I always wish that I would put more of my predictions in writing. At least the ones that I ended up being right about. Actually, even being wildly wrong can be fun. Anyway, here’s one I predicted, but the formal announcement is missing some of the details that folks might not be aware of.
SirsiDynix, the seemingly last library vendor on the market without a detailed plan for a “next generation catalog,” has made an OEM agreement with Brainware for a next-generation faceted search solution. The press release is online (pdf). The release is slated for Summer 2008 . . . I’ve been griping that 2007 was hardly “next generation” . . . next summer seems a long way off with all the new interfaces that are coming out all over the place.
Brainware technology will provide innovative fuzzy search, fuzzy logic, dynamic categorization, and other capabilities that will empower information seekers to discover more content from more sources—including libraries’ own catalogs, Z39.50 sources, subscription resources, digital collections, crawled web content, subscription content, and social networking data—than ever before.
SirsiDynix is a little late coming into the game with new interfaces, but Brainware looks like solid technology from a company based in one of the technological hotbeds in Northern Virginia . . . my old stomping grounds.
What the press release doesn’t mention, but which makes the partnership all the more obvious (logical?) is that Brainware is owned by . . . care to guess? Tick-tock, tick-tock . . . that’s right, Vista Equity Partners, the firm that bought SirsiDynix last year. Look here for other potential synergies. I’ll let someone else guess the next one.
In other news . . .
. . . tangentially related to SirsiDynix, the firm’s old CEO, Patrick Sommers, has landed on his feet at Gale Group. Cengage (does that rhyme with 10-gage?) Learning appointed Sommers president of Gale last month.
[This post originally appeared as part of American Libraries’ Hectic Pace Blog and is archived here.]
Any thoughts about how this new partnership with Brainware interrelates with SirsiDynix’s not-quite-as-new partnership with FAST for their enterprise search technology? I had been under the impression that that was where SirsiDynix was working on their next-gen-catalog development.
Memphis Public Library & Information Center
So, if Vista owns Brainware, and Vista spins off SirsiDynix next year, does that mean Brainware comes with us as a pac, or that we reinvent the wheel (again) and have to figure out what to use for a pac after the spinoff? Let’s see, that makes uPortal, LifeRay, Brainware, and we still have nothing for our patrons to use? ????? Maybe the third product is a charm, although, if you count the VAR relationship that was announced about three years ago with Grokker that none of us ever saw, that would make Brainware number #4.
Honestly, Andrew, I think we have a new version of “how many librarians does it take to screw in a lightbulb?” How many PAC products does it take to screw a SirsiDynix customer? :_)
It’s a shame that SirsiDynix’s proud boasts that they have more people in R&D than all the other suppliers added together has yet to produce one even vaguely cutting edge product (excluding the abandoned Horizon 8.0).
Maybe I’m getting cynical in my old age, but there’s nothing in the press release to make me go “oh boy, I can’t wait!”. Some of the features might have been regarded as cutting edge 10 years ago, but not now.
Also, there’s no guarantee that the offspring of an insestuous* relationship will be beautiful or fully functional! 😉
* Sorry, I had to misspell that to get past the blog spam filter!