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Statistical Report for Symphony (Unicorn)

2010 Survey Results 2009 Survey Results 2008 Survey Results 2007 Survey Results
Product: Symphony (Unicorn) Response Distribution Statistics
CategoryResponses 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ModeMeanMedian
ILS Satisfaction271 3 5 9 12 19 37 41 77 50 18 76.157
Company Satisfaction271 8 8 17 11 26 37 54 57 39 14 75.636
Support Satisfaction269 8 7 15 20 23 32 50 56 39 19 75.676
Support Improvement271 11 7 16 28 21 87 26 26 26 23 55.155
Company Loyalty270 18 15 10 24 29 34 40 40 32 28 65.266
Open Source Interest269 64 26 30 17 19 31 29 19 14 20 03.593

Considering new ILS282 5720.21%
Considering new Interface282 8128.72%
System Installed on time?282 24185.46%
Average Collection size: 580366
Product: Symphony (Unicorn) Response Distribution Statistics
CategoryResponses 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ModeMeanMedian
ILS Satisfaction304 3 5 6 9 16 62 56 96 44 7 76.066
Company Satisfaction303 5 9 27 23 22 56 48 79 29 5 75.346
Support Satisfaction303 3 12 30 23 17 54 45 66 41 12 75.446
Support Improvement292 7 11 19 29 23 89 35 39 30 10 55.095
Company Loyalty301 32 14 12 14 23 67 31 49 43 16 55.065
Open Source Interest300 53 34 26 25 30 40 25 20 23 24 03.904

Considering new ILS310 4915.81%
Considering new Interface310 8527.42%
System Installed on time?310 26184.19%
Product: Unicorn Response Distribution Statistics
CategoryResponses 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ModeMeanMedian
ILS Satisfaction233 4 7 11 19 16 35 37 64 32 8 75.686
Company Satisfaction234 9 9 16 31 28 23 43 43 26 6 65.056
Support Satisfaction233 12 14 23 18 21 36 39 38 23 9 64.915
Support Improvement0 not applicable
Company Loyalty233 21 13 19 18 17 36 20 43 34 12 74.955
Open Source Interest231 36 23 21 24 17 37 12 23 16 22 54.114

Considering new ILS234 5423.08%
Considering new Interface234 6929.49%
System Installed on time?234 21491.45%
Product: Unicorn Response Distribution Statistics
CategoryResponses 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ModeMeanMedian
ILS Satisfaction200 4 1 5 10 6 23 29 64 43 15 76.417
Company Satisfaction284 5 8 20 23 27 43 47 61 38 12 75.506
Support Satisfaction282 6 10 13 27 37 33 42 64 34 16 75.486
Support Improvement0 not applicable
Company Loyalty279 25 10 12 9 16 59 31 42 36 39 55.526
Open Source Interest281 54 41 36 32 17 36 21 14 9 21 03.353

Considering new ILS288 4214.58%
Considering new Interface288 6020.83%
System Installed on time?288 10.35%


No system is perfect and I like the system I have better than what I've seen of the other ILS vendors. I'm a little concerned following the sudden move of corporate offices from Huntsville to Provo but am waiting to see how it goes.

We will have current system for 5 years expect open source products to have matured by then. Kuali Ole may even exist by then as a viable option.

Symphony and SirsiDynix are fine. Product works with little hassle, and the company basically supports the product. I think the main reason SD has been so slow to develop new products is that they still need to manage too many iterations of systems and platforms. This should get better as customers progressively move towards SaaS, but even so, I still don't think SD can keep up with next-gen environments. On the plus side for SD, most customers are loathe to move to better products due to hassle and cost. The last thing I ever want to do is another system migration!

We have a hosted (SAAS) system. When we looked into open source systems through a hosting solution, they were actually more expensive than staying with our current vendor.

We're expecting to start an LMS review within the next couple of years. I will ensure it includes open source although SaaS with Ex Libris URM *may* be a strong contender. We will probably reconsider SirsiDynix but only within the context of a fair competition taking into account all cost/benefit including future company prospects.

We attempted a SoPac implementation but the vendor with whom we contracted for the work failed. We are not looking at other more Sirsi friendly Discovery Products and hope to work cooperatively with other consortia in that development.

Currently have RFQ out to above named companies, but are not committed to necessarily changing automation vendors. It will depend upon the responses.

My main reason for dissatisfaction with SirsiDynix is the consistently large increase in annual maintenance. Even with a long term commitment maintenance increases are consistently 3 to 4 times above the inflation index.

*We're currently an Ebsco Discovery Service partner, but we remain open to considering other options if performance doesn't meet our expectations.

[...] is developing a statewide ILS based on Evergreen / VuFind. We consider Sirsidynix Symphony, despite its high maintenance costs, to be a highly functional ILS for our needs. We will join the statewide ILS only when we are satisfied with the functionality it provides and are assured that our maintenance costs will be lower. At this point membership fees have not been established for the still-nascent statewide ILS.

Open source seems like a viable option in the future if they are developed more. As a short staffed consortia, we don't have the time/staff/programming expertise to deal with an open source ILS product now.

Web services offering is a good feature. Underlying data architecture and code constrains software. Business intelligence tool is inadequate for a large library. The Library has implemented (2010) a search and discovery interface as an integral part of its web site, using Endeca technology.

Given the various options with open source systems and discovery platforms and new developments like WorldCat Local, we are trying to make choices that don't limit us.

We have already implemented EDS, but are considering other options in the near future.

As part of the [...] our group makes joint decisions about our ILS and add-ins. We are currently investigating a number of different discovery layer options including Chilifresh Connections, Bibliocommons, AquaBrowser, Endeca, Library Thing for Libraries and Enterprise. We are finding it very difficult to keep track of all of the possible combinations of applications that could be used to provide social networking enhancements for our patrons.

We probably will be moving to OCLC's Web-Scale Management Services. This should not be a reflection of SirsiDynix. We would never consider moving to another traditional vendor because it would not make sense for various reasons. Open Source would not be a fit for us because, although there is more flexibility, it is a replication of the same traditional ILS offering plus the cost of inhouse development.

It would be nice to have vendors listen to our needs for a change

We think Evergreen needs a couple more years of development to be sophisticated enough for our needs. We like the flexibility of Symphony and the ability customers have to customize its functionality.

[...] is currently in a transition period with SIRSI as we have migrated to a SaaS environment and are in the process of upgrading the ILS software and moving to Enterprise.

We are primarily interested in open source under a Software as a service agreement with a company such as PTFS. The OCLC web scale management also now looks attractive, but is not fully developed yet, and certainly not for the UK market.

Our experience investigating Open Source revealed that the libraries that are implementing it are spending at least as much money, usually more, on implementing a system that gives them less features and little or no development. Open Source "consultants" are simply becoming a new breed of commercial ILS providers without having to make an investment in a product.

We would consider an open source ILS, however, we don't have the manpower to implement or maintain it.

In April 2010, our school district migrated from SIRSI Symphony to Follett Destiny. We are very pleased with our new ILS.

Charges at SirsiDynix are rising much faster than inflation with no improvement in support. In fact, it's eroded in the last year.

We are using Bibliocommons as our Discovery interface.

[...] is currently involved in [...] (Evergreen) open source initiative and we are observing current deployment over next 3-4 years. As system matures, we might consider this system more seriously. Library had previously investigated Greenstone, Koha, Evergreen but could find no supporting partners at that time (2005-2006).

The support of SirsiDynix had changed the last year from local to global, and now is necessary make some adjustment, but they are more inclined to the English spoken countries. They forgot the importance of Hispanic market

SirsiDynix has made great improvements to support for Australasian customers in recent months with a dedicated team in Provo working to business hours in our time zone. However overall satisfaction has not improved much due to a long history of the company being all talk and little action on some key promises. The products seem to be moving in a direction that we are not happy with as an academic library; hence we are entertaining the options of migrating to an open source ILS at some point in the future when these products mature.

The [...] consortium just completed an overview of ILS vendors (propietary and open source). Based on those meetings, the group felt while we are not 100% satisified with SirsiDynix, we would stay the course with their product and have a renewed commitment to training. The reasons: open source just isn't there yet for our consortium to be comfortable developing (granted, King County is up and running but...) and we didn't feel there was enough to gain by migrating to Innovative. We are going to watch the open source movement and see what else is developed.

No hope that SIRSI can pull it together. Completed selection in September. Moving to Polaris in February. Considered proposals from TLC-Carl, Innovative, Equinox and Polaris.

With the world used to speed and the intuitiveness of Google or this software seems clunky and outdated. It serves our purposes and our patron's purposes but it is not smooth or fast. With the Internet flying at the speed of light and

At this point our libraries use the C Client version of the WorkFlows staff client, with only one partially using Java WorkFlows.

Overall we've been pretty well satisfied with SirsiDynix from both a product and service standpoint. However we are in need of an acquisitions module and their quote was unbelievably high for a library that adds <2500 titles per year. So we are looking at Koha's stand-alone piece (Get-It) for acquisitions. Depending on how that goes we might very well migrate the entire ILS to Koha.

We recently went to SaaS. We were told it would work well with LDAP but we experienced problems. The tech support did work with us until everything was resolved but it took several months. Otherwise, we are pretty satisfied.

Although this library lacks technical expertise, we are still interested in and considering open source options. The main reason is the ability to participate in a "collective wisdom" environment.

The Symphony people are okay. The Symphony system is cumbersome and unwieldy. If you look up a patron it's in one "wizard" then if they check something out, it's another "wizard" to pay a fine is another, to renew items another. Everything is in a seperate place. Same with books. Staff screens to look items up are WORSE than the patron screens with fewer limits and options. If you want multiple windows to be open, you have to set them manually each time. Symphony defaults to one full-sized window. Cataloging has to delete things to remove them from the system -- fast adds for non-system items become permanent. When patron records expire you have to click the "renew" button to continue a checkout -- but the "renew" gives them an expiration date of "never." This doesn't work for a college where records are set to expire each semester unless students enroll for more classes. Reports are misnamed and horribly complicated to set up. They admit 80% of their clients prefer the terms "check-in" and "check-out" but they call it "charge" and "discharge" and have come up with a "work-around" to allow renaming in some parts of the catalog -- but not everywhere, and only for some things. As it slowly loads you see that it was apparently created for the government -- and it fullfils that promise of being cumbersome, awkward, unresponsive and bloated.

The cost of SIRSI's ILS continues to increase while the functionality and useability decrease.

Change of support structure to central team in USA is a recent change. Change-over ot this has casused some issues during the past year, adn accounts for the modest company scores

Budget problems mean we don't have money for add-on products or migration to a new ILS.

I'm looking forward to the new catalog interface, and am glad that it will be implemented at the Consortium level for tech support reasons. But it's time has come with all the new ways to interact with the Library catalog.

Our 5-year system review is due in 2012 and I am interested in looking at the possibilities, prices and support options available with Koha

The support from the hosting service staff is excellent. General client care service quality varies quite a bit depending on who is assigned to the case.

The annual maintenance cost is financially unsustainable. We are a stand-alone site that simply cannot afford 6% increases in the maintenance contract every year.

We are a very small l ibrary network, and hve migrated to Symphony as part of a consortium. We do not have the resources(staff, skill-set) to even think about open source products, especially if we had to go it alone, much as we might like to.

The serials module is klutzy and leaves too much work in the hands of the person checking in the item. SD has made no improvements in this module in the last 5 years. Unicorn/Symphony users appear to live with the state of the software instead of working with the company to improve it.

We switched from a different vendor's system to Symphony in 2010. The migration was difficult but fortunately I was very capable at the data level with our old sytem and, working with the SD migration team, they were experts on their system. We're very pleased with the new system in all of its functionality - especially reporting, OPAC, and Acquisitions (looking forward to EdiFact EDI in v4). We also purchased Enterprise and Director's Station. For statistical reporting DS is an amazing product. We purchased Enterprise as an investment in where SD suggested it would be moving in the next couple of years with their OPAC offerings.

SD has it's problems but so does every other vendor. For us, it's the devil we know and no viable Open Source alternatives. I think we are at least 2-3 years away from seriously considering a move.

We are part of a large consortium that uses SIRSI with an Aquabrowser overlay. We are dissatisfied with both products and hope that within teh next year or 2 the consortium is able to look at making a change, depending on financial issues, etc.

The individual employees of SirsiDynix provide very good customer service. Unfortunately, about 25 % of the answers are not always what we want to hear in response to questions about making the system more usable for library staff and patrons.

We don't feel the open source ILS options are mature enough, yet. We have some great friends at our ILS company (SirsiDynix) that are very helpful. However, as a whole, the company does seem prone to letting important issues slip through the cracks or major functionality issues go unsolved--which is why our friends/contacts within the company are so valuable to us.

It is unlikely that OLE will be implemented before 2013 at the earliest.

Our consortium established a Technical Committee to look at discovery layers and other solutions which would solve patron complaints, e.g. about the lack of single sign-on.

We migrated from Horizon to Symphony because it wouldn't cost as much as going to a completely new ILS, but Horizon was a much better ILS. From Circ Staff to Cat Staff, no one likes Symphony.

I think that our standard online catalog stacks up very well to others. In fact, I think it's better in many ways in terms of what we can do with it. We're very happy with the back end as well. We would like to have a front end and have been grappling with whether we want a catalog front-end or a discovery system. Different reasons for each one and it's hard to decide.

The main deterrent from an open source ILS at the moment is a lack of an integrated ACQ module. Other than that, most features of mainstream ILS' that are missing from the open source equivalents are now available via third party products and in most cases do a better job than the integrated versions.