Thursday, May 14, 2009

Roadtrip Success: The Roadmap

So. Spring is finally making a convincing appearance around here and the kids are counting down the days until the pool’s open, school’s out, and most exciting, the possibility of a road trip looms. That brings us to a key element in road trip success: the roadmap.

Anyone remember my second favorite Far Side cartoon? It features the “Rand McNally Situation Room”, with the premise that geographical boundaries and countries were changing so rapidly that the map needed constant review and updating in order to be accurate even for a day. A great analogy for what’s going on in libraries and at SirsiDynix these days. We still need a roadmap, but thinking of the roadmap as anything but a living entity that encompasses change isn’t going to cut it.

SirsiDynix and more than 700 of our customers traveled to Dallas in April for the 2009 Intersection Joint Conference. Attendees shared ideas, innovations, tips and tricks and best practices not only for use of SirsiDynix software but also for identifying and meeting community needs with a full pallet of tools and creativity. SirsiDynix presented our 2009 roadmap, also available to customers on the Client Care Portal. Re: the situation room, the roadmap had already been influenced and updated between when we prepared it internally and when we discussed it at the Conference.

Early this year, SirsiDynix initiated a new program that supports our Engineering group taking 10% of their work time to focus on innovations which may then be approved for formal development. The first phase of this program was informed by the impressive iPhoneApp DC Public introduced earlier this year that takes advantage of Apple’s iPhone development kit and SirsiDynix Symphony APIs to allow users to search DC Public’s catalog, place holds for materials, and easily get directions from where they are standing to any DC Public Branch. During Intersection, SirsiDynix announced plans for a broader set of mobile applications designed to allow everything from more efficient mobile access for end users to one stop business intelligence for library managers.

The roadmap will no doubt continue mutating more rapidly than ever to reflect what’s going on in the larger world of technology. One thing I appreciate as we participate in this type of change is that we’re starting with a lot of there there: a full set of feature rich modules, a long-established, international Software as a Service strategy, and customers around the world who share their techniques for expanding the system by taking advantage of the APIs, support for standards, and of course the magic ingredient: elbow grease.

Back to the iPhone apps and the road trip: my kids did manage to call up a map from St. Louis to a DC Public branch and immediately advocated a road trip to see their cousins in the Bethesda area. This summer we’ll do some work on the distance/time concept!


Take care,
Berit
VP of Product Development

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