The foundation of Sirsi's vision is our dedication to being more than simply a vendor of software and services. Our entire organization – from sales and marketing to product development to Illuminating a powerful vision To be the premier partner in providing productivity and context management solutions that enable our clients to promote learning and sharing of knowledge within the communities they serve.
service and support – is committed to delivering real solutions that meet the real needs of real people in a real world. It's about being a partner who listens and responds to our clients' needs. But even more than that, it's about using our experience and expertise to lead the way. This collaborative philosophy has always guided Sirsi. As we celebrate 25 years in business in 2004, we reflect with pride on our dedication to delivering technologies and expertise that our clients can rely on to achieve their objectives. That's our mission. And that's why our clients – an ever-growing number of the most forwardthinking communities, educational institutions, and other organizations – count on us to assist them in sharing knowledge within their spheres of influence. And they can count on us to be committed to helping them to enhance and extend their relevance – thereby making libraries more appreciated and used than ever before. In addition to the sense of mission we share with our clients, Sirsi is a first-rate partner because of the strength and stability we bring into relationships with our clients. We benefit from consistent and sustained growth, increasing revenues and earnings, and an unparalleled suite of solutions on which our current and prospective clients can rely.
In other words, we're in this business for the long haul. That's why three years ago, Sirsi undertook some serious self-examination. We knew that the world was changing and that our clients were evolving. With all these dynamics at work, we asked ourselves, “What must we do to continue growing and moving forward? What do we need to do to continue effectively serving our clients? How will we remain competitive? What kind of company do we want to be in three years? Five years? How about a decade?”
We were at a crossroads. Neither going backward nor standing still was an option. With a proactive mindset, we decided to adopt computer technology pioneer Alan Kay's axiom, which states, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” The first step was to define a clear vision.
The next step was to outline imperatives – think of them as strategic goals, the attainment of which would result in our being the organization we wanted to be. The third step, which continues as an ongoing process, was the assignment of tasks related to our vision-oriented imperatives. These are actions undertaken day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month at Sirsi, which are framed within the context of our strategic imperatives.
Today, Sirsi's vision and our overriding imperatives guide us in every part of our enterprise. Your enterprise is no different. You face the same “business” challenges as companies like Sirsi. Why not work with a technology partner that understands these challenges and is prepared to assist you in realizing your institution's vision and accomplishing its imperatives?
At Sirsi, we don't develop technology for technology's sake. We develop it for the sake of libraries and people. Our advanced solutions – software, support and training services, content, consulting, and more – support our clients' improving the productivity of their operations and in their mission to effectively share knowledge in the communities they serve. Whether used for running an institution's physical operations, presenting content in meaningful contexts for users, or providing analysis needed for executive-level decision-making, all Sirsi products and services are aimed at one objective: making it easier and more affordable for libraries to serve their constituents better than ever before. In the process, libraries become more proactive and beneficial – therefore, more relevant – than ever.
Sirsi products are open, evolutionary, and standards-based solutions that incorporate the latest technologies and adhere to key industry standards, including:
- Dublin Core
- Smart Card
- Java Servlets
- Z39.50/Bath Profile
Thanks to our open, standards-based solutions and the growth of the Sirsi Technology Partnership Program, we're also able to integrate best-of-breed third-party products with Sirsi products. 3M, Adobe, Baker & Taylor, Barnes & Noble.com, Brodart, Blackboard, Blackwell's, Bowker, Cisco, Comprise, Convera, EnvisionWare, IBM, Ingram, Muse Global, Openly Informatics, Oracle, Relais, SF-Systems, Sun Microsystems, and other vendors are partnering with Sirsi to better serve our mutual clients. Expanding our third-party affiliations even further is the Sirsi SIP2 and NCIP Certification Programs, through which any vendor in the marketplace can ensure that its products will integrate with Sirsi products using the SIP2 and NCIP protocols.
Sirsi also offers the full range of IT services needed to maximize the return on our clients' investments in Sirsi technology. These include services for system implementation and data conversion, training, ongoing client care, hosted systems, and consulting. Our service offerings are backed by Sirsi Service Level Commitments, which demonstrate our dedication to providing nothing less than world-class service.
What does it take to operate a successful library – regardless of type or size – in 2004 and beyond? It's no mystery. It's no closely guarded, proprietary plan. It's as straightforward as libraries approaching their mission just like any other successful enterprise.
Libraries must deliver products and services that meet the real needs of real people in the real world. They must take on competitors (today's powerful search engines, commercial information services, and IT departments, for example) head-to-head with confidence, then complement or outperform them. They must overcome challenges to their operational efficiencies and workflows, not to mention challenges brought on by government regulations and privacy issues. They must ensure the strength of current revenue streams and seek additional funding sources.
And all of these efforts must begin with a powerful vision for the future – it's a mission-oriented vision for libraries, many of which today are positioning themselves in their communities, on their campuses, or within their organizations as the recognized authorities on collecting and presenting quality information, resources, and services – no matter if it originates from a local source or anywhere in the world.
Though an individual library's own collections are vitally important, it is no longer enough for a library to build its offerings around only local content. Today's sophisticated information seekers – including those who now use libraries and others who might do so – are looking for access to “the best of the best” content. They don't want limitations on what's available to them. Real knowledge that they can depend on is what they're after.
Who but librarians are positioned to offer such knowledge expertise? Other than libraries, what institutions are in place to offer such services?
Libraries in 2004 are indeed in a unique position to impact the information-centric world in which we live, work, and learn. Mere availability of content is insufficient. It's well-managed, unfettered access to knowledge that children, college students, professionals, concerned citizens, and information seekers of every kind seek for the benefit of their educations, their jobs, and their passions.
Every type of community – whether centered on Main Street or within educational institutions or inside an agency or corporation – has its unique needs, and Sirsi is focused on delivering solutions that address those needs.
When libraries are branded as the place to go for knowledge, then people in our information-hungry world will support and use libraries as never before. Funding won't be a problem. What competitor could compete with the mission-minded library? Who could possibly question the relevance of libraries in a world where billions of new documents, books, periodicals, Web pages, audio/visual content, and much more are created every year. And it's all potentially of interest to the users of libraries. What a mission for libraries! What an opportunity for libraries to play a stronger, more central role than ever before! And to be in a virtually unassailable position within the communities they serve.