Recent weeks have seen a series of developments regarding companies involved in the support of open source ILS products. Until last year, the open source support business landscape in the United States was fairly simple: LibLime was the main company involved with Koha and Equinox Software devoted its attention to Evergreen.
This landscape became more colorful as additional players entered the scene. ByWater Solutions and PTFS entered the Koha support arena, providing competition to LibLime. Many other support firms provide Koha-related services internationally. As detailed in the October issue of SLN, LibLime launched a premium version of Koha that created considerable controversy. A number of key LibLime staffers subsequently left the company. In Mid-January, PTFS announced an agreement to acquire LibLime, though on Feb 11, the two companies issued a joint statement indicating that the deal was off.
Equinox has announced that it will also step into the Koha support scene. With its experience in providing hosting and support services for the open source Evergreen ILS, and with the expertise of individuals such as Galen Charlton who previously worked with Koha at LibLime and is now VP for Data Services, the company sees an opportunity. It will offer hosting of Koha in two flavors, Koha on Demand, which is a more generic offering fully managed by Equinox, and Koha Dedicated Hosting in which Equinox hosts the instance of Koha, but that also gives the library direct access for customization and development.
Though more complex than before, a variety of options now exist for libraries interested in an open source ILS. We’re seeing increased competition in this niche of the library automation industry.