4 March 2011
'Capita Software Services today announces the acquisition of Talis Information Limited ('TIL'), a provider of library management software, for £18.5 million.
The software enables libraries managed by local authorities and higher education institutions to manage their lending process and resources such as books, journals and DVDs. It will also give library users access to rich bibliographic catalogues held by other libraries, such as The British Library or the US Library of Congress, and place orders for inter-library loans where possible.' ' For a useful brief summary and overview of the acquisition see ''Talis exits the library automation industry to focus on the Semantic Web'. By Breeding, Marshall. Library Technology Guides March 4, 2011
Abstract: 'In a move that allows Talis to concentrate on its growing semantic web business which has been its strategic focus in recent years, the company has divested its library automation unit to Capita Group, a large UK-based outsourcing company. Talis Information Limited, a business unit of Talis Group has been acquired by Capita Group, in a transaction valued at about $32 million dollars that closed on March 3, 2011. Capita Group ranks as one of the largest UK companies specializing in business process outsourcing and professional services'.
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Though the focus of its business is in the UK, Talis has been a vocal proponent of Web 2.0 technologies, with frequent appearances in the United States. Over the last 4 years Talis has been undergoing a major change programme to position itself as much more than UK & Ireland based LMS provider. It now has global ambitions and characterises itself as an ‘innovative technology company expert at managing semantically rich metadata and in delivering software and services for information management.
In February Talis was reconstructed and the owners (BLCMP Ltd and an Employee Benefit Trust) voted to transfer ownership to a new company called Talis Group. Talis Information Limited is now wholly owned by Talis Group. The shareholders of Talis Group are the company staff and the local authority and academic institutions (around 60) that had previously been members of BLCMP.
Talis now presents itself in two parts. The first is ‘Applications’ and comprises the LMS products and services part of the business. The second, ‘Platform’ business, is devoted to thepromotion and development of the Talis Platform. ‘Using Semantic Web technologies coupled with advanced indexing and fast searching, any type of unstructured or semi-structured data can be managed by the Talis Platform and made available to share, remix and reuse. Developers have access to a wide range of open web services that use standard protocols and formats to dramatically reduce the complexity and cost of application development’.
Revenues (UK and Ireland) £6.7m.
Has managed a transition to a revamped product without much loss of customers. It is using its ‘platform approach’ to reinvigorate its product line and make all new offering available to customers of other LMS vendors.
Provides the ‘Talis Additions’ Framework to work with partners. Takes an open best of breed approach.
Has a sound UK and Ireland based LMS business but this provides limited growth opportunities. |it plans to grow by employing innovatory technology (its platform) globally.
Has a strong record of customer retention and it has updated its legacy LMS and is now positioning itself as having a range of products to offer to non Talis LMS customers.
String marketing of innovation especially around its ‘platform’ offering (http://www.talis.com/platform/ ). Much of the innovation has been in its new open style of engaging with the library community via events, blogs, forums and a developer network It is making some products/components available as Open Source.