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Annual survey of automated library system vendors

Library Systems Newsletter [April 1986]

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Once a year we seek to systematically survey the library automation industry to get an overview and to facilitate comparison among vendors. Almost this entire issue is devoted to the survey of vendors who offer integrated, multifunction turnkey systems. The next issue will include a survey of the vendors who offer only software packages. The previous survey, for 1984, was published in LSN Vol. V, Nos. 4 and 5.

INTRODUCTION

The integrated, multifunction system has now come of age. Almost all major vendors are now committed to providing acquisitions, serials control, circulation and patron access catalog modules-and in some cases, additional functionality. Virtually all of them could deliver two or three of the modules by the end of 1985 and the balance within 1986. There are a few vendors who have chosen to limit the scope of their software. These have been included when they offer at least two modules and have at least five installations.

This survey uses the same methodology employed in previous years. Vendors were contacted by mail, with telephone follow-up as necessary. Our queries focused on the number of installed and accepted systems, the number of sales during the past calendar year, the number awaiting installation and/or acceptance, gross sales, profits, number of staff committed to software maintenance and development, and the number of customers using each module or major function. We made no attempt to determine the number of libraries served by the systems.

SUMMARY

The editors identified some 33 organizations marketing integrated multifunction library systems or software packages for supermicro, mini or mainframe computers in North America. Two-thirds of the vendors offered turnkey systems and one-third software packages.

At the end of 1985 the 20 turnkey vendors included in the survey were supporting more than 800 operational systems throughout the world, and another 100 or so systems were awaiting installation or acceptance. Of the total of more than 900 turnkey systems sold, 196 had been contracted for during 1985. That number was lower than that for 1984, when the same vendors reported selling 232 systems.

Among the turnkey vendors, two companies--CLSI and Geac--reported gross sales in excess of $20 million. All others realized revenues of under $10 million per year.

CLSI also led the turnkeys with the largest number of installed and accepted systems (259), with Geac (121) in second place. Innovative Interfaces ranked third (48) and Data Phase fourth (47), even after deducting the ALIS III system which it no longer supports. DRA followed in fifth place (46) and Dynix in sixth (36). OCLC Local Systems was seventh (35), a position which will change dramatically when the 29 systems awaiting installation and/or acceptance are tallied. VTLS--now also available as a turnkey system--was not included in this tabulation because virtually all of its installed base of 60 sites consists of software only support.

CLSI also reported the highest number of new system sales (32) during 1985, followed by OCLC in second position (31), Geac third (24), Dynix fourth (18), DRA fifth (17), Innovative Interfaces sixth (16), and Sirsi seventh (14).

CLSI led the industry in number of staff devoted to software maintenance and development (81). Geac followed in second place (35), OCLC third (32), and DRA fourth (25). Dynix and VTLS tied for fifth (22). Of the other vendors, only Universal Library Systems, with eleven, had more than ten staff devoted to software maintenance and development.

TURNKEY SYSTEM VENDORS

These companies offer libraries a single source for hardware, software, installation, training, and ongoing support. They normally assume responsibility for total system performance, rather than just for the software.

Advanced Library Concepts which last year reported having made four sales of its AdLib system during 1984, did not respond to the 1985 survey. The company s California telephone has been disconnected and no new number is given in the telephone company's recorded message. One of AdLib's customers reported that it is still receiving support and that the company has relocated to Hawaii. There was no response at the Hawaii number when the Contributing Editor attempted to reach the company. As of early 1985 local cataloging, online catalog, report generator and word processing capabilities were operational at three sites. At that time, a staff of eight was working on software maintenance and development.

[Advanced Library Concepts, (808) 544-0939.]

Biblio-Techniques, vendor of the Western Library Network based Biblio-Techniques Library Information System (BLIS), reported having sold four systems during 1985. It was also reported that, at year end, of the seven systems sold in the past two years one had been accepted and the remaining six were awaiting installation or acceptance. Gross sales were under $1 million and the company did not realize an after-tax profit.

The functions that were operational at one or more sites by the end of the year were: acquisitions, local cataloging, global authority control, and online patron access catalog. A WLN interface was also operational. Biblio-Techniques had seven staff committed to software maintenance and development, a drop of two from the previous year.

[Biblio-Techniques, 828 East 7th Avenue, Olympia, WA 98501, (206) 786-1111.]

Carlyle Systems Inc. began offering its TOMUS turnkey system to support data base creation and maintenance, and online catalog functions in 1984. During 1985 it sold seven systems, bringing its two-year total to 14. Four of these systems were awaiting installation or acceptance at the end of 1985. The company declined to disclose income and profit data. It also declined to disclose the number of sites using each module, but did confirm that the following modules were in use at one or more sites by the end of 1985: local cataloging; authority control; circulation; online patron access catalog; and interfaces with OCLC, RLIN, Faxon, and Innovative Interfaces. Eight staff were committed to software maintenance and development.

[Carlyle Systems Inc., 2930 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94702, (415) 843- 3538.]

CLSI, which during 1985 formally changed its name from CL Systems, Inc., to the name by which it has been known all along, reported that at the end of 1985 it was supporting 259 installed and accepted LIBS 100 systems of which 32 were multi-processor configurations. Thirty-two systems were sold during 1985 and at the end of the year ten of these were awaiting installation or acceptance. Gross sales were in excess of $20 million and the company realized an after tax profit for the year. CLSI failed to break down the number of users of each software module. An examination of past reports and recent press releases suggests that local cataloging, circulation and interlibrary loan capabilities were in use at all sites and the reserve book room function was operational at most academic library sites (at least 80 systems). Over 40 percent of the customers were using the OCLC interface. The online patron access catalog was being used at nearly one-third of the sites, acquisitions at one-fifth, and materials booking at one- tenth. At least eight libraries utilized the MINI MARC interface, and at least one the WLN interface. An indeterminate number of users were using the DataLink interface to connect with external data bases such as BRS and Dialog. At least 15 sites were utilizing an interface to communicate with other CLSI systems. CLSI's microprocessor support systems were being used at approximately 40 percent of the libraries. The serials control module and report generator were scheduled for delivery in 1986.

The company reported that a total of 81 staff are assigned to software maintenance and development--in product development, systems support, systems analysis and product management. This figure is up one-third over the previous year.

[CLSI, 1220 Washington Street, West Newton, MA 02165, (617) 965-6310.]

Data Phase did not respond, but company officers have publicly stated that they sought no sales in 1985, but were trying to renegotiate their 47 ALIS II contracts. Their objective was to trigger payment of moneys that were being withheld and to negotiate the signing of new standard contracts for hardware and software maintenance. No new enhancements were to be committed in the standard contracts, but support for circulation, acquisition, and patron access catalog modules would be committed. During the year, at least six libraries appear to have closed their contracts, most of these libraries upgraded their systems as part of the negotiations. The company sold the rights to its ALIS II software to UTLAS.

Gross sales for Data Phase are estimated to have been $4 million for the year.

[Data Phase, 9000 West 67th Street, 2nd Floor, Shawnee Mission, KS 66202, (913) 262-5100.]

Data Research Associates markets ATLAS, an integrated automated library system, and a standalone Library System for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH). DRA reported that at the end of 1985, 46 systems were installed and accepted. Five of the ATLAS systems are configured around multiple processors. The sale of 17 systems during 1985 resulted in gross sales of between $5 and $10 million, and an after tax profit for the company. Two of the systems sold during 1985 were awaiting installation or acceptance at the end of the year.

Circulation/interlibrary loan was operational on 44 systems. Thirty-two sites were using the local cataloging capability. The online patron access catalog was implemented at 16 sites, and newspaper indexing at five. Eight installations were using the materials booking component, three were using union listing, three authority control, three the COM catalog production routines, and one the report generator. One site was using the acquisitions software. A cable TV interface was also available but not being used. Word processing, report generator and inter-system interfacing are part of the basic package, available at all ATLAS sites. ATLAS handles bibliographic utility linkage through NETCAT, a vendorsupported cataloging facility which accesses OCLC and RLIN. Thirty sites were using the OCLC interface. A WLN interface will be available in mid-1986. Serials control will also be made available during 1986. Twenty-five staff are committed to software maintenance and development, an increase of nine over the previous year.

[Data Research Associates, Inc., 9270 Olive Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63132-3276 (314) 432-1100.]

Dynix reported that it was supporting 36 automated library system installations by the end of 1983 and, having sold 18 systems during the year, had five systems awaiting installation or acceptance. All installed sites were using local cataloging, global authority control, and the report generator. Twenty-one were using circulation, seven the online patron access catalog, and four word processing. Four libraries had OCLC online interfaces and one library had a WLN interface. One installation was testing the serials control module. The company had a staff of 22 committed to software maintenance and development, an increase of one over the previous year.

Gross revenue from sales was between $2.5 and $5 million; the company realized an after tax profit for the year.

[Dynix, 1455 West 820 North, Provo, UT 84601, (801) 375-2770.]

Electric Memory Inc. did not respond to the 1985 survey. However, at the end of 1984 the company reported that it was supporting four EMILS/3000 systems, and another one was awaiting installation or acceptance. The circulation, online catalog, interlibrary loan, report generator and word processing modules had been implemented on all four operational systems. At that time, six staff were working on software maintenance and development.

[Electric Memory Inc., 656 Munras Avenue, P.O. Box 1349, Monterey, CA 93942, (408) 646-9666.]

Geac reported 121 installed and accepted systems, approximately twenty percent of which were multi-processor installations. During the year, 24 systems were sold, four of which were waiting installation at the end of the year. Gross sales for the library division of the company were in excess of $20 million. The modules most commonly implemented were circulation (ca. 70), local cataloging (53) and patron access catalog (ca. 50). Acquisitions was in use at 23 sites. Interlibrary loan, materials booking and report generator functions are configured as part of the circulation module and were available at all sites using that module. More than 18 online interfaces to OCLC were in use, as well as at least 8 UTLAS interfaces and 5 RLIN interfaces. In addition, the company had contractually committed to deliver WLN and MINI MARC interfaces. A cable TV interface was under development and one site was using the system to access the systems of data base vendors such as Dialog and BRS. Interfaces to allow communications among separate Geac systems were in use as was the electronic mail capability. Several of the library system sites had also purchased Geac's word processing module.

The company reported that it had 35 staff devoted to supporting the library system software.

[Geac, 350 Steelcase Road West, Markum, Ontario L3R 1B3 Canada, (416) 475-0525.]

Innovative Interfaces was supporting 48 installations of its INNOVACQ system at the end of 1985. Sixteen of these were sold during 1985, only one of which was awaiting installation and! or acceptance. All installations use a multi-processor design. All installations were using INNOVACQ's report generator; the acquisitions module was operational on 42 installations, and serials control on 33. Five installations were using the patron access catalog module. The OCLC interface was used by 24 installations, and the RLIN and UTLAS interfaces were used at four and three sites respectively. Five sites were using a remote data base searching interface. INNOVACQ also supports interfaces to the systems of other automation vendors, such as CLSI, and major book vendors including Blackwell North America and Baker & Taylor. A staff of eight was committed to software maintenance and development at the end of the year, an increase of two over the previous year.

Gross sales were between $2.5 and $5 million; the company realized an after tax profit. [Innovative Interfaces, Inc., 1409 Fifth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710, (415) 527-5555.]

Library Information Systems, which took over the Pomona Public Library and the State Library of Alaska accounts from the now apparently defunct CTI, did not respond to the 1985 survey. The Alaska State Library reported that its system is operating satisfactorily and is being expanded from film booking to include circulation. The system can provide support for cataloging, online catalog, and interlibrary loan. LIS apparently plans to increase its marketing effort in 1986. The company is said to have three people devoted to software maintenance and development.

[Library Information Systems, Inc., 840 Irvine Avenue, Suite S-2l0, Newport Beach, CA 92663, (714) 631-0784.]

M/A-COM Information Systems, Inc. reported that it was supporting 16 systems using the DATALIB automated library system software by the end of 1985. Two systems were sold during the year. (The company had reported 17 sites a year earlier--thus suggesting the loss of some accounts.) Acquisitions capabilities were operational at nine sites. Local cataloging and global authority control were operational at 11 sites, circulation at nine sites, patron access catalog at 12 sites, and serials control at two. Six staff were committed to software maintenance and development, a drop of eight from the end of the previous year.

The company declined to quote sales figures or to answer whether or not it had made an after-tax profit for the year.

[M/A-COM Information Systems, Inc., 5515 Security Lane, Rockville, MD 20852, (301) 984-3636.] OCLC Local Systems was supporting 35 installed and accepted LS/2000 systems by the end of 1985. It sold 31 systems during the year. Of these systems, 29 were in various stages of installation and/or acceptance. Gross sales for 1985 were between $5 and $10 million. The company did not report an after-tax profit because it is a not- for-profit organization. Thirty-seven of the sites were using local cataloging, authority control, and online patron access catalog at the end of 1985. only 15 sites were using circulation, 28 electronic mail, and one serials control. Thirty-four systems had an online OCLC interface and one had an online interface to another OCLC LS/2000 system. OCLC had 32 staff committed to software maintenance and development, an increase of 12 over last year.

[Local Systems Division, OCLC, Inc., 6565 Frantz Road, Dublin, OH 43017- 0702, (614) 764-6000.]

The Sedna Corporation reported that it was supporting five installations of its Sedna Information Management System (SIMS) at the end of 1985. One system was sold during the year and, apparently, had been installed and accepted. Local cataloging was operating at four sites, global authority control at three, acquisitions and serials control at two, patron access catalog at three, and materials booking at one. The report generator capability was in use at all sites. Five staff are committed to software maintenance and development. Gross sales for the year were under $1 million; the company did not realize a profit.

[Sedna Corporation, 970 Raymond Avenue, St. Paul, b~2~ 55114, (612) 647-1101.]

The Sirsi Corporation reported that at the end of 1985 it was supporting 16 installations of its Unicorn Collection Management System. Nine Systems had been sold during the year, seven of which were awaiting installation or acceptance at year end. The company did not break down the use of the functions, but at the end of 1985 local cataloging, circulation, patron access catalog and interlibrary loan were in use. Also operational were acquisitions, serials control, global authority control, materials booking, interface to remote data base vendors and the system's word processing and report generator capabilities. Interfaces to OCLC and RLIN were each operational on at least one installation. The system also supports electronic mail and a MARCIVE interface. Six staff are committed to software development and maintenance.

[Sirsi Corporation, 8106-B South Memorial Parkway, Huntsville, AL 35802, (205) 881-2140.]

The Sperry Corporation reported that it was supporting seven installations of the PALS Automated Library System at the end of 1985. Two were multiprocessor installations. During the year, four systems had been sold, and seven were awaiting installation or acceptance. The modules in use at one or more sites were: acquisitions, local cataloging, circulation, serials control, online patron access catalog, interlibrary loan and the report generator. Also operational at user sites were the OCLC interface, UTLAS interface, remote data base searching interface, word processing, and interface with other Sperry library systems. The company indicated that five staff are committed to software maintenance and development for the system.

[Sperry Corporation Computer Systems, P.O. Box 500, Blue Bell, PA 19424-0001, (215) 542-4312.]

Sydney Dataproducts Inc., the vendor of the Easy Data Library System, did not respond to the 1985 survey; it also failed to respond to the 1984 survey. In 1983 the company reported a total of 18 system sales. Four of those installations utilized multi-processor configurations. On the installed systems, the most popular applications during 1983 were local cataloging and global authority control, capabilities which were utilized by all the installations. Acquisitions was in operation on 11 systems, and six employed the circulation module. The online patron access catalog function, designed for skilled / experienced users, had been implemented at three sites. A MARCIVE interface was being used by four libraries, and an RLIN interface by one. Tape loading interfaces were supported for WLN and UTLAS. Four libraries were using the system's word processing module.

[Sydney Dataproducts Inc., 11075 Santa Monica Boulevard, Suite 100, Los Angeles, CA 90025, (213) 479-4621.]

Systems Control Inc. did not respond to the 1985 survey. A year ago it reported that it was supporting three SCICON installations, one of which was still in the process of being accepted. There were also two other installations of the system, but these did not receive maintenance support from the vendor. The local cataloging module, report generator and OCLC interface were being used by five sites, and circulation control and online catalog modules by four. Two sites were using the interlibrary loan capability and the materials booking system, and the global authority control capability, MINI MARC interface and word processing capabilities were each used by one installation. The company has three staff devoted to software maintenance and enhancement.

[Systems Control, Inc., Commercial and Industrial Systems, P.O. Box 10025, Palo Alto, CA 94303, (415) 494-1165.]

Universal Library Systems reported that it was supporting 28 installed and accepted ULISYS systems by the end of 1985. Three were multi-processor configurations. Three systems were sold during the year, and one of these systems were awaiting installation or acceptance. The company had reported 29 installations a year earlier, thus suggesting that some accounts were lost during the year. The company realized gross sales of between $2.5 and $5 million and achieved an after tax profit. All installations were using the circulation, local cataloging and interlibrary loan modules, and 20 had implemented global authority control. Twenty-five installations were using the patron access catalog software, one each the acquisitions, materials booking, word processing, and newspaper indexing modules. Fifteen systems were using the OCLC interface, three were using the UTLAS interface, and two the WLN interface. Universal had 11 people committed to software maintenance and development, a drop of four from the previous year.

[Universal Library Systems, 205-1571 Bellevue Avenue, West Vancouver, BC V7V 1A6 Canada, (604) 926-7421.]

Virginia Tech reported that it has become an OEM for Hewlett-Packard and can flow bid a turnkey system when a library requires a single contract. In most cases, it will continue to bid software only in joint responses with local H-P offices. Virginia Tech was supporting 60 installations of the VTLS software by the end of 1985. During the year 10 packages and systems were sold; 23 had been sold the previous year. Two clients were awaiting installation or acceptance by year's end. The organization would not disclose revenue information, nor would it detail how many sites were using each module. The modules operational at one or more user sites were: serials control, local cataloging, global authority control, circulation, online patron access catalog, interlibrary loan, materials booking, and the OCLC, RLIN, WLN, and MINI MARC interfaces. The systems have the capability of interfacing with other VTLS systems. Some libraries also use their library system hardware to support word processing software. Virginia Tech reported that it had a staff of 22 people committed to software maintenance and development at the end of 1985, an increase of 10 over the previous year.

[Center for Library Automation, 416 Newman Library, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, (703) 961-6452.]

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View Citation
Publication Year:1986
Type of Material:Article
Language English
Published in: Library Systems Newsletter
Publication Info:Volume 6 Number 04
Issue:April 1986
Page(s):25-31
Publisher:American Library Association
Place of Publication:Chicago, IL
Notes:Howard S. White, Editor-in-Chief; Richard W. Boss, Contributing Editor
Company: SIRSI Corporation
Advanced Library Concepts, Inc.
CLSI
Biblio-Techniques
Carlyle Systems, Inc.
DataPhase Systems, Inc.
Data Research Associates, Inc.
Electric Memory, Inc.
Systems Control, Inc.
M/A-COM Information Systems, Inc.
Innovative Interfaces, Inc.
OCLC Local Systems
Sedna Corporation
Sperry Corporation
Dynix Systems, Inc.
Geac
Library Information Systems, Inc.
Sydney Dataproducts, Inc.
Universal Library Systems
VTLS, Inc.
Products: Unicorn
AdLib
LIBS 100
Biblio-Techniques Library and Information System (BLIS)
TOMUS
INNOVACQ
LS/2000
Sedna Information Management System (SIMS)
PALS Automated Library System
ATLAS
Library System for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH)
EMILS/3000
DATALIB
SCICON
ULISYS
VTLS
DRA
Subject: Library automation systems -- directories
ISSN:0277-0288
Record Number:4198
Last Update:2022-08-07 01:37:09
Date Created:0000-00-00 00:00:00
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