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Market overview


Capita disposse of education software business** [This includes the Capita library businesses]

Capita plc announced (14th December 2020) that it has agreed to sell its Education Software Solutions (‘ESS’) business (inc its library systems businesses) to Tiger UK Bidco Limited, a newly formed company established by funds advised by Montagu Private Equity (‘Montagu’), in a deal that values ESS at up to £400m.

Capita prepares to dispose of education software business [This includes the Capita library businesses]

9th June 2020 Press Release

Capita notes recent media speculation regarding a potential disposal of Education Software Solutions (“ESS”).

Following a strategic review of our Software division over the past year, we made a decision to focus on a portfolio of core software capabilities which are better aligned with and support our consulting, transformation and digital BPO services, and the vertical markets of the rest of the Group.We will retain software assets that are catalysts for growing our other services – and plan to dispose of standalone software products that have little overlap or cross-sell with the rest of Capita, such as ESS.We can today confirm that we are preparing to sell ESS, a standalone provider of management information system (MIS) software for the education sector. A further announcement will be made in due course when appropriate.As part of this broader review of our software capability, we have today made a separate announcement that we have agreed the sale of Eclipse Legal Systems (“Eclipse”), a standalone legal process software product, to Access UK Limited for £56.5m. Proceeds from the sale of Eclipse will be used to strengthen the Group’s balance sheet.

Further disposals of standalone software product businesses will be considered in due course as part of the strategic review of the Software division

ProQuest/Innovative Interfaces makes the Polaris library system available for UK public libraries

See Marshall Breeding's Library Technology Guide for more on Polaris

Press Release: “EMERYVILLE, Calif. May 14, 2020 – Innovative, a ProQuest company and leading global provider of library software, today announced that the Polaris integrated library system (ILS), which is the leading solution for public libraries in North America, is now available in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. Polaris currently serves over 600 public libraries and consortia of all sizes in the United States and Canada”.

Polaris is complemented by the innovative new BIBFRAME-based Vega platform, which provides a modern, responsive and accessible public interface, and next-generation public engagement tools. At the same time, library staff can work anywhere, any time, and on any device, using Polaris Leap and the Innovative mobile app for public library users completes the picture for users who prefer apps.

Market overviews

Trends in the library technology market – A UK perspectiveKen Chad. CILIP Buyers Guide. February 2021. Ken Chad analyses the underlying issues and trends that are shaping library technology with a focus on public libraries and libraries in higher education (HE). It concludes that libraries need new approaches to technology to support changed needs. It addresses themes such as community engagement for public libraries and new solutions for research and teaching and learning in HE. Many current library systems vendors are mired in supporting legacy LMSs that hamper them in delivering the transformative approach needed. Only those that can deliver new higher value solutions will thrive in the longer term

2021 Library Systems Report. Advancing library technologies in challenging times.
By Marshall Breeding 3 May 2021

From the report: “Solidifying a consolidated industry
Business acquisitions spanning multiple decades have consolidated the library technology industry into one dominated by a handful of large companies. Organizations such as EBSCO Information Services, Follett, OCLC, and ProQuest have assembled diverse portfolios of products, some of which complement other content offerings and services not covered in this report. These organizations are massive: EBSCO Information Services employs 2,852 globally. Across its businesses, ProQuest has a workforce of 2,740—including 1,461 employed at the parent company and the rest via subsidiaries including Bowker, Ex Libris, and Innovative. Follett, with $3 billion in revenue in 2020, employs 1,758 (including its subsidiaries). OCLC reports 1,238 total personnel. The remaining organizations that participated in this report employ a combined total of 1,316 people, reflecting the economic clout of the top tier.”

2020 Library Systems Report Fresh opportunities amid consolidation
By Marshall Breeding American Libraries 1st May 2020

“The library technology industry took some significant turns in 2019. Ex Libris, a ProQuest company, acquired Innovative Interfaces and shifted the balance of power, strengthening Ex Libris’s position in technology for academic libraries and propelling it as a major player in public libraries. This move narrows the slate of competitors in an industry already offering few viable options for many libraries”.

See also Marshall Breeding's Library Technology Guides dashboardwhich brings together data, trends, news, and other resources

UK library system vendors - market share July 2019


Library system vendors for UK public libraries

Axiell UK



Innovative Interfaces


PTFS Europe


Overviews of the library technology market

Library Systems Report 2019Cycles of innovation By Marshall Breeding American Libraries 1 May 2019

From the report:

“The library technology industry, broadly speaking, shows more affinity toward utility than innovation. Library automation systems are not necessarily exciting technologies, but they are workhorse applications that must support the complex tasks of acquiring, describing, and providing access to materials and services. They represent substantial investments, and their effectiveness is tested daily in the library. But more than efficiency is at stake: These products must be aligned with the priorities of the library relative to collection management, service provision, and other functions.

Outdated automation systems can reinforce work patterns that no longer reflect priorities as core library activities change

One key focus of development for ILS products for the last few years has been upgrading web-based interfaces on software applications installed on library personnel computers. The maintenance of staff-facing clients has been a longstanding pain for libraries using ILS products. The transition to web interfaces is long overdue and unfortunately consumes much of the development capacity of the vendors at the expense of creating new functionality or services.

One of the key concerns for public libraries is whether they are poised to enter a disruptive cycle of innovation or if the current pattern of incremental advance­ment will continue.

All of the ILS products in the established public library market are based on aging internal architectures.

Library Systems Report 2018**
New technologies enable an expanded vision of library services. By Marshall Breeding American Libraries. May 1, 2018.

“Technologies that focus on supporting traditional library services no longer meet the needs of libraries that wish to strengthen their involvement in new service areas.

Public libraries seek technologies that improve engagement with their communities. These libraries value reliable and feature-rich automation systems, and they are especially drawn to those that help them deliver compelling digital services. Basic library resource management and discovery capabilities no longer differentiate competitors in this market of mature products.

Change will be relentless. By Ken Chad. CILIP Update September 2012

“If you are in the market for library systems, what should you be looking for? Needs vary across sectors: corporate, legal, public, school, college, and university – and circumstances differ between individual organisations. Nevertheless, there are enduring similarities between libraries and these are reflected in the market for library systems. The library management system – LMS (or, in US parlance, the integrated library system – ILS) remains the core system for many libraries. However, the weakness of the conventional LMS in terms of managing electronic resources means it is diminishing in importance.The article looks at the key technology themes influencing library system development.

Perceptions 2017: An International Survey of Library Marshall Breeding Library Technology Guides. March 17, 2018.

“Some interesting themes can be seen in the analysis of this year's survey results. Large libraries of all types have complex requirements and evaluate their systems on a much harsher scale than smaller organizations. Conventional integrated library systems dominate public libraries, with top scores going to proprietary products in the largest tier and to those based on commercially supported open source software in the mid-size category. Small and very small public libraries also favored proprietary ILS products. In the academic library sector, survey results reveal interesting patterns regarding the newer generation of library services platforms. These products received strong marks in most categories but are perceived as less capable for managing print resources than legacy ILS products. Small libraries give superlative scores to products able to meet their basic requirements without complex features they don't need”

Library Systems Report 2014: Competition and strategic cooperation**. By Marshall Breeding. 15 April 2014

From the article:

“The library technology industry saw sharp competition in 2013, with a wide range of products vying to fulfill ever-rising expectations. To better position themselves for this critical period during which many libraries are considering options for their next phase of technology, a significant number of major vendors worked to extend their global reach, streamline internal organizations, and complete ambitious product developments. Competition has intensified for the applications used by library personnel to manage the collections and automate their operations, including the new generation of library services platforms as well as enhanced integrated library systems. Discovery services continue as a major area of activity, seen by libraries as especially critical given their intimate connections with customers, serving as one of the main delivery vehicles for access to collections and services”

Value of the market in 2013

From the article: “We estimate the 2013 library technology economy, including the total domestic and international revenues of all the companies with a significant presence in the US and Canada, at around $790 million, an increase of just more than 2% relative to last year’s estimate of $770 million. US revenues of these companies total around $485 million. We continue to estimate the global library technology industry aggregate revenues at around $1.8 billion, which would also include RFID and other self-service products in addition to the technologies related to library management and resource discovery. Within these broad industry figures, each experienced a varying range of increases or losses in revenue”.

market_overview.txt · Last modified: 2021/11/11 14:55 by