Meeting Ex Libris in Budapest
End of March 2015 the IGeLU Steering Committee came to Budapest, the location of our coming conference, not only to meet the highly motivated local organizing team but – as usual in-between the conferences – also the top management of Ex Libris, Matti Shem-Tov (CEO) and Yair Amsterdam (COO) to discuss any matters of mutual interest.
Here the most important topics from the meeting:
ALMA User Interface:
The Alma PWG reported lengthy discussion with the Product Manager about the need for Alma users to smoothen the work in Alma. The Steering Committee and Ex Libris agreed that a thorough workflow analysis needs to be done to improve the ergonomic of work in Alma.
Ex Libris agreed that a professional interface designer also needs to be involved and the Alma PWG will suggest members for a focus group representing IGeLU and ELUNA to work with Ex Libris on this task.
ALMA Digital roadmap
Ex Libris outlined its Alma-D strategy and will present a more detailed roadmap at the ELUNA conference in May. In this context we also discussed how research data, a topic more and more important for libraries, fit into Ex Libris’s development strategy. Ex Libris recognizes very well the importance of research data and is highly interested in further discussions and cooperation with the user groups.
Knowledge Bases, KBAB initiative
The Steering Committee expressed the need of the user community to learn more about the relationship and the structure of the Knowledge Bases (especially Alma and SFX) and asked for relevant staff from Ex Libris to work with us to make this more transparent and also to have a platform for possible suggestions of improvements. The plan is to revitalize the KBAB group (Knowledge Bases Advisory Board) where members from the SFX and Alma PWGs shall be involved.
Ex Libris kindly agreed and the PWGs were asked by the Steering Committee to reinstall this group as soon as possible. The KBAB group should also conduct the CKBs voting, whereas the Alma and SFX Knowledge Base voting shall be combined. This agreement will finally give Alma users the chance to vote for additions to the CKB, a desire the Alma PWG has been advocating for very hard last year.
Primo SaaS / Primo Direct / Primo Local
The Primo PWG reported about the new strategy of Ex Libris to concentrate on the SaaS environment.
The Steering committee can’t accept that new functions are offered only to Primo SaaS customers and regrets that the consequences of this new strategy – in respect to the future possibilities of user’s own developments and the delivery of new functions – were not well communicated to the user community. Ex Libris regrets the insufficient communication and understands that the new strategy needs to be thoroughly reconsidered.
To overcome this situation Ex Libris suggested to come back to us with a proposal for an adjusted policy to be discussed in a face to face meeting of user group representatives with the Product Managers and Development. When done, the adjusted policy should be well communicated to the user community. In spite of the tough discussion we were very pleased to find Ex Libris open for change and a closer cooperation with the user groups on this important issue.
Primo Central Index voting
Because of the great user participation in the PCI voting the Primo PWG asked to have two instead of only one voting round per year. Also here Ex Libris immediately agreed so that a second round of PCI voting will take place end of the year.
User Voice: a new initiative of Ex Libris
We discussed also the new communication channel Ex Libris plans to introduce to get quick feedback from the users. The discussions are not completed yet and we will inform you as soon as the final decision is made.
We were again very pleased by the traditionally open and pleasant atmosphere of the meeting that is highly valued by both, the Steering Committee and Ex Libris.
Jirka Kende, IGeLU Chair