Thursday, 6 July 2017

Strategy for communicating suggestions to VSWare

Schools are aware that there has been a considerable shift in the uptake of the use of VSWare as the main Management Information System (MIS) for post-primary schools in Ireland in recent years.  
Prior to this change, the majority of schools used an alternative provider, which the Department of Education and Skills funded regarding the maintenance and development of the system that was in use.  There was no opportunity or mechanism available to users, during that time, to communicate enhancements and suggestions in order to improve the service or features of that MIS.

VSWare receives a considerable number of requests from schools to enhance the functionality of its MIS.

VSWare and NAPD ICT Forum
VSWare discussed the prospect of establishing a forum of principals and deputy principals to discuss suggestions, potential enhancements and timelines for deployments of updates, at times that would be appropriate to the effective operation of schools, with the NAPD in September 2016.
VSWare is committed to continually innovating and enriching its MIS features and services to schools, and is eager to ensure that it meets the needs of schools in the most effective and efficient manner possible.
Why opt for NAPD?
It was widely accepted, that an effective way to proceed with ensuring that VSWare continues to innovate in its service to schools, was to establish a working group forum with the NAPD ICT Committee as this is comprised of representatives (both principal and deputy principal) which encompass all sectors and patron bodies, while maintaining all existing relationships with the various school management bodies.  This group meets to discuss the suggestions from Principals, Deputy Principals and school Secretaries, and to assess if the suggestions are of benefit, in a meaningful and functional manner, to the majority of schools.
There have been three meetings of VSWare management and representatives from NAPD ICT between October 2016 and February 2017,, where all suggestions proposed have been actioned.
The collective objective of this forum is to ensure that VSWare can respond to schools’ needs based on accurate experience of practitioners on the ground.
Principals, Deputy Principals and School secretaries are welcome to suggest enhancements to VSWare and indeed, all other MIS providers, via an on-line form (available on the NAPD ICT website -