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Friday, April 26, 2013

EDLD 5362-Week 3-Student Information Systems: TEAMS

Areas To Address
Your Findings and Evaluation
Total Cost of Software Ownership (including reoccurring and ongoing costs)
TEAMS was implemented one module at a time over the course of several years, therefore, the initial costs were not available.  This is something the business office could provide but would take some leg work on their part since most of the personnel from that department have changed since the initial implementation.  Last September the yearly maintenance fee for all of the implemented modules was $248,750.00.  The one-time cost of the computer hardware which runs the system was approximately $45,000.00.  This includes 5 servers, a load balancer, Crystal Reports software, and a DB2 database license.  The district is considering moving to a hosted solution which will cost about $20,000.00 more per year but will do away with license costs as well as remove the burden of backing up and maintaining the hardware and software.  It will also offer complete disaster recovery as well as full redundancy by being hosted and mirrored across multiple data centers in geographically dispersed parts of the country.
Software Features Set
TEAMS handles almost all student and business functions related to the operation of a school district.  On the student side it handles, basic student management, scheduling, grading, attendance, discipline, teacher grade book, as well as parent and student information access.  On the business side it handles, human resources, payroll, purchasing, and fixed assests.
Texas-specific Functionality
TEAMS is the product of a company named Prologic which is based in Austin, Texas. To date, all of the clients of Prologic are Texas-based school districts.  Prologic works directly with the state on all data transmissions including PEIMS reporting, PID Enrollment Tracking (PET), Texas Records Exchange (TREx), pre-coding for standardized tests, as well as the new Texas Student Data System (TSDS) which is in the early stages of deployment.
Ease of Use and Reporting
The system is accessed through a secure web page and is available from any device which has a web browser as well as access to the internet.  The security is integrated with the district’s internal LDAP servers.  The user interface is very intuitive and can be customized based upon the role of the person and the required functions of their position.  There is no duplication of data entry required by TEAMS.
Customer Support and Experience of the Support Staff
Prologic utilizes a web-based ticketing system whereby any end-user can initiate a trouble ticket which will then either be handled via e-mail communication or if necessary through phone conversation.  Prologic is very quick to respond to issues and attempts to resolve all issues in a timely fashion.  In most cases the internal school district support staff attempts to handle user issues before involving Prologic.
Thorough User Training in the Software System
Training is available from the vendor as well as through the district.  In most cases, the vendor trains key district personnel who in turn train necessary staff.  On-line help manuals and “how-to” videos are maintained on the intranet portal for all staff to access.  These files are updated on a regular basis.  A users group was formed several years ago by school districts who utilize this software.  The group meets for a yearly conference where training is provided as well as enhancements are discussed and prioritized.  Sub-groups of the main group have webinars monthly to discuss issues relating to specific modules.  The vendor always provides on-line webinars when enhancements are added or updates are taking place.

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