Late in 2022, RM plc announced that it intended to sell its MIS business, RM Integris, plus its financial management platform – RM Finance, to The Key Support Services for up to £16 million in cash, with completion expected to occur during the first half of 2023, subject to an employee consultation and any other outstanding approvals.
Neil Martin, CEO of RM said the sale was part of its strategy to restructure its RM Technology Division and refocus on its core Managed Services business: “This sale allows RM to better focus our resources and efforts within RM Technology to take greater advantage of the market opportunity presented by the growth in larger school groups and the increasing use of technology.”
The Key Group, who already own two competing school management information systems, Arbor and ScholarPack, boasted that with the addition of Integris, they would now be providing information systems to over 7,000 schools – equivalent to about a third of the market. This effectively makes them ‘number two’ based on customer numbers – or as they claim, “the leading providers of modern cloud native MIS systems in the UK.”
Chris Kenyon, CEO at The Key said: “School leaders deserve tools that support school improvement, reduce staff workload and enable them to focus on pupils. RM Integris and RM Finance are a great fit with The Key Group, our organisations share a common ethos and a focus on making sure that school leaders have both the context and knowledge to make meaningful change.”
While there are no current plans to merge or migrate platforms now owned by The Key, James Weatherill, CEO of The Key Group’s MIS Division asserted that they could leverage such a critical mass to increase their investment in their products and services to customers: “[…] given our scale we can provide live, nationally representative, hyper-personalised benchmarking to the sector. This will allow schools and Trusts to understand their performance in context without having to wait until national data is released on an annual basis.”
It remains to be seen how The Key’s product strategy will play out now that they own three well-known systems. However as a blog article by Joshua Perry recently highlighted, while there had previously been relatively little movement between The Key’s MIS’s, over the past year of the 43 schools that left ScholarPack, 34 of them chose to go to Arbor.