The first week of December saw big developments in the Wyoming State Library’s WYLD office, as it moved the statewide Integrated Library System (ILS) from locally-managed servers to a SaaS (Software as a Service) arrangement where the system is hosted by SirsiDynix.
“In a nutshell, we’ve managed the servers for the ILS here in Cheyenne for several decades,” said Desiree Saunders, WYLD Office Manager. “What’s happening now is that all those same services are still available, but the hardware is maintained by SirsiDynix offsite.”
The SirsiDynix Symphony ILS supports library management functions such as circulation, cataloging, serials, and acquisitions. Library patrons can search WYLDCAT online to find materials anywhere in the state, manage their library accounts, and view digital content like ebooks.
The migration took place from December 4-6, with a small amount of disruption in library services.
“We’re very pleased with the way the project was handled by SirsiDynix,” Desiree said. “We didn’t detect any kind of data problems with the transfer. We had a few glitches, which you’d expect with a project like this, but overall, we’re happy with the outcome. Services are on a par with what they were.”
Why make the change? An evolving business model and aging servers were the primary considerations. SirsiDynix has been moving toward a SaaS model; currently, two-fifths of their global customer base uses the company’s “cloud” services, including nearly all new customers. In addition, the WSL’s servers were nearing the end of their useful life, and replacement was estimated at $200,000.
Desiree said discussions and planning for this transition began two years ago. “SirsiDynix has been promoting SaaS to their customers for more than five years, but we felt because of WYLD’s size and complexity that we needed to wait until the technology was more mature,” she said. “The impetus was really the need to go with SaaS or buy new servers. It just made more and more sense.”
The switch means that the WYLD Network will never again have to plan for the purchase of new servers. WSL staff will also no longer have the responsibility for maintaining servers with upgrades, patches, or replacement parts. Moving to SaaS also gives the WYLD Network peace of mind where security and network integrity are concerned. In addition, it will free up valuable State Library staff time for other priorities.
Now that the migration is complete, patrons will see no difference on their end. Library staff use the same software as before, with the only change being the address of the server.