Thoughts on Library Technology Guides’ ILS Turnover Report 2010 December 31
Marshall Breeding published his “ILS Turnover Reverse report from Library Technology Guides” that lists what ILS products were replaced by libraries in 2010. I am not sure what you can gather form these stats, but still they are interested to look at. There are a few things to keep in mind when looking at this report (and when looking at Library Technology Guides in general):
- A lot of the information is self-reported.
- Switch dates are based on contract signings and not implementation so sometimes a library may have switched in 2010 but signed in 2009, likewise they may be reported as a 2010 switch but did not switch yet.
- Although Marshall Breeding tries to make this list as worldly as possible, it still has a heavy slant on English language libraries, and more specifically on ones located in the United Sates.
- Consortium are funny things when it cums to these states. Even one consortium changing to a different vendor can really effect the counts, even if it is just one contract switch.
Some things I found interesting:
- 214 libraries migrated from the various SyrisDynix Systems listed (Horizon (119), Unicorn (77), Dynix(18), Symphony (0)). Of them only 34 migrated to SyrisDynix’s new system, Symphony (Horizon (25), Unicorn (0), Dynix(9)). All-in-all, 46 libraries migrated to Symphony in 2010. That is a net loss of 168 Libraries. On the surface that does not look like good news for SirsiDynix. Of course, if the 12 new customers are larger, it might not be all bad, but still it is hard to see this as anything but SirsiDynix having not done well this past year in the ILS marketplace.
- 20 libraries are already listing Ex Libris’s next-next generation ILS – Unified Resource Management, as there new ILS even though it is still in the early stages of development. All of them were already Ex Libris customers (Aleph (18), Voyager (2)). They are also all in Australia.
- As those of you who follow Koha, an Open Source ILS, are probably aware, there has been some controversy involving LibLime and the company (PTFS) that bought them during the last year or so Without rehashing it, lets just say many members of the Koha community (especially those involved with development), didn’t see eye-to-eye with PTFS on a variety of issues. Because of this, I was wondering if anything would show up in ILS provider switching. PTFS (I am counting PTFS, PTFS-Europe, and LibLime together in this case although that may or may not be fair – I don’t really know if there is a difference in support, etc. from the various listings) lost 16 customers. 13 of them switched from PTFS to Evergreen (many of them in what appears to be a consortia move), one switched to ByWater for Koha support, one stayed with Koha but is now running it independently, and another one switched to Horizon. Based on these numbers, I would say the controversy has not lead to librarians choosing another Koha provider, at least not yet. Off course, maybe librarians would like to move but can’t just yet because of contract issues, so maybe any migration would be more of a lagging-indicator of dis-satisfaction.
- Talking about ByWater, 13 libraries reportedly switched from Koha-Independent to Koha via ByWater. I am not sure if this is an actually switch in service providers, or if maybe this is a switch in reporting.
- 139 libraries switched to the Open Source Evergreen ILS (Zero switched from Evergreen to something else). That seems to be good news for the future of Evergreen.
What does this all mean? Probably nothing, especially without looking closer at the individual circumstances, but still it is interesting to look at. I have been looking a little more deeply into some of the libraries that switched to Koha from another ILS. That will be a subject of a future post.