Sunday, February 10, 2013

Skyward Screwed over by State Job Creators. Another Scott Walker Success?

A successful Wisconsin company, Skyward Inc., may have to move after state geniuses accepted a lower bid from an out-of-state firm. So...creating jobs in Minnesota was their plan all along? What about the hit we'll take to our tax base losing all those jobs/corporate profits? Here's a company that killed the competition, yet lost out to one of the minor players. There are so many things wrong with this story, you've gotta wonder what some people were thinking. Here's WKOW's Greg Neumann:

Skyward Inc. of Stevens Point filed a formal protest Friday with the state over a $15 million school software contract awarded to an out-of-state company. Skyward's Chief Executive Officer and President are the featured guests on Capitol City Sunday this weekend. The executives say they found irregularities in the bid review process that resulted in the contract being awarded to the Minneapolis-based company Infinite Campus. The executives say they are poised to move the company out of Wisconsin if the decision isn't reversed. Skyward currently provides student information services for half of the school districts in Wisconsin. "We were looking at a $20 million expansion with a brand new corporate office and looking at hiring around 600 people in the long-term," said Skyward president Scott Glinski.
WEDC's new leader, Reid Hall, also couldn't believe what happened. From WPT's Here and Now:



Stevens Point Mayor Andrew Halverson seemed a bit on edge about the incredible short shortsightedness of the choice, pointing out how many other states are going from one to multiple software vendors to create competition and lower cost, and that the conversion costs will be a burden on the local school districts. From Here and Now:



Watch Rep. Robin Vos pass the blame onto Superintendent Tony Evers, and not the DOA. Will someone else pour a beer over his head please. The "job creators" are watching, and it doesn't look good. 

7 comments:

  1. shame on you -- skyward was part of an earlier rigged process where they accepted tax cuts to let them win the bid -- and you were one of the first folks screamin' about that!

    No one should be surprised that walker's admin gave this to an out-of-state contractor; his next move is to take his koch brothers circus on the road and into the white house.

    There is no reason this should go to a WI company if an out-of-state company has a better bid -- you would have whined and complained had skyward one.

    Stevens Point is a vast wasteland of ignorance -- LET SKYWARD GO.

    And stop being a hypocrite.

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  2. It's true I whined and complained about the backroom deal, but Skyward had to win the bidding process first. The whole deal "looked" bad, but may not have been exactly Skywards fault if you consider the way Walker works.

    The whole story isn't known yet, so right now, I'm siding with Skyward and Wisconsin jobs. We'll see who had the better bid, and as I explained, the long term costs have got to be considered.

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  3. Maybe Skyward doesn't have the best product. Our school district uses Skyward and the customer service is awful! It has gotten much worse in the past few years.

    I have talked to teachers in school districts that use Infinite Campus and they really like it.

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  4. Thank you, that's the missing element that you would think the press my look into. Perhaps they do have lousy software.

    I've given Wisconsin businesses the benefit of the doubt. Where this goes from here, who knows. But the quality of service is important. Infinite serves Middleton, and it wasn't easy figuring out how to retrieve a forgotten password. Otherwise, their service works fine.

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  5. Been there seen that.. done it!February 13, 2013 at 8:53 PM

    I have install maintained and supported both Skyward and Infinite Campus software over my 15 years of serving school districts.

    Although each system has it's strong points and weak points Infinite Campus gets my vote as a better all around designed and maintained application.

    Although Skyward has had the benefit of years of support from the regional CESA's given their early entrance into to student records software business in Wisconsin. Skyward's Financial School software applications was their premier product with student records coming later. My guess is that Skyward still holds the majority of school accounting (accounts receivable, accounts payable and payroll) software business in Wisconsin.

    Even with a late entrance in the market Infinite Campus has managed, over roughly 10 years, to open their own niche by offering a reasonable alternative.

    If I were in a position of making the decision of which company to chose I would strongly recommend Infinite Campus based on 15 years of experience.

    Democumudgeon... if you are digging for answers great but look at the history (you have to understand the 20-25 year history). Look at the part the regional CESA's have played.

    Look at the part DPI's reporting requirements have played in the evolution of each vendors offerings and success or failure due in part to statewide school politics.

    Look at which components a given district is using. Are they using Skyward Accounting and Infinite Campus Student Records. My guess is that this is a common configuration.

    If so that would suggest to me that, that in itself tells you who has the better Student Records option. If you already have Skyward Account why would you buy Infinite Campus Student Records?

    Finally one last point, this is a high pressure sales market neither company takes a complacent attitude when trying to get a districts business.

    Pressure is applied from all of the players. Neighboring school district, CESA's, DPI, school boards, teacher unions, hardware vendors etc., etc.

    The public record up to this point is only telling part of the story.

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  6. Infinite campus better? Amazing 50 percent versus 10 percent. Schools chose the right company

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