Idea Exchange

An Ex Libris initative

After intensive discussions with the Steering Committee about the aim of the initiative, Ex Libris has announced a new platform for all customers to post ideas for enhancements and extensions to their products. This platform also offers a voting mechanism to facilitate customers to support good ideas. The platform is based on a cloud infrastructure that is used by other large cloud services companies like Yammer and Salesforce. The platform will be used only for a subset of the Ex Libris product portfolio; Aleph, Voyager, and SFX customers can’t post ideas for their products.

And how about NERS

IGeLU and ELUNA have asked Ex Libris to clarify the relationship of this new platform compared to NERS and the Product Development Collaboration Agreement where Ex Libris commits to invest development capacity to enhancements voted on by IGeLU and ELUNA members. We wanted to make sure that our members don’t get confused by the voting mechanism in ‘Idea Exchange’ and get the impression it’s some kind of replacement for NERS.
Well it’s obviously not and Ex Libris made it very clear in the communication about Idea Exchange: in opposite to NERS there is absolutely no commitment for implementation of ideas submitted via ‘Idea Exchange’.

NERS is unique

Ex Libris acknowledges that the enhancement process via NERS is the only clear commitment of Ex Libris for development capacity for enhancements requested and voted on by the customer community. ‘Idea Exchange’ is not giving any guarantee on even getting attention from Ex Libris for an idea raised by a customer, let aside getting it implemented.
Also, inside NERS the IGeLU officers invest a lot of effort to dedupe similar enhancement requests, discuss with submitters the actual needs in order to improve and clarify the request. This time intensive job ensures both the voting customer community and Ex Libris a crisp and clear list of prioritized enhancements that will add to the functionality of the products.

It’s (too) open

‘Idea Exchange’ is open to anyone, both anonymous and signing in individuals without having to use a password. Any email address that looks like an institutional one fits. We consider this unsafe, since it’s very easy to impersonate anyone. It’s strange to think our professional colleagues would be attracted to use services without proper access control.

Let’s see what comes out of it

Ex Libris has made it clear they do not intend to do the same kind of quality control in ‘Idea Exchange’ like is being done in NERS.
IGeLU and ELUNA are convinced this will lead to a lot of duplicate ideas and ideas formulated in a way that other customers do not see the point of voting for it.
Ex Libris is aware of this possible consequence and will evaluate the results after 6 months. Last but not least we agreed with Ex Libris that each institution can decide to turn ‘Idea Exchange’ in their respective application on or not.

Theo Engelman
IGeLU Chair