Where did that year go?

It seems almost incomprehensible that it is December already – 2018 has flown by like no other year I can remember. Working in London for nkoda amongst a large team of predominantly 20-something very talented women and men is invigorating and challenging at the same time. Creating a digital delivery system from scratch that works at the scale we require is a massive undertaking for both nkoda and the participating publishers – and we have achieved so much in such a short time.

If there is one important takeaway from this experience for me, it is that the shift from print to digital is gaining momentum all over the world. So even if you have not started on this journey, it is only a matter of time.

For that reason, the focus in 2019 for both HLMSW and Zinfonia will be to help publishers in this transition. There are several projects we are working on to make it easier for publishers to manage both their paper and digital assets and to provide better integration with all digital services like nkoda.

Zinfonia will pass a significant milestone before the end of the year with the creation of the 40,000th account. In some territories, Zinfonia manages the majority of all hire/rental transactions and the number of publishers using the service also continues to grow. We are planning to give Zinfonia a major refresh in 2019 so that it continues to meet the needs of all its users.

For HLMSW, we will be providing enhancements so that it can drive much more than just hire/rental stock control. This includes interfacing with Digital Asset Management systems (for digital content) and providing simplified workflows for other sorts of rights handling operations (copyright permissions and musical theatre to name just two).

One important connection between HLMSW, Zinfonia and nkoda is the Universal Instrumentation Code (UIC). nkoda is the first large-scale system created around the UIC and as a result, apart from it now being available in 11 languages (English, French, German, Italian, Korean, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese and Spanish) , we will very soon have the possibility of being able to match titles based on precise instrumentations – not just for common groupings, but for any ensemble, including symphony orchestras. I do recommend you encourage your library team to review the information here  to gain some useful insights in UIC-best practice.

I would like to single out two people for helping me get though the mountain of work required to keep everything running smoothly. Firstly, I must thank my friend and colleague Ulrich Steffen Eck, who manages the world-wide customer support for both HLMSW and Zinfonia, a job that does not really accommodate personal time or sleep. I would also acknowledge the sacrifice of my wife Joanne gave up her Australian life to move to the other side of the globe for the sole purpose of helping me on this journey. I really do not know how I could have managed everything this year without them both.


On behalf of Steffen, Joanne and myself, may I wish you and your colleagues friends and family a safe and joyous festive season and a bountiful New Year.

Peter Grimshaw

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