The acquisition of Innovative Interfaces by ProQuest featured in the last issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter closed on January 15, 2020 and is now finalized. Closing the acquisition begins the business and product integration process, which will play out over the next couple of years. Innovative ultimately will be incorporated into the Ex Libris subsidiary of ProQuest.
Ex Libris has named Yariv Kursh as the new General Manager of Innovative. Kursh will initially report directly to Pro- Quest CEO Matti Shem Tov, though ultimately reporting lines are expected to transition to Ex Libris. Kursh joins ProQuest from NICE, ltd, where he served as the Vice President for Presales and Partner Sales. Several other Ex Libris executives have previously been part of NICE, including Eric Hines (President Ex Libris USA), Bar Veinstein (President Ex Libris), Shlomi Kringel, (Corporate VP Learning and Research Solutions), Dvir Hoffman (Corporate VP Resource Management Solutions), Ofer Mosseri (Corporate VP and General Manager for EMEA), and Zov Benzvi (VP Asia Pacific).
The incumbent executive team headed by Shaheen Javadizadeh will exit the company. Ex Libris has asserted its commitment to supporting all the products from Innovative that have been implemented in libraries. This does not, however, include the Inspire Discovery product that remained in the development and testing phase. As previously reported, Inspire Discovery had been released to two libraries for beta testing but was not implemented as a production service.
EBSCO Information Services and Innovative Interfaces have had a partnership agreement since 2012 for the sales and integration of EBSCO Discovery Service with the Encore discovery interface. The coupling of these products was branded as Encore Duet, launched in April 2014. This partnership agreement was dissolved in mid-2018 when Innovative launched Inspire Discovery, a direct competitor to EBSCO Discovery Service. The unwinding of this agreement was contentious, even involving litigation (Case 1:19-cv-11345 that Massachusetts District Court filed in June 2019). The case was settled with undisclosed terms just prior to the close of the transaction for the acquisition of Innovative by ProQuest. Following the dissolution of the partnership agreement, libraries currently using Encore Duet will continue to be supported, though Innovative will no longer initiate or renew licenses for EBSCO Discovery Service, which will be handled directly by EBSCO.
Going forward, it is expected that Primo or integration of the Ex Libris Central Discovery Index will be offered to academic libraries using Innovative's ILS and discovery products.
Libraries using Innovative's products will continue to receive support, initially through the same channels as before the acquisition. Although this acquisition has massive implications for the library technology industry as a whole, it does not necessarily imply disruption for the libraries currently using the products of the respective companies. Further developments will be covered in Smart Libraries Newsletter as they unfold.