Moving MIS: What to consider and how to make it a smooth transition 

15 May, 2024

Moving MIS: What to consider and how to make it a smooth transition 

Moving MIS provider can be daunting. After all, your MIS is at the heart of so many educational and administrative activities. In this guide, we talk about what you should consider before moving MIS provider, and give you some actionable tips on making your migration as smooth as possible. 

Moving MIS provider can be daunting. After all, your Management Information System (MIS) is at the heart of so many educational and administrative activities.  

In fact, for our customers, it’s the central point of truth that our Integration Suite taps into for all our processes – so moving MIS provider is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.  

Many senior leaders and IT managers in education will be concerned with disruptions to communication, reporting, timetables, resource management, data and integration with vital education software and systems. 

But, there can be many reasons why you’re looking to switch MIS providers; from wanting modern features, such as AI integration, and more tailored functionality and customisation options, to needing an MIS that will support you to scale efficiently and integrate with the latest education tools and apps. 

If you’re considering migrating your MIS, but are building a strategy to cover what it might entail, keep reading.  

In this guide, we talk about what you should consider before moving MIS provider, and give you some actionable tips on making your migration as smooth as possible. 

Our Salamander Integration Suite is trusted by over 4,000 schools to manage and provision the lifecycle of user accounts, automatically syncing Microsoft 365 and Teams, Google Classroom and other EdTech tools with data from your MIS system. 

We have supported schools and multi-academy trusts with over 300 MIS migrations, so we wanted to create this guide for those considering switching providers. 

What to consider before moving MIS provider

Feature parity – am I going to get the same features and functionality as my existing MIS? 

Does the new system offer the same or comparable features and functionality to your current MIS?  

You rely on your MIS for a wide range of functions, including communication with staff, students and parents, enrolment, attendance tracking, grade management, timetabling and access to teaching and learning apps. 

If the new MIS doesn’t have the same features as your current one, it could lead to disruptions to staff workflow, a need for extra training and limits on the software you can integrate with. 

So, it’s important that your new MIS supports you in meeting both your educational and administrative requirements.  

Some things to consider: 

  • Integrations with your current software – To ensure smooth data flow and collaboration, consider choosing an MIS that integrates seamlessly with your school’s existing software. 
  • API Support – If your new MIS lacks robust Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), it may limit your ability to integrate with tools and applications.  
  • Customisations – Can it support the current customisations you require and ones you may need in the future? 
  • Training and support – What level of training and support is offered by the new MIS company? 
Illustration of a person comparing two MIS providers.

How to compare feature parity of your new MIS provider 

Create a list of your existing requirements. For example, student information management, academic tracking, communication tools, reporting, cloud-hosted and any other relevant features. Go through this list and prioritise the features that are most critical for your school’s operations. 

When you’re searching for a new MIS provider, find out what features and functionality they’re offering and compare this with your current needs and provider.  

Of course, you should also be mindful to think about your school’s future needs and growth, especially with the focus on moving everything to ‘the cloud’.  

Person planning out the dates of moving MIS provider. The calendar has post-it style notes on.

Disruption – Is teaching and learning going to be disrupted by an MIS migration? 

Many schools worry that changing MIS provider will impact teaching and learning. 

It’s true that MIS migration, if not managed well, could lead to disruption across your school, so it would be well worth the time to research the partners out there who can support you with an MIS migration.  

You should factor in: 

  • The time-consuming process of transferring data from the old MIS to the new one and whether all your data can be transferred. 
  • Temporary disruptions in student and staff access to software and systems.  
  • Communication challenges due to changes in tools or platforms.  
  • The time it takes to familiarise and train staff on the new MIS system.  
  • Time for potential delays or errors in data transfer, integration or customisations. 

How to minimise disruption when moving MIS provider

There are a few things we do at SalamanderSoft to ensure our customers have a smooth transition to their new MIS provider. 

Illustration of a person planning out moving MIS provider. The person looks up at a calendar which has plotted points on it.

Get clear on dates and timeframes. 

Planning ahead makes every process go a little smoother, and MIS migration is no exception.  

Our customers get an email reminder to book a slot with us in advance: 

The key information we need to know in advance is: 

  • Your migration date (the date the data is available) 
  • The date you want to use your new MIS (the Go-Live date) 

We’ll also need to agree on a day when an uninterrupted connection to the Salamander Integration Suite server is available.  

This should be a day when you are available via phone or email to contact about the move. 

How long does an MIS migration take?

For individual schools (we call these single builds),our work takes around a day, depending on the size of the installation. For multi academy trusts (we call these multi builds), we’d expect to spend longer than this depending on the complexity of the build and number of schools.

Speak to one of our experts

Be involved in the meetings 

Don’t just leave it to the data managers. Get involved in the communications and talk with your data teams and third-party providers, like us!  

Changes to things like class names and room names may impact other teaching and learning-related systems that rely on the consistency and accuracy of this data. 

Hand over high-quality data 

Accurate and high-quality data is crucial when transitioning from one MIS to another.  

Inaccurate or incomplete data will naturally lead to errors, which could lead to disruption and affect the overall integrity of the data. 

For example, we ask the following of our customers:  

  • National Insurance numbers for all staff are present (Staff Code if not present) in both the current and new MIS.  
  • Unique Pupil Numbers (UPNs) are present for all students in the current and new MIS/ 
  • Class names and codes remain the same between the current and new MIS to avoid duplication of groups/Teams and Google Classrooms. 
  • Any User Defined Fields (UDFs) are imported to the new MIS with the same name as in the current MIS. 

Make sure data is of high quality by using our Writeback add-on

With this add-on, integration suite customers can feed vital information about their users back into their MIS / SIS system to not only support greater integration with other services, but to also keep email addresses used as Unique Identifiers accurate and up to date.

Speak to our experts about Writeback
Illustration of a person sat peacefully on top of a pile of data.

School or MAT?

Switching MIS providers is a breeze when you unleash the magic of SalamanderSoft.

We’re the UK’s leading user management solutions provider, trusted by 4,000+ schools. Our Integration Suite automates the creation of staff and pupil accounts and the setup of classes, subjects, year groups, and more.  

More information

MSP for education? 

Have you got customers who are considering switching MIS provider? We can help!

Salamander for Partners can help managed service providers (MSP), value added resellers (VAR) or IT support providers (ITSP) save time and eradicate the hassle of onboarding and provisioning schools whilst earning you an attractive reseller margin. 

Find out more
Courtney Farrow

Written by Courtney Farrow

Marketing and Social media

Courtney supports SalamanderSoft in creating engaging online content for the company website and social media channels. She has over ten years of experience in digital content creation and her company Bloom Creative specialises in helping software and tech brands attract, convert and retain customers.

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