The owners of SIMS, Education Software Services Ltd (ESS), have recently taken steps to create barriers for schools wishing to migrate from SIMS to other MIS providers. They have written to schools and local authority support teams, claiming that the way in which they migrate data, using SQL.bak files, will not be allowed as it is a breach of their contract terms and IP. They have pointed to two ‘permitted’ alternatives: APIs, and ESS Report Writer, neither of which are fit for this purpose.
Bromcom applying to the Competition and Markets Authority
Bromcom has applied to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and is applying to the High Court for an injunction to halt this anti-competitive behaviour by ESS Ltd. We are confident that schools are not in breach of contract by providing SIMS SQL backups. Bromcom is initiating Injunction proceedings to halt ESS’ legal threats to schools, support centres and MIS suppliers regarding migration process.
Any legal action against SIMS schools, Bromcom will cover approved legal costs for these schools
Bromcom’s position is that schools should proceed with their migration process. If ESS initiate any legal action against schools, Bromcom will offer an indemnity to cover approved legal costs for these schools. Furthermore in the unlikely event that a damages payment to ESS materialises, Bromcom will also take responsibility for this payment.
We hope this brings some reassurance to schools who simply wish to exercise their rights to their own data, and to select software of their choosing. At Bromcom, we are dedicated to leading by example, advocating for transparency, best procurement practices, fair competition, and open systems within the education ecosystem.