Bromcom (Bromcom MIS)

Bromcom

 

Section 1: Product Services
Data Policies
Is you solution’s database stored locally in the school, hosted offsite by the local authority or hosted offsite in your own/leased servers/data centres? Please state which if multiple options are available. Deployment options are:Local [server in school] ,Local Authority,Bromcom MIS Cloud (data centre in the UK).

The Local Authority configuration can also be deployed in a smaller scale to groups of schools wishing to have a single server hosting the solution for all (e.g. a Multi-Academy Trust).

Which method is most advantageous for schools and why? Which? The centrally hosted solution [Bromcom MIS Cloud or Local Authority].  Below specifics are for the Bromcom Cloud but may also apply to an LA hosted solution.Why?Looking after the data out of school in a 24/7/365 staffed data centre with multiple layers of security provides the safest location to hold the school’s data.  Data backups and fault tolerance on infrastructure are standard and provides further data safeguards.  Data is only accessible over secured SSL channels (HTTPS) – no direct access to the server or SQL database.The Tier 3 data centre is certified to the ISO 27001:2005 standard.

Our tests using the services of a professional test laboratory showed a huge saving in the total cost of ownership (TCO) when using a multi-tenancy hosted web application solution compared to the alternatives.

If your solution’s database is hosted offsite, is this hosting on dedicated servers or is it hosted in the cloud (i.e. using distributed servers using services such as Amazon Cloud)? Private Cloud
Assuming you follow all Data Protection policies, where is the ECC is the data stored? Do you make this information available to your customers/are they actively aware? Could you prove this if questioned by customers/partners/Information Commissioner? (If data is stored outside the UK, but in the ECC, of course this still complies with the DPA, so feel free to reinforce this in your answer and help dispel any remaining myths that data MUST be stored within the UK). Bromcom Cloud is in Manchester, UK.Yes the location is available to customers and customer can conduct their ‘duty of care’ responsibilities in respect of their data by visiting the facilities in person to review the operations of the datacentre.
Is your solution security audited by an external third party (Yes or No) and how frequently does this occur (every release, every year)? No.
How do you deal with security vulnerabilities? For example do you do specific security patches or are they bundled into main releases. If you use underlying technology such as Java or .NET how do you notified customers of security patches. Do you provide public information – such as reference to CVS ratings (http://cve.mitre.org/about/index.html) Bromcom carry out patch management irrespective of the hosting option as part of its standard service; i.e. whether local, LA or Bromcom Cloud, Bromcom manages the patches on the server hosting the service.  Security vulnerabilities are treated at the highest priority. Bromcom accesses the impact of third party updates (e.g. OS patches) and tests before applying to the servers.  Being a web application, one update to the Cloud/LA/school server ensures all users are using the latest patched version of the service/software.
What are the estimated timescales for patch\release rollout, and how much effect is required by the school or LA to update the system? Zero effort by the school.  Bromcom applies the server patches.  For high priority updates using within 1 or 2 days.Customers are given advance notice before updates, which are usually scheduled to be applied out of normal school hours.  High priority updates could be applied at other times depending on the severity.
Are you registered with the Information Commissioner? Yes.
If you do host services in any form, what back-up procedures do you employ? Daily backups Monday to Friday with minimum of 30 past backups.   Schools can also request a specific backup to be held for longer (e.g. an end of year backup held for a year).Whilst the web application is shared between all users/schools, each school’s database is kept separate and therefore backups contain identifiable specific school databases, and copies can be provided to the customer on demand.
If you do host services in any form, what disaster recovery precautions do you employ? Bromcom’s disaster recovery plan is managed through its business continuity policy that involves ensuring that the required services and infrastructure remain available to support Customers during times of emergency.  These include a fuel crisis, pandemic, loss of business facilities due to fire, flood, theft, vandalism, communications’ failure, industrial action, power failures, or other event.The initial response to a disaster is to carry out an emergency recovery. Health and safety is the primary goal and protection of property the secondary goal. Only when it is safe and the property is protected, will work be put towards the resumption of affected services. Working with the police, fire and medical departments as necessary, the situation will be monitored, whilst the continuity plan is put into action.If the emergency incident appears to affect the data centre then Bromcom will initially switch to its backup data centre which whilst functionally complete, is not designed to replicate the performance of the main data centre. This will be a temporary measure and is designed to provide an interim functional service whilst the full performance replacement service is brought online.
Please state you minimum server specification and setup (if multiple servers are recommended) to support a single school of 1000 students and 150 staff. This would be deemed a secondary school. For Local in-school deployment a single virtual or physical server that will act as the application and database server is recommended. Bromcom does not state minimum specifications and instead builds a recommended specification with the prospect/customer based on their intended usage profile.A typical secondary school that is extensively using the facilities would be recommended to use a twin multi-core processor server with 24Gb RAM, a RAID disk system for fault tolerance and performance.  Disk capacity is usually not a limiting factor unless very high use is to be made of the Document Management System/VLE Resources.
Please state you minimum server specification and setup (if multiple servers are recommended) to support a single school of 300 students and 30 staff. This would be deemed a primary school. For Local in-school deployment a single virtual or physical server that will act as the application and database server is recommended. Bromcom does not state minimum specifications and instead builds a recommended specification with the prospect/customer based on their intended usage profile.A typical primary school that is extensively using the facilities would be recommended to use a single multi-core processor server with 8Gb RAM and a RAID disk system for fault tolerance and performance.  Disk space is usually not a limiting factor unless very high use is to be made of the Document Management System/VLE Resources.
Please describe how your solution’s database is updated including any supporting applications, services or user intervention required. The database is updated in line with software releases/updates at the same time as the application of those updates. Bromcom applies updates to the hosting server as part of the standard service.   An update to the Bromcom Cloud MIS will update the database for all Cloud customers.  Likewise a single update to an LA hosted or the locally hosted in school solution would update for all customers using that service.  Clearly a single local installation would typically be for the one customer, but a local installation can be configured to host for multiple customers (e.g. a lead academy trust school for all their schools).Customers are given advance notice before updates, which are usually scheduled to be applied out of normal school hours.
Markets
Which markets do you have customers in? Markets are Primary, Secondary, Independent, International British, International Other (Academies, Free Schools and other divisions should be included appropriately with the states groups). SecondarySpecialAlternative Provision/Pupil Referral UnitsCollegesIndependent

International British

Academies

Free Schools

Studio Schools

UTCs

Which markets do you typically target? Markets are Primary, Secondary, Independent, International British, International Other (Academies, Free Schools and other divisions should be included appropriately with the states groups). Note that this question is not designed to limit your audience but describe if your software is specific to a subsection of schools. Please be honest if, for example, you software is currently designed for Independent schools, but also mention if you are now or soon developing for other markets too. SecondarySpecialAlternative Provision/Pupil Referral UnitsCollegesIndependent

International British

Academies

Free Schools

Studio Schools

UTCs

Database Structure
What back end database technology can be used with you solution (MS-SQL, MySQL, Oracle, etc.)? MS-SQL.
Does your data structure comply with any ISB (Information Standards Board) standards? Please use one example if Yes. [No,] Only insofar as the overlap with Common Basic Dataset (CBDS) standards.  Bromcom does meet with and review ISB standards as part of its long term planning but the Bromcom MIS data standards are driven by the DfE’s CBDS.
Is you data structure compatible with any SIF objects, or do you have a SIF agent? Please use one example if Yes. The data structure is compatible with any SIF objects.  Bromcom does not offer a SIF Agent.  A SIF Agent is however available through a third party.
Client/User Interface
Is your solution presented via a dedicated application or through web browser? Web browser.
If you employ a browser interface, what browsers are supported currently? Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, Firefox.
If you employ a browser interface, does you solution employ HTML5? No.
Does your solution require any players or stud applications to support functionality (i.e. Flash Player, .Net Framework)? However, PDF and other viewers are advisable if files/documents are held in the Document Management System and users want to open directly.Additional functionality is accessible to users of MS Office, such as using Bromcom’s provided Excel Add-In to securely access live MIS data from within Excel.
Please state the Operating Systems (including versions) you solution supports. The user needs a suitable web browser and the operating system is not relevant.Users can therefore use various versions of for example Windows (mobile and desktop), Apple (mobile and desktop) and Android operating systems.
Please state you minimum system requirements. A suitably installed and compatible web browser with an available Internet/Intranet connection to the server hosting the Bromcom MIS (local, LA or Bromcom Cloud).
Please describe how your solution’s user interface is updated including any supporting applications, services or user intervention required. The Bromcom MIS is a web browser application and the solution is managed by Bromcom.  All UI updates, whether to customers using the local, LA or Bromcom Cloud option are handled by Bromcom without user intervention.  Once the Server is updated, all users will be using the new version.  MIS applications are not installed on the user’s computer.
Updates, enhancements, fixes, new features and general support
What is your typical release schedule? Half termly updates
How many staff do you employ per customer (as a ratio) on your helpdesk? Approximately 35 customers per helpdesk agent.  The trigger to expand the staff numbers is based on SLA performance.
Where is your helpdesk located (in the UK or outside the UK)? In the UK.
What are your support hours? 08:00 to 17:00 Monday to Friday except Wednesdays which closes one hour earlier at 16:00 for staff training.Option of weekend / alternative hours (International).
Do you have an online helpdesk? Yes, Bromcom provides an online support portal.  All customers are provided with login accounts.
Do you employ a live online helpdesk/chat facility to support customers? No.
What support models do you employ (for example, direct to school, via LA, via third party support) Direct to school,via LA support team (i.e. we support LA that supports their schools).
What is your method for reporting a bug or issue? Via the service desk agent or using the online service desk web portal
What is your typical SLA timescales for issues of all seriousness? Bromcom operates its service desk following ITIL standards.  On reporting an incident, a member of the team will endeavour to make contact within 30minutes.  Bromcom operates a 3 tier service desk with 1st, 2nd and 3rd line staff.  The 1st liners are technically and Bromcom MIS trained staff who are able to deal with many calls on first contact.The following is our standard SLA timescale.

Priority Level Response Target* Resolution Target* Impact
1 20 min 4 hours System down: Complete failure of server/service
2 1 hour 12 hours Critical: Total loss of functionality in mission critical functionality
3 2 hours 24 hours High: Total loss of functionality in non-mission critical functionality
4 4 hours 40 hours Medium: Loss of functionality in non-mission critical functionality
5 8 hours 56 hours Low: Cosmetic or minor issue that does not affect functionality
6 16 hours 96 hours Very low: Queries and requests not effecting functionality

* Based on working hours

What is your method for requesting an enhancement or change? Submitting a Change Request via the service desk or using the online service desk support portal.
How do you engage with the market for new features and what sectors or bodies influence how and what is implemented? Development Partner schools have strong influence in the on-going development and work pro-actively with Bromcom in the ongoing development of the Bromcom MIS, although any customer can submit change requests for consideration. Bromcom contacts customers to discuss proposed new functionality.This may include access to our Beta server to preview and comment on new developments.Bromcom only operates in the educational administration software and services market space and therefore the company at all levels is involved in appraising the activities and trends is this area.  Bodies such as the DfE, QCA and JCQ have a significant influence on what is implemented, and also overall government policy (e.g. Cloud first) and the ISB (data standards).Bromcom is a company that aims to provide solutions using the latest and emerging technologies to the benefit of its customers, and therefore has a substantial focus on bringing technologically advanced solutions to market.
Do you publish your 12 month (or more) roadmap? Please share this as part of your response (if you do). The Bromcom development roadmap is a high level document that only lists a subset of the changes, which will include the known commitments such as the A2C project development. Bromcom operates a highly responsive service to customers, where Change Requests, if accepted as enhancing or extending the solution for many customers, are quickly implemented.  Therefore changes can be proposed, agreed, developed and released within the regular update cycles.
Data Integration
Do you have an API? Yes.
Describe how this works. For example, does it employ web services? Secure Web Service.Only authenticated connections can exchange data and any API access is managed by the schools using security roles and accounts.   Data during transport is encrypted.
Does it cover all the basic aspects for your solution (Pupil details, contact details, relationships, staff details, attendance, behaviour, markbooks, and timetable?) Please state which if only part covers, or covers more aspects. Yes.
Does your API allow write back? Please state which data elements can be written back. Yes. Attendance – Extendible to other data domains according to demand
If this API free to access? If there is any aspect of using the API that you charge schools or third parties for, please state. This includes charging for write back, charging for sandbox or test environment use, requirement to pay for a licence of the software (but does not include charges for consultancy or support of the software or API). Third party access to API (read and write) including development/test environment use, and access to technical support is free.The Read API is provided freely with the solution to schools.   Write access is subject to a small annual change.
Does your solution use any other form of open standard integration or technology? Yes.
Does your solution integrate in any way with popular cloud services such as Google Apps or Microsoft Office 365? Yes to cloud storage solutions. Integration with MS Office is provided.  Integration with Office 365 or Google Apps subject to customer demand.
Legislative Requirements
For the following questions, it is expected that your solution will provide any census or other exports stated in the defined file type and structure requested by the DfE or Awarding Organisations (An Excel export requiring user intervention for example is not acceptable as a yes answer)
Does you solution, either internally or through a third party interface, produce the School Census? Internally, Yes.
Does you solution, either internally or through a third party interface, produce the Staff Workforce Census? Internally, Yes.
Does you solution, either internally or through a third party interface, produce the Independent Census? Bromcom’s census module is extendible.  It has been extended to provide the CES Census and subject to demand can be extended for the ISC Census.
Does you solution, either internally or through a third party interface, produce the Key Stage Assessment Returns? Internally, Yes.
Does you solution, either internally or through a third party interface, produce the CTF File? Internally, Yes.
Does you solution, either internally or through a third party interface, produce Exam Entries and other files in EDF compatible files? Are you working towards the A2C standard? Internally, Yes. Yes Bromcom is working on the A2C Project.
Section 2: Software Characteristics
Core Pupil Database (Real time alerting)
Does your solution store pupil basic/demographic/personal information? Yes.
Does your solution contain all statutory fields required for School Census? Yes.
Does your solution have any real-time alerting to inform staff of changes in any aspect of ongoing observation? Yes.
Does your solution archive past student records? How far back can a student record be recovered/reviewed? Yes and No.  The live database can contain any number of years’ data that will include past student records.  Typically 5+ years of data including all leavers is held.Security permission determines how the much data each user can access, and then user preferences can further subdivide how much data the user is accessing at any one time.  For example the user may usually want to access the current + next academic year and hide previous years, but at other times may use the current year and all past years.   Reports and enquires can span multiple years.If the school wishes, data can be copied to their archive database.  When data is the archive, it is accessed by the user through switching between the archive and the live database.  The user’s data access cannot span the live and the archive database in one report or query.
Does your solution accept the latest CTF import? Yes.
Does your solution accept the latest ATF import? Yes.
Pupil Attendance
Does your solution record AM/PM (Statutory) attendance? Yes.
Does your solution record lesson by lesson attendance? Yes.
Does your solution alert to patterns of absence or patterns of students consistently absent? Please elaborate if yes. Yes.
Does your solution record the number of minutes late? Yes.
Does your solution allow the storage of absence notes? Yes.
Does your solution connect with messaging systems to alert absence to parents? Yes.
Does your solution record responses through such a system, if yes? Yes.
Can a teacher see their class absences for a whole term? A whole year? Yes.
Can a school administrator see a student statutory attendance record for a whole term? A whole year? Yes.
Can a school administrator see a class/form/year group statutory attendance record for a whole term? A whole year? Yes.
Can the system report back to the Local Authority system, such as to ONE via B2B OPEN? Yes.
Pupil Behaviour
Does you solution record behaviour incidents? Yes.
Does you solution record positive achievement events? Yes.
Does you solution record conduct points (positive/negative)? Yes, the behaviour scheme and workflow is defined by the school.  Using a points system is the schools choice.
Does you solution record exclusions? Yes.
Does you solution report exclusions to the local authority where necessary? Yes.
Can your solution record evidence for incidents (and achievements) such as photos, videos, audio recordings, documents etc? Yes using the included Document Management System (DMS).  Any file type can be uploaded.  The DMS in the Cloud option is subject to reasonable usage limits in terms of storage used.  Schools can manage their DMS usage.  Excess storage is charged at a small cost per month per Gb.
SEN
Does your solution record SEN data? Yes.
Does your solution maintain SEN records in a workflow to ensure date sensitive information is acquired in a timely fashion? Yes.
Does your solution maintain an IEP within the software (that is, not on Word documents)? Yes.
Document Storage/Content Management/Discovery
Does your solution store documents against student records? Yes.
Does your solution store documents against staff records? Yes.
Does your solution store documents in internal but public locations (for example, on a notice board facility)? Yes.
Does your solution have facility to make documents private to an individual or group of individuals? Yes.
What file types can your solution store? No restrictions.  The Document Management System (DMS) can contain any file type.  For ease of use, it is recommended to restrict file types uploaded of those that the relevant users have a suitable viewer for.The DMS in the Cloud option is subject to reasonable usage limits in terms of storage used.  Schools can manage their DMS usage.  Excess storage is charged at a small cost per month per Gb.  If executable files are uploaded they will be virus scanned.
Are documents stored within the database itself or on a generic file store outside the database (Note that this is specifically the files and the back end database, not the interface)? A separate school specific Document Management System storage holds all documents/files.
Does your solution provide interfaces to external content, such as education resources, eBooks, etc? Yes, using the optional integrated Learning Platform.
If so, is this content searchable? No.
Markbooks
Does your solution contain a markbook style facility? Yes, it is part of the assessment module, which deals with all types of mark recording, progress tracking, attainment recording etc.
Does your facility require the creation of each class markbook each year, as a manual or semi-automated process, or are markbooks provides for each class regardless based on a pre-defined template? Briefly elaborate on the process. This is a free answer. Flexible.  There is no forced approach.  Bromcom provides templates which can be used as supplied, or copied and adapted by the school, or schools can set up their own design.  The templates can be allocated to any groups including classes and dynamic groups at any time, and can be updated at any time.  It is not uncommon for templates to be changed over the year.
Can teachers create their own markbook columns? Yes; the solution provides facilities to create columns and users have security permission that will allow them such control or not.
Can homework be set and associated with a markbook column? [No.] The association can be made but not at point of describing the home work.
Can online tests be set and associated with a markbook column? Online tests can be set using the Bromcom VLE Learning Platform.
Can comment banks be used on markbook columns (or you have another facilities where comment banks are used, often for parental reporting, then this is an acceptable answer)? Yes.
Can formulae be placed into markbook cells to make calculations on other cells? Yes.
Can conditional formatting be placed into markbook cells? Yes.
Can gradesets or other value limiting mechanism be used on markbook cells? Yes.
Can averages and other summary calculation be made on columns or rows in the markbook? Yes.
Does your solution have any built in parameters for measuring progress against targets, assessments etc? Yes.
Assessment
Does your solution record statutory (non GCSE) assessment such as Key Stage assessments? Yes.
Are these assessments recorded in the main markbook or elsewhere? The markbook and other assessment/attainment data are part of the same highly flexible assessment module.
Does your solution record baseline assessment such as FFT or MIDYIS assessments/results? Please list all baseline assessments available to be imported. Yes.  There is no limitation placed on what baseline assessments/results are imported.  These can be used as reference and/or included in calculations.  The latter subject to the type of content being a grade set or some form of value.
Are these assessments recorded in the main markbook or elsewhere? [The markbook and other assessment/attainment data are part of the same highly flexible assessment module.]
Please briefly describe the import process for any of the above. This is a free answer. Two core methods for importing assessment data collected outside of the solution:(1) Data can be imported into any data column from a text file (CSV, TAB ).  If the column contains validation then data will be validated during import and will have to match the defined column type.(2) Data can be imported directly into a mark sheet.  As above, data validation and data type will be validated.
Does your solution contain progress tracking or other analysis on these assessments? Yes.
Early Years Assessment
Does your solution provide assessment templates and features for Early Years assessment and the Foundation Stage Profiling? Yes.
Does this assessment facility show levels of progress against criteria based on age group? If not, but does provide other analysis, please briefly describe. This is a free answer, but please keep to brief features. Yes, using the e-Analysis and Tracking/Progress Grid features.
Does your solution provide for the Early Years statutory return? Yes.
Progress Tracking
Please detail what progress measures can be tracked within your system. This is a free answer but please list the measures. The Bromcom MIS is highly adaptable and therefore there are no set limits to progress measures.Typically, a flight path is used to set intermediate points such as 3 or 6 times per year towards a target.  Traffic lighting is used to highlight above, below or on track.An alternative or as well as is to assess progress based on an Assessing Pupil Progress (APP) style of assessment.  Pupils will typically achieve progression by meeting meaningful curricular targets that can be understood by and so shared with pupils and parents.  This is certainly used in early years.
Does your solution have any alerting mechanism to inform staff of changes? Yes.
Exams Management
Does your solution record exams (by this, GCSE/A Level)? Yes.
Does your solution import basedata from Awarding Organisations? Yes.
Does your solution send Entry and Amendment files in the EDF format? Yes.
Does your solution accept Results files? Yes.
Does your solution facilitate seating charts? Yes.
Does your solution facilitate exam timetables, for both students and rooms/exams? Yes, also includes publishing timetable to the parent and student portals.
Does your solution alert to exam clashes? Yes.
Is your solution being converted to the new A2C protocols in preparation for the A2C switchover? Yes.
Multi-Tenancy/Multi-School
Is your solution a multi-school solution? By this, can multiple schools access the one solution, each with their own protected information set, but able to still share data or resources? Yes.
If yes, does your solution contain a multi-school interface, particularly useful for academy chains to view and analyse cross school/trust wide information. Yes.
Admissions Management/Online Admissions
Does your solution provide admissions management? Yes.
Does your solution provide enquiry management? Yes.
Does your solution provide facilities to manage waiting lists and priorities on enrolments? Yes.
Does your solution provide facilities for entering entry test results? Yes.
Does your solution provide facilities for recording enrolment fees? Yes.
Does your solution provide Fees management facilities? This would be associated with billing. Yes with optional Financial Management solution.
Lesson Planning/Curriculum Planning
Does your solution contain any form of curriculum planner? (This being a facility to manage the content of lessons over a term or year). Yes.
Does your solution contain any form of lesson planner? (This being a facility to create and manage a plan for a lesson, with content, resources, outcomes planned, homework assignments, individualised learning styles etc.). Yes.
Is this facility integrated or able to integrate with the markbook, if available? Yes.
Timetable/Curriculum Structure
Does your solution contain a timetable creation facility? Yes.
Is this facility integrated with your solution? (Integrated means data is not synchronised or sent back and forth). If not, briefly describe the data movement process. Yes it is integrated but the approach is such that at the timetable design stage timetable model(s) are created and only when the school is happy with one or more models are they applied to the calendar.  Changes to the timetable can be made without reverting to the model (e.g. for next week, switch the rooms between two classes).
Does your solution manage ‘Options’? No (integrate with a third party)
Are option ‘Choices’ able to be entered by students/parents online? Yes, if using the approved third party solution.
Does the options facility directly integrate with the timetable creation facility? (Integrated means data is not synchronised or sent back and forth). If not, briefly describe the data movement process. No.Once the option blocks are created in the options planning solution, they must be separately added to the timetable.  Student/options choices can be provided to the MIS.
Does the timetable facility:
         Incorporate student data No, the timetable schedules the classes and holds room and staffing information.  Students are made members of classes between dates.
         Incorporate staff data Yes
         Allow rules to be set on student/staff availability, student/student in the same classes, student/staff in the same classes, lesson blocking, and lesson pattern structure? Are these rules customisable? Yes for staff, No for students.Each timetable model contains a “Timetable Specification” that can contain the various rules; subject relationships, subjects preferences on days/periods (must and preferred) and block scheduling rules.  The user maintains any number of rules for each timetable design.  For example subject that “Must follow” another subject, “Must Precede”, “Not continuous”, “Must be in the same day”, “Must not be in the same day”, “Scheduled together”.  Visual indicates inform the user during manual scheduling but can be overridden.  Auto scheduling will obey the rules.
         Allow multiple timetables to be created Yes.
         View room and staff utilisation Yes.
         View class sizes Yes.
Can your solution have different timetables, even different day structures, for different year groups? Yes.
When the timetable structure is built, do students have to be manually added to classes or is this already does (because student data have been incorporated into the timetable creation). Yes.  Various methods to allocate students and the system is timetable band aware.  Typically all the classes for a subject in a year group and all the students taking that subject will be selected and then an allocation method applied to assign the pupils.
Are student/staff timetables available online? Yes.
Are student/staff timetables available to print? Yes.
Can your timetable solution take multiple schools into account (that is, is a student or staff attends a second or more schools for part of their week, can time timetable incorporate this) No but this is on the roadmap.
Portals:
Pupil Portal
Does your solution contain a specific student portal? If so, what information is available to a student? Yes, includes attendance, attainment, progress, behaviour (positive, neutral and negative), timetable, subjects, homework, exams (timetable and results), messages, reports, My bookmarks, calendar and news.  If the Learning Platform is also used, then this adds access to quizzes, forums, lesson plans and resources.   Pupils can also add links to Cloud storage solutions such as Dropbox and Google Drive.It should be noted that the above information is only available should a school configure the portal to provide that data to the student.  Schools have huge control over what is provided and how it is presented.
What security is provided to protect data? Data is only available to authenticated users.
Can student amend or request an amendment to their personal details? No
Parent Portal
Does your solution contain a specific parent portal? If so, what information is available to a parent? Yes, includes attendance, assessment, reports, exam timetable/results, behaviour (positive, neutral and negative), homework, classes/groups, timetable, school announcements, dinner money balance and parents evenings.It should be noted that the above information is only available should a school configure the portal to provide that data to the parents.  Schools have huge control over what is provided and how it is presented.
What security is provided to protect data? User name and password
Can parents amend or request an amendment to their/their children’s personal details? Yes, they can propose changes that must be accepted by the school before being written to the live record.  There is an admin process to review and accept/reject changes.
What safeguards are in place to protect split parents from seeing data about each other or their children they are barred from accessing? Each user (parent) has a unique login.The MIS enables schools to record No Access with the parent/student association.  This is then an alert on the student record.
Governor Portal
Does your solution contain a specific governor portal? If so, what information is available to a governor? No.
What security is provided around sensitive data? N/A.
Mobile Apps/Access
Does your solution have a mobile ready interface? Yes.
Does your solution have a dedicated app for mobile devices? No, the solution is a web application and access from a mobile/tablet device is using the web browser.
For either question, please provide details of which Operating System (iOS, Android, Windows) and browser your solution is available for. It has been tested on devices running iOS, Android, and Windows.
Remote Access
How can staff access your solution from outside the school? List options that are offered by your software (i.e. not taking into account what schools might put into place separate from your solution) The same way as in school; i.e. using a suitable web browser.  The schools security controls can alter the access rights outside of school and during different times of day.
How can parents access your solution from outside the school? List options that are offered by your software (i.e. not taking into account what schools might put into place separate from your solution) By using a suitable web browser.
Staff Management
Does your solution record and manage staff personal/demographic details? Yes.
Does your solution contain all statutory fields required for Staff Workforce Census? Yes.
Does your solution archive past staff records? How far back can a staff record be recovered/reviewed? Yes and No.  The live database can contain any number of years’ data that will include past staff records.  Typically 5+ years of data including all leavers is held.Security permission determines how the much data each user can access, and then user preferences can further subdivide how much data the user is accessing at any one time.  For example the user may usually want to access the current + next academic year and hide previous years, but at other times may use the current year and all past years.   Reports and enquires can span multiple years.If the school wishes, data can be copied to their archive database.  When data is the archive, it is accessed by the user through switching between the archive and the live database.  The user’s data access cannot span the live and the archive database in one report or query.
Does your solution record contractual details? If so, what security safeguards are available to prevent administrative but non-HR staff from viewing this information? Yes. All access is controlled with security permissions.  Users are members of one of more security groups and the groups define their access rights.  The default is no access.
Does your solution record financial/bank details? If so, what security safeguards are available to prevent administrative but non-HR staff from viewing this information? Yes. All access is controlled with security permissions.  Users are members of one of more security groups and the groups define their access rights.  The default is no access.
Does your solution manage and monitor staff checks and renewals for these (Checks being CRB, List 99, and Immigration). Yes.
CPD
Does your solution manage staff professional development? Yes.
Does your solution allow staff to interact with their own CPD recording? No.
Does your solution allow managers to review and evaluation CPD records? Yes.
Does your solution allow training courses to be provides, signed up for and managed online? No.
Does your solution interface with IfL for CPD recording? No.
Cover Management
Does your solution provide cover management facilities? Yes.
Can a staff member be covered for part day, full day, or for long periods of time (several days/weeks) in one step? Yes.
Can a room be covered for part day, full day, or for long periods of time (several days/weeks) in one step? Yes.
Are cover statistics recorded against staff records? Yes.
Does your solution provide analysis for staff absences/covers against pupil performance, attendance and behaviour? If so, please briefly describe. This is a free answer, but please keep to brief features. Yes. The covered lessons/registration periods can be reviewed by student and include the total hours, staff covered and who provided the cover.Residual analysis can be used to compare performance between classes/groups and students where cover is at a higher level.
Transport/Bus Management
Does your solution provide facility to manage school or LA sponsored transport (such as buses or taxies)? This data can be recorded in student records.  The solution does not manage the bus and taxis services however.
Does your solution provide route management and optimisation technology? No.
Does your solution provide alerting to staff/parents/student for changes in transport provision (such as bus cancelation for example)? Possible using the e-Contact module
Extra-Curricular Activities
Does your solution provide facility to manage extra-curricular activities? Yes.
Can fees be associated and charged through this facility? No, however fees can be collected through the optional eFinance module
Can attendance be associated, recorded and reported on through this facility? Yes.
Can progress (markbooks) be used and reported on through this facility? Yes.
Reports
Does your solution provide a reporting toolset? (This should be answered no if you connect to a third party solution to create the report, but this does not include the final output, such as Word or Excel or PDF). Yes.
Are all data fields within your solution available to be reported on? Yes, subject to user security access permission.
What output formats are available for these reports? PDF, MS Word, MS Excel, HTML, MHTML, TIFF, XML, CSV, TXT, Screen viewer and Printer friendly.The XML, CSV and TXT are report data only output formats.  Others include formatting.
Can charts be produced as reports? Yes.
Can mail merges be produced as reports? Yes.
Can reports be sent or viewed online via portals? Yes.
Can termly reports be sent or viewed online via parent interfaces, if available? Yes.
Can termly reports be sent via email by facilities within the solution? (This should be answered no if a report or batch of reports would need to be produced, output, saved and then separately attached to emails, manually by staff). Yes.
Does it allow importing\exporting of templates, for example provided by the LA? Yes.
Can you integrate third party BI systems – such as Cognos, Microsoft Power BI or Business Objects? No.
Does your solution have a dedicated data warehouse for reporting to reduce load on the main transactional database No.
Communications
Does your solution provide text messaging facilities? (This should be answered no if you connect to a third party solution). Are responses able to be recorded against student records? Yes. Responses can be logged against the student record.  The optional text back option provides schools with a virtual number for text replies.
Does your solution provide emailing facilities? (This should be answered no if you connect to a third party solution). Are responses able to be recorded against student records? Yes. Responses can be logged against the student record.  The optional text back option provides schools with a virtual number for text replies.
Does your solution provide voice message facilities? (This should be answered no if you connect to a third party solution). Are responses able to be recorded against student records? No.
VLE
Does your solution have an integrated learning platform (This should be answered no if you connect to a third party solution). Yes.
If yes, please describe the basic characteristics of this platform. This is a free answer, but please keep to brief features. A SCORM compliant learning platform that is fully integrated with the MIS using the same database and where applicable the User Interface includes MIS and VLE facilities.Provided facilities such as public and private/group pages, learning resources, quizzes, forums, lesson plans and homework.
Library Management
Does your solution have an integrated library management solution (This should be answered no if you connect to a third party solution). No.
Asset Management
Does your solution have an integrated asset management solution (This should be answered no if you connect to a third party solution). No.
Facilities Management
Does your solution have an integrated facilities management solution (This should be answered no if you connect to a third party solution). No.
Helpdesk
Does your solution have an integrated helpdesk management solution (This should be answered no if you connect to a third party solution). Helpdesk does not need to be specifically for IT support, although this is the common need. No.
Room Booking/Facilities Booking
Does your solution have an integrated room booking or facilities booking solution (This should be answered no if you connect to a third party solution). Yes.
Can booking be managed by the customers, if yes? No.
Parents Evening Management
Does your solution have an integrated parents evening management solution (This should be answered no if you connect to a third party solution). Yes.
Can booking be managed by the parents, if yes? Yes (parents can book their sessions online in the parent portal).
AD Integration/Provisioning/Single Sign On
Does your solution provide any form of provisioning of Active Directory accounts? Are these accounts synchronised with the MIS account? Bromcom MIS does not have an automated Active Directory Provisioning Tool, but we have tools within MIS to map MIS accounts with Active Directory Search facility.
Does your solution provide other forms of Active Directory integration? Yes, Bromcom MIS can integrate Active Directory with LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol).
Does your solution provide Single Sign On? What technology is used for this? This depends on the method of hosting the service.  SSO is not currently available for the Bromcom Cloud service.  When the Bromcom MIS is hosted Locally (in school) and potentially if hosted by the LA then single sign can be provided through AD integration.
Is yes, what level of security policy is provided to mitigate data loss? N/A for Bromcom CloudIn other cases using secure industry standard communications with the ID provided.
Customisation/Workflows/Imports/Exports/Process Management/Database Management/UDFs/Validation Control
Please list any facilities within your solution that allow the creation and customisation of:
         Customise interface (over and above the colour of the interface and logos) At a user level, users can select their preferred UI theme that need not be limited to colour changes, although colour is the most popular user change. User can also adjust how their advanced search UI presents data such as default sort order, columns displayed, and result page size and method.Users can customise their dashboards/home pages (“My Page”).
         Workflows, to control data flow based on school requirements Yes, the schools behaviour schemes are defined in terms of work flow.
         Data imports Yes. API  and various import methods including TEXT (CSV, TAB).
         Data exports (this is different from general reports that output to Word or Excel formats) Yes. API and scheduled exports.
         Custom processes (where a school might want to build a process of data specific to them, within the solution) No.
         Database Management (Can the school manage the database tables directly or indirectly, create or remove base and user defined fields, assign complex data types and relationships, add data format and validation). Yes. User defined fields can be added to students records, staff records and pre-admissions records.  All UDFs have start and end dates so can be visible for a limited time, even though the data remains available in the database for reporting.Schools control were in the student/staff/admission UI the UDFs are placed. Schools do not have access to change the database structure.
Data Auditing & Data Migration
Does your solution audit data entry/change/delete and is that data audit reportable? Yes.
Please list what popular MIS solutions you are able to migrate a school from, in terms of the data transfer. SIMS.net and Facility CMIS are the most common. Bromcom migrates directly from the SQL database for these solutions.  Customer and prospects are welcome to review the data that we migrate, which is extensive.  In view of the introduction of a new MIS solution sometimes being used as a reason by schools to cleanse data, Bromcom can selectively switch on and off data categories for data migration. Bromcom also has experience migrating from Integris, E1 and Aspen.  Data from all other solutions is migrated using a suite of spreadsheets. Bromcom can also run multiple migrations for the same school such as a preliminarily check migration for the schools review ahead of the final ‘go live;’ migration.
What are your typical migration times from each MIS solution you have mentioned? The process end to end is 5 working days from receipt of data (spreadsheets or access/copy of the SQL database) to provision of the data on the customers Bromcom MIS solution.
What is the typical data migration success rate (that is, how much data in breadth and history are you able to transfer) for each MIS solution you have mentioned? A very large number of data items can be migrated from SIMS.net and CMIS Facility.The spreadsheet approach is not as comprehensive but nevertheless covers all the key data areas such as students, personnel, groups/classes, attendance, assessment/attainment, behaviour, exam results and learning aims. Bromcom can provide a comprehensive specification document to prospective customers, which covers their incumbent MIS solution to show the breadth of the migrated data.

 

To find out more about this product and supplier, contact them directly using the following details (Feel free to mention you found this site useful!):

Web: http://www.bromcom.com/
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8290 7171
Email: info@bromcom.com

Original Response File can be found here: Bromcom – The MIS Challenge

This questionnaire is completely objective and responses have only been edited to fit to a standardised format in places. Information supplied by the supplier is accurate at the time of receiving responses. Every effort will be made to timely update the responses in line with changes to the product.

Graham Reed, the Eduware Network and its associates take no responsibility whatsoever for actions taken as a result of reading this or any other responses or opinions, nor do they in any way endorse this or any product or supplier. This is intended as a guide only, and is expected to be used as such.

 

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