OCLC PICA has not only acquired a number of library-automation companies and products in its buying spree over the last two years (Sisis Informationssysteme in June 2005, Fretwell Downing Informatics in November 2006, and Openly Informatics in January 2006), the for-profit part of OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) has now recruited a top executive from the ILS realm. (See SLN, February 2006 [26:2], “OCLC’s Ongoing Open Season on Acquisitions,” p.1.)
Effective March 1, 2007, Eric van Lubeek joins OCLC PICA as the Director of Operations and Services. Van Lubeek, a twenty-year veteran of the ILS industry, comes from Infor Library Solutions, where he headed the company as managing director.
For those keeping score, the beginnings of Infor Library Systems can be traced to Geac, a major supplier of library-automation technology that prospered in the U.S. and Canada through the 1990s. In late 2005, Geac was acquired by Golden Gate (see SLN May 2006 [26:5], “Geac Morphs into Extensity Library Solutions,” p. 3). At that time, part of the company was folded into Infor, an existing company owned by Golden Gate. The remainder of the company, including the library solutions unit, was placed within a newly formed company called “Extensity.”
Extensity Library Solutions was short lived, however. Infor acquired Extensity in August 2006, creating Infor Library Solutions. Although Infor currently has a small presence in the U.S., its Vubis Smart product (its flagship ILS) prospers in parts of Europe.
Business integration isn’t necessarily fast with large entities such as Infor. When I was writing and gathering information for this article, I discovered the Web site for the library division can only be accessed through the geac.com domain, but sports the Extensity brand on its banner and refers to the division as “Infor Library Systems.”
At OCLC PICA, van Lubeek will oversee the Operations and Services division and will be responsible for the deployment of the organization’s products and services, customer service and support, and for maintenance of technology infrastructure. Van Lubeek will serve on the OCLC PICA Board of directors, and he will report to Rein van Charldorp, the managing director of OCLC PICA.
In January 2007 at Infor Library Solutions, Ann Melaerts was promoted to managing director fill the top position vacated by van Lubeek. Melaerts has been involved with Geac/Extensity/Infor for fifteen years and was previously the general manager for the Southern Europe Region for Infor.