Our first six months as an independent company have been invigorating and successful. This report outlines what's happening in the product line, with partnerships, in the company in general, and presents some exciting offerings and happenings by and for our customers.
During the first six months, epixtech launched several new or upgraded products, including Remote Patron Authentication 1.0, WebCheck 1.0, Horizon 5.3, and Dynix 181. On schedule for release in the summer of 2000, we have a major upgrade for Horizon in Horizon Sunrise 6.0 and the introduction of both iPAC, as well as iLibrary. Several upgrades are also planned for our NOTIS product for later this year as well.
Horizon Sunrise 6.0
Horizon Sunrise 6.0 is our first Sunrise release, with the incorporation of Sunrise architecture and features in conjunction with familiar (or tested) Horizon functionality and the new IPAC. This is a major release with an updated ‘look and feel', functionality upgrades, and Unicode support. While we have been using Horizon Unicode with our Asian customers for some time, this is the first general release of the Horizon Sunrise Unicode product for the global market.
We've made major advances in the public access area with our brand-new iPAC. epixtech's new Web-based PAC. iPAC offers patrons access to the library catalog and other internet resources using web browsers from home or office. iPAC is built on an HTML foundation that is fast and easy to administer. Its dynamic database selection expands searches beyond the library. iPAC features advanced Boolean and cross-index searching, as well as relevancy ranking of search results, integration with ILL services, and robust support for Z39.50 searching. It also maintains the epixtech standard patron self-services such as placing holds, renewals and review of fines or fees. Above all iPAC is extraordinarily fast in both building and searching its own indexes.
We announced our ASP offering in San Antonio at Mid-Winter ALA as the beginnings of iLibrary, which provides libraries and their patrons the benefits of Internet-based services. The first of the iLibrary suite to be made available to customers are the Horizon ILS modules, which we currently have four sites using, with many more in various stages of negotiation and implementation. Additional iLibrary services to become available throughout the last half of 2000 will give patrons the ability to access, borrow or rent materials electronically; the choice of whether to pick up materials or have them shipped to their home or office; the ability to use a library card to qualify for free access to full-text journals and e-books; the ability to pay fees or fines online with secure credit card transactions, and more. iLibrary enables libraries to provide more of the types of services that patrons expect in today's internet environment, while keeping the cost and complexity at a level within their reach.
Dynix, epixtech ‘s flagship product for many years, has thousands of customers who benefit from the maturity of the product. Now, increasing numbers of our Dynix customers are updating their technology, with new servers, with PC workstations, with state-of-the-an network infrastructure, and, over the past few years, have added web and graphics products from our ConnectLib line to fulfill a number of needs. Many of these customers are now implementing Horizon. To help these customers and those considering the move, we've prepared a series of documents outlining the process and what they can expect. We've had considerable experience in this area, and our customers like the assurance of continuing to work with a trusted partner. We expect to have more than 100 Dynix to Horizon projects completed worldwide by the end of this year.
One of our most recent customer initiatives is the creation of eBuzz. This is a Web-based subscription service that we are inviting our customers to use as a source of late-breaking company news, product planning/support, and promotional information. All of the U.S. customer base is now on board with eBuzz, and we anticipate a full complement, including our global offices, before the end of the summer. eBuzz is a dynamic, interactive communication tool, which makes it possible for epixtech ‘s customers to be the first to know about new product releases, Education Services announcements, General Support information, Dynix or Horizon version announcements, new customers, press releases, and sales promotions. eBuzz is quickly becoming a major channel of dialogue between epixtech, our customers, our partners, and our employees who provide services to customers.
New Customers and Customer Milestones
The year 2000 started off with a bang with an URSA sale to the Tampa Bay Library Consortium. Our ILL products (URSA and RSS) have attracted great interest, with wins also from the Boston Library Consortium, Mid-Wisconsin, and NIOGA (New York). We've increased our number of Chinese customers by 3, ensuring that we are far ahead of our nearest competitor in the China market.
Implementation on the Hong Kong Public Library system is well underway, as is implementation on the vast Brent Council project in the UK. This is a major Dynix project, as is Hong Kong.
Year to date, we've acquired over 50 new Horizon customers, including the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium in Massachusetts. We've also added several new Dynix customers. Including our RSSJURSA and RPA sales, our new names come to nearly 100 for 2000 YTD. We are anticipating a banner year for the new company.
Our Customers Have All the Answers
That's our theme for this year. We have a very large installed base, and we've long since recognized that they know what they're doing. We're honoring that recognition in print, by creating a marketing and awareness campaign featuring ways in which our customers have resolved issues, used new technology, and generally been creative in offering the best library services anywhere. We've put the spotlight on our customers, asking them to explain how they've improved their libraries and made life easier for their patrons, all through the use of epixtech products.
Our Customers Have Great Services
Products are only one focus of the picture that is epixtech. Even if our products are the best in the industry, if our services aren't also the best, it's all for naught. epixtech is committed to serving its customers in three major areas—Implementation Services, Customer Support and Add-on Services.
Implementation services include project management, data services and installation service.
Project Management includes:
- Consulting on set up of Horizon
- Scheduling of project and related resources
- Weekly status reporting
- Working with vendors to ensure hardware delivery
- Coordinating training
- Assisting with system implementation and testing
- Loading of MARC data into Horizon
- Customization of MARC data
- Conversion of non-MARC data into MARC format
- Building of indexes
Installation Services include:
- Server staging
- On-site installation of servers and client
- WebPac customization
Customer support includes areas such as application support, network technical services, and our new service, Log Express.
Application Support includes:
- Dynix, NOTIS, Horizon, database and ConnectLib product support
- 7x24 coverage
- Direct access to technical staff
- Account Management
- Guarantees on system availability and response time
Network Technical Services include:
- System Monitoring—this includes operating system, network, hardware
- Hardware returns processing
- Third-party vendor management
- Network technical support
Log Express Includes:
- The ability to report problems via the Internet
- The ability to share detailed infonnation with epixtech support staff
- The ability to review resolutions via the Internet
- The ability to review and modify your customer information
- The ability to log problems to support staff for immediate review
- No more juggling schedules between libraries and support staff
Add-on services include education services, upgrades and custom services.
Education services include:
- Classroom-based on-site training
- Classroom-based regional training
- Web-based training (WBT) and computer-based training (CBT)
Custom services include:
- Additional indexes
- WebPAC customization
- Custom Programming
epixtech believes in partnering, both with our customers and with other vendors. We've gone a step further than most by actually partnering with a competitor