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ESS SIMS Conference 2022


Scomis attended ESS’s conference for SIMS Support Units (SSUs) this week, of which we are one of the largest in the country. Our team comprised leaders from Product, Data, Sales & Marketing, and Technical infrastructure. 

This was the first ESS SIMS conference since 2019. A chance to hear from the new owners of ESS, ParentPay Group, about their intentions and plans for the next three years.  

It was an opportunity for us to speak to key personnel at ParentPay and ESS, and to catch up with partners from other SSUs across the country. We will communicate as much detail as possible in later articles, but here are some of the highlights from the two day conference 

Sir William Atkinson giving a powerful oration on the current landscape in education, the trials and tribulations of the last few years, and the overarching need for schools to get best value from any product they are using. 

To that end, there is a lot of energy, effort and investment going into SIMS, both SIMS 7 and Next Gen, and the impression given was of serious work going on, led by a strong team, who are determined to ensure the future of SIMS in the MIS market-place. 

SIMS NextGen  

Next Generation SIMS took centre stage, with explanations of their work processes from the development team – a team that has worked across many other software platforms to bring software to the cloud. There were demonstrations of the functionality slices that are already in use by pilot schools and illustrations of the investment which is driving development forward. Evolution, not revolution being the keywords. 


Tom Jones from ESS took us through the extensive development work continuing on SIMS 7, which is the current version of SIMS that schools are using. He explained how they are using surveys, feedback and the Ideas Portal to push through changes at a faster rate than they have for many years. SIMS 7 will clearly continue to be a feature-rich software enhanced to meet new challenges. 

Workshops and parallel sessions 

Alongside the key developments for SIMS 7 and SIMS NextGen, there were parallel sessions on Customer Success, School Improvement, Future Horizons and other ParentPay group products throughout the two days, as well as time to network with colleagues from other parts of the country. By the time the closing remarks were made after a thought-provoking presentation by Jim Lawless, pages of notes and annotations had been made.  

We’re looking forward to leading the roll-out of SIMS 7 improvements and SIMS NextGen with you in the coming months.