Southampton – day one

The presentations for day one of the conference have drawn to a close and there’s only time for a quick blog post before we all head off for an evening of nautical fun and frolics on the “Three Rivers Cruise”. Cross your fingers no-one falls overboard!

Unfortunately, for “personal reasons”, CEO Gary Rautenstrauch isn’t at the conference, which is a shame.

The opening keynote by Keith Sturges talked about the continuing change within the company (something which most customers are only too aware of) and the continuing growth of the company (16%, compared to a sector average of 8%). The SaaS (Software as a Service) model is being pushed hard, with the UK hosted solution handled by IBM in Greenock, Scotland (“the most miserable place you could ever go to”!).

I’m still sceptical of SaaS being a “must have” for UK academic libraries. There are good and valid reasons why universities would prefer to have control over their servers and IT infrastructure — integration with other systems being a key one.

Next up, Kevin Rushbridge (Project Co-ordinator for the Swift Consortium) talked about the state wide consortia model set up in Victoria, Australia. I thoroughly interesting presentation — I think Kevin is speaking at a CILIP event soon? If so, he’s well worth going to see. I was tempted to put my hand up at the end and ask “did you consider Open Source?”, but manged to resist.

After the afternoon break, Talin Bingham (Chief Technology Officer) presented the Symphony product roadmap. As reported elsewhere, Enterprise is the upgrade path from EPS/Rooms and e-Library is the replacement OPAC for iBistro/iLink.

The big news from Talin is that Microsoft SQL Server 2005 will become an alternative database option for Symphony 3.3 (which is due 2009), with support for SQL Server 2008 coming afterwards.

One thing that’s always bugged me about iLink/iBistro is that the book title isn’t a clickable link in a set of search results. In the screenshot of e-Library, it looked like that was still the case.

Talin also mentioned that URSA is continued to be developed, but without support for the British Library, it’s a product that has very little relevance to many UK libraries.

I’ve not had chance to upload images from the presentations, but there’s a clutch of photos from the registration and lunch on Flickr:
www.flickr.com/photos/davepattern/tags/14may2008/

sd_0012 sd_0015 sd_0014