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?


October 7, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Latest Perceptions survey results now available

The results from Marshall Breeding’s latest Perceptions survey are now available. As it shows, many libraries using Millennium are now thinking of moving on, and my library is no exception. As this is a worldwide survey run from the US with the majority of replies coming from US libraries it needs some interpretation for a UK library, but as with its predecessors the results are invaluable.It will be very useful to us and to other libraries in the same position. Thanks Marshall!

February 11, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

PTFS and Evergreen

Interesting announcement from PTFS overnight that they are now partners for Evergreen software in Europe. PTFS were already offering to set up and maintain Evergreen in Europe, as they could for any OS software, but this formalises it and gives it the ‘official seal of approval’ -a sort of Approved Reseller status in a way, which should boost confidence in potential customers. I’ve not heard anything for a while about the spat with Koha either, so hopefully that has been smoothed out.

May 6, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment


As someone who never uses one word where 160 would do, I’ve never been convinced by Twitter. But now I am.

April 23, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Sun again

For IBM read Oracle.  IBM’s bid to buy Sun that  I blogged about a while back fell through and it has now been announced that Oracle is to buy them instead. A more natural match in my view, for what its worth.  A lot of Oracle systems already run on Sun hardware and both are industry standards for high quality.  There must still be concerns for rival companies like Sybase, many of whose systems also run on Sun hardware,  as well as the Open Source alternatives, however.

April 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

DUG/EUUG conference – Friday

I wasn’t able to blog from the conference as planned due to wireless problems in my hotel room, but Internet withdrawal symptoms have led to me finding alternative ways this afternoon…..

Overall, I think, it was a good conference in that the process of DUG and EUUG coming together as one group has continued (although there’s still some way to go), and the SD staff were friendly and good company. In particular I spent a while chatting to Talin Bingham over the conference dinner about the situation for UK Horizon users. Talin, as always, was very open and enthusiastic, putting the case that he has a limited number of developers and tries to allocate them to the most productive tasks for the long-term.

That long-term prognosis for UK Horizon people was not as rosy as I’d hoped on Monday. Axel Kaschte confirmed that the intention is to end Horizon development in the UK at our current 7.3.4. Although 7.4.1 will be available in the US it will not be available in the UK due to the extra cost of adding the UK enhancements. There was some limited good news in that there will be patches, for instance to ensure that 7.3.4 will work with XP service pack 3, and with MS Vista, but we won’t be getting things like EDI ordering that were only brought in with 7.4. Axel got rather a hard reception for this, understandably, and I pointed out to Talin that this abrupt halt to development doesn’t exactly endear SD to its Horizon customers. But this is of course a commercial world and in turn the seeming finality of the decision would make it easier for us to look elsewhere.

There was a lot of talk and previews of SD Enterprise. I didn’t see (maybe I missed?) the whizzy graphical concept map which Aquabrowser has although something of the kind was mentioned, but overall it looked good. The relevance ranking and fuzzy searching was nice. Although there were questions from the floor about a lack of boolean I think in the real world only Librarians use boolean in the OPAC! I’m still not convinced about it being a SaaS product, but this is only definite for version 1, so if my institution was to buy it, the chances are that we could continue to host locally.

More thoughts later when I’ve had chance to reflect on what I’ve heard and look at my scribbled notes…

May 16, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Second life

  I’m a fan of Stephen Abrams. In an article in SirsiDynix’s OneSource he talks about the impact of Second Life and the other Virtual Reality areas that are blossoming on the web at the moment. Of course VR is nothing new (anyone remember MUDs?) but maybe its time has come, in that it is allowing people to interract in a new and safer way without requiring geeky qualities from the user. Stephen points out that some libraries are establishing presences for themselves in these environments and he quotes Jeff Dawson of TSCPL: 

 “This is so new. We’re not even sure we understand all of it yet … we just know we need to be here.”

Definitely one to watch!.

February 8, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment