PLA 2010 Conference: After False Start, PTFS Finally Acquires LibLime
Public Library Association - PLA 2010 - Annual Conference - Portland
By Josh Hadro -- Library Journal, 03/16/2010
- PTFS to take on leading position in open source ILS support
- LibLime CEO Ferraro will stay on as consultant for up to 18 months
- Will rift with Koha community be repaired?
After some delay, the acquisition of Koha ILS support vendor LibLime by Progressive Technology Federal Systems (PTFS) is now "signed and completed," according to John Yokley, PTFS co-founder and CEO.
In January, just before the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Annual meeting, PTFS announced its plans to acquire LibLime, but was stymied in February by a dispute over financial terms. The deal was called off.
As described when the planned acquisition was first announced two months ago, the deal will vault PTFS into position as the largest open source support and development vendor, adding more than 100 LibLime contracts to its existing Koha support business, which has about a dozen contracts. Until recently, PTFS has primarily focused on defense and government contracts for systems integrations.
The announcement by PTFS indicates that the company's priority will be the transition of "existing LibLime customers into PTFS's support center."
In addition, Joshua Ferraro, LibLime CEO, confirmed that he will continue in a consulting capacity for up to 18 months, as originally reported in January. The remaining sales and support staff will continue as PTFS employees.
The release also mentions a PTFS pledge "to enhance and maintain the www.koha.org site as the focal point for the world’s Koha activities—the place to find the latest information on Koha support, documentation, news, and downloads."
This likely references the schism that has grown in recent months between LibLime, which owns and controls koha.org, and those in the broader Koha support community who feel that no one vendor should be able to dictate access to that domain.
When asked whether PTFS would work to reconcile the conflict, Yokley told LJ the company would address the issue, but reiterated that the transition takes priority:
We will be work[ing] on this issue. Our first action however, is to make sure all the terms and conditions of customer contracts we have acquired are being addressed adequately and that technical support is bolstered for these customers. There are a lot of customer issues that need to be addressed.
The company will be holding a press conference during the Public Library Association (PLA) conference in Portland, OR, March 23-27.
Click here for more PLA 2010 Conference News coverage from the editors of Library Journal and School Library Journal.