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Re: ERM software question Chad Hutchens (06 Oct 2008 17:28 UTC)

Re: ERM software question Chad Hutchens 06 Oct 2008 17:28 UTC

I don't have any experience with III's ERM (I have used their Java ILS
client though), but have used SS's products for a number of years now.
Their ERM is OK.  In my opinion, it has more drawbacks than advantages,
that's just my opinion though and maybe it will improve over time.  The
interface is pretty clunky if you asked me...way too many click-throughs and
it's not intuitive (not that most ILS clients are either).

I have a few specific bones to pick with SS's ERM...and hopefully they're
listening :)  SS is pretty good about implementing changes that their
customers want.

First, the reporting is very limited.  One can't get a simple list of all
the resources purchased in one fiscal year with their respective costs.  A
basic spreadsheet can do more in terms of reporting than their ERM, sadly
enough.  Additionally, since their system (at least in the past) won't talk
to most ILS's, you can't import your cost data into the ERM.  They're
working on this and apparently trying to get it to work with Voyager and III
but the jury is still out.  We're trying to get it to work on our system
(Voyager) right now.  There's a thread about it in the SS forum section if
you're a client and have access to that.  If this ends up working, it'll be
a major improvement.  What I'd like to avoid are the silo'd systems that
won't talk to each other that has plagued the profession for years so there
is merit in having an ERM that will talk to your ILS (i.e. III's if you have
Millenuim).

Second, there is no way to import data into their system (if you've got it
in say, a tab delimited format from a locally grown database that your
library has been using for a few years).  Likewise, once you've got it into
their system you can't get it out either.  Which means, if you decide to
switch systems at some point in the future, you'll have to re-key all of it.

Third, it'd be REALLY nice if SS would release an API (or another way to
query) for their ERM.  Once you've got the data in the ERM (which is half
the battle), I'd like a way to display what I want where I want.  For
instance, my ILL dept needs info that we have in the SS ERM and they need it
fast, but it takes so long to get into each resource display that they won't
use it.  So, instead of being able to pull the relevant ILL info from our
ERM (via an API or by SQL query), I'm having to rekey all of it in an
external application.  To add insult to injury, I can't even dump what we've
got in the ERM into a spreadsheet and manipulate the data from there.  Like
I said, reporting is very, very limited.

I don't want to be entirely negative about their product because it does
have some good features and functionality.  Some nice features that they're
working on with their ERM...the cost combined with statistics use data as
well as the cost data upload feature are two examples.

Obviously, each library has their own needs...for us, these are the things
we want and need.  I don't think we're all that unique in terms of what
functions we expect out of an ERM though.  Hopefully all of this will help
someone make an informed decision and help SS improve their product. ;)

--
Chad Hutchens
Electronic Resources Librarian
University of Wyoming Libraries
Dept 3334, 1000 E University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071-20000
Ph: (307) 766-5560

> From: "Cole, Louise" <Louise.Cole@KINGSTON.AC.UK>
> Reply-To: "SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum"
> <SERIALST@LIST.UVM.EDU>
> Date: Mon, 6 Oct 2008 16:21:28 +0100
> To: "SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum" <SERIALST@LIST.UVM.EDU>
> Subject: Re: [SERIALST] ERM software question
>
> Well, I've got experience of both III's ERM and SerialsSolutions's 360
> Resource Manager, and of setting up and exploiting both of them for
> local use.  Here are my thoughts.
>
> Ease of use.  Both very good.  III's ERM is integrated into the LMS and
> the OPAC, etc so clearly that has an edge over a separate system.  And
> if you don't use their CASE knowledge base you need to create and
> maintain your own - OK if you can get to grips with uploading csv files
> and have somewhere to store back copies.
>
> Maintaining titles and databases.  Both good, although SerialsSolutions
> could score less because it takes 24 hours to effect any changes, more
> if you use their MARC records service and/or the title needs to be added
> to their knowledge base.
>
> Ability to note and annotate.  Both about the same.  III has the ability
> to add notes into the OPAC; SerialsSolutions can do this with MARC
> records.
>
> Ability to set up staff alerts.  III is slightly better as they can be
> more easily configured at any level, database, order, title.  But
> SerialsSolutions 360 Resource Manager can do lots of good things as
> well.
>
> Ability to add new content.  III scores slightly higher as brief records
> can be uploaded into the OPAC instantly.  With SerialsSolutions you have
> to wait 14 or 28 days for MARC record updates to happen, or even longer
> if a title is not yet in their knowledge base.
>
> I can see the pros and cons of both solutions.  I quite like the freedom
> of being able to be in control of your own knowledge base - but can see
> the pitfalls and staff time of having to maintain it.  But it is also
> good to have a back-up like the SerialsSolutions support center who
> might be able to fix things you couldn't yourself.
>
> I do think it depends on what else you have in place - for example, when
> I used III's solution we purchased it along with a suite of other
> products (proxy server, link resolver) all linked to the LMS.  Now with
> SerialsSolutions we have a link resolver and cross search alongside it
> (which are very good) but a separate proxy solution.
>
> Louise
>
>
> Louise Cole
> Senior Information Advisor (Collections)
> Nightingale Centre, Kingston Hill Campus
> Kingston University
> Kingston upon Thames
> Surrey
> KT2 7LB
>
> Email louise.cole@kingston.ac.uk
> Telephone 020 8417 5383
> Fax 020 8417 5312
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum
> [mailto:SERIALST@list.uvm.edu] On Behalf Of Janice Ouellette
> Sent: 06 October 2008 15:54
> To: SERIALST@LIST.UVM.EDU
> Subject: Re: [SERIALST] ERM software question
>
> Hi all,
> By all means, please share comments to this list! I have been asked to
> 'investigate' this same question and I don't want to 're-invent the
> wheel!'
> Jan
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum
> [mailto:SERIALST@list.uvm.edu] On Behalf Of John Rasel
> Sent: Monday, October 06, 2008 10:02 AM
> To: SERIALST@LIST.UVM.EDU
> Subject: [SERIALST] ERM software question
>
> Hello folks,
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> I have been asked to evaluate a few of the Electronic resource
> management tools currently on the market for potential use in our
> library.  So far, I've looked at SerialsSolutions and their pile of 360
> options, Ebsco's A-Z, and III's ERM.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> What I would really like are the opinions of these products from any
> users who subscribe to this listserv.  What is your overall impression
> of the software?  Is there anything you wish it did but can't?  Were
> there any problems after purchase (for example, were you unable to do
> something with the product you were told you could?)  Are there any
> features you absolutely love about them?
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> We would really love to be able to do are things like an overlap
> analysis of our serials, whether they are in microform, print, or
> electronically.  So far, Serials Solutions is the only one to claim that
> such a feature is possible.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> If those of you with ERM software would be willing, I would greatly
> appreciate the opinions of those library workers who actually use these
> tools, as opposed to taking the word of a vendor straightaway.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> My thanks,
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> John
>
>
>
>
>
> John T. Rasel
> Graduate Programs Librarian
> Capital University
> 1 College and Main
>
> Columbus, OH  43209-2394
> Phone: (614) 236-6352
>
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