The last two years have not seen the larger-scale mergers and acquisitions that reshaped the industry from 2005–2007 when large private equity firms began gaining ownership of several of the large companies. Recent transactions of a smaller magnitude have taken place, including the management buy-out that recently took place at Polaris and the acquisition of LibLime by PTFS. A different set of companies specialize in products for special libraries than the common names of those involved in automation for public, academic and school libraries. These companies characterize themselves more as offering products in enterprise knowledge management rather than library automation, and include EOS International, SydneyPLUS, Cuadra Associates, Inmagic, and OpenText. One of these companies, SydneyPLUS, has expanded its position through business acquisitions that complement its products and services. In June 2008 SydneyPLUS acquired California- based Cuadra Systems which offers its Cuadra STAR family of products to special libraries, as well as to archives and other organizations with information management challenges. Cuadra has remained separately operated since joining the SydneyPLUS fold; its products and client base remain distinctive and appeal to different types of libraries than SydneyPLUS own products.
SydneyPLUS has now announced the acquisition of Questor Systems, a company that offers its Argus platform for the management of collections that include artifacts and other types of physical objects. Typical organizations using Argus would include museums, historical societies, archives, as well as universities and corporations with specialized collections of objects and artifacts.
Questor Systems will continue to be operated independently as a wholly owned subsidiary of SydneyPLUS, retaining its separate identity. The ARGUS platform will continue to be supported and developed indefinitely. Through its acquisition by SydneyPLUS, Questor Systems' developers gain access to increased research and development resources; the company will benefit from the business infrastructure and investment capital of its new parent organization.
According to Ron Aspe, SydneyPLUS CEO, “Carlos Cuadra, CEO and founder of Cuadra Associates, was the catalyst to Questor's joining the SydneyPLUS family. Cuadra has a long history and great reputation for providing quality software and services to libraries, archives and museums. We anticipate significant collaboration between the people at Cuadra and Questor.” Torrance, CA-based Questar was founded in 1986; today about 400 organizations use its ARGUS products. The ARGUS products automate the management of collections, but also provide automation support for archaeological sites and conservation facilities. The initial software was developed at the Southwest Museum in 1985.
SydneyPLUS is headed by CEO Ron Aspe and based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The company was founded in 1977 as Sydney Development Corporation.