The Silicon Review
Growing up on the same street in a remote town of Woodbury, Connecticut, the two mischievous best friends, Nathan Curulla and Brendan Gallagher had ample time and space for their imaginations to flourish. Back in 1982, when the duo met each other at the age of 3 had no idea that they were actually sowing the seeds of ByWater Solutions.
Nathan and Brendan used to spend most of their time in the acres of woods behind their homes, they name their favorite places in those woods, and all of the names came from the books - JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The dark pine grove of the woods came to be known as Gollum Forest and the reservoir used by the town was named ByWater Pool.
After high school, Brendan went to work in the library world as an IT Specialist and Nathan began a career in retail and small business management. In early 2004 the duo started their first business, BnN Enterprises and that company eventually provided the seed money to start ByWater Solutions.
Having spent four years in the library world he learned about and had become part of the Koha community. Once in California, Brendan decided to form a Koha support and implementation company and offered his lifelong friend a partnership in the enterprise. Nathan started with the company part-time, juggling both careers by hosting many of the sales calls, telephone meetings and new staff interview calls in the supply closet of his day job, until coming on full time 3 months later.
Once the partnership was formed they were faced with the task of naming the company. Undoubtedly, the name that the duo needed came from their childhood naming methods, they turned to The Lord of the Rings and ByWater Solutions was formed.
The Best Koha Support for Libraries
The duo believed that one should have control of the quality and functionality of the patron’s online library experience. The mission of ByWater Solutions is to empower libraries by giving them the technological flexibility and freedom they deserve by using open source software with comprehensive and honest support. ByWater Solutions is made up of a diverse group of librarians, book lovers, technology and data geeks, photographers, Tolkien fans, space nerds, genealogists, knitters, composters, animal lovers and most importantly, open source fanatics which makes it an amazing company with amazing minds.
Today, using Koha supported by ByWater Solutions puts the control of the library staff and patron’s experience in their hands rather than in the hands of a disconnected vendor. By participating in the Koha community’s forward-thinking and vibrant international member base, one can have a voice regarding what features are added to the system and when one can use them.
What does ByWater Solution do?
Customized Koha Installations and Implementations: To ensure the safety and security of user’s database, ByWater Solutions offers a complete hosted environment on ByWater equipment placed in the virtual networking cloud. This also delivers improved performance for both the staff and the users. Other functions include the maintenance of Linux server, the management of databases with real-time backups, and the installation of updates and upgrades to both the Linux server and Koha ILS software.
Data Migration and Data Manipulation: Skilled manipulation of library data is the key to a successful migration. Because it is the most important representation of a library’s collection and ByWater take the time to proficiently manage data. Before the company moves data into any new system, it checks each record for accuracy, identifying and manipulating each record for the correct encoding and diacritical display.
Expert Anytime Koha Support: Quality of support is the most important focus of ByWater and the company prides itself on the implementation of this key feature. ByWater Solutions has the lowest customer to support personnel ratio in the business, and it is hiring additional support specialists regularly.
Koha Hosting Services: ByWater Solutions plans and prepares for the worst by taking precautions and installing safeguards to protect data. The company performs a daily backup of all system data stored in the cloud. This information is saved both on-site and off-site and is comprised of the all of the system data, and all other information found on the main server. Also, ByWater creates a mirrored image of the system data and code-base on their servers located at the ByWater main office in California.
Comprehensive Koha Training: ByWater is dedicated to the expert training and implementation of Koha. All ByWater Solutions training sessions are led by professional MLS librarians and accomplished Koha trainers.
Custom Koha Development: ByWater Solutions fully embraces the ideas and practices of open source software. Because of this all custom development sponsored by the customers and completed by the company will be publicly available at all times, even while still in progress, in the ByWater Git repository.
“We went with Koha because it had competitive features and promised to keep our ILS up to date without expensive extras and upgrades. Migrating isn’t an easy process, but ByWater made it as seamless as possible. Their migration specialists, Dani and Joy, worked tirelessly to merge data from 11 separate libraries into a working consortium.” - Sean Minke, Assistant Director, Rapid City Public Library
Greet the CEO
Brendan A. Gallagher is the Co-Owner and Chief Executive Officer of ByWater Solutions. Brendan is an expert on installation, data migration, and customization of many open source platforms. He was a member of the first class of ALA Emerging Leaders where he focused on ways those in the library profession could re-brand themselves in the digital world. He was honored as Alumni of the Year for the Southern Connecticut State University in 2011.