2022/2023 Service Definition

SIMS Software and Administration Systems Support

About the Service

Lancashire County Council Education Digital Services provide a range of support options for SIMS. Our support service ensures your school's management information system effectively supports your staff to:

  • Manage and administer student and staff data.
  • Assist in curriculum, planning and academic performance monitoring.
  • Financial management and strategic planning.
  • Evidence compliance with statutory regulations.

What are the benefits?

Our SIMS Support services provides your school with access to a team of SIMS support and technical staff who will provide you with:

  • Specialist support to help your staff understand and make the best use of your school's data using your SIMS system.
  • Technical support to keep SIMS running smoothly, ensuring the effective management of your business-critical system.
  • Support services designed with security and data protection as their underlying core principles.
  • A service that is designed to minimise occurrences of downtime.

What's Included?

Service Features

Recommended Support Option

Support Option Description

SIMS Managed Service

  • Support for your staff in the use of your SIMS software.
  • Our highest level of support for your school's SIMS system and is the option recommended for all schools.
  • Managed upgrades to SIMS software.
  • Support for the key devices used to access SIMS.

We also offer SIMS Software Only, SIMS Finance Only and SIMS Basic support options – please refer to the Features Comparison table below for more information.

Service Features Comparison Table

Our recommended SIMS Managed Service support option provides a comprehensive support package to ensure the effective running of your SIMS system. Our features table illustrates the differing levels of our support available on other options. Please note we have specific requirements that your SIMS systems and ICT will need to meet to provide you with our SIMS Managed Service option. These ensure that we can provide you with our highest level of support, protecting your data and system security (See Customer Requirements).

SIMS Application Support

Description of Features Included

SIMS
Managed
Service

SIMS
Software
Support Only

SIMS FMS
Support
Only

SIMS
Basic
Support

Support for School Staff

Telephone and remote support for specific software problems and features as listed:

  • Support on SIMS software functionality
  • Using the SIMS FMS module
  • Support for Statutory Returns including documentation, resources and free annual roadshows
  • Support in using Microsoft Office Word and Excel with SIMS​
YES YES SIMS FMS ONLY YES

Software Management

  • Release relevant patches and upgrades for all ESS products (including SIMS, FMS, Discover and SOLUS3)
  • Comprehensive testing programme for ESS SIMS upgrades and patches, prior to release to schools.
YES YES YES YES

SIMS Software Managed Upgrade

  • Fully managed support for the installation of relevant SIMS patches and upgrades ensuring minimal disruption to schools.
  • We will also perform relevant upgrades to SOLUS and SIMS Services Manager
YES  YES YES

NO

(All patches
and upgrades
released to
SOLUS only
for self-serve installation by
local ICT
support)
 

Reports and Filesets installation

  • Support for the download and installation of standard report definitions and filesets.
YES  YES

YES

(Application
level support
only)

YES

(Application
level support
only)

Documentation

Access via our website to over 200 comprehensive SIMS guidance documents, all prepared by our SIMS specialists providing invaluable help for school staff. Topics include:

  • Using SIMS software
  • Statutory Returns
  • Information and features
  • Sample SIMS reports and templates
  • Post-upgrade procedures
 YES YES

SIMS FMS
FEATURES
ONLY

(Documents for
other areas
of SIMS are
excluded)
 
YES

SIMS Hardware Technical Support

Description of Features Included

SIMS
Managed
Service

SIMS
Software
Support Only

SIMS FMS
Support
Only

SIMS
Basic
Support

Support for SIMS servers (Domain and Peer-to-Peer)

  • Configuration and operation of SIMS server and the SIMS application.
  • Where applicable, SQL, DNS, DHCP and file server as relevant to deliver SIMS
  • Firmware patching for physical SIMS servers supplied by us.
YES NO NO NO

Support for Admin office PCs and PCs/Laptops running SIMS or FMS

  • Technical support for subscribed ESS SIMS applications.
  • Technical support for Microsoft Office and Microsoft Operating Systems as used with SIMS.
  • Investigation into SIMS failures
  • Arranging warranty repair for failed units, provided they are still in warranty and were purchased through us.
  • Restoration of functionality following warranty repair of failed systems.
YES NO NO NO

Documentation

Access via our website to SIMS technical guidance documents including:

  • Standard build guidance for devices running SIMS.
  • Minimum technical specification required for all hardware running SIMS.
YES  YES  YES 

 

YES 

 

Feature Description
Support from our ICT Service Centre & SIMS Support Team

Online by our "My Incidents" online reporting form on our website

Telephone: 0300 123 6797 (Option 1 for technical support or Option 3 to speak to a member of the Schools Application Team for SIMS Consultation Support)

Operational from 8am to 5pm
(Monday – Friday excluding Bank Holidays and statutory leave days)

Notes:

  • Customers on the SIMS Managed Service option should always contact us first for SIMS support for all devices covered by the support agreement. We will quickly assess the problem you are experiencing and identify the appropriate resolution.
  • Customers on SIMS Basic support should initially contact their third-party ICT support to check the deployment schedule for SIMS upgrades on SOLUS and for hardware and technical support for SIMS devices. All SIMS application support calls will be taken by our ICT Service Centre – see tables above.

Customer Requirements for each SIMS Support Option:

Each of our support options has specific requirements that your SIMS systems and ICT will need to meet:

Requirement SIMS
Managed
Service
SIMS
Software
Support
Only
SIMS
FMS
Support
Only
Basic
(Default where
Third Party
Restricts
our Access)
SOLUS to be installed and available on the SIMS server so we can release upgrades and patches to it. Required Required Required Required
SOLUS scheduling to be switched on at all times (allows automatic deployment). Required Required Required Not Required
Our MECM (Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager) client to be installed on the SIMS Server and any supported desktops/laptops to allowing us to provide remote management of SIMS (additional licences required). Required Not Required Not Required Not Required
Devices using ESS products must meet the minimum requirements published in the Technical Roadmap in the support section of our website (this includes Microsoft and ESS requirements). Required Required Required Required
Devices must meet our build standards. Required Not Required Not Required Not Required
We must hold unique administration level account credentials for the SIMS server and workstations, the SIMS application, SOLUS and SQL. Required Required Required Not Required
All devices must have an active, current and up to date anti-virus product installed.

 

Required

(Must be Sophos Central provided by LCC Education Digital Services)
Required Required Required
We must be able to use our preferred remote access tool to support school staff who use SIMS (currently ISL-Lite).

Required

Required Required Not Required
Your school provides an agreed remote access service e.g. ISL to enable us to remotely provide support for ESS products.

N/A

N/A N/A Required
Your SIMS system must have been built by us.

Required

Not Required Not Required Not Required
Full administrator rights to support SIMS installations on Class Teacher's laptops.

Required

Required Support for
SIMS on
Teachers laptops not offered with this option
Support for
SIMS on
Teachers laptops not offered with this option