Library Technology Guides

Documents, Databases, News, and Commentary

Statistical Report for Symphony (Unicorn)

2011 Survey Results 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 Satisfaction326 5 6 9 11 21 37 61 102 57 17 76.187
Company Satisfaction326 6 7 19 20 24 35 58 83 53 21 75.886
Support Satisfaction324 4 10 11 14 18 44 54 72 68 29 76.177
Support Improvement323 5 10 10 12 28 81 37 60 48 32 55.876
Company Loyalty323 23 16 16 13 31 44 40 54 55 31 85.476
Open Source Interest318 63 32 48 21 34 45 18 27 12 18 03.483

CategoryTotalYespercent
Considering new ILS333 7522.52%
Considering new Interface333 8726.13%
System Installed on time?333 30290.69%
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

CategoryTotalYespercent
Considering new ILS282 5720.21%
Considering new Interface282 8128.72%
System Installed on time?282 24285.82%
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

CategoryTotalYespercent
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

CategoryTotalYespercent
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

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

Comments

SirsiDynix Symphony is a fairly 'stable' product, however, it is sorely lacking in flexibility (in terms of both batch manipulation of data [functionality], and data extraction for reporting purposes.) (Type: Public)

ILS companies are slow to keep up with the information assurance concerns now required of government libraries (Type: Academic)

SirsiDynix have had to come to terms withan awkward IT support contracting arrangement at our organisation, where we have to route all our requests for change, etc. via a 3rd party IT company. SD have shown considerable understanding and patience with this arrangement, which we have much appreciated. (Type: Government Agency)

Considering open source ILS only if we are able to hire an IT person. (Type: Law)

Symphony OPAC is easy to customize but it is not easy to get our own statistics on the use of the OPAC, particularly for the use of e-books through the catalog. (Type: Academic)

Current system is not developing the way we had hoped, seems to require too many work-arounds. Online catalog, eLibrary, does not meet our needs, and our current catalog is no longer supported. (Type: Academic)

Currently in contract negotiations for the new system. (Type: Public)

Never been satisfied with the functionality of the online catalog ...........such as sorting results lists. (Type: Academic)

We are migrating to Polaris in spring of 2012 (Type: Public)

SirsiDynix provides some additional functionality that we could use, however, financially we can't swing it right now. (Type: Law)

Symphony was one step forward and 3 steps backward from Horizon. We don't notice many improvements because the loss of function and choice was so great. the software is cumbersome and non-intuitive. The company motto seems to be "why do something in one click if you can do it in five clicks instead." (Type: Academic)

While we are not currently considering migrating away from Symphony, it is mostly because we don't think there is anything better for us. We feel that the major vendors are increasingly moving away from the needs of academic libraries. Hence we are watching the open source solutions with interest. We are even considering building our own discovery layer, to integrate our existing tools in a way that suits our students and researchers and helps maintain academic rigour. (Type: Academic)

Move to a new discovery service is because SIrsi is dropping support for web2, which our consortium has continued to use (in a highly customized form). (Type: Government Agency)

Still on Horizon, upgrading to Symphony January 2012 (Type: Government Agency)

Assumed the Sirsidynix product Enterprise/Portfolio qualifies as a "Discovery" interface. (Type: Public)

We would consider open source options in 4-5 years time. (Type: Academic)

Federal government library consortia in progress and will consider joining. This will include Enterprise as a discovery interface. (Type: Government Agency)

Major issue with ILS vendor is the same as it has been for several years -- the very large maintenance increases this vendor imposes. That issue remains the most significant reason for leaving this vendor. (Type: Consortium)

Recent versions of Symphony have accented social media functionality, and assumed patrons will use mobile technology access to OPAC, to the detriment of a print out from the OPAC. In a specialised library such as the Lib. of the [...] where patron working methods evolve at a slower pace, social media is of limited interest and a good clear print product from the OPAC is necessary. (Type: Special)

Reviewing back-office LMS business functions of Symphony, MetaLib and SFX all with a view to replacement by a single management system to manage all functions. This is independent of the UI which is not being reviewed, although consideration will be given to alternative UIs if they can be demonstrated to work better with LMS by the LMS supplier(s). Objective is efficiency and effectiveness of resource acquisition, management and availability independent of resource type (physical, electronic or digital). (Type: Academic)

Our consortium has reached an impasse. Roughly half of the membership made a quick decision to merge their data into a union catalogue. The other half is not in agreement with this direction, but have no alternative options. Our library is not committed to the consortium's union database, but is observing its formation to determine whether it could work for us. If we decide it can't, we'll have no choice but to survey the market and migrate out of the consortium, potentially to a different ILS. (Type: Public)

As far as I know (key phrase), we're not considering an add-on discovery interface, but I could be wrong and that could change in an instant anyway, based on a particular person's whims ;-) For all I know, it'll suddenly not only be a consideration, but be expected to be gotten and implemented as suddenly :-( (Type: Special)

Vendor relies on the user group to provide support to clients. (Type: Public)

[...] ILS committee initially review six vendors, including TLC and Equinox. We decided that we did not have the staff skills or the ability to hire someone with the skills to work with an open-source product. (Type: Public)

Very unhappy with development pace of SirsiDynix's discovery tool Enterprise. Also have Serials Solutions Summon - much happier with it. (Type: Academic)

Service and the product from Sirsi-Dynix (eLibrary) has greatly improved over the last few years. However, we hope to move to the state wide PA ILS open source system due to the significant cost savings that would be realized from that move. It is very expensive to stay with these private companies running proprietary systems. The yearly maintenance fees are a real budget buster. (Type: Public)

The time has come to seriously re-evaluate the role of the catalog and the role of an integrated library system. Compare the stereo console to the ILS of today; the modular component stereo systems that followed which required standards for the parts to work together, and that is where we are. When will we stop needing a serials check-in? Are there other products that do acquisitions better than an ILS module? (Type: Academic)

We have to upgrade from Unicorn to Symphony yet. The customer support office in Spain has almost been dismantled and our requests redirected to a central office in the U. (Type: National)

Implementing Bibliocommons removed some of the pressure to shop for a new ILS. Our main complaint with Symphony is the public catalog. (Type: Public)

While the consortium to which we belong might consider an open source ILS no one is quite convinced that this is a solution. The current ILS vendors are complacent. If a huge company like Google were ever to enter the market it might galvanize some of the existing vendors. Until then we seem to be in a quagmire. (Type: Public)

SirsiDynix has been responsive, and visits regularly to make certain all is well. (Type: Academic)

As a Special Library we need a system with more flexibility and report capability; and ability to make changes without API and technical support. (Type: Special)

The library is part of a consortium that provides support. We do not contact the vendor directly. Open Source ILS would not work with the security requirements of the state division under which the library is housed. (Type: Medical)

Staff reviewed several ILS vendors and completed the RFP process with Polaris being the vendor selected to replace Sirsi. (Type: Public)

Enterprise has not given us the one stop search solution for our e-journals to date, so we are looking at EBSCO Discovery, but nothing will search all resources at present. (Type: Academic)

The idea of implementing a discovery interface or next-generation catalog is just in the beginning stages of being proposed, however, budget constraints will be a large factor in whether the discussion moves any further towards implementation. (Type: Academic)

I'm not comfortable responding to some of the questions I left blank, As part of a library consortium I do not work with Sirsi directly; therefore I do not know what their customer service is like. I'm also not sure about which vendors the consortium is looking into for future ILS changes. (Type: Public)

Budget prevents consideration for replacement of ILS or implementation of a discovery interface or Next Gen catalog. Over the past few years we have been forced to reduce features on ILS due to expeditures. (Type: Public)

We are definitely migrating to Evergreen withing the next few months. The price, the service, and the support all make it a much better choice for us. We are joining a consortium of [...] libraries who are all switching to the new system. (Type: Public)

The library collection count does not include digital collections such as Overdrive, Freegal, GVRL, Tumblebooks, and various online databases for which we either pay an annual subscription or have access through our state library. (Type: Public)

I hoped there would be more questions regarding the Discovery Interface itself. While pretty happy with the ILS, there are issues we are still resolving w/the DI (BiblioCommons). More libraries will be purchasing these in future, and your annual survey could help all of us over the common issues we face. (Type: Public)

As a consortium member we are a small view point in the overall decision making process which is run by a university based library. Reading the listservs is where I glean a lot of information about SIRSI, one thing that has always been disappointing is being asked for and voting on enhancements which mysteriously disappear as priorities for SIRIS change I guess. (Type: Government Agency)

We have purchased Summon for our discovery layer. This is the part of our current ILS that is lacking. (Type: Academic)

Ratings indicated are due to a few factors: #1 Documentation for the software truly needs improvement. #2 Enhancement process had stagnated, seems to be back on track now. #3 After strong encouragement to migrate to Symphony, due to discontinuation of development on Horizon, now dialog from the vendor indicates some development is still taking place. #4 Company is focusing on mobile and social apps, which is a plus, but the price tag is too high for us to implement facebook, or SMS. (Type: Public)

The only reason I rank the "complete functionality" so low is that it is a traditional ILS. It does a great job with the inventory and management of the physical collections but offers almost no features to manage the electronic collections. No vendors are providing this functionality yet, so they should all rank low in this area. (Type: Academic)

I find searching for items to be very frustrating. Even if I know an item exists, I may have to try 3 different searches to find it - title, author and subject or series. You should be able to find it with one search. This continually happens, not just sporatically. (Type: Public)

SirsiDynix is a great company with excellent customer service. However, the Symphony ILS is a piece of crap (we were formerly on Horizon). (Type: Public)

Note: replies re support relate to the service provided by 3rd party hosting/support service who act on our behalf with SIRSI. Also, consortium we belong to did employ a consultant to review ILS options; this process completed with decision to remain with SIRSI and our current 3rd party hosting/support provider. Evergreen & KOHA were two of the solutions considered besides typical proprietary systems. (Type: Academic)

Around 3, 000 items on library catalogue are recent additions due to the JISC ebooks for FE project. Adding to the library catalogue has greatly improved usage (Aug-Oct usage almost as much as total for session 2010-11). A LMS which can allow large scale data import such as this is key to a future system. (Type: Academic)

The available features of our ILS are rich, but how staff implement them is very difficult to use and to train. Each feature has a separate module. For example, Display User to see the details. If you need to change anything, you must close this and go to Modify User. If you see a due date you want to change (you guessed it), close that module and open Edit Due Dates. Also, the reports are terrible. You must know exactly what you are looking for, know how the database is structured (and watch out for the necessary double-negative options) before you can complete a report. There is no avenue for serendipitous discovery. I used to just pull up a wide-open list of items/patrons/call numbers and sort them in various way to do a quality check. This is simply not an option in Symphony. (Type: Public)

maintenance costs have sky rocketed while service (all service, not just support) has fell thru the floor. (Type: Public)

Enterprise is in testing stage, not yet live to patrons. (Type: Public)

We recently upgraded to Symphony 3.4 and it has proven very rocky indeed. However, SirsiDynix's recent implementation of the Library Relations Manager position has made it easier to get support issues moved up the chain of command. (Type: Public)

We are using a shared system and it is aministered through [...]. So for technical issues we deal with the [...] tech crew at [...] and they deal directly with the vendor i.e. we do not deal directly with the vendor. Therefore the answers to some of my questions will be based on feedback I have received from [...] in their dealings with the vendor. We are very happy with [...] and their service. The qualms we have about the ILS we use has more to do with the sharing aspect rather than the product itself. However, the only way we could afford such a system was to go with a shared option. (Type: Public)

While not currently considering migration to another ILS, we have investigated OCLC. We found the OCLC PAC wanting for faceted searching, but were intrigued by the facile item record management and better basic PAC than our current eLibrary. (Type: Academic)

The OPAC is not good but the Workflows system for staff is good. We are using WorldCat Local for our OPAC (Type: Academic)

In addition of open source options we are also exploring web-scale management solutions being released by Ex-Libris and Serials Solutions. (Type: Academic)

I have said 300,000 items in our collection, but 25% of the records in the catalogue are now for e-books and we see this ratio increasing substainally in the next few years. (Type: Academic)

Our main dissatisfaction points with our ILS vendor are the pricing, contract terms, and software choices that they control. The operational functionality is satisfactory. (Type: Academic)

Frankly speaking, we will probably stay as a customer because no one can beat their pricing deals for their veteran customers. Our one area of concern is SIRSIDynix customer service. For such a large company it is surprising that they do not provide better support services. Some examples: We do not receive an alert when an upgrade is available. It takes too long for a response to our questions; we send a reminder after 5 work days. The customer service website is not user-friendly and its use is limited to a certain number of staff. Some of the features we would like now were restricted to the initial set up and would require a costly fee. Some changes we inquire about seem easy enough to do with a simple policy change on our end, but only their staff can do it at a costly extra fee. The EPS website tool from SIRSI also puts too many limits on what the customer can do. It requires costly custom work by their staff. (Type: Academic)

We are also closely following developpements of Ex Libris' Alma and OCLC WebScale (Type: Academic)

Standard report module is frustrating to use (Type: Academic)

We are getting pretty disillusioned with the rotating management and staff. It seems like you never talk to the same person twice because they've left. All of the old Huntsville Sirsi management and most below that level are gone. The new ones, aside from Talin, just don't seem to get it and/or care. I predict [...] will move on in the next 3+ years. We're just waiting for a viable alternative. (Type: Academic)

Part of dissatisfaction with current ILS is our consortiums lack of knowledge (and apparent disinterest in learning more) about the capabilities of the ILS. (Type: Public)

Migrating to a new or better ILS and updating same ILS (new version) is rather cost-prohibitive (Type: National)

We have long been considering replace our ILS. However, after evaluation of several ILS avaiable in market, especially in China market, we decided to wait for the URM, CCM or other next gen managment systems. The future of MARC was also one of the major concern of us. (Type: Academic)

We would like to see more evidence that SirsiDynix is working to address the many changes and challenges facing libraries today. (Type: Academic)

Satisfaction levels reflect dealings with technical support/client care. Rankings would be different if examining business-side customer service. We receive very good support on the technical side, it is supports from other sectors within the company that are lacking/confusing/frustrating. Authority control does not function as it should in a consortial environment. We found some of the questions ambiguous - some clarification on the type of information being sought would provide clearer answers. (Type: State)

Very long delays from SirsiDynix support from the time an issue is reported to the time it is resolved (if it does get resolved). (Type: Special)

We still do not have stable funding and are undergoing additional budget cuts. We continue to use the Web2 public catalog and we've been given notice that it will no longer be supported so we are researching the public catalog alternatives including joining the [...] consortium headquartered at [...] . The decision to either stay with SirsiDynix or join the Sage consortium will determine if we are in the market for new public catalog software. Funding will help determine our next move. (Type: Public)

Current budgetary constraints keep this library from implementing a move to a discovery layer product and/or open source product. (Type: Public)

I am constantly in a battle with Symphony with acquisitions data and workflow. It is clunky and so difficult to visualize information. It is my least favorite of their modules. The OPAC comes in at a close second. The whole system is inflexible and inefficient unless we fork over money we do not have for add-ons and additional features. I will say that customer service is very quick and responsive. (Type: Academic)

ILS