With nearly 20 years at WCBS, Ian Adams brings his vast experience and in-depth knowledge of school requirements to the Academic Product Manager role. In the below Q&A he discusses the future of MIS, changes and developments in EdTech and what’s next for the WCBS product suite.

Q. What was your first role at WCBS?

I joined WCBS in 2001 as a Sales Office Assistant, a role now provided by our excellent team of Customer Account Managers.

Q. What are you most looking forward to in your new role?

Mixing my many years of industry experience with the latest developments in technology to help deliver the third generation of WCBS academic products.

Q. Why is cloud considered the future of MIS?

So much information, both personal and work-related, is now cloud-based and there’s no reason why school management information systems (MIS) shouldn’t enjoy the same benefits of security, efficiency, responsiveness and collaboration.

Q. How have independent and international schools developed their use of EdTech and how does WCBS software support these changes?

The growth in both the number and scope of EdTech solutions in the past 15 years has been staggering with so many innovative products supporting every aspect of school life. For schools to benefit from this growth it’s critical that these products can integrate seamlessly with our software and continuing to develop our Partner Programme will be one of my key goals over the coming months.

Q. What’s the biggest change you’ve experienced since working in the EdTech sector?

Globalisation. Where previously EdTech providers limited themselves to supplying domestic solutions, the expansion into many international school sectors, coupled with the increase in international pupil numbers in the UK, has led to many EdTech providers taking a more global outlook for their solutions. Having spent the past six years based in Hong Kong and working with schools across Asia, I’m keen to ensure that WCBS continues to lead the way in this area.

Q. Can you tell us what’s next for the WCBS product suite?

We have a number of exciting products and features currently in development, one that I am particularly passionate about is our recently launched admissions solution, HUBapply.

Q. What processes are in place to capture customer feedback and how important is this to the development of products?

Customer feedback has always been, and will continue to be, central to the development of WCBS products and recently we have made that process even easier by enabling schools to submit and vote upon enhancement requests via the Customer Centre. I will also be taking every opportunity I can to meet with customers at events and school visits.

Q. Tell us three things you enjoy doing outside of work?

  1. Cricket – although I have been more of a spectator in recent times, I did play regularly in my youth. This year, I have once again started playing, as my aching bones can testify!
  2. Travel and food – during my time with WCBS, I have been fortunate to travel extensively and experience a wide range of international cuisine, which I attempt to recreate back home in Somerset.
  3. Music – building up my vinyl collection with both new music and forgotten gems.

HUBapply is an online admissions and pupil recruitment CRM system, which professionally manages the entire journey, from enquiry to enrolment all in one lace, enabling schools to stand out from the crowd with a streamlined and tailored process.

For further details, please email information@wcbs.co.uk or call +44 (0)1458 833344.