Ex Libris Acquires Innovative Interfaces

In a move that further consolidates the market for commercial integrated library systems, library services platforms, and other library software solutions, Ex Libris on December 5 announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Innovative Interfaces.

Ex Libris LogoIn a move that further consolidates the market for commercial integrated library systems (ILS), library services platforms (LSP), and other library software solutions, Ex Libris on December 5 announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Innovative Interfaces. Company officials said that Innovative will become a unit of Ex Libris reporting to President Bar Veinstein, and Ex Libris will continue to develop and support Innovative’s portfolio of products, including the Polaris ILS and Sierra LSP. Ex Libris, which had primarily served the academic library market with solutions such as the Alma LSP and Primo Discovery Service, will become a major player in the public library market as well. Terms of the sale, expected to be finalized in early 2020, were not disclosed.

“We see this as a really great move for our customers,” Dvir Hoffman, Corporate VP, Resource Management Solutions, told LJ, emphasizing that both Ex Libris and its parent company, ProQuest, have a history of investing in and growing acquisitions.

“I think we have a very good track record and history of continuing to support and enhance products,” he said. “We acquired Endeavor [in 2006] with Voyager, and we still have customers using Voyager…. And since the acquisition by ProQuest [in 2015], we’ve added Summon together with Primo, and we’re offering both of them…. RapidILL [resource sharing system acquired June 2019] we are continuing to sell and enhance.… This is something that will continue both for our products and the products from Innovative.”

The move may concern those in the field who are uneasy with consolidation among major vendors. Innovative acquired ILS providers Polaris and VTLS in 2014. And in 2015 ProQuest—which had been developing the Intota LSP—acquired Ex Libris.

But Hoffman said that the acquisition will benefit Innovative's existing customers, and present more options for the public library market. Ex Libris will continue investing in Innovative’s products, and current customers will continue to have the same options in the market, adding that the expertise and resources soon available through the combined companies would result in innovation.

The company’s entry into the public library market will also be an opportunity for innovation, Hoffman said.

“We have many customers—consortia—that have a mix of academic and public [library members],” he said. “In the future, we’ll be able to serve them in a much better, new way…. It opens the door for new options for our customers.”

In an announcement, Veinstein said, “we are pleased to continue investing in people and technology that support our customers’ initiatives to shape the future of libraries. Customers of both Ex Libris and Innovative will gain from the companies’ proven record of innovation, greater combined resources, and talent with decades of library domain expertise.”

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Matt Enis

menis@mediasourceinc.com

@MatthewEnis

Matt Enis (matthewenis.com) is Senior Editor, Technology for Library Journal.

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