SerialsSolutions has recently updated their ERMS (Electronic Resources Management System). They changed the name a couple months ago to 360 Resource Manager (which is kind of annoying, but whatever). There was a big fuss about this on the SerialsSolutions customer email list because there was no warning for the name change roll out. I’m of the mind that if they want to change the name, no big deal. Warning would be nice, but the functionality was the same, so no biggie.
However, following the name change for all their products, they rolled out an upgrade to their 360 Resource Manager. It’s now based on the .Net architecture, which has caused major changes in the navigation and the way things are entered. They sent out emails asking for test subjects and I volunteered. Unfortunately, the supporting documentation that they sent was not helpful. I poked around in the beta version for a bit, and then filled out their survey letting them know how I felt, both positive and negative. I haven’t looked at the support center again since then, but I got an email saying it had been updated.
The updated version of 360 Resource Manager is supposed to have a place for users to input cost information and a way to group things into collections. When I logged in to the test version, I could not get the cost or collections options to work. I checked the Support Center to see if there were any clues there, but neither cost nor collection management were mentioned in the Support Center. I then checked the documentation that was attached to the email containing the link for the test center. No mention there either. So I continued to look around in the test center and get a feel for the other features. I have some minor issues with some of the new navigation features, but I’m sure that I’ll just have to get used to those.
In addition to the test period, SerialsSolutions also offers webinars of their products, including the upgraded 360 Resource Manager. I signed up for one this week, and was pleased by the overview that was given. The focus was mainly on the changes that had been made, with differences pointed out. When we got to the cost and collections management features, I asked if everyone was supposed to be able to see them. Turns out, we are all supposed to have those features. However, instead of giving the primary account holders automatic View/Edit permissions for those features, the primary account holder must go in and turn on the permissions on his/her own. This was not mentioned in any of the documentation that I received, and would not have been mentioned in the webinar if I had not asked about it. I’m not sure why SerialsSolutions opted not to give people the automatic rights to the new features, but they should have at least mentioned that if you don’t see them, this is what you should do.
There were a few other tough questions in the webinar as well – about why you can’t enter a fiscal year as two years (2007-2008, for example) – they were handled very well by Leslie Lapham, the SerialsSolutions trainer leading the webinar. One other thing I would like to see is for databases to be able to be included in more than one collection. Right now, each database can be in only one collection. Which is useful, to a point, but not as useful as it could be?
SerialsSolutions is still working on completing this upgrade. Overlap analysis and statistics have been temporarily removed, and the e-catalog is only on the home page for now. Also, they will be adding report generators in the future, which should be very useful, I hope.
Overall, I am happy with my experiences with SerialsSolutions. They have never been anything less than helpful with my questions and issues. I’m just going to have to get used to the new navigation in the upgrade. And the new names, which are really kind of annoyingly long.