Tuesday 30 June 2009


NZPF 2009 promises to be another great conference. Located this year in Palmerston North, the conference organisers have put together an excellent programme including a crawl around Palmy's many cafes (Palmy has one of the highest cafe per capita ratios in the country!)

There is a tour through Ezibuy and the rugby museum ... and of course there are workshops, outstanding educational speakers and an address from Anne Tolley.

One of the privileges of being a sponsor and supporter of NZPF is the opportunity to have an exhibit at the conference. This year Phil (Client Services) and Di (quality) will be joined by our agents on the stand - stop by for a chat. We're also joining in some of the fun on the Cafe Crawl.

If you come to the stand and complete a short questionnaire, you will go into a daily draw for spot prizes. Phil has lined up 10 cool prizes each day.

See you there!

Thursday 18 June 2009

Been through the desert on a product with no name.


Our naming competition was due to close Monday 22nd of June, but for some crazy reason we have decided to extend our Naming Competition till the 26th of June! Already the MUSAC whiteboard is brimming with names sent in from all over the country, and a few thermal mugs are already on the way to some of our favorite entrants.

This is a seriously cool macbook we have up for grabs, and for a chance to win it, email us some of your ideas, on what we should call our brand new web based product. Enter as many times as you like - Just make sure you do so before 5pm on the 26th of June.

Our new product will redefine school administration software. We have developed this web application from the ground up to meet the needs of key users within the school community. Our web application can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection, by the people that need it, whenever they want it.

Inspiration you say? Here are some of our favourite names sent in so far..


We will be letting go of the macbook on the 3rd of July, when we announce the winners here on the MUSAC blog. So get in for a chance to win!

Tuesday 16 June 2009

What's in a V???

With H1N1 threading its way through our fair land giving some of our budding academics an unexpected time out, we thought it prudent to query the MoE as to what code should be entered into AB6 if some students were advised by the school or MoH to stay at home.

After due consultation the answer came back .. V .. study leave. Not quite what we expected but at least V(irus) relates nicely to the cause of the problem.

If the school is closed however, the relevant rows in the calendar need to be removed.

Hopefully the use of V's will vanish as quickly as they have arrived.

Monday 15 June 2009

The Returns of July

Somehow nearly half the school year has gone by, but we can't wave the students goodbye until the MoE July Returns are done and dusted. Checking your data early is the key and there are a few must do's on and around July 1:
- Teachers must mark a class roll each day of the last week of term.
- The rolls must be signed and collected on the Friday.
- Print the rolls from SM>MoE Returns>Print MoE Audit Lists or for option rolls, Quickfind>Teacher Information>Rolls
- On July 1 print a full school audit list.

Detailed notes on preparing your data using Student Manager are available from our website.

Thursday 11 June 2009

Protons, Protein and Presentations

Had an overnight visit to Nelson. We were put up in the Rutherford Hotel (which seemed appropriate given my quantum background, although Ern would be disappointed about the Chemistry aspect) and were treated to a meal at Hopgoods restaurant and bar on Trafalgar St with timetabling legends John and Christine. Smoked duck, venison, lamb and creme brulee for the MUSAC boys washed down with local Chardonnay. The conversation ranged widely but we couldn't help but vision some more with new ideas, new problems and tremendous insights being shared. Solved a few of the worlds other major problems also. Food was fantastic and the many awards won by the chef there were clearly well deserved.

Thursday was back to work with a sharing of the MUSAC vision and progress with a group from the Nelson region. As was highlighted in the previous focus group, there are a couple of areas for us to think harder about. The philosophy and fundamentals of our approach seemed to meet with general agreement and it was great to debate those areas which form part of the paradigm shift. Really appreciated the time made available for us by all attending. We gain a lot from these sessions and look forward to delivering that value back to customers - current and future.

Wednesday 10 June 2009

Blenheim Focus Group

Well we did it. We finally put the new product in front of real people. Had a more intimate group and decided the people and the time was right to give them a logon and have a go. We kept the exercise simple using a subset of functions. The two "guinea pigs" completed the tasks with relative ease and no fuss. We then got into a great discussion about the meaning of links, linked functions and navigation. Heaps more ideas and concepts. 

Had some discussion around the cloud and associated risks. Some legitimate concerns we need to assess.

Overall a reassurance that the vision we have is sound.

Tuesday 9 June 2009

Christchurch focus group

What a great day in Christchurch! Team was challenging, vocal and thought provoking. Had lots of ideas, thoughts and feedback which makes the trip really enjoyable. Thanks all - really appreciated your time away from school and especially your willingness to embrace new ideas and share with us. We've got a lot to process and incorporate into the next development iterations.

To top the day off we were invited to join the Solutions and Services team for their annual dinner. This year at Pedro's on Wincester Street. Great meal. 

SolServ - a great business providing real service to New Zealand schools and a long time and trusted friend of MUSAC. Really appreciated being invited to share in their special annual event.

A lot of demand for the new green t-shirts.

Tuesday 2 June 2009

What is in a name? Prizes, thats what.

With our new web-based student management product coming out soon, the time is rapidly approaching for us to come up with something witty and original. And that's where we need your help.

Our new product will redefine school administration software. We have developed this web application from the ground up to meet the needs of key users within the school community. Our web application can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection, by the people that need it, whenever they want it.

Email Us a cool, original name for our new product by the 22nd of June. It could be the name of your pet rock, your great-grandma’s middle name, or perhaps a brand new word you made up that is ready for the world.

You can enter as many times as you like, - and heck, if we like one of them, not only will you win your self a brand spanking macbook but your idea will be the name of our new product.

Winners will be announced here on the MUSAC blog on the 25th of June, and see what other ideas were sent to us by following us on our twitter

Rural and Teaching Principals' Conference

Had a great time with the rural and teaching Principals in Rotorua. The karaoke at the dinner highlighted a few hidden talents and we had huge demand for our cool "Teachers' Pet" t-shirts and MUSAC thermal mugs. Perhaps we should sell them on our website?

Even better were the large numbers of schools wanting to move to MUSAC and get rid of their old SMS.

Rotorua put on great weather and I got to eat the biggest bowl of ribs I've ever seen!