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Innovative Interfaces, Inc.

This dashboard brings together data, trends, news, and other resources from Library Technology Guides describing the organization, its executive leadership, personnel employed, business history, as well as related features and news articles.

Connect to the Innovative Interfaces, Inc. website

1900 Powell Street; Suite 400
Emeryville, California 94608
United States
Phone: 510-655-6200
Web site: https://www.iii.com/
Email: info@iii.com

Resource Management Products (ILS or LSP)

Executive Leadership

photo of Yariv Kursh
Yariv Kursh
General Manager
photo of Tom  Jacobson
Tom Jacobson
Vice President, Executive Library Advocate and Strategist
photo of Hilary Newman
Hilary Newman
Senior Vice President of Library Services
photo of Aaron Terrell
Aaron Terrell
Vice President, Engineering
photo of Eyal  Alkalay
Eyal Alkalay
Vice President, Information Technology
photo of Akin Adekeye
Akin Adekeye
General Counsel and Vice President Partnerships and Business Development
photo of Robert Jacobs
Robert Jacobs
Vice President, International Sales
photo of Toni Minick
Toni Minick
Vice President, Product Management
photo of Raena Morrison
Raena Morrison
Vice President North American Sales
photo of Sherry  Stafford
Sherry Stafford
Director, Human Resources

Company Ownership

Innovative Interface is a wholly owned business of ProQuest

Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers and Acquisitions for Innovative Interfaces, Inc.

Personnel employed

[Data source: statistics supplied for the annual Library Systems Report or from public information]

CompanyYearDevelopmentSupportSalesAdminOtherTotal
Innovative Interfaces, Inc. 20204886364242254
Innovative Interfaces, Inc. 201711514749317349
Innovative Interfaces, Inc. 2016981715240361
Innovative Interfaces, Inc. 20151021434836329
Innovative Interfaces, Inc. 2014130193423912416
Innovative Interfaces, Inc. 201310318461557410
Innovative Interfaces, Inc. 20128916153317341
Innovative Interfaces, Inc. 20118315843243311
Innovative Interfaces, Inc. 2010761743027307
Innovative Interfaces, Inc. 20099216424296315
Innovative Interfaces, Inc. 200888176212813326
Innovative Interfaces, Inc. 2007731812729310
Innovative Interfaces, Inc. 2006701742724295
Innovative Interfaces, Inc. 2005661713226295
Innovative Interfaces, Inc. 2004711612825285
Innovative Interfaces, Inc. 2003781502631285
Innovative Interfaces, Inc. 20027914525172268

Documents or articles featuring Innovative Interfaces, Inc.

Breeding, Marshall. ProQuest Acquisition of Innovative Proceeds. December 2020. Smart Libraries Newsletter. ProQuest announced that it has received notification from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that the review of its acquisition of Innovative Interfaces has been completed. According to ProQuest Chief Executive Officer Matti Shem Tov, the acquisition of Innovative was accepted in its entirety and without further stipulations. ProQuest announced in December 2019 that it had acquired Innovative Interfaces from its previous owners, investment firms HGGC (formerly Huntsman Gay Global Capital) and JMI Equity in a transaction that closed on January 16, 2020. The FTC review commenced in February 2020, with ProQuest making a public statement acknowledging it on March 13, 2020. No specific information is available on what triggered this acquisition for review by the FTC, nor why it took place after the transaction had closed.

Breeding, Marshall. FTC Reviews ProQuest Acquisition of Innovative Interfaces. May 2020. Smart Libraries Newsletter. The acquisition of Innovative Interfaces by ProQuest, announced in December 2019, is one of the major events in the history of the library technology industry. The deal in which ProQuest purchased Innovative from its previous investors, HCCG and JMI Equity, closed on January 16, 2020. Innovative has become a wholly owned subsidiary of ProQuest, with Yariv Kursh in place as general manager. This transaction has attracted the attention of the Federal Trade Commission, which has initiated a review of the impact of the acquisition on the competitive environment. No specific timeframe has been given on the review, nor can any outcomes be predicted until it is concluded.

Breeding, Marshall. Update on the Acquisition of Innovative by ProQuest. March 2020. Smart Libraries Newsletter. The acquisition of Innovative Interfaces by ProQuest featured in the last issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter closed on January 15, 2020 and is now finalized. Closing the acquisition begins the business and product integration process, which will play out over the next couple of years. Innovative ultimately will be incorporated into the Ex Libris subsidiary of ProQuest.

Breeding, Marshall. ProQuest to Acquire Innovative Interfaces. January 2020. Smart Libraries Newsletter. In a move that further consolidates the library technology industry, Ex Libris has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Innovative Interfaces, Inc. from its private equity investors. Since December 2015, Ex Libris has been owned by ProQuest. In addition to its role as a major content provider to libraries, ProQuest is now responsible for a growing portfolio of library technology products, including major systems for resource management, content discovery, materials acquisition, reading list integration, and research services. While ProQuest faces major competition for each of its product categories, this move substantially strengthens its position in the sector and broadens its scope to include public libraries.

Breeding, Marshall. Innovative’s New Business Strategy and Management Team. March 2017. Smart Libraries Newsletter. Innovative Interfaces, under the leadership of its new Chief Executive Officer James Tallman, has begun to execute major changes to strengthen its position in the library technology industry. Innovative has expanded its management team to include a new set of executives with proven abilities in other sectors to take the company forward. In its next phase, Innovative intends to make major investments to transform itself into an “enterprise class library solutions company,” adopting practices and methodologies that have proven successful in other technology-oriented business sectors. These investments will also support new product development initiatives.

Breeding, Marshall. Innovative Interfaces acquires VTLS. July 2014. Smart Libraries Newsletter. Innovative Interfaces has acquired Blacksburg, VA-based VTLS as part of its strategic expansion strategy. This move follows the acquisition of Polaris, announced in April 2014. Both acquisitions were conducted in parallel, with each transition closing on a different schedule. The acquisition of VTLS significantly expands Innovative's international reach and brings a number of new technology products under its corporate umbrella. VTLS had been the longest standing company remaining under the ownership and management of its founder in the library technology industry. VTLS has been active since 1974, first as a department of the Newman Library of Virginia Tech University and since 1985, as an independent company.

Breeding, Marshall. Innovative Interfaces acquires Polaris Library Systems. May 2014. Smart Libraries Newsletter. In a move that further consolidates the library automation industry, Innovative Interfaces, Inc. has purchased Polaris Library Systems. Innovative is one of the largest companies in the industry, with an international presence and customers from all types of libraries. The acquisition significantly strengthens its presence in the US public library arena because of Polaris’s success in winning the majority of municipal library procurements in recent years.

Breeding, Marshall. Innovative Interfaces Absorbs SkyRiver and Withdraws Lawsuit Against OCLC. April 2013. Smart Libraries Newsletter. In a major shift in strategy reflecting a more collaborative style of its new ownership and management, Innovative interfaces has withdrawn the lawsuit it filed against OCLC in July 2010. SkyRiver Technologies, the sister company and lead plaintiff of the suit, has been absorbed into Innovative Interfaces, which will integrate the SkyRiver cataloging service into its product offerings.

Breeding, Marshall. VTLS Moves to Open Skies. March 2013. Smart Libraries Newsletter. VTLS launched a new product suite, called VTLS Open Skies, positioned as a library services platform. A major step for VTLS, this new strategy takes the most successful components in the current arsenal of technologies and products and rebuilds them into a comprehensive platform for the management and access to library resources.

Breeding, Marshall. Innovative Interfaces Ownership Update. March 2013. Smart Libraries Newsletter. Smart Libraries Newsletter has previously reported on the majority acquisition of Innovative Interfaces, Inc. and SkyRiver Technologies by a pair of private equity firms, Huntsman Gay Global Capital and JMI Equity. In the initial transaction, company cofounder Jerry Kline sold the majority of the company, but retained a stake and served as the chairman of a newly constituted Board of Directors. In a subsequent transaction that closed the end of January 2013, Kline divested his remaining shares to the investment firms. Huntsman Gay and JI Equity now own 100 percent of Innovative Interfaces and SkyRiver. No information is publicly available regarding financial details such as the valuation of the company or the portion of shares retained by Kline following the initial transaction. Kline also has resigned from the company's board of directors, having divested his ownership and concluding his strategic and operational involvement.

Breeding, Marshall. New Executive Leadership at Innovative Interfaces. October 2012. Smart Libraries Newsletter. Innovative Interfaces, Inc. has appointed Kim Massana as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective upon the announcement on August 27, 2012. Jerry Kline continues as Chairman and Neil Block as President.

Breeding, Marshall. Innovative Interfaces Joins the Private Equity Club. April 2012. Smart Libraries Newsletter. Innovative Interfaces, one of the veteran companies of the library automation industry, has been one of the major holdouts in the wave of private equity investments that has reshaped the library automation industry over the last six years. The company has remained under the sole ownership of its co-founder Jerry Kline. That position now changes as a pair of private equity firms, Huntsman Gay Global Capital and JMI Equity have made strategic investments in Innovative Interfaces, Inc. and its sister company SkyRiver Technology Solutions. Following the transaction Kline retains partial equity in the company and will serve as the Chairman of the company's reconstituted Board of Directors and will continue involvement in the leadership of the company. Rich Lawson, co-founder and Managing Partner of Huntsman Gay serves as Vice Chairman and JMI Equity will hold a seat on the new Board. No changes in the executive management of Innovative or SkyRiver are planned.

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News Announcements

March 5, 2021. Four Public Library Systems Join Vega Development Partner Program. Innovative, a ProQuest company and leading global provider of library software, announced that four public library systems have joined the Development Partner program for Vega Discover, Innovative's new discovery solution. The new Development Partners are Cooperative Computer Services (CCS), Livingston Parish Library, Nassau Library System, and Pinnacle Library Cooperative.


February 24, 2021. Innovative Announces Mobile Worklists 4.0 Available for Android. Innovative, a ProQuest company and leading global provider of library software, announced that Mobile Worklists 4.0 for Android is in general release. The Mobile Worklists mobile app, which lets library staff update lists and item records from their mobile device when pulling titles for exhibits, fulfilling holds, and conducting inventory, is now available on the Android platform and offers libraries more options for getting work done from within the stacks. The Android operating system is used by about three-quarters of mobile users worldwide.


February 11, 2021. Miami-Dade Public Library System joins Innovative in developing the new Vega Community Engagement and Discovery Solution. Innovative, a ProQuest company and leading global provider of library software, today announced that the Miami-Dade Public Library System, one of the largest public library systems in the United States, serving 2.5 million residents through 50 library locations, has joined the Development Partner program for Vega, Innovative's new community engagement and discovery solution designed to serve library staff, patrons, donors, and citizens.


February 3, 2021. Innovative celebrates customer-focused resources. Innovative, a ProQuest company and leading global provider of library software, celebrated a year of increased communications and improved connections with our library customers. During a very challenging year globally for libraries, universities, and government institutions, Innovative sped up many initiatives and added new ones to make our customer experience better than ever.


January 21, 2021. Four Innovative solutions win recognition in 2021 Modern Library Awards. Innovative, a ProQuest company and leading provider of library software, has received platinum awards for three products – Innovative Resource Sharing (INN-Reach), Mobile Worklists, and MyLibrary! – and a gold award for Polaris Leap from LibraryWorks' seventh annual Modern Library Awards (MLAs). The MLAs are awarded to the top products and services in the industry, according to criteria including functionality, value, and customer service. This year, product submissions were sent to more than 80,000 librarians for scoring.


December 29, 2020. Polaris Community Welcomes Five More Libraries to Innovative. Innovative, a ProQuest company and leading global provider of library software, is pleased to celebrate the libraries that joined the Polaris family in 2020. The following libraries selected the Polaris ILS or went live with Polaris:Nassau County Library Association, Florida, PLUS Library Consortium, Ohio, Lincoln Public Library, CaliforniaClearview Library District, Colorado, Livingston Parish Library, Louisiana


December 15, 2020. Innovative announces Vega Discover Release. Innovative, a ProQuest company and leading global provider of library software announced today that Vega Discover is now in general release.


December 9, 2020. New York Public Library Joins Innovative in Developing New Vega Platform. Innovative, a ProQuest company and leading global provider of library software, announced that The New York Public Library has joined the Development Partner Program for Vega, a new patron engagement and discovery solution for public libraries.


November 7, 2020. Innovative development partners launch Vega Discover: launch marks the start of compelling new discovery experiences for library patrons. Innovative, a ProQuest company announced that three public library partners in the Innovative Vega Development Partner program have launched Vega as their discovery tool. The partners are: The Ferguson Library in Connecticut, MidPointe Library System in Ohio, and Jefferson County Library Cooperative in Alabama.


October 27, 2020. New research on public library usage during pandemic. Innovative, a ProQuest company and leading global provider of library software, today announced the presentation of new research on how people in the U.S. are using their public libraries. The research report, titled “Centuries of Resilience: Public Libraries Still Crucial During COVID-19,” presents how people have used public libraries in 2019 and 2020. The data includes how usage changed after most libraries closed their doors in March of this year and have since been slowly reopening.


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Corporate Chronology

Sierra Satisfaction Ratings

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Annual Accomplishments Statements

[Data source: text supplied for the annual Library Systems Report]

2020 Innovative Interfaces, Inc. Accomplishments Narrative

The technology we all use in our day-to-day lives has influenced staff and patron expectations for library experiences and solutions. Innovative believes that the best thing we can deliver to our customers isn’t technology, but the ability to quickly connect with and serve their patrons and meet these evolving expectations. Innovative’s aim is to create user experiences that help libraries engage in meaningful and personalized ways with their communities, including staff, patrons, donors, and citizens.

Continuing the Innovative Mission

Innovative has been serving the library community for 40 years by presenting bold, new solutions that emphasize simplicity and efficiency. In 2020, Innovative joined the ProQuest family, providing an even stronger foundation for supporting libraries and the essential role they fill in communities worldwide.

Here are some additional examples of our commitment to library success:

How Innovative help libraries: All product and plans start with customers’ needs.

  • The Innovative Users Group gives a platform for our users to form community and share with each other to talk to each other and organize their requests for new features.
  • Our new product lines have involved library development partners from the beginning, while also working on future products to help libraries thrive. We also champion our incredibly unique and engaged user community.
  • With opportunities like the Support forums, our developer community, and Idea Lab, our customers can hear directly from us and your peers about our latest solutions, creative product uses, and best practices for library processes and tools.
  • Our 2 primary ILS products are highly rated: Sierra is recognized as a leading platform among 64% of our surveyed customers, and many customers rate Polaris 4 or 5 stars out of 5 (source: https://www.techvalidate.com/product-research/innovative-interfaces).
  • 125 customers converted to multi-year contracts from annual ones, ensuring continuity for their staff and ROI for the budget.

How Innovative supported libraries during COVID-19: Sped up many initiatives and added new ones to make the customer experience better than ever during an unprecedented year.

  • User documentation for Sierra and Polaris can be accessed online quickly and easily, nothout login needed.

  • Free monthly video webinars provided learning opportunities for library staff.
  • Online product roadmaps offer immediate access to plans for product development.
  • The one-stop Training and Learning Center centralized resources for Support, Education, training materials, forums, listservs and more.
  • Free online training materials were published, including 226 how-to guides and checklists, and 60 training videos, answering the 90% of survey respondents who said they wanted free training https://www.techvalidate.com/product-research/innovative-interfaces/facts/0C1-F2E-1BE
  • Quarterly Idea Lab challenges invited libraries to influence and direct product development.

Rising to 2020’s Challenges

The precautions necessary to accommodate COVID-19 required quick action across the globe, and Innovative rose to the challenge.

  • Quick rollout of tools for unplanned changes – Innovative provided services to make quick changes to library hours, and patron holds and fines; first with the help of Innovative Support, followed by pending updates in Sierra and Polaris to empower library staff to handle changes on the fly.
  • Adding the Innovative Mobile solution to the Innovative lineup, giving patrons a new way to connect with their libraries, including methods for patron self-check using barcodes or RFID, and a tool for library staff and patrons to schedule curbside pickup.
  • Transforming Innovative product demos, training sessions, and Support calls to online video formats, making sure that Innovative was easily accessible when libraries needed us most.
  • Offering the Circa Sierra circulation mobile app free for one year to assist with curbside circulation tasks to minimize unnecessary physical contact, keeping library staff and their patrons safe.

Delivering Solutions

In 2020 Innovative delivered new products as well as regular updates to its in-market product line.

Innovative New Products

  • Vega - In 2020 Innovative introduced the new Vega Discover product to the market. Built from scratch with a clean, intuitive interface, Vega is based on a new strategy for delivering results to patrons. Vega uses a hybrid of a library’s own resources and third-party authorities to provide results that are relevant and comprehensive. In 2020, 19 libraries agreed to start using Vega.
  • Innovative Mobile - The Innovative Mobile patron mobile app assists with patron self-check and curbside pickup tools, of particular use to accommodate COVID-affected library policies, and providing long-term utility as a full-featured patron library app. Released late in 2020, Innovative Mobile finished out the year with 22 sales.

  • Summon – Innovative’s new relationship with Ex Libris enabled us to provide Summon as a solution to Academic libraries, with over 30 Sierra libraries newly using Summon.

·Trusted In-Market Products – 31 releases during 2020

  • Sierra - Innovative has continued to invest in the Sierra ILS, offering two significant releases during 2020 that incorporated features requested by libraries.

  • Polaris - This ILS geared towards public libraries continued apace with four releases during 2020, many of which brought the Leap web-based client closer to full parity with the Polaris interface.
  • Mobile Worklists - Innovative’s mobile staff app for Sierra users not only continued to receive updates throughout the year, but added support for mobile inventory as well as Android support during 2020.
  • The other tools in Innovative’s product line, Decision Center, Resource Sharing, Vital, MyLibrary!, and Virtua also have been maintained with multiple releases during 2020.

Winning Awards

Innovative’s existing products continue to delight library customers around the globe. Three Innovative products received platinum distinction, the highest level of distinction, from LibraryWorks’ sixth annual Modern Library Awards:

  • Resource Sharing
  • Mobile Worklists
  • MyLibrary!
  • A fourth, the Polaris Leap Web Application, won the gold distinction.

The Modern Library Awards is a review program that recognizes elite products and services in the market, which can help library management personnel enhance the quality-of-experience for the library user and increase the performance of their library systems. LibraryWorks created the MLAs to recognize the top products and services in the industry, evaluated on criteria including functionality, value, and customer service. This year, product submissions were sent to more than 80,000 librarians for scoring. Innovative values all our solutions, and the MLA awards serve as validation of our quality.

Sierra ILS

In an independent study, academic customers report that Sierra helps make their workflows more efficient. Data in https://iiistaging.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/InnovativeROI-SierraSuccess-WP.pdf indicates the following:

  • 65% of survey respondents said that using Sierra resulted in a 65% reduction in time spent managing acquisitions and print serials.
  • 80% of respondents said using Sierra resulted in a reduction in time spent managing and maintaining their catalog.
  • 30% of respondents said that Sierra saved time spent managing electronic resources.
  • 60% of respondents said they saved time creating ILS reports and analysis, using Sierra’s reporting or the Decision Center reporting tool.
  • 40% of respondents said that they saved time in integrating with and maintaining 3rd party integrations, thanks to Sierra APIs.
  • As for value, 75% of respondents said they saved money using Sierra. This is largely thanks to the option to let Innovative host Sierra, reducing institutions’ need for on-site resources.

Polaris ILS

Polaris continues to rise to meet our customers’ need for a workhorse ILS that streamlines back-office operations and seamlessly integrates content for patrons. 78% of survey respondents say they are likely to recommend Polaris (https://www.techvalidate.com/product-research/innovative-interfaces/facts/1BB-52A-1C1). The Leap client lets libraries take the power of the Polaris ILS and put it into a browser interface that can be accessed from any laptop or tablet.

  • 77% of surveyed customers said they love Leap because the web-based interface makes it truly mobile. https://www.techvalidate.com/product-research/innovative-interfaces/facts/F5F-805-ACB
  • 53% of surveyed customers say they love Leap because it helps them better connect with their community. https://www.techvalidate.com/product-research/innovative-interfaces/facts/C57-E6E-34F

· “Polaris has most features that are needed in a public library and we are a consortium so love how easy it is to set parameters based on location not system.” – Diane Perry, Business Systems Department Specialist, Tampa Hillsborough County Library System

· “As a consortium, we came from many ILS systems, it was a complete 100% improvement for most.” – Joe Fee, Department Manager-IT, Westmoreland County Federated Library Systems

Resource Sharing

Innovative’s Resource Sharing offering (formerly INN-Reach) is designed to help libraries streamline back-office workflows, reduce overhead, and improve public services processes, freeing up library staff to connect with patrons, and freeing up library financial resources for other material. https://www.iii.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/InnovativeROI-ResourceSharing-WP.pdf

  • 70% of respondents said that using Resource Sharing reduced time spent processing shared resources.
  • 50% of respondents said it saved them time spent on reporting and analysis of shared resources, thanks to Innovative Resource Sharing’s integration with Sierra and reporting capabilities.
  • 70% of respondents said that they were able to reduce the expenses associated with shared resources, thanks to using Innovative’s Resource Sharing between libraries rather than the cost of a third-party ILL product.
  • 60% of respondents said that Innovative Resource Sharing saved time in the support of shared resources and circulation, since libraries no longer need to train staff on and perform a separate interlibrary loan process for circulating shared resources.
  • 5% of respondents said that they were able to increase their budget thanks to Innovative Resource Sharing’s ability to provide data and reporting, clarifying the utility of a library’s resources to their administrators.

Winning New Opportunities

Despite not being able to travel and meet libraries, Innovative continued to connect with new partners, and made a total of 162 new sales in 2020:

Product Number of sales for 2020

Inn-Reach 146

Mobile 22

Polaris 16

Sierra 18

Vega 19

Some of the notable wins in 2020 include:

  • Nassau County Library Association (Florida)
  • PLUS Library Consortium (Ohio)
  • Cedar Rapids Public Library (Iowa)
  • Colorado Library Alliance (Colorado)
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