April 2023 News from PIAC

April News from PIAC (Polaris ILS Advisory Committee)

1. Polaris 7.5

Is 7.5 still on track for a September 2023 release?

Polaris 7.5 is currently on track for a Q3 release, but it may be released a little later than anticipated. It’s still early in the development process, and the team will want to get a little later in the plan before confirming a release date.

Will the “customizable report menu options in Leap” item in Polaris 7.5 allow you to link out to any external web site, or only Simply/Reporting services?

Per Samantha Quell, the current plan is to allow two configurable links in the Utilities menu. These links don’t have to go to Simply reports or Reporting Services—they can be any links. Sam shared that they are also planning to add a custom link under the Help menu to allow libraries to link to their internal documentation. This will mimic the staff client Library Documentation link.

2. Polaris 7.4

How many libraries have upgraded to 7.4 so far?

Jesse Jensen reported that 5 production environments and 8 training/test environments have currently been upgraded to Polaris 7.4. There are a lot of additional libraries on the schedule to upgrade in the coming months. Support is currently booked out through July for training/test upgrades, and August for production upgrades. There are some dates in between that are open. Open a ticket sooner rather than later so that Support can get your library on the schedule!

For libraries that are unable to upgrade to 7.4 before July 1, does Clarivate have directions on how to embed GA4 code into the PowerPAC files so that usage data can continue to be tracked?

Libraries can follow the steps linked in the supportal to configure the PowerPAC / Mobile PAC Analytics Profile in System Administration to utilize the GA4 tracking code in Polaris versions 7.3 and below.

3. Getting Help from Support

PIAC shared feedback from members that some tickets are lingering longer than two weeks. PIAC is encouraging libraries to escalate per guidelines talked about at our November meeting, but there is still some frustration.

Jesse Jensen understands the frustration with needing to escalate tickets, but encourages everyone to use the escalation process that is in place. This will help Support identify ticket areas where they may need additional staffing or support.

Jesse also shared that new support engineering and site manager resources have been added to help manage tickets and other support work. This will help cut down on ticket response times. The impact won’t be immediate, but we’ll start seeing improvements in the coming months. Site managers should not change; Jesse said that he tries not to shift site manager assignments as long as it’s working for all parties involved. If there is potential to improve workflows, it’s possible a site manager change could be made. The new staff being hired will likely work with existing site manager teams to provide additional support.

4. New Polaris Customers

After the implementation period is over, what kind of support is offered for new Polaris customers who may need extra help? Do you have any tips or suggestions for who they should contact?

Jesse walked PIAC through the role of the Customer Success Managers. During the implementations process, Customer Success Managers are in regular contact with new libraries to identify concerns and issues so that they can be escalated if needed. Customer Success Managers work closely with the Support team to resolve issues. For new Polaris customers, the Customer Sucess Manager is Connie Wilson. Any new Polaris customers should reach out to Connie if they need help. Once Connie has the details, she will discuss them internally with the account management and support teams to figure out how to best support the new customer.

If you are a newly migrated Polaris library who needs some extra help, reach out to Connie Wilson! Staff can also contact Bruce or Jesse for additional support.

5. Overview of support for Polaris vs. Vega

Does your existing site manager provide support for Vega (ie, LX Starter and Discover), or will a different team provide support?

At least initially, support for Vega products will be provided by a combination of the Vega expert team and your Polaris Site Manager. This will allow Support to continue to provide a high level of service as Polaris Support Team members are getting up to speed on these products. As a result, you may hear from additional members of the Innovative Support team you have not heard from previously when entering Vega-centric tickets.

Are your support contacts different for implementations vs once you are live?

Any libraries that are implementing Vega products will work directly with the services team to get the products installed and working. Once implementations are complete and you are live, you will be transferred over to the support team (which includes the Vega expert team, site managers and support engineers).

6. Onboarding feedback for Vega Products

PIAC members shared feedback on some recent negative experiences with on-boarding Vega Discover features and LX starter.

Jesse and Samantha will take feedback back to Kat Cuff and the Vega team to see how the process could be improved.

7. Update on LX Starter Rollout for Polaris libraries

How many libraries are currently live? Is there an updated timeline for remaining Polaris customers?

Samantha Quell shared that 21 libraries are currently live with LX Starter. The first 3 waves have launched and they are working through the different cohorts:

  • Wave 1: Selected Development Partners (low-med volume)
  • Wave 2: Libraries on 7.3 or 7.4 (low-med volume; English-only notifications)
  • Wave 3 (pt 1; large single system libraries; multi-language notices)

Wave 3 (pt 2) has not yet launched. This includes consortia, international libraries and those that need additional notice types.

Libraries who are interested in moving to LX Starter should make sure that you have upgraded to 7.3 or 7.4.

For more on LX Starter, watch this April 11 webinar recording.

What does the testing and onboarding process look like? If issues are discovered, are there options to rollback to Polaris notices?

Samantha Quell shared that during the onboarding process, libraries can set up a test branch to generate test notices to ensure everything is working as expected. This is optional; not all libraries may need to do this.

If a library switches from Polaris to LX Starter notices, it is possible to rollback notices to Polaris in case of emergency. This will hopefully not be needed. Libraries are identifying and working through issues during testing. By the time a library is ready to launch LX Starter, issues should have been identified and corrected.

PIAC will not meet in May due to IUG. In the meantime, if you have questions, concerns, frustrations, praise, or suggestions, PIAC is here to represent Polaris libraries to Innovative! Please feel free to reach out to Debra (dwischmeyer@ccslib.org) or to any PIAC member.

Interested in Joining PIAC?

PIAC is currently seeking new members! Terms are two years and will begin in June after IUG. If you are interested in joining the PIAC team, view the form for more information and to apply. Feel free to reach out to Debra if you have questions! PIAC will also be hosting a Birds of a Feather at IUG on 5/11 at 4:45. Swing by to learn more about PIAC and chat with the current PIAC team!
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