With the launch of HUBmis fast approaching, we catch up with WCBS Product Director, Neil Butcher, who reflects on the process of creating our highly anticipated MIS that’s been three years in the making.

Buy, Build or Partner?

Three years ago, we set out on our journey to create a true native cloud school management information system (MIS) for independent and international schools.

As a business we have a strategy when introducing new products to the market, we ask one question: shall we buy, build or partner? Obviously as a key part of our offering to the market we weren’t going to partner, so that left us with buy or build.

We looked around at what true native cloud systems were available in our market, and not surprisingly there wasn’t anything, except for a small start-up company that had an offering being used in the independent faith school market.

Meetings were held, presentations took place, negotiations made and finally an agreement was reached, and we purchased a product that was to be the start of the journey for our cloud native MIS.

What happened next?

We needed to put a team together which would enable us to develop the changes required, so we opened an office in Bristol to recruit our HUBmis development team. Why Bristol? There is a lot of development talent around the Bristol area and it’s close to the Glastonbury office.

It wasn’t long before we had a team of 16 which included eight Developers, three Testers, a Scrum Master, Technical Architect, Product Manager, Business Analyst and a UX/UI Designer.

Now the team was in place we set about building a market changing MIS.

What makes HUBmis different from others in the market?

True Cloud

HUBmis is a true cloud native product and there are no other MIS providers in our sector who offer this; but what are the advantages of true cloud?

We will be able to update the software with zero downtime, in fact, apart from communications, a user may not be aware that an update has even happened. This means we can roll out regular releases providing constant improvements and react quicker to any issues that may arise with minimal impact to the end users.

No more getting everyone to log out for hours whilst a major release needs to be installed, and this includes a fix to an issue you may have been waiting for two months.

HUBmis is built within a globally trusted platform (Google Cloud) and is deployed to a highly secure environment. But what does this mean?

It means we can offer a solution with a target uptime of 99.95%; the environment is self-healing, if there are any issues it will attempt to fix itself before any of the users even know there was an issue.

As well as this it is truly scalable, meaning when HUBmis is being used by lots of concurrent users it will simply add more resources to cope – for example, when there is an increased user access or sustained high demand.


HUBmis is built on an API, but what does this mean? Well, there are several advantages to a product being built on an API, for one, it makes it much easier to test which in turn means a more robust product.

Additionally, with the plethora of EdTech solutions, integration is a key requirement for all MIS, the fact that HUBmis is built on an API means it is a ready-made solution for integration.

We also use webhooks which is another way of sharing data; a webhook delivers data to other applications as it happens meaning updates can be shared closer to real time. This is different to APIs where you need to poll for data frequently in order to get it in real time. This makes webhooks much more efficient.

In summary we are using the latest technology available to provide a state-of-the-art MIS.

The User Interface and User Experience (UI and UX)

It is all very well building a product on the perfect platform but if the product is over-complicated and inconsistent then it’s all been for nothing.

That’s why we have specialists at WCBS whose sole job is to make sure that HUBmis is intuitive, attractive and quick to use. Every detail of the user’s journey has been considered from the initial login through to creating a complicated timetable.

For more information about the reasoning behind the decisions that have been made why not read the HUBmis UX &UI – the psychology behind the interface blog.


With more than 35 years of experience in the independent and international schools’ market WCBS has a pretty good idea of what the requirements are for an MIS. However, there is a very fine line between delivering the correct level of functionality that a school needs and not over delivering functionality that won’t be used and will be overwhelming for the end users.

In reality, what schools claim they need in an MIS compared to what they actually use is very different. In most cases this is because systems that have been around for 15+ years have had lots of additional functionality added and end up with an over-complicated solution.

Building HUBmis gave us a great opportunity to build an MIS that makes the most complicated task very simple. By using drag and drop when designing your timetable, to interactive dashboards, to access the information and routines used on a daily basis, you don’t get swamped by complicated and cluttered interfaces which lead to important functionality not being used.

I believe that in HUBmis we have found the perfect balance; a simple to use MIS that is functionally rich. I am very proud of what the team at WCBS has delivered and I am very much looking forward to engaging and receiving feedback from customers that have agreed to become early adopters.