From desktop to Software as a Service: transforming Greece’s most widespread library software “ABEKT” into a brand-new cloud service “openABEKT”


Presenters: Eleni Angelidi & George Stavrou

The National Documentation Centre (ΕΚΤ)* in Greece has been working closely with a broad network of Greek libraries all over the world but mostly in Greece and Cyprus by supplying them with it’s own proprietary ILS, ABEKT, for more than 30 years. Through its various iterations EKT continuously improved ABEKT, always with the feedback and support of the community of users, circa 2600 libraries, ranging from special, academic and public to school libraries. The latest iteration of ABEKT, openABEKT, a SaaS fully integrated service, has been developed and allowed EKT to digitalize the entirety of the library automation workflow.

openABEKT features a robust service-oriented architecture with a single-point access for end users, using Software as a Service (SaaS) and Cloud Computing technologies and state-of-the-art business models. EKT’s goal is to offer solutions that correspond to the principal requirements of library automation regarding flexible and immediate updates of metadata formats, digital content management, improved stuff and end user interfaces, library workflows, extended discovery procedures, linked data etc.

The openABEKT service comprises of a full suite of online components such as:

1. openABEKT Wizard, which customizes certain aspects of the application (URL, logo, user management etc.).
2. EKT Cloud, which ensures required storage space, system resources, high Internet connection speeds, high service availability and regular back up.
3. Content Migration service, with data metrics & statistics analysis, data validation and enrichment.
4. openABEKT customized web platform, which consists of 4 environments Catalogue, Discover, Workflows & Functions, Platform Administration.
5. eLearning, which offers 24/7 full training on the use of the openABEKT web platform.
6. eKnowledgeBase, which offers 24/7 useful material to support of the service.
7. eHelpdesk, which offers e-support for users of the service.

The proposed presentation will discuss the key challenges the development team faced and the collaborative service design we decided to follow in order to introduce a brand new model of delivery of service to libraries. Besides the strategy and service design, we will discuss which tech specs we decided to prioritize, the innovative aspects of both the platform and the service and the coming-soon functionalities (such as additional workflows automation and self services for patrons, business intelligence tools through the integration of visualized statistics and metrics, the strategic adoption of RFID technology and smart devices). In order for us to prioritize these, we have been working closely with Greek libraries for decades and base the development of future functionalities and services on their feedback and needs. Finally, we will look at distribution strategies and service work-flow modelling as well as building an online community of users with a goal to ensure the optimum adoption rate for the new service.

* The National Documentation Centre (ΕΚΤ) in Greece aims to collect, document, manage, disseminate and preserve quality digital content and data produced by the Greek scientific, research and cultural communities. The national infrastructure, which EKT develops, ensures access to reusable knowledge, the collection of data and the production of indicators and statistics for Research, Development, Technology and Innovation in Greece. With the aim of supporting research and technology, EKT provides infrastructures and services for the use and dissemination of Greek scientific and cultural digital content, placing emphasis on libraries support, open availability and the reuse of content.