Navigating school software vendor acronyms and what do they all mean
All the different acronyms are mostly Marketing differentiators that allow School software vendors to separate themselves from their key competitors in the same education space.
Let’s start with school management software typically in Australia this has been recognised as the core administration database within a school managing the core record of an individual from students and parents to related contacts and in some cases also finance. This can be known as a School Management Software SMS or also School Administration Software SAS. There is a recent trend by software vendors to highlight growing functionality by calling their products a Student Information Software SIS or School ERP (enterprise resource planning). Also, vendors that cross the Preschool and K-12 or into Australian tertiary education may refer to their software as EMS Education Management software or Education Management Solutions. Other variations are appearing all the time. Learning Management Software LMS is also branded under different names like Student learning software SLS, classroom learning software CLS, Class Room Management Software CMS and so on.
So where does this leave you as a school user trying to evaluate and score a school software vendor?
You need to follow the same suggested principles:
- Identify why you need to select new software or change your current solutions, what is missing, or are there efficiencies or learning outcomes that could be gained by changing.
- Document all your school requirements.
- Sort vendors based on their ability to meet you chosen requirements and budget.
- Ask for demonstrations to your chosen key school stakeholders and against your prioritised requirements.
- Discuss and choose your preferred Vendor.
So don’t be put off by all the marketing acronyms. No two schools are the same in their requirements and no two vendors are the same in their software solutions, so reach out to all the software vendors providing solutions to the Australian education market and ask how they can work with your school to meet your requirements.