Meeting on the ledge

(or why I don't get out much…..)

Takeover day

In the space of a few hours yesterday I heard of 2 big takeovers which will affect both my own library and the UK HE library sector in a big way.

The first was Proquest’s takeover of Ex Libris. My jaw hit the carpet on this one. Ex Libris are to become ‘Ex Libris, a Proquest company’. The press releases emphasise a ‘steady as you go’ strategy with no sudden changes to product roadmaps or Ex Libris’ content neutrality, but in the long term product duplication would draw this into question. Way back in the past when we looking for a ‘ discovery’ system my library looked at both Primo and Summon. There is also duplication in link resolvers, ERMS, and, with the work Proquest has put into Intota, in the LMS itself. Perhaps Proquest will pursue the VAG strategy (avoiding diesel engines!) whereby convergence happens ‘under the hood’ while the surface level of the products remains different? My library is a strong customer of both companies so we will watching this very carefully.

The second takeover has been less publicised: I heard of it via Mick Fortune’s RFID email list. Bibliotheca have acquired 3M’s library systems business. I’ve heard nothing from 3M despite my library being a long-term customer (which perhaps doesn’t bode well?). Again, a ‘no change’ strategy is implied from the press release. Bibliotheca are one of the growing players in the UK HE market, and actively involved in developments like the new LCF Framework so it might be a good thing in the long run. However for my library with ageing security gates and self-service equipment I worry slightly whether 3M’s hitherto good maintenance standards will decline. There has been some discussion on the RFID list about the size of market share it will give to Bibliotheca, but with the UK’s small market size any convergence would be likely to give rise to this kind of worry.

These things tend to come in 3s: has anything else happened recently I’m not aware of?

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October 7, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

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