Meeting on the ledge

(or why I don't get out much…..)

Dump the OPAC???????

I thought Dave Pattern had been quiet lately – he’s just been working up to something:

Some fascinating ideas which I’ll be watching closely. Luckily Keele isn’t in quite the same position as Huddersfield, so we’re able to take things more slowly.



May 20, 2013 Posted by | Libraries | , , | Leave a comment

OCLC appointments

Jack Blount is back! According to Marshall Breeding’s invaluable Guideposts he has been appointed as the new CEO of OCLC. I met Jack when he was head of SirsiDynix and led the ill-fated Corinthian project. The appointment places him in an unusual position, as OCLC’s highly interesting Web-Scale Management System places OCLC as a rival to his former company SirsiDynix’s Symphony LMS. Alongside Richard Wallis’ recent appointment as Technology Evangelist this makes OCLC definitely a company to watch!

June 11, 2012 Posted by | Libraries | , , | 3 Comments

Stephen Abrams leaves SirsiDynix

Sad to see SirsiDynix’s  announcement that Stephen Abrams is leaving them. This is backed up by Stephen’s own blog posting where he learn that he’s going to Gale in January. Stephen has had a rocky road recently due to a rather ill-advised paper about open-source, and he does have a tendency to blur the boundaries between his roles as technology evangelist and company VP. Nevertheless I enjoyed talking with him when I was involved in things SD, and his presentations about Web 2, Library 2, and so on are both entertaining and thought-provoking. In his new role I hope we’ve not seen the last of him!

December 21, 2009 Posted by | Libraries | | Leave a comment

SirsiDynix in court

As I’m no longer a SirsiDynix customer I’ve avoided thus far any comment on matters Horizon/Unicorn/Symphony. However a lawsuit has arisen in the US which could have interesting implications worldwide, so I’ve broken my own rule.

My reading of the situation is thus: the Queens Borough Public Library in New York needed a new ILS and after an exhaustive evaluation in 2005 of what was currently available and promised, they chose Horizon 8.0. Of course, as we all know Horizon 8.0 was aborted, and Sirsi ‘merged’ with Dynix to form SirsiDynix. They changed product direction, stopped development work on the Horizon platform and instead pushed a ‘new’ system called Symphony, based heavily on Sirsi Unicorn. For a number of reasons, Queens Borough has found Symphony unsuitable for their needs and so has chosen to go to the law courts as they felt the company wasn’t delivering what was promised.

A number of other libraries who were in the same position took other routes: some adopted Symphony and several others abandoned SirsiDynix entirely and went to other LMS vendors.  I believe there are other libraries who still haven’t made a decision. Full details of the complaint are on the invaluable LibraryTechnology site here.

The implications are interesting.

  • For it to get to court must mean that Queens Borough and SD were unable to come to agreement, which is serious in view of the expense of legal procedure.
  • PR-wise it extends the bad press that SD got from its development path volte-face and stops it becoming old news. This in turn hinders sales as potential customers might prefer not to buy from a company facing complaints from existing customers in court.
  • If successfull it also means that SD could face other similar claims from other customers.

Shareholders in SirsiDynix’s parent company will not be happy…..

October 6, 2009 Posted by | Libraries | , , | 5 Comments

Talis gets predatory?

I was most amused to see in the latest Talis News that they are having an Open Day for Horizon users. They are aware  (I know I’ve mentioned it to them and doubtless others will have done the same!) that many current Horizon libraries are unhappy with Sirsidynix and with Symphony, so are exploring other options.  I’m out of the loop somewhat nowadays, but will be interested in the gossip on turnout!

February 11, 2009 Posted by | Libraries | , , | Leave a comment

Perceptions 2008

Marshall Breeding has updated his Perceptions survey,  that he originally took at the end of 2007 looking at the state of the LMS marketplace.  As with last year, I think it is of great value in showing to the suppliers what we as customers think of them – sometimes they get so caught up in their own publicity that I’m not sure they are hearing all of what we tell them.

Once again SirsiDynix doesn’t score too well, possibly due to the loss of confidence in them on the part of their Horizon customers who feel somewhat deserted. Interestingly Horizon itself and their support of it don’t score too badly, but the company does suffer on the question of whether they would be likely to buy the replacement system from them. Even Unicorn/ Symphony customers don’t score it much higher, which indicates the company has an issue it needs to deal with.

As a new Millenium user I’m relieved to see that III and Millenium do significantly better. Marshall Breeding notes the generally positive impression of the company, and indeed a month into the post my own experience supports this.

January 30, 2009 Posted by | Libraries | , , , | Leave a comment

SirsiDynix and Horizon

Some very encouraging news from Ed Riding at SirsiDynix today. There’s a 2009 Horizon Product Plan in planning, and this will include incorporating some of the key international functionality in a new version of Horizon which will also support Sybase 15 and SQL Server 2005. This is a big step forward and seems to indicate that the company is now showing awareness that if they want Horizon customers to remain with them in the long term that they need to continue to support us on Horizon until we can afford (and have time) to migrate to Symphony. Suddenly I’m feeling much more positive about the company than I have for a long time!

November 21, 2008 Posted by | Libraries | , | 1 Comment

SirsiDynix and Horizon

Over a month ago, Ed Riding promised on Horizon-l to get back to non-US Horizon users about the issues that have arisen for them since SirsiDynix made its decision not to release Horizon 7.4.3 and HIP 3.10 outside the US. Our current Horizon 7.3.4 is incompatible with MS Vista and has issues with XP SP3. We were promised a reply by 15th November. Today is 20th November and we’re still waiting. Am I alone in wondering whether SirsiDynix is interested?

November 20, 2008 Posted by | Libraries | , | Leave a comment

Unicorn/Symphony and indexing

These rumours keep on coming out of the woodwork…….. It has emerged on the Horizon-L list that indexing in Symphony is inferior to that in Horizon.  I’ve even checked this with a contact in the US. From what I can tell, keyword indexing in Unicorn/Symphony is handled by a dynamic indexer but it seems that the browse/ alphabetical indexes are only updated by scheduled batch jobs run overnight. Horizon has updated both sets of indexes in real time ever since I’ve been involved with it (over 8 years now) and because of this I’d assumed that real-time indexing was standard in modern Library Management Systems. Maybe I was wrong?

Jim Wilson put out an email to dampen the story saying that there is dynamic indexing in Symphony, although he didn’t distinguish between the 2 sets of indexes. I hope he was right. If this isn’t correct it is another serious weakness to be aware of. It also means that we have another question to ask at any LMS demonstration!

September 18, 2008 Posted by | Libraries | , , , | Leave a comment

More changes at SirsiDynix

The whirlpool that is SirsiDynix has turned again. According to Marshall Breeding, Keith Sturges, former President of SirsiDynix International, has now become Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at the company. The wording is a little vague about how the changes will impact on customers in EMEA.

Many thanks also to Dave Pattern for pointing this out – I trust news of the change and how it will affect us is in the post from SirsiDynix…….

August 22, 2008 Posted by | Libraries | | Leave a comment