Bromcom provide ‘backup’ in their argument with ESS SIMS around MIS data migration.

The issue being argued comes from the ESS SIMS announcement that anyone using a SIMS backup file to migrate their school data to another MIS would be in breach of contract and guilty of unlawfully interfering with their Intellectual Property (IP).

Whilst ESS argue that there are easy and approved methods for migrating school data when changing from SIMS to another provider, schools, MATs, support teams and other MIS providers all argue that these methods are not the best way to handle the data migration and that the use of a SIMS backup file for this purpose has been ‘industry standard’ for many years.

Now, Bromcom have provided details from the 2022 ESS submission to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) which was requested as part of the investigation into the ESS SIMS three-year contract dispute.

In their submission, which was made available to all parties during the investigation and which is publicly available on the CMA website, ESS were asked to explain the migration and onboarding processes so that the CMA could understand the amount of time that might be needed by schools in order to make an informed decision on changing their MIS provider.

In section 7.2 and 7.3 of this submission, ESS gave written submissions that in order to migrate the schools from SIMS to Bromcom, data would be ‘copied across from a backup of the school’s SIMS database’.

Here is an excerpt from the CMA website which shows the explanation around data migration submitted in 2022 to the CMA by ESS .

The final point details the use of a SIMS backup file for the purpose of migrating the data.

Bromcom argue that this provides further evidence that, not only was this standard practice, but also that ESS SIMS must have known about this practice since it was detailed, in writing, by them in their submission to the CMA investigation.

Since ESS wrote this and did not raise any concerns at that time, to either the CMA or to Bromcom, about this method being employed, Bromcom argue that this shows that ESS were happy that their backup files were being used to migrate school data.

So, ESS had known about the use of SIMS backup files previously, yet made no complaint about it until December 2023, when their announcement sparked off controversy around this issue.

We are sure this argument will run for some time and can only hope that it does not cause schools difficulties when considering a change to their MIS provider.

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