Innovative Acquires Polaris Library Systems
On March 31, 2014 Innovative acquired Polaris Library Systems, bringing together two of the leading providers of library services platforms to the public library community. The newly combined company will provide Polaris customers with a long term partner in Innovative, which is a global leader in library technology and has been actively investing in people and infrastructure to better serve customers worldwide.
Both companies have always been known for their focus on service and support and the opportunity to learn from each other and combine best practices will ultimately enhance Innovative’s support and offerings to customers worldwide.
Customers will benefit long-term from the pooling of knowledge and expertise of the combined product management and development groups that will bring world-class public library expertise under one roof.
Innovative, led by CEO Kim Massana, now supports an installed base of over 1,000 public library systems establishing it as a leader the public library community. Innovative employs approximately 450 staff located around the world with major offices in Emeryville, CA; Syracuse, NY; Dublin, Ireland; Madrid, Spain; and Noida, India.
A press release announcing the acquisition was issued on April 1, 2014.
Things You Might Want to Know
While we can’t answer all the questions you might have, we’re providing some additional information below.
I see your announcement came out on April 1, is this an April Fool’s joke?
No, this isn’t (although it would have been a good one if it was). Seriously, we had many questions related to the date and whether this was the case. In fact, the date had a lot to do with the end of a financial quarter for both companies and when the agreement could be finalized. While we could have waited until, say April 2, we felt even one day between the closing and the announcement wouldn’t be in the best interest of the many people involved in this news.
Will customers on the Polaris platform be required to move to other Innovative products?
No, customers can choose to remain on the Polaris platform
Who will be providing support to customers on the Polaris platform?
Polaris’s support team has joined Innovative and will continue to provide the highest level of support to customers on the Polaris platform. Support phone numbers will remain the same for customers using Polaris for the time being.
Will Innovative continue to sell the Polaris ILS?
Yes, Innovative will continue to sell and support the Polaris platform.
Will Polaris’s LEAP product be released in 2014?
Yes, LEAP will go forward, and the web-based circulation package will be released later this year.
Will there be a next release of Polaris?
The work on future releases will continue with Polaris v4.1R2 (+ econtent) planned for a Q2 2014 release and another release of Polaris expected later this year.
Will there be a migration path for customers on the Polaris ILS?
Yes. Innovative and Polaris have a shared vision of a cloud-based computing future. Customers on both the Sierra/Millennium and Polaris platforms will have a smooth path to a next-generation unified platform.
What are the benefits of the acquisition for Polaris customers?
The newly combined company will provide Polaris customers with a long term partner in Innovative, which is a global leader in library technology and has been investing in people and infrastructure to improve service to customers and strengthen its position worldwide.
And there are new opportunities for Polaris customers. For example, sharing/borrowing functionality will be enhanced for Polaris customers through tighter integration with Innovative’s INN-Reach unmediated consortial borrowing system. Polaris customers will also benefit long-term from the pooling of knowledge and expertise of the combined product management and development groups that will bring world-class public library expertise under one roof.
What are the benefits of the acquisition for Innovative customers?
Innovative customers will likewise benefit from the pooling of knowledge and expertise. Polaris has always been known for its focus on service and support and we look forward to combining two great service organizations and learning from each other, ultimately enhancing support to Innovative customers worldwide.
Sierra customers will be able to take advantage of the web-based circulation functionality in Polaris’s LEAP when it is incorporated into Sierra later this year.
What role will current Polaris management have in the new company?
Bill Schickling, former Polaris President and CEO, will remain with Innovative as VP, Public Library Products, leveraging his deep knowledge of the library community.
The remainder of the Polaris executive team will join the Innovative management group in various roles and Polaris’s current Syracuse, New York office will be retained and serve as one of Innovative’s centers of operations, along with Emeryville, California, Dublin, Ireland, and Noida, India.
I am a Polaris library. Who will I be working with going forward?
For most of the Polaris libraries, you won’t see a difference over the next few months. We’re working hard to keep the customer service and sales organization operating smoothly. We’ll proactively keep you informed if there are any changes as we move forward.
Will I still have access to the Polaris Customer Supportal?
Yes. For the immediate future, you shouldn’t see any changes in your support experience.
How can I keep informed of the progress the company is making during the transition?
We’ll be updating our customers in several ways. Over the short term, we’ll be updating this web page as we respond to questions and begin the process of integrating the two companies. In addition, Kim Massana will be providing updates in his blog CEO INN-Sights. All Innovative customers (including the new Polaris customers) will receive Innovative’s monthly newsletter, INN-Brief. If you would like to make sure you are on our email list, email us at email@example.com and we’ll be happy to add you.