EMA rolls into open Group

Computer World –

FRAMINGHAM -- After reports of financial woes, the Electronic Messaging Association (EMA), has found a way to solve its financial and organizational problems and still stay active.

The trade organization for electronic-messaging users and vendors based in Arlington, Va., is being rolled into a larger international IT standards body, The Open Group based in Menlo Park, Calif.

The EMA will now be a forum within The Open Group, and members of the EMA will automatically become members of the The Open Group Electronic Messaging Association (EMA) Forum.

As of last fall, the EMA had 341 member companies. The end users are primarily Fortune 500 companies; the vendor companies manufacture e-mail, unified messaging, wireless messaging, voice mail, networks, directories, fax and electronic data interchange (EDI) products.

At its meeting next month in San Jose, Calif., The Open Group in San Jose, will focus on messaging and embedding real-time applications, such as instant messaging, into other business applications.

"[The Open Group] had been wanting to create a messaging forum," said EMA Chairman Michelle Rubenstein. "It really was an extension of what they had already embarked on." At the same time, the EMA was looking for a partner to bolster the organization's flagging finances and strapped internal resources. Previous EMA boards had also considered merging with The Open Group, she said.

Last fall, Rubenstein acknowledged that the EMA was in trouble.

"Our financial position is not good," she said, "[The EMA] is undergoing some difficulties right now due to some poor decisions by previous CEOs."

Analyst David Ferris, head of Ferris Research and also an EMA member, said the people who ran the EMA simply didn't have good business sense.

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