Does this amount to a declaration of war?

Arbor have today published an open letter to all SIMS customers.

The letter argues that SIMS recently announced position that their customers can no longer use a database backup file to transfer data to a new MIS supplier is wrong, pointing out that using backup files for this purpose has been standard industry practice for at least the past 10 years.

They go on to say that some schools are now feeling unable to move MIS as they are unsure about how to transfer their data safely and efficiently.

In the letter, they launch what they are calling the ‘Arbor Switching Guarantee’ which has, as its leading position, the statement that ‘Arbor will take legal responsibility when you transfer your school data to us via backup file.’

They also promise to cover a school’s SIMS licence cost until the contract ends in March 2025.

You can read the full letter here.

This certainly appears to be a ‘declaration of war’ on SIMS.

From a neutral point of view, we have to say that we are concerned about this combative approach to marketing. Everyone tries to position their solution in the best possible light, but most companies also take the view that disrespecting a competitor and its products is simply not good sales tactics.

Instead of pointing out perceived issues with a competitor and its product or tactics, surely it is better to simply point out the benefits of your own solution and how it differs from the competition.

We would recommend any school or MAT that is thinking of changing their MIS not to be swayed by advertising or hype, but rather to consider the rationale for change.

Why do you want to change? What is it about your current solution that is causing you issues? What exactly do you want from a new provider?

We have outlined the many considerations that every school or MAT should think about before deciding to change MIS in our recent post and are happy to provide a free copy of the full document to any school or MAT that would like one.

Remember, the grass isn’t always greener and there are many MIS providers out there to choose from if you are considering a change.

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