Author: Greg Young
Posted: 27 Feb 2023
Estimated time to read: 4 mins
Join Satchel’s Operations Director, Greg Young, on a journey through Satchel’s past, present and future as a cloud-based MIS.
How did Satchel get where it is today?
When Satchel was first created back in 2011, education software was often chosen by local education authorities on a school’s behalf. While these solutions looked good on paper, lack of consultation with the actual end users meant that teacher engagement was low.
Our CEO, Naimish Gohil, an assistant headteacher at the time, noticed this issue in his own school and began to develop a solution. He started with homework, a source of daily interaction between teachers, parents and students. The result was Show My Homework, a product that’s now used in 1 in 3 secondary schools across the UK and international schools all over the world.
A few years after starting Show My Homework, schools started coming to us to ask how else we could support them. That’s when Satchel One was born, a learning platform that has continued to grow over the years and is now made up of 8 powerful apps and a host of other useful features.
Why is Satchel building an MIS?
Building an MIS had been on our radar for a while, but the final decision to create one came when SIMS announced they were locking schools into their contracts. The customers that we spoke to were, understandably, very upset about this.
We made the decision then and there to move into the market to offer a viable alternative solution for these schools.
How did Satchel decide what features to include?
Research started, as it always does, with our customers. We spoke to people about what they wanted, what they needed and what the non-negotiables actually were.
The main takeaway from these discussions was that our customers wanted to have everything under one roof, to finally be able to achieve that one-login experience that would streamline school processes. It’s since become our mission to be the first providers that truly accomplish that goal.
What makes Satchel’s MIS different from other MIS software available in the market today?
Satchel’s MIS has originated from a learning platform, something that can’t be said for any other provider in the market today. Classroom management feels like an afterthought for a lot of today’s providers and that’s something Satchel is determined to change.
These last 12 years of experience in the classroom management sphere have also meant integrating with other MIS providers. We’ve built up an understanding of their pain points, as well as the importance of seamless integration with external software wherever possible. As a result, integrating with other tools smoothly and successfully is a high priority for Satchel’s MIS and something we think will set us apart from other providers.
The heart of what makes us unique, however, is the way we understand real people. 12 wonderful years of interacting with parents, staff and students. 12 wonderful years of hearing their stories, learning from them and trying to make their lives better. Our high engagement and customer satisfaction rates are proof enough that it’s all been more than worth it.
Why did you decide to build the MIS inside the existing Satchel One platform?
Yes, building our MIS independently would have been a lot faster, but the benefits of building it inside Satchel One were too great to ignore. From the familiar look and feel to being able to offer everything under one roof, we’re more than convinced that building inside Satchel One was the right decision.
Will Satchel’s MIS be complete when it launches in October 2023?
Our MIS will have all the required features when we launch in October, but will continue to grow and develop over the coming years. We think that there’s a lot of room for innovation in the MIS arena and doing everything we want to do will take some time. That doesn’t mean that version 1 will fall short of customer expectations though, just that some of the brilliant features we have planned will take a bit longer to appear.
How can I hear more about the MIS?
I’m currently speaking to lots of different schools about getting involved with our MIS and would be very happy to speak to you too! A call with me is a chance to explore the ways Satchel’s MIS could benefit your school and when might be the right time to join if you do want to switch to us.
We’re currently working with schools on 3 different adoption schedules: October 2023 for Pilot schools who want to work closely with us and help shape our development, January to September 2024 for early adopters who are confident in our technology and want to move MIS providers as soon as possible, and then finally those who want to wait for phase 2 updates and features before they switch.
To find out more about our MIS, visit our website and sign up for updates.