Two interesting pieces of news came out yesterday with the sale of 3M library systems to Bibliotecha http://www.blibliotecha.com and then the news that Proquest were buying ExLibris. For an industry take on the latter news look at http://www.sr.ithaka.org/blog/what-are-the-larger-implications-of-proquests-acquisition-of-exlibris/
From the comments on twitter yesterday it was a big surprise to people, but it seems to make some sense. And it is a sector that has always gone through major shifts and consolidations. Library systems vendors always seem to change hands frequently. Have a look at Marshall Breeding’s graphic of the various LMS vendors over the years to see that change is pretty much a constant feature. http://librarytechnology.org/mergers/
There are some big crossovers in the product range, especially around discovery systems and the underlying knowledge bases. Building and maintaining those vast metadata indexes must be a significant undertaking and maybe we will see some consolidation. Primo and Summon fed from the same knowledge base in the future maybe?
Does it help with the conundrum of getting all the metadata in all the knowledge bases? Maybe it puts Proquest/ExLibris in a place where they have their own metadata to trade? But maybe it also opens up another competitive front.
It will be intersting to see what the medium term impact will be on plans and roadmaps. Will products start to merge, will there be less choice in the marketplace when libraries come round to chosing future systems?