In-class activities, week 3

Activity one: Research a product

(Carried over from last week.)

Researching a technology product can be daunting, especially if you’re not 100% sure how it works. Today we’ll practice some techniques for learning about corporate ownership and governance, as well as the larger competitive environment in which a product operates.

Questions to ask

  1. Who owns the technology?
  2. Is this proprietary technology, or is it open-source?
  3. If the technology is open-source, how is it governed? How does it propose to sustain itself?
  4. Is the company publicly or privately owned?
  5. How large is the company?
  6. How old is the vendor?
  7. Where is the vendor located?
  8. What is the technology’s business model? For example, does the company earn revenue via product sales, via subscriptions, via selling data? Some combination?
  9. What is the larger category to which the technology belongs? (For example: ERMS, ILS, etc.)
  10. What is the technology supposed to do?
  11. Which products are this technology’s competitors?
  12. How does this product distinguish itself from its competition?
  13. What is the technology’s market share?
  14. What factors might influence the technology’s adoption (or lack thereof) going forward?

In the service of…

…these larger questions:

  1. How is the product likely to evolve?
  2. How long might you expect the company maintain the product?
  3. How is the company’s ownership or governance likely to affect the future of this technology?
  4. For which kind of institution might this technology be suitable?

Technologies to investigate

  1. Alma
  2. SFX
  3. Alexandria
  4. Symphony
  5. Coral
  6. 360 Core
  7. EBSCO Discovery Services


Marshall Breeding’s Library Technology Guides