Arrghhhhh – Change!

I’m sure Stephen Abram posted his “Change — Arrghhhhh!” article with all of the best intentions in the world, but unfortunately it’s not gone down well with some of the customers…

I assure you, most of us handle change quite well and if none of us wanted major change we wouldn’t be upset about the decision to trash 8.0. In fact, we have asked, begged and demanded change for years and we finally thought we were about to get some. Instead that long awaited “change” has once again been flushed down the toilet.

I was reminded of a stern grownup telling a child that he must take his cod liver oil, because it’s good for him. And I might, if I thought the New Improved Cod Liver Oil had distinct advantages over the old cod liver oil I’ve been taking for years. Problem is, I’m not convinced.

…an incredibly insulting commentary

I also think the article on change has to rate as one of the most offensive and tasteless exercises in corporate public relations ever done.

I must admit that when I read the article, my initial reaction was “what on earth was Stephen thinking when he wrote it?”. Anyway, with a quick shrug of the shoulders, I went back to doing some more coding on the Solr OPAC and the subsequent release of endorphins made me feel much happier! 🙂
I’d definitely be interested to know what some of the Unicorn sites thought of the article.

6 thoughts on “Arrghhhhh – Change!”

  1. If you remove the context of who Stephen Abram is, and who he represents, I think this is quite a thoughtful piece about the nature of change, and how it affects us emotionally. I think the big LIS vendors are really worried about the future – I think they don’t really know if they are going to be around in ten years time.

  2. I think it would have certainly made a good informal blog post for Stephen, but this is the company’s formal and official “monthly e-newsletter for the worldwide SirsiDynix community”.
    Given recent event, I suspect some of their customers are also worried that SirsiDynix won’t be around in ten years time too!!!
    I’m sure all will become clearer in the fullness of time, but I’m still struggling to understand what Vista’s long term strategy actually is.

  3. I am wondering if Vista has a ‘long term’ strategy. The last equity holdings company owners were obviously not focused on the long-term. Is Vista the type of company also inteersted in a ~five year exit strategy, or are they interested in a longer term plan? I don’t know enough about this kind of business to have any idea.

  4. My understanding is that they’ll be looking for a relatively short term return on their investment.
    I think the previous investors (Seaport Capital?) had to pull out before 10 years of investment, but I don’t how long Vista plan to keep hold of the company.

  5. We don’t have to accept any and every change foisted upon us.
    Part of the change process is assessing whether the change is in our best interests or not. Part of good change management is understanding your stakeholders needs and couching the changes in terms they will value and respect (they don’t have to like it but they need to understand why it is necessary and exactly how it will affect them). SirsiDynix are failing miserably at this.
    Personally I hope that a few large organisations take the lead and push development ahead on the viable open source ILSs and there is a sea-change in the industry. Libraries need to realise we can actually take control of our technology futures directly – that we don’t have to just bitch and moan about how discontented we are with the current ILS vendors out there. We can actually do something about it – all of us can help in some way – and we can start right now !!

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