Syracuse, N.Y.—Gaylord Information Systems, a division of Gaylord Bros., Inc. (GIS) today announced that its first quarter revenue has exceeded forecasted figures by sixteen percent (16%). This better-than-expected performance is attributed to the rapid development process for Polaris 1.5 that has resulted in the most fully functional 3rd generation library automation system installed in libraries today.
With both a Windows and a Web-based public access catalog (PAC), a Windows Staff interface, and Z39.50 capabilities totally integrated into all aspects of the system, Polaris offers a familiar look as well as advanced capabilities that only a 3rd generation system can bring to public libraries. “Polaris leads the market with a technologically advanced solution that completely embraces the Web and standards such as XML and Z39.50,” said Katherine Blauer, president of GIS. “Polaris 1.5 is an incredibly rich system that meets – and exceeds – customers' expectations.” More than 200 libraries are using Polaris every day for cataloging, circulation, patron services, public access catalog, acquisitions and serials control. The latest statistics show GIS customers experiencing 99.4% in system up time.
While delighting current Polaris customers, Polaris 1.5 is also attracting significant market attention. Through the Continuum of Services program, GIS customers using the GALAXY automation system are eager to upgrade to the new technology of Polaris. Seven library systems have already announced they intend to upgrade this year.
“We expected 2001 to be a growth year for GIS,” Blauer explained, “and we're delighted with our first quarter results. Our Account Management team is fully staffed for the first time since I joined GIS in 1999. Under the leadership of Marty Keeley, a veteran of the library industry, we are demonstrating Polaris to more libraries than ever before – and astonishing them with the power of Polaris.”
Under Blauer's leadership, GIS adopted a rapid development process to shorten the time-to-market for product releases. This process enabled GIS to combine two major releases into one with Polaris 1.5. The next major release scheduled for October 2001 will encompass two years' worth of development activity. Set to preview at the ALA Annual Conference in June in San Francisco, the new release will include the Polaris “PowerPAC,” the most advanced PAC available in any library automation system.
New developments are also underway to enhance customer support. In mid-April GIS began upgrading customers to Polaris 1.7, a maintenance release that includes new auto-client upgrade technology. For customers, this will mean minimal downtime for all future upgrades. “In the past two years, GIS has completely overhauled the way we serve our customers,” said Blauer. “Every customer has a site manager and a service team – people who know their library. Customers talk to the same people every time they call – we don't make them navigate a system of anonymous people who don't know or understand their situation. Our customers love this approach to service.”
“We're very fortunate at GIS,” Blauer said. “We have a fantastic and dedicated staff of product management, development and customer service people. Our Account Managers are seasoned professionals in the library marketplace and wildly enthusiastic about the potential for Polaris to help librarians improve their workflow and service to their patrons. Our link to Gaylord Bros. provides financial strength and stability. Gaylord Bros. has been in the library business for over one hundred years and we are very bullish about our future. Polaris is the most advanced, most powerful library automation system available today and we're confident word is spreading that any library looking for a new automation system does their patrons and staff a disservice by not taking a close look at Polaris.”
Polaris is a non-modular, native-Windows NT library automation solution. Polaris offers complete access to integrated cataloging, serials, acquisitions, circulation, patron/student services, and system administration functionality. The system provides a Web-based public access client and a Windows® 95/98/NT Workstation-based technical services client. Polaris was built with Microsoft technologies solely for the Windows NT Server platform and SQL Server.
Gaylord Information Systems is a Microsoft Certified Solutions Provider and the 26-year-old software development division of Gaylord Bros., a leading supplier to the library industry for more than a century. More than 600 libraries nationwide use the GALAXY and Polaris integrated library systems. In addition to its library automation systems, GIS offers workflow analysis, retrospective conversion and database enhancement services to libraries of all types. Thirty percent of GIS staff are professional librarians, including GIS President Katherine Blauer.