Transitioning to IRIS Ed:gen, the next-generation MIS

By Tim Cropper-Williams | 7th April 2021 | 4 min read

IRIS Ed:gen is something special. Too many schools’ MIS – their management information systems – are so creaky and old, they actively hold schools and MATs back. IRIS Ed:gen is a step change. A cloud-based MIS, its simple design gives teachers and leadership a clear view of data, helping them make better decisions. Staff can share notes instantly, from anywhere, and powerful communication tools save teachers time by cutting down on admin and putting information at their fingertips. 

So how do I get IRIS Ed:gen at my school? 

Simple: by transitioning your system to ours. It’s an extremely straightforward process, and our transition team goes above and beyond to make it painless.  

It works in four steps: Project ManagementInstallationTraining & Go Live and finally Ongoing Support. 

But first, meet your dedicated transition team 

Before we begin any transition, we give you a crack team made up of project managers and technical installers. The former are your main point of contact, liaising with our specialists to make sure everything goes right. The latter physically build your system. They’re on hand to support you through the data migration and answer any technical queries you may have.   

Step 1) Project Management 

The transition begins. You will first be assigned a project manager and installer. They are fully equipped to work remotely, prepared for all eventualities, and available by email or phone throughout the process. At IRIS, we use Microsoft Teams to keep in touch, and your project manager will schedule regular project update meetings.  

No two schools are the same, so we draw up a tailored plan for you. Our project managers will arrange a kick-off meeting to discuss this and set out a project plan to deliver your software. We follow a week-by-week Critical Path Method to manage the tasks, work collaboratively, and control risks to ensure we don’t fall behind schedule. 

Step 2) Installation and Data Migration 

IRIS Ed:gen is cloud-based and requires no installation or hardware to set up. It’s intended for all staff to use daily, allowing schools to capture, report, and assess more data than ever before. The URL for your site will be agreed as part of the implementation process so it can be added to the school intranet and website. Because it’s cloud-based, staff can log in and access the same information from home, or anywhere else, as they can in school. 

One of the most important parts of transition is having confidence your existing data will be securely transferred to the new system. This happens in two phases. In Phase 1, we provide helpful guides on how to cleanse your data. Depending on your current system, we’ll ask you to cleanse the data in the current school management system, then provide an extract of the cleansed data. Alternatively, we can provide a blank template in which you can populate and cleanse at the same time. In Phase 2, the installer will check the data and return with any queries for amends. Once this is agreed, we can import your data into IRIS Ed:gen and the system is ready. 

Step 3) Training and Go-Live 

Fully interactive training sessions are provided as part of the migration. We also train using your own data so it’s a more relevant, meaningful and memorable experience. A blend of live and on-demand sessions ensure your teaching staff are comfortable using IRIS Ed:gen from day one, and we recommend a standard course for all administrators and provide several options for specific areas such as Assessment, Exams, Timetabling, and Cover.   

As well as our online community, we facilitate User Groups, to which all our schools are invited. These are a great opportunity for our customers to network, gain feedback on what we are doing as a company and talk directly to us about our products and services. 

Finally, there will be an official Go Live date. This is normally one or two weeks after training has been completed to ensure there is time to review and sign off the data migration. 

Step 4) Ongoing support 

Finally, we don’t just leave you to it. Every IRIS Education customer has a named Account Manager available as a single point of contact. They are responsible for conducting regular reviews to ensure everything is meeting the needs of staff, pupils and key stakeholders.   

We have a long-established support team for providing information and advice on product functionality and best practice. We investigate any issues that may arise, and provide direct assistance to resolve, avoid, or work around them. We understand schools and trusts need different types of support at different times, so we have a very flexible, yet comprehensive, support offering. Our UK support team is available by telephone or email Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm (this is subject to change). There are also additional guides and videos available, giving you access to information on-demand, when it suits you.  

And that’s it! Quick, easy, and simple. If you have any questions or would like any further details, please contact us here, or you can find out more about IRIS Ed:gen here.

About the author

Tim Cropper-Williams

Product Director

Tim Cropper-Williams is responsible for all communication and engagement products at IRIS, including PS Connect, ParentMail, +Pay, BioStore, Truancy Call, IRIS Looked After Call, IRIS Engage and Accountant Go. Tim has worked in the communication and engagement space for over 14 years in training, support, management, sales and product.