Tech Advocacy Groups CompTIA, TechAmerica Merge - InformationWeek

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Government // Leadership

Tech Advocacy Groups CompTIA, TechAmerica Merge

With the acquisition, CompTIA gains TechAmerica's expertise in federal, state, and local government policy.

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A string of mergers among technology trade and lobbying groups in recent years took another twist this week as CompTIA, a nonprofit trade association that serves IT professionals, announced it has acquired the industry group TechAmerica in a move to expand its public-sector presence.

The combined organization will retain the CompTIA name, brand, leadership, and board of directors. However, it will use the TechAmerica brand for technology-related public advocacy work. With the acquisition, CompTIA, which provides workforce training and certification as well as advocacy for small and midsized technology companies, gains TechAmerica's expertise in federal, state, and local government policy.

A new tagline -- "The ICT Industry Trade Association" -- has been added to CompTIA's name to reflect the organization's broader industry focus. The terms of the deal haven't been disclosed.

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"This transaction with CompTIA allows TechAmerica to continue its legacy as part of an industry-leading group," Dennis Stolkey, chairman of TechAmerica's board of directors and senior vice president of Americas HP Enterprise Services, said in an email. "For the industry as a whole, joining forces consolidates disparate segments of the information technology and communications sector under one umbrella and will allow us to enhance voice, reach, and influence."

TechAmerica was established in January 2009 when the AeA (formerly the American Electronics Association) and the Information Technology Association of America officially merged memberships, programs, and services. Since then, the industry group has served as a voice of large businesses and the tech public sector. Last year, for example, TechAmerica urged members of the Massachusetts General Court to reconsider a proposed new tax on computer and software services.

TechAmerica is also known for its government studies, such as the annual "CIO Insights" survey of federal CIOs. The 2013 survey revealed that sequestration is deterring implementation of new technologies and forcing CIOs to find ways to save.

The acquisition by CompTIA comes around the same time as TechAmerica's settlement of a $5 million lawsuit against its rival, the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI). "TechAmerica's top priority is always the success of our members and the larger US technology industry, and all actions we take are to serve that goal, including the settlement between ITI and TechAmerica. This resolution is in the best interests of our members," TechAmerica's president and CEO, Shawn Osborne, said in a press release issued following the settlement on May 2.

Now that CompTIA and TechAmerica have merged membership bases, the organization can "pursue the best interests of the ICT sector as a whole, eliminating an artificial barrier that has divided efforts in the past," CompTIA's president and CEO Todd Thibodeaux said in a release Monday. The merger will help amplify the "industry's already powerful voice in Washington, D.C. at a time when policies critical to continued innovation and economic growth are at stake."

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Elena Malykhina began her career at The Wall Street Journal, and her writing has appeared in various news media outlets, including Scientific American, Newsday, and the Associated Press. For several years, she was the online editor at Brandweek and later Adweek, where she ... View Full Bio

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User Rank: Author
5/6/2014 | 2:14:29 PM
Consolidation catches up with TechAmerica
Interesting to see TechAmerica, which had been rolling up other trade groups, get rolled up into CompTIA. TechAmerica did some noteable work, and provided thoughtful research on IT issues. But its dependency on member dues was always a challenge. CompTIA gets its revenues from training/education fees -- a much steadier form of income.  It'll be interesting to see if the complementary strengths work out.

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