Table of Contents
Frequently Asked Questions
These are the frequently asked questions for the list of Evergreen Paid Support Services
A note on the word "vendor": traditionally, a vendor is a merchant that sells products. Evergreen is not usually sold as a product, as it is freely available to all who want to use, modify, and/or distribute the software. In this document we're going to use vendor as a shorthand to refer to anyone, whether a company, or an individual, or a non-profit organization, that offers Evergreen "services" in exchange for money.
1) Should I use a vendor with Evergreen?
Though there is no requirement to use a vendor when using Evergreen, it may be convenient to do so. The software is freely available to be downloaded and installed by anyone, and there are no licensing fees or contracts required for using, distributing, or even modifying the software.
You should hire a vendor for the same reasons you would hire anyone–you want or need them to do work and/or you want or need to make use of their resources. With Evergreen you are free to develop in-house expertise in all aspects of the software, but you can also outsource it and develop in-house expertise at your own pace.
Most Evergreen libraries use vendors in some way or another and are successful. There are also successful organizations that are entirely self-sufficient with Evergreen. Common vendor services include:
- software development
- data migration
Different libraries mix and match these services, performing some in-house and hiring one or more vendors for others.
2) How do I "vet" a vendor?
Questioning the vendor directly
Just like you would interview a potential new hire, you should interview the vendor. You should ask for references, particularly from customers similar to you and/or receiving the same services. Additional questions may vary by the types of services you're looking for:
- What service-level agreements do you offer for uptime? What reparations do you offer for downtime?
- What is your backup policy? Your disaster plan? What are the potential points of failure?
- What redundancies do you have? Do you have more than one data center? What redundancies do they have? Power sources? Internet connections?
- What are you responsible for and what is out of scope of a hosting contract?
- What service-level agreements do you offer for response time? How do you escalate support tickets?
- What support tiers do you offer? How many people may we designate to interact with your support system?
- What are the normal support hours? Do you offer after-hours support?
- What does support cover exactly, and what is out of scope of a support contract?
- What are your policies for recording and redistributing sessions and training materials?
- software development
- How do you interact with the wider Evergreen development community? What can we expect concerning our changes ever making it into an official Evergreen release?
- What are your policies for acceptance testing and bug reporting?
- data migration
- What experience do you have with the software we're coming from? Could you perform our data extraction?
- Do you offer test loads? Do we have input in the data mapping?
- What are your policies for resolving data-related issues post-migration?
3) What information should I have available for the vendor(s)?
Vendors typically would like to know upfront if you require the use of an RFP. Also, vendors would like to know if there is a need to wait until an upcoming fiscal year start date to be able to pay them for their services. Additionally, be ready to provide basic facts about your library. For example, be ready to answer how many bib records does your library have, yearly circulations, number of patrons, and number of libraries. Also, what features will be required to be supported by Evergreen. For example, will you want to use serials, acquisitions, or self-check.
4) How do I use this vendor list?
This vendor list is provided as summary of vendors that have self-identified as companies or consultants that work with Evergreen. This list is intended to help save research time for existing or potential new members of the Evergreen community. The Evergreen community has required vendors to pass a limited set of requirements to be listed on this page, here are the requirements to be listed on the Evergreen Paid Support Services page. We strongly recommend that you always ask the vendors for references in the Evergreen community, or try to gather them yourself by asking around in the EG community.