Vernon CMS by Vernon Systems - Evaluation

About this evaluation

This evaluation was performed on February 14, 2018 with a representative from Vernon Systems. It was evaluated by 12 members of the museum community and reflects their personal opinion. These evaluations were based on a set list of tasks in a limited period of time. It is always recommended that you request a demonstration of any product in which you may be interested based on your specific.

Evaluator ratings

The following table shows the ratings given to this software by members of the museum community. To understand what these ratings mean, please refer to our Scoring System & Evaluation Guide.

Each rating given is scored out of a maximum of five points. The larger the Standard Deviation number, the wider the range of scores for that task.

Task Average Standard Deviation

Online data entry

0.6

1.1

Publish a record to the web

3.3

0.8

Set user permissions and groups

3.3

0.7

View audit trails or change log

4.1

0.7

Import data

3.8

0.6

Export data

3.6

0.7

Create a local terminology list

3.7

0.7

Upload or attach images and files

3.4

0.8

Catalogue an object

3.8

0.5

Batch modify a set of records

3.3

0.8

Multilingual capabilities

2.0

0.7

Customize a catalogue entry page

2.8

0.7

Create a template record

3.5

0.9

Generate and/or build a report

3.4

0.8

Perform basic search

3.5

0.7

Perform advanced search

3.3

0.6

Browse records

2.9

1.0

Create an exhibit

3.3

0.6

Enter condition report information

3.4

0.7

Evaluator comments

The following comments have been provided by our evaluators after they rated the performance of each task. These are selected comments drawn from the “Additional Comments” section of the evaluation form.

  • We did not see a number of collections management activities (accessioning, deaccessioning, loans) or party records. Nor did we see much of process and task tracking. With a concentration on cataloging, it is difficult to gauge this product as a full collections management system.
  • Very powerful and complex, but UI seems a bit dated and sometimes hard to follow. Many functionalities go way above and beyond expectations, but I think extensive training would be needed.
    • Vendor response: Vernon CMS manages 14 core collection management processes including acquisitions, accessioning, deaccessioning, loans, rights, and conservation. Acquisitions can be planned and assessed for individual objects or groups of objects, and group acquisitions can be updated in bulk when acquisitions are approved or declined. Inward and outward loans can be managed in detail, with emails and agreements automatically triggered at appropriate steps in the process. Party records are managed through the person file where records can be created for individuals and organisations complete with full biographical and contact information. Detailed service or biography records can be created for people in specialist collections such as military archives.
    • Improving the user interface (UI) is a key change in upcoming versions. Version 12 (late 2018) includes improvements to the main application toolbars and migrates the extensive user help to a modern web format.
  • Overall, I thought that this product seems to have a lot of capabilities. The recurring thought I kept having however, is that the product does not seem users friendly or intuitive at all. For small institutions I think this product will be beyond them. Even for some larger institutions, some staff might find that the system is a bit clunky to work in and may have a good sized learning curve. Overall, there seemed to be a lot of steps/windows/lists to navigate between to perform basic functions. The UI also seemed very dated.
  • There are some good built-in verification elements to ensure quality control as staff is entering data.
  • Procedural status field is included in most modules (and is a nice feature). This field indicates a process or approval stage in the collection management activities. Client can create rules for each process/approval to ensure staff do not overlook required information or steps. Process management and quality control.
  • Vernon appears to be a complex system with many fields and templates, but this complexity allows the system to offer more options to its clients.
  • Overall, this was one of the better products I have seen in this process. Very well designed to meet the best practices of traditional museum collections management. Room for improvement is around more future-looking approaches to museum collections, things like multi-lingual and end user generated knowledge.
  • Clear straightforward database.
  • Interface is a bit dated – Windows 2000? 2005?
  • It is nice that it is compatible with Microsoft suite.
  • A good system with some minor drawbacks. The asset is the automation for many of the tasks, which makes using Vernon very efficient.
  • The system is powerful but the interface is clunky and old-fashioned looking. My users would not use it.
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