Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New Blood and Horizon

We had a new product manager join my group in October. Nathan Guinn is a veteran of other local technology companies (Word Perfect, Novell, and the embedded open source company Lineo Inc.), but he's new blood to us. Having Nathan on board has reminded me how good it is to bring in fresh perspectives, fresh energy, and new ideas from time to time. Nathan is working on the web services offerings we have for SirsiDynix Symphony and for our new Discovery Platform. The Discovery Platform is the technology behind our the SirsiDynix Enterprise product. Enterprise 3.0 uses the Symphony Web Services to get information about real-time item availability.

Looking ahead, there's lots more interaction planned for Enterprise and the Symphony Web Services--account information, hold transactions, authentication... The great thing about the web services, though, is that it's not just SirsiDynix products that will use them. Nathan has also begun working with some of our Strategic Partner Program participants to create new web services for the applications our partners and customers want to build.

We really wanted a fresh set of eyes for that job. Nathan is responsible for looking at the whole world of web services we could build and choosing what to build first.

Nathan is going to be working closely with Ed Riding, the product manager for SirsiDynix Horizon. Ed knows how Horizon works and he understands the customer perspective thoroughly. From his first library job at New York Public through more than 20 years with this company, Ed has humbly kept learning and is never one to shy away from the details. Ed provides background knowledge to balance Nathan's fresh perspective.

Nathan and Ed will be collaborating on web service-based interactions between the Discovery Platform and the Horizon ILS. The Discovery Platform currently harvests bibliographic data from both Symphony and Horizon. Web services give us a way to expand the interaction between the Horizon ILS and Discovery Platform clients like the SirsiDynix Enterprise discovery interface. We want, for example, to give library users real-time availability information from Horizon. It also lets Horizon library users take advantage of everything new we're building into Enterprise. Having Ed and Nathan working together bodes well for the Horizon user experience.

Jared Oates
Director of Product Strategy, Engineering