Finding a new Student Information System (SIS) vendor represents both an exciting change for your school and a new logistical challenge that can seem daunting. While it’s no secret that this type of project is significant, asking the right questions and preparing in advance can make the implementation process more manageable and help your school successfully achieve its goals. 

Key Questions to Consider 

1.What is a reasonable timeline to complete implementation? 

It’s hard to set a specific timeline as each school has different priorities, available resources and academic calendars that play an important role in establishing an implementation project plan. To build a timeline that works for your school, you must understand the scope of your project and the factors that determine your ability to do it.  


Important factors to consider include:  

  • How much data does your school need to migrate? 
  • What customisation, if any, will your school need in its new SIS? 
  • What pieces of the new SIS need to be rolled out first?  
  • What resources do you have available to complete your implementation? 
  • What is your target completion date for your SIS rollout? 


Understand the scope of the project and set realistic expectations for your implementation timeline. Our sample implementation timeline is a useful tool for understanding how other schools have approached their implementation. 

2. How do I determine my priorities and which department to launch the new Student Information System with? 

Implementing a new SIS is a great opportunity to further your school’s goals through data management. For example, if your school is looking to increase enrolment numbers, you can prioritise rolling out the admissions and enrolment module first to quickly create a better front-end and back-end experience for staff and families alike. 


The key is to prioritise your key functionalities at the start of your implementation project. Involve relevant stakeholders in this decision-making and survey your community to determine where the greatest need lives. Consider starting with the department that will benefit the most from the new system. 


3. What will the data migration between the two Student Information Systems look like? 

Plan for a smooth transition by first assessing the data you need to migrate. This means taking inventory of your existing data and processes as well as considering your current business requirements. A SIS implementation is a great opportunity to clean up any old data as well as clearly define data governance for the new system. 


Work closely with your new SIS providervendor to ensure accurate and secure data transfer from your old system to new. Let your vendor (and any third-party resources) know of any data dependencies, custom coding and important migration timelines prior to getting started to ensure you’re set up for success.  


4. What are my staffing requirements? Should I consider using a third-party vendor? 

Evaluate your internal resources and determine if additional staffing or external expertise is necessary. Depending on your timeline and available internal resources, schools of all sizes can handle an implementation in-house. For example, a larger school with a bigger budget may hire temporary staff to complete the project while a smaller school with limited resources may choose a longer implementation cycle to limit the strain on their resources. 


Third-party vendors can provide specialised support during implementation. They allow schools to limit the use of internal resources while also providing the benefit of years of implementation expertise.  

Successful SIS implementation involves collaboration, clear communication and ongoing evaluation to meet the needs of your educational institution. Partnering with the right Student Information System vendor, such as Veracross, will assist you in this significant undertaking. Remember, using a phased implementation approach can break down the project into manageable pieces and help your school achieve its goals.