Kingsport schools preparing for wireless sign-in/sign-out system

Rick Wagner • Mar 30, 2013 at 12:11 PM

KINGSPORT — Punching paper time cards into a 20th-century time clock will soon be only a memory for city school system employees, replaced with the possibility of wireless device sign-ins and sign-outs.

The school system is on its way to a new payroll and human resources software package, one that will share data seamlessly between payroll and personnel.

The Kingsport Board of Education in a called meeting Thursday voted 4-0, with one absent, to endorse a software package from Skyward over one from Tyler Technologies.

If approved by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen April 2, Kingsport City Schools Director of Finance David said the plan is to start the HR software in May and the payroll software on July 1.

Skyward’s proposal was for one-time costs of $210,138, made up of a $111,268 license fee and a $98,870 implementation of services fee. Tyler Technologies’ proposal, in comparison, would have been $217,701, with an $89,830 license fee and $127,871 service implementation fee.

The annual license fee for Skyward is $37,261 but includes $6,000 dedicated to the time and attendance software not in the Tyler proposal.

Frye said that the Skyland proposal includes time and attendance software, accessible by various wireless devices, while the Tyler product supports only computers. He said with employees on various full-time and part-time schedules, the wireless access makes perfect sense.

He said adding other wireless devices to the Tyler system would require an add-on software package from a third-party vendor that could cost in the tens of thousands of dollars if not more than $100,000. He said one for the existing payroll software a few years ago would have cost more than $90,000.

Also, he said Skyward is exclusively designed for K-12 school systems, committed to Tennessee reporting standards, and has local and regional clients including Bristol, Tenn., Johnson City, Oak Ridge, Sevier County and Anderson County schools. Tyler also has area clients, Frye said.

Not included in either proposal is about $7,000 for a school system-purchased server, which Frye said should last at least four years, compared to the more than $20,000 either company wanted to host the software.

Also not included are devices needed to replace old paper time card machines, but Frye said with $250,000 in hand and budgeted for the whole project, he believes those devices and the server can easily be bought.

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