I have recently installed TASC Insight at Portslade Aldridge Community Academy. We are currently preparing it to roll out to parents. The reason the Academy went for Insight was the ease of use, ease of installation and the great level of support offered by Tasc Software.
Replacing Sims Learning Gateway (SLG) wasn’t an easy decision, but was also a no brainer. SLG is expensive, clunky and poorly supported (in my opinion). Upgrading SLG consists of running a series of Powershell scripts and is time consuming and unfriendly. Insight upgrades come in the form of an executable which runs and installs inside 5 minutes – that’s how software should upgrade.
Installation was a dream too – just download and run one installer on your webserver. Up and running inside 30 minutes. ( as opposed to a Capita consultant spending several days onsite and not getting it right ) . Branding consists of choosing a theme, uploading a logo and you’re done. My SLG theme cost £400 and took several attempts to get right.
Documentation comes in the form of a Wiki on the Tasc website. Anything I couldn’t find I mailed support and had an answer within 30 minutes.
Setting up users is done via an import from SIMS – if you have parents email addresses in Sims and Parent priority levels set, all you have to do is click the ‘Sync’ button and it will create all the users automatically. You then have to “activate” them which will send them a welcome email and instructions on how to log in.
To say this is better than SLG is an understatement. Cost wise it is around 10 times cheaper , easier to setup and upgrade and easier to create accounts. We went for the AD add-on which allows staff to sign on with SIMS credentials and the Parent Evening add-on which, although we haven’t used yet, looks simple to use.
It has a quicker and sleeker user interface and doesn’t require Microsoft SharePoint.
SLG was a total failure for us in our school and a complete waste of money – I can thoroughly recommend Insight for anyone looking for any easy to use and configure parent portal.