Wednesday, 23 October 2013

COSA User Conference 2013 & SirsiDynix’s Adelaide Visit

COSA (Customers of SirsiDynix Australasia) is an independent user group for sites using one of SirsiDynix's integrated library systems (Symphony, Unicorn, Horizon and Dynix Classic). The group holds an annual conference, organised in conjunction with SirsiDynix, to allow the user community to exchange knowledge and ideas as well as facilitate networking and training opportunities.

The COSA User Conference
was held in Melbourne, 8 – 11 October 2013 and attended by various staff from the Network including Jo Freeman, Lyal Mutton and James Kemperman (all PLS); Kathy Haese (Onkaparinga); Craig Basford and Jo Cooper (both Charles Sturt); Rob Lee and Aaron Bridge (both Marion); and Brendan Murphy (Mitcham). 
Here’s a summary of the conference highlights:
  • PLS met with the SirsiDynix SaaS (“Software as a Service”) team and toured the Melbourne data centre with the head of SirsiDynix global support Scott Wheelhouse. We received a better understanding of the logical setup of the SA Consortium’s environments across the physical hardware and where possible limitations may be. SirsiDynix and PLS are continuing to work together in this area to ensure it continues to meet our business requirements
  • The new BLUECloud Analytics product will be out in early 2014 and it sounds and looks very good. It is based on the Web Reporter technology, as opposed to the Directors Station technology, and will use live data which won’t affect the performance of the LMS, as it will be using MS Cubes and will just synchronise the small delta changes after the one off initial synchronisation has been done. It will provide micro detail, versatility, SQL query, and highly customisable and deliverable reporting, and will be able to pull in data from any source to report on it
  • BLUECloud Analytics will incorporate usage data from all SirsiDynix products too, e.g. Facebook Social library app, BookMyne, Enterprise, etc. will all be able to be reported on. We spent some one on one time with Nathan Guinn, the head of SirsiDynix Analytics, to understand the ins and outs of this product and how it can help our business requirements and current challenges. This product will be rolled out in tiers, tier 1 replacing Directors Station functionality, tier 2 replacing Web Reporter functionality and tier 3 incorporating the new data elements
  • The new platform for the SirsiDynix BLUECloud products looks very promising. It is all built on Web Services and Service Oriented Architecture and delivered via the global Amazon Web Services highly scalable and redundant infrastructure; and for our data this will be housed in the APAC (Asia Pacific) region
  • eResource Central looks like it will add minimal value to our existing setup in its first release, however from v1.2/1.3 more vendor ‘My Account’ information will be incorporated, making the user experience much more seamless. Currently the customer is still bounced out to the 3rd party vendor system to do the transaction. But in time this product looks like it will be great. The NZ consortium Kotui is trialling this at present and we are in touch with them to see how this progresses and so how it might work with our consortium
  • Universal Admin looks like it will be a great help at the PLS consortium admin level so cannot wait for this one. Currently many details are required to be recreated from the LMS into all other products. Universal admin, in time, should alleviate a lot of this and so save some admin time
  • Enterprise/Portfolio has its v5 release scheduled for early 2014 and the SA Consortium will be moving to this one next. This will fix some of the lingering hit list sort issues which still remain from v4.3. This release will coincide with the Symphony SP4 release
  • Meeting with the Swift and Kotui consortia at the conference and discussing specific challenges for large consortia was very valuable. We have a good working relationship with these consortia and this benefits us all.  Kathy Haese found discussions with Kotui and Swift particularly interesting as they don’t share the customer database, and Kotui doesn’t even share item types which from a systems perspective brings huge challenges to maintaining the system. It really cemented to her that the SA Consortium’s approach in configuring default rules was innovative and will serve us well in the long term
  • The one on one time with each of the product heads over from SirsiDynix Utah was very valuable and helped to further strengthen our working relationships with them which in turn helps us to achieve some of our business requirements
  • We also saw the demo from SirsiDynix of their new Cash receipt module in WorkFlows Symphony SP4, which will track and manage taking cash over the counter at libraries. This will also update the users’ Symphony account with any bill payment they make over the counter

SirsiDynix’s Adelaide Visit

SirsiDynix staff who attend the COSA Conference always take the opportunity to meet some of their Australian customers in their libraries in the days following the conference.
Ranny Lacanienta Director of Product Strategy for SirsiDynix visited Adelaide. He was able to spend some time with PLS and also attended an LMS Systems Group meeting, at which he presented Sirsi’s forthcoming product, Mobile Circ.  His presentation was very well received.
Ranny also visited Onkaparinga Libraries and participated in a helpful discussion around the database and the non-matching of duplicate records such as DVDs and the associated costs from a library perspective such as printing of transit slips as well as the cost of transporting items.
These visits provided a great opportunity for Network staff to hear more information about Sirsi’s product plans and an opportunity for Ranny to hear feedback from ‘at the coalface’ customers to factor into Sirsi’s future product planning.

And given the hospitality that Sirsi Dynix have shown to Kathy H on her visits the least she could do was host Ranny to a round of golf while he was here.

James Kemperman
ICT Systems Administrator
Public Library Services
Kathy Haese
LMS System Administrator
Public Library Services

Ranny hitting the Flagstaff Hill Golf Course following a busy day of customer visits

Ranny at the beach for dinner with Geoff and Kathy. Living in Utah, Ranny doesn't get to the beach often!

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