Despite the recent sale of its ALIS III, Datashare, and Eastwind products to UTLAS, DataPhase plans to stay in business with the ALIS II turnkey automated library system, says President Ron Zazzara. "The Tandem-based ALIS III product was a drain on the company's human and financial resources, but ALIS Il-which is configured on Data General technology-can be profitable." The company will seek to bring all of its 47 ALIS II customers up to release 5.0 by the end of 1985 and will try to complete acceptance testing by early 1986. Over $4 million in payments would be due DataPhase if all of the acceptance tests were passed. The company plans no new sales efforts until early 1986.
The "completed product" as envisioned by Data Phase will not include serials control because this feature is said to be included in only 10 percent of the Alas II contracts. The company has not decided what consideration will be offered the libraries which are entitled to serials control. Release 5.0 is represented to include comprehensive acquisitions, circulation and patron access catalog modules. Authority control is part of the package.
The company is conducting a series of benchmark tests to resolve questions about the capacity of its systems. As late as 1981 it was believed that a mid-size mini such as the Data General 5/140 could support up to 60 terminals. The actual number is now believed to be lower, but no reliable data has been available.
The Editors of LSN contacted one-fourth of the ALIS II customers and have determined that a large number intend to retain their ALIS II systems rather than seeking to migrate to a system from a different vendor. One option being given serious consideration by some of these libraries is the purchase and installation of OCLC's LS/2000 software which will also run on Data General hardware. It can be purchased as a software package at a price that is approximately $20,000 more than what it costs for the software when it is purchased as part of a turnkey system. The average total cost of such a change would be approximately $60,000 and would include the reloading and reindexing of files-a task which might require two or three months for some libraries.
[Contact: Data Phase Systems Inc., 9000 West 67th Street, Second Floor, Shawnee Mission, KS 66202, (913) 262-5100.]