NEWS RELEASE: RMG Consultants, Inc., 16 November 2010, Chicago

"Reformation of the Library Automation Industry: Software as a Service (SaaS) Disrupts Traditional ILS Pricing Models"

is the topic of

RMG's 21st Annual Presidents' Seminar: The View from the Top

Friday January 7, 2011, 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
ALA Midwinter Conference, San Diego
San Diego Convention Center - Room 08

Panelists, and participants – including ILS company presidents and key industry players -- to be announced in December

The topic of last year’s RMG Annual Presidents' Seminar at the ALA Midwinter Conference in Boston was

"Forces of Change Sweep Across the Library Automation Landscape: Business and Technology Partnerships, Foundation and Government Funding, Non-profits versus For-profits."

Discussions among panelists and the audience addressed many of the movements that are now playing out as the Reformation of the Library Automation Industry, driven by Software as a Service (SaaS):

• The ubiquitous delivery to libraries over the Internet of information and services on a subscription basis: e.g.,
    • E-content: e-databases, e-journals, e-books, e-libraries
    • Enriched catalog content
    • Discovery Services (DS)
    • Integrated Library Systems as a service (ILSaaS)

• The growing and now commonplace acceptance by libraries of ILSaaS

• Across-the-board lowering of libraries’ one-time and recurring costs for implementation and operation of ILSs provided as ILSaaS

• The promotion of the concept and term  “Web-Scale Services” by
   • Serials Solutions for Summon (Web-Scale Discovery Service)
   • OCLC for WMS (Web-scale Management Services)

• The disaffection of some ILS customers with their proprietary vendors and dissatisfaction with their legacy systems

• The introduction and growth – and now commercialism – of Open Source Library Systems (OSLSs)
   • The success of for-profit companies that support libraries’ implementation and use of OSLSs, including delivery of ILSaaS
   • Initiatives by non-profit library consortia, systems, and service organizations to provide OSLSs to libraries

• Grant funds available to libraries for development and adaptation of OSLSs

• The revival of ILS developments by large public libraries:
   • The development of an ILS (based on Virtua from VTLS) and related business initiative by Queens Library
   • The adaptation of an OSLS (Evergreen) for large public libraries by King County Library System and its partners
   • Columbus Metro’s re-investment in its long-ago custom-built Discovery Place ILS

• The introduction of OCLC’s Web-scale Management Services (WMS), with disruptive ILS industry pricing marketed as game-changing low.

RMG's 2011 Presidents' Seminar will address expectations for:

• Significant – perhaps explosive – growth in delivery of ILS as a service (ILSaaS) on a subscription basis
   • With lower vendor-related TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) components: e.g., in 5-year totals of one-time and recurring maintenance costs
   • With reduced library-related TCO components: e.g., lower HR requirements and ILS expertise than on-premise systems; vendor takes responsibility for ILS server infrastructure

• Downplay of differences in vendor prices between Open Source and Proprietary ILSs delivered as services

• The reaffirmation of functionality, cost (vendor pricing and library TCO), and vendor qualifications as primary criteria for selecting an ILSaaS solution

• Increasing competition within the ILS industry among for-profits and non-profits

• Increasing incentives for vendors to re-tool or replace older systems constrained by legacy architectures, and to move to Web-Scale platforms

• A surge – perhaps a break-out wave -- of libraries’ pent-up replacements of superseded legacy systems
   • Variously, in conjunction with other Web-based basic services: e.g., for cataloging, Discovery, and resource-sharing
   • Including the replacement of lower-cost microcomputer-based systems with ILSaaS

• The de-emphasis of individual libraries’ implementations of OSLSs on their own, without outside assistance and support.

Some questions and topics for Panelists:

• Is ILSaaS a threat or opportunity for your company?

• Will your ILS company adapt to an SaaS business model? What changes will be required? How and when?

• Will your contracts and Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for ILSaaS include response-time and other performance warranties?

• Do you host your ILSaaS platform or use a cloud service to provide infrastructure? Why?

• Will you move to a Web-Scale architecture and platform in order to offer ILSaaS?

Registration for the seminar is not required.

To join our mailing list for updates on the venue, confirmed panelists and future seminars, please email

RMG Consultants is an information technology consulting firm specializing in team-based IT procurements (designed as enterprise learning processes) and IT Strategic Planning for libraries and Higher Education institutions.

RMG Consultants, Inc.
333 W. North Avenue, #396
Chicago IL 60610
312.321.0432 v

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