Five Colleges ERM Go-Live!

Hello Five Colleges!

I am excited to announce that we have officially gone live in the electronic resource management suite in FOLIO!!!! This has been a huge effort from members of the Five Colleges staff and has taken the better part of two years, but as of Tuesday August 25th we officially entered production and became the first consortium to adopt FOLIO as a single tenant environment. But what exactly does Going-Live mean? It isn’t as simple as throwing a switch. Tons of work has been going on in the background to ensure that the moving parts of CORAL, Aleph, the EBSCO Admin, dozens of spreadsheets, and FOLIO itself aligned this summer for a successful migration.

Way back in May 2019 my working group, FERM (FOLIO Electronic Resource Management), began meeting to discuss how we would implement a shared ERM system. Three of the Five Colleges currently use CORAL for this purpose, and we all use Aleph to track acquisitions and cataloging of electronic resources. At the time, we were all using SFX as a link resolver and managing EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) in the EBSCO Admin. Add to that list systems like OCLC for cataloging, EBSCONet for serials, eBook purchasing platforms, EZProxy servers, and many, many emails we were trying to manage individual resources sometimes in 5 or more places! The purpose of FOLIO is to cut that number way down. Having a single place to go to for information on a resources license, order history, discoverability, and lifecycle will allow us to work more effectively at our institutions and doing it in a shared environment will allow us to work more collaboratively across the Five Colleges.

When we decided in October 2019 to switch up our timeline and adopt the ERM suite first, FERM began a months long process to define systems settings, discuss workflows and shared experiences, articulate what existing data should or should not be migrated, set up permissions, and advocate for our needs in the FOLIO community. Now, in August 2020 we have reached a point where our work is beginning to pay off. I want to take a moment to thank all of those involved in both FIT and FERM who made it possible for us to shift gears and in under a year complete an implementation that we expected to happen after we left Aleph. Without their hard work none of this would have been possible.

But now that we’re live, what happens next? The short answer is: everything. We will continue to be partners in an open source community for as long as we use FOLIO, and have the opportunity to watch it mature and ensure that it can meet our needs. We will continue to attend special interest groups (SIGs) and act as subject matter experts for the development teams so that FOLIO can evolve to meet the challenges we can’t yet see. We will continue to work together here at the 5C to make the shared environment of FOLIO a success and to find ways to support each other in the ERM world. And of course, we still need to migrate Aleph.
Thank you to everyone involved in the FOLIO project here at the 5C. Here’s to more successful Go-Lives in the future!

-Jack Mulvaney

On behalf of FERM