SYRACUSE, New York, February 9, 2004 - In a move unique in the library automation system market, GIS Information Systems, Inc. has introduced I.MEASURE, a quantifiable metrics system that meticulously and objectively records and tracks service to customers using the Polaris and GALAXY integrated library systems (ILS). In the past year since I.MEASURE was introduced, the number of monthly support issues per customer site has dropped 45%. I.MEASURE comprises fifteen daily and monthly metrics pulled from I.TRAC, a web-based incident tracking and reporting tool accessible to GIS staff and customers.
In January 2003, a Computers in Libraries survey of the library automation marketplace ranked Polaris first in customer support, according to customers. Since that time -- while the number of customer sites being supported has increased by 40% -- the average number of technical support issues open at any one time is down by 50% and the average number of sites having no open technical support issues is up 200%. Using SiteScan, a diagnostic tool that automatically executes more than 35 scans on a customer's server, Polaris support staff have been able to identity 19% of support issues before the customer is even aware that they exist.
According to Brad Rogers, GIS director of customer operations, tracking incidents reported (IRs) and the speed with which they are resolved is the only real way to measure the success of a customer support organization. "Libraries purchasing integrated library systems today are looking beyond system functionality to customer support and service as the critical decision factor," said Rogers. "It is easy for any vendor to claim to offer the best service. At GIS we back this claim with identifiable metrics that hold our support staff accountable to our customers. By measuring what we do we are showing demonstrable results that translate into time and money savings for our customers. With tools such as SiteScan we allow library staff to spend their time managing the library, not the ILS."
Data from I.MEASURE are used to help GIS support staff improve on the length of time it takes to resolve an IR and to track trends that can help prevent further incidents at the same or other customer sites. I.MEASURE is the latest in a line of automated tools used by GIS to enhance customer support, including:
- Polaris SiteScan, a unique diagnostic tool that runs on a Polaris server and executes a number of "scans" to locate potential problems before they become real problems. SiteScan supports several general classes of scans, including process scans (check whether or not a specific process is currently executing), backup scans (determine whether or not the last backup was successful), and job scans (determine whether or not a specific job executed successfully). Currently more than 35 scans can be performed and more are being added regularly.
- PolarisPage, a 24/7 email pager system that ensures emergency support day or night, seven days a week.
- I.TRAC, a web-based incident tracking and reporting tool that allows customers to follow the status of an IR, from the time it is logged until the time it is resolved.
- I.TRAC Knowledge Database, a 24/7 self-help tool for Polaris system administrators. The web-based database contains solutions to common issues so that system administrators learn more about their Polaris systems and increase their library's system management independence.
- Customer Extranet (AccessGIS), a web site where Polaris customers can find product documentation, details on upcoming releases, and information on the Polaris Users Group; search the listserv archives; share management reports with other customers; and register for web or Syracuse-based training.
About GIS Information Systems
Headquartered in Syracuse, New York, GIS Information Systems is a Microsoft Certified Solutions Provider and the developer of the Polaris® integrated library system. From its beginnings almost thirty years ago, GIS has served libraries with innovative technology, from its first circulation system in the mid-1970's through its third-generation Polaris system. Ranked number one by users for the quality of customer support they receive*, Polaris facilitates all aspects of library operations by providing innovative workflow solutions packaged in a familiar Windows interface. The Polaris staff client offers a complete solution for acquisitions, collection management, cataloging, circulation, interlibrary loan and serials control. The Polaris PowerPAC extends this innovation to the end-user by providing a fully customizable library portal to the library's catalog and other library resources, including enhanced bibliographic data such as book images, tables of contents, and reviews. With embedded metasearch capabilities, patrons can search the library's catalog, the web, other library catalogs and Z39.50 databases at one time using one common interface.
In addition to its library automation systems, GIS Information Systems, Inc. offers workflow analysis, retrospective conversion, database enhancement, wireless network management, and network security services to libraries of all types. Thirty percent of GIS staff is composed of professional librarians. More information is available via telephone 800-272-3414 and at www.gisinfosystems.com.