Tuesday, October 30, 2007

MNIUG - WALDO and Open Source ILS

John Stromquist represented WALDO which is the Westchester Academic Library Directors Organization. It is a multi-type consorutim, member driven, with library directors on the board. They focus on procurement. Incorporated, non-profit organization. All staff are contract staff and they have no physical office. They have 13 full members (who share an ILS), and 11 associate members (a shared union catalog). 400 limited members who are academic, and 400 plus public or special libraries.

WALDO arranges for partnerships including 9 New York Regional Library councils along with Connecticut, Rhode Island systems and academic networks in New Hampshire and New Jersey.

Provide overhead and management of procurement for members. Pass through all negotiated discounts. They add 5% administrative fee on the net price. There are 55 vendor contracts with over 1600 products. Annual growth over 25% ANNUALLY since 2000.

John discussed the history of WALDO, which used the MnSCU PALS system and was hosted at Westchester County and then at Mankato State. It was user governed, librarian managed, and had source code access.

Needed to leave Minnesota based system and had to create a new system. Old RFP system had massive meetings, choose a winner, and then try to negotiate a contract. So a new process was used. They assessed the marketplace for the top 2 or 3 vendors, interview current customers, and begin to negotiate contracts with top two vendors (ExLibris and Endeavor). Included provision to re-open negotiations with two years left (August 1, 2007). WALDO is completely uninterested in mastering technology. They have always purchased service. Negotiated a 5-year agreement. They began in January 2007 to look for a credible alternative to the current vendor.

That is when they began to look at open source ILS including the Georgia PINES system. They created a set of service requirements. Functionality of current system needed to be maintained. It had to be hosted, full software maintenance, and applications, plus a 24 x 7 help desk. They then created a 4 person technical exploration committee. They started with LibLime (KohaZoom) and Equinox's Evergreen. They found some missing academic functions, but in other areas had more that what they currently had.

John had some interesting perspectives on the legacy system vendors and the zero sum game which now exists in the library market place. He noted that III is the one financially sound legacy vendor. He wonders what will happen to the market as KohaZoom and Equinox get more market share. He outlined the full decision-making process. There was a detailed visit and process for looking at the system. They negotiated, and checked with other independent users on costs. Last month, they negotiated the final terms of the contract. On October 9, all concerned members agreed in writing to commit in principle.

WALDO got fixed pricing terms over the 5 year period. No annual increases, including everything in the price book. One-time implementation charges were spread evenly over the term. One-time development could be spread over the first three years. New orders have a 5% annual cap. There is a complicated multiple volume discount. All costs are included: migration, start-up, training, hosting, etc.

Core projects $282,000
Supplemental $210,000 [formerly known as "wish list"]
Contingency $200,000 [if not spent, will go to ILL system]

Total $692,000

Some items are currently being developed by others, and even the ILL may be developed by someone else, and therefore even that money may be saved. "You have to hang loose."

You have to support development. They have created an ongoing development fund. The funds collected may exceed a million dollars or more a year. 70% is earmarked for open source development, 25% earmarked for staff support, 5% is earmarked for training and education.

The project is scheduled to be completed in summer 2008. St. John's University (the largest member) is willing to stick its neck out, and do the pilot production. LibLime has signed a hold harmless, walk away contract. As a vendor trying to get into the academic market. They expect that the final migration will occur in the fall of 2008 and spring of 2009.

For the first three years of the contract, they will pay 20% of the one time implementation costs and 33% of one time development costs. Over the first three years, there is a break-even or minor savings. The savings in years 4-5 are 32% or more. After that the savings rise to 58%, for the largest library it is actually 88%.

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