Will Bibliotheca’s merger with Intellident hasten the adoption of data standards?
Yesterday I reported the latest merger in what has been a fairly volatile library market of late. The common factor would appear to be Bibliotheca’s relentless progress toward becoming the major player in the global RFID market. In the UK last year they dissolved their existing supplier arrangement with D Tech prior to setting up shop at Axiell’s premises in Nottingham.
Now, in rapid succession, they have set up new subsidiaries in both the US and the UK – with ITG and Intellident respectively.
We should not read too much into the fairly rapid disposal of Intellident by Chamonix. It was never likely to be a long term relationship and the alliance with Bibliotheca will certainly reassure all those who speculated on the possibility that Intellident’s future may lie back in the supply chain, rather than in libraries.
All three companies have enjoyed great success in their home markets and all have been very much “on message” so far as taking RFID development forward. ITG and Intellident have both been strong advocates for a common data standard and both have been promoting ISO 28560-2 as their preference for future installations for some time now. A view recently endorsed by NISO in the USA as it was back in 2009 by the UK’s BIC organisation.
Despite the issue having been largely ignored by UK librarians the issue of data standards suddenly forces its way back onto the UK agenda. In order to rationalise software development and hardware supply clients of Intellident and Bibliotheca there will at some point need to be a rationalisation of the data models in use at client sites. Axiell clients in particular will pose some additional problems since DS used a different model to that used by Bibliotheca.
So a decision will have to made soon about which model should be adopted for future clients.
Members of the UK’s RFID Alliance – which included both Bibliotheca and Intellident – have already declared their support for ISO 28560-2 and the UK data model. Logically that suggests that this would therefore form a common foundation for all future installations. Looking globally this makes even more sense as major markets gear up to invest in RFID.
Are UK librarians about to finally realise why the rest of the world did not follow their example by spending heavily on proprietary solutions? How will the UK’s army of early adopters respond?
As the English Football Association discovered yesterday, sometimes the world takes a different view of how things should develop…