The recent copyright/IP infringement claims made by ESS regarding the migration of data from SIMS to Bromcom have sent shockwaves through the UK MIS market. Bromcom asserts a unique position in this situation, one built on a long-standing agreement, licensed access, and clear precedent.  Let’s delve into the factors that differentiate Bromcom’s case:

1. Established Technical Partnership

Bromcom’s technical partnership with ESS dates back to 2003, predating most other MIS suppliers. This deep understanding of the SIMS ecosystem positions them uniquely to navigate migration challenges while respecting intellectual property rights.

2. Licensed Access & Identical Data

Bromcom’s partnership grants them licensed access to the SIMS application, its SQL database, and a copy of the SIMS license itself. When schools provide Bromcom with a backup of their SIMS database, they are not sharing any new or additional information beyond what Bromcom already possesses and has legal access to. This eliminates concerns about copyright infringement on behalf of schools and local authorities.

3. CMA Approval & ESS’s Own Words

The MIS sector has expressed widespread surprise at ESS’s recent claims, as the practice of using backup copies for migration has been commonplace since 2008. Notably, an excerpt from the CMA website further strengthens Bromcom’s position. In 2022, Bromcom’s migration process was submitted by ESS itself to the CMA as an example of a speedy and efficient solution for schools. This action stands as a testament to the legitimacy and established nature of Bromcom’s approach, suggesting no prior objections from ESS regarding the process.

Excerpt from PDF published on CMA website:

Based on the aforementioned points, Bromcom confidently asserts that their case is unique. They firmly believe that schools, local authorities, and Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs) providing copies of their SIMS SQL backups are not infringing on any copyright or intellectual property rights, and should not be concerned about legal action from ESS Ltd. To solidify this trust, Bromcom offers indemnification against any legal costs arising from potential action by ESS Ltd.

In conclusion, Bromcom’s unique position is built on a solid foundation of legal access, established practices, and industry precedent; in other words, it meets the criteria of being ‘safe, lawful and authorised’. Bromcom’s confidence in their approach is further bolstered by their partnership with ESS, CMA approval, and hence willingness to indemnify clients. As the debate surrounding data migration unfolds, Bromcom stands firm in its commitment to providing schools with a smooth and legal transition to their MIS solution.