Academic journal article Library Technology Reports

Vendors of Integrated Library Systems for Minicomputers and Mainframes: An Industry Report, Part 2(part 2: Geac Computers Inc., Innovative Interfaces Inc., VTLS Inc. and Bibliographic references)(Company Profile)

Academic journal article Library Technology Reports

Vendors of Integrated Library Systems for Minicomputers and Mainframes: An Industry Report, Part 2(part 2: Geac Computers Inc., Innovative Interfaces Inc., VTLS Inc. and Bibliographic references)(Company Profile)

Article excerpt

GEAC COMPUTERS, INCORPORATED

Box 5150 9 Technology Drive Westborough, MA 01581-5150 telephone: (800) 825-2574; fax: url: http://www.geac.com

COMPANY BACKGROUND

Geac Computers, Incorporated was founded in 1971. It provides automated information systems and solutions -- including computer hardware, pre-written software, data conversion services, and customer support -- to selected vertical markets, one of which is libraries. Other business markets for which Geac offers computer products and services include construction management, financial services, hotels and restaurants, manufacturing and distribution, newspapers, property management, and public safety. Geac is a publicly traded Canadian corporation with headquarters in suburban Toronto. The company has sales and support offices in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, and New Zealand.

Geac introduced its first library automation product, the Geac Library Information System (GLIS), in 1977. Widely implemented in North American and European libraries, its characteristics, capabilities, and installations are described in many publications. Examples include Ainsworth and Hayes (1983), Attenborough (1991), Berghem (1986), Bett (1981), Botten (1982), Brindley et al. (1987), Brodie (1987), Buck (1986), Clarke (1985, 1986), Clarke and Morris (1983), Clayton and Leeves (1980), Dunbar (1985, 1987), Finelli (1985), Finelli and Salomon (1985), Fishlyn (1985), Gontrum (1985), Graham (1981), Graham et al. (1983), Gresnigt and Muller (1989), Hall and Hendrix (1985), Hawks (1986, 1989), Hayes (1990, 1992), Holmes and Bulger (1988), Hunter (1985, 1986), Jackson (1988), Jarvis (1991), Jarvis and Dow (1986), Kirkby (1987), Kloosterman (1994), Lambert (1986), Leeves (1981), Malek (1995), McSean (1982), O'Mara (1985), Pachent and Reed (1989), Persky et al. (1984), Relly (1986), Richards and Johnson (1990), Ridgeway (1989), Rollins (1991), Ryder (1988), Salomon (1984), Stoll (1988), Sykes (1986), Thompson (1986), Towler (1990), Van Heeswijk et al. (1988), Wade (1985), Weiming (1988), Weston and Pernigotti (1989), Wilkinson (1990), Williams (1985), Winter (1989), Witt (1989), Witt and Raitt (1990), Young and Lee (1986), and Young et al. (1986). Chepesiuk (1991) and Farley et al. (1994) review Geac's history and library automation initiatives.

Implemented on minicomputers manufactured by Geac itself, the GLIS system was marketed as a preconfigured turnkey combination of hardware and software. Initially limited to circulation control, it was subsequently augmented to include online catalog access and acquisitions capabilities. Despite its success in the library market, Geac experienced considerable financial difficulty during the mid-1980s. The company was in receivership from late 1986 through early 1987 and posted substantial losses during 1987 and 1988. Geac's problems were generally attributed to its unsuccessful expansion into the U.S. banking market, coupled with unfavorable developments in the Canadian banking industry. The company's library division reportedly remained profitable throughout the troubled period, but adverse publicity and uncertainty about Geac's long-term financial stability led to marked reduction in new GLIS installations, especially in the United States.

Geac returned to profitability in the fiscal year that ended on April 30, 1989. In mid-1989, it established a new direction for its library automation products by acquiring the ADVANCE library system through the purchase of all outstanding shares of Advanced Libraries and Information Incorporated (Alii), the product's developer. Characteristics of the Alii system at the time of the Geac acquisition are described by Evans (1989). The availability of ADVANCE as a Geac product was announced in late 1989.

In December 1992, Geac announced the acquisition of CLSI Incorporated, the first company to commercialize a minicomputer-based circulation control system and one of the best known library automation vendors. …

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