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RM slims down with MIS sale

Education player continues to review the business as it looks to put itself in a position to support schools

Education technology firm RM has been a business in transition for a while, moving away from its roots in hardware and developing a software-led business.

That journey has seen some divestment, and there are signs of that continuing with the decision by the vendor to sell off its school management information systems (MIS) business – known as RM Integris and RM Finance (along with RM Accounts and Access Education Budgeting) – to The Key Group for up to £16m in cash.

This latest move has been set against a backdrop of changing patterns in education, with more schools becoming part of academy groups, which has seen them looking for a different blend of services from suppliers such as RM.

The decision to sell off the MIS business was one that could be made as a result of those changes and has been described as a positive step by RM’s management.

“As technology plays an ever greater role in education, schools and trusts are asking for more advice and guidance on how to benefit from the breadth of solutions available. RM is the ideal partner to support them on their individual digital maturity journeys and help them benefit from modern, platform-delivered managed services,” said Jason Tomlinson, managing director, technology, for RM.

“This announcement is part of a strategic review to focus on how we help more customers maximise the impact of technology across their schools in the rapidly changing technology and education landscape,” he added.

Tomlinson said it had wanted to sell to a company that would deliver MIS to schools and continue to have a working relationship with RM.

At the same time as announcing the sale, RM indicated that it had formed a strategic partnership with The Key Group, embedding a number of tools, including Arbor, RM Integris and GovernorHub, into RM’s digital maturity consultancy and support practice.

The Key Group is looking to help more schools make the shift to cloud-based MIS systems, and the addition of RM Finance can also offer customers greater flexibility.

“School leaders deserve tools that support school improvement, reduce staff workload and enable them to focus on pupils,” said Chris Kenyon, CEO of The Key Group. “RM Integris and RM Finance are a great fit with The Key Group – our organisations share a common ethos and a focus on making sure that school leaders have both the context and knowledge to make meaningful change.”

James Weatherill, CEO of The Key Group’s MIS division, said there was momentum in the market and this acquisition would give the business an opportunity to tap into that.

“There has been a lot going on in the world of management information systems of late, as schools have realised that cloud-based systems can open up an entirely new way of more flexible working, and thousands have switched away from legacy systems en masse,” he stated.

“Combining RM Integris with Arbor and ScholarPack means we serve over 7,000 schools, and can use this to further increase our investment into product and service to provide outstanding value to schools,” he added.

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