, if you do need something more bespoke, our dedicated Marketplace displays the range of approved integrators we work with continuously so you can link our software with theirs for a seamless user experience.

But it’s not all about substance. With so many exciting technologies available on the market, you want something that looks good too. With our refreshed User Interface, designed exclusively to improve the experience for our users, our software is as reliable as ever and yet looks brand new.

4. Go for long-term, not stagnant

Whilst style and substance are important when initially investing in a piece of EdTech, you need to make sure that it’s flexible enough to continue to meet your needs as they evolve over time; it must be future-proof.

And it’s not just your needs that your MIS of choice needs to be able to adapt to. Technology evolves at such a rate that you don’t want to commit to something that’s not able to embrace the newest technological trends and developments, or you run the risk of being left behind very quickly.

To avoid this, we’re looking for technology with a proven track record of evolving over time, with regular system updates and the introduction of new features and/or modification to existing ones. It’s also important to find the right supplier for your school; one that listens to your feedback and actions it to meet your needs.

An example of this is iSAMS’ dedicated Discussion Forum, where we provide our partner schools with the opportunity to suggest new features or existing feature enhancements that we will then look to build into our development pipeline. In addition, the fully managed service we offer schools includes regular system updates to ensure your MIS is running as smoothly as possible.

Using the latest technologies available and in-keeping with new market trends, we also release a variety of exciting new functionalities and feature enhancements each year to better support our schools. More details of our 2019 releases can be found here.

5. Be exclusively inclusive

One of the most important roles technology can fulfil in a school is to help bring together every member of the school community – from your administrative staff and IT Department to your teachers, students and parents.

However, each individual has a very bespoke role within the school which means they’re going to need technology such as your MIS for very different things and access it in very different ways. This presents an interesting challenge for your SLT, who will want to find something that supports every member of your school community whilst retaining an element of individuality that speaks directly to parents, staff members and students as individual entities within that system.

By developing features such as our suite of multi-lingual apps and dedicated Parent, Student and Admissions Portals, in addition to the entire system being 100% web-based, we improve the accessibility of key school information for each member of the school community. Logging in whenever you need to, without having to be using a school computer, is not to be underestimated!

Then there’s the wealth of features we’ve developed with each member of your school in mind. Whether it’s our fully integrated finance software for your Bursary, our Medical Centre for your onsite nurses, or our Registration Manager for every teacher and student, you can be sure that our all-in-one software really is just that.

These are some of the conversation highlights we picked up on from speaking to you, the education professionals and the fellow exhibitors at the show