Standards organizations are special organizations, with special requirements. A limited number of service providers, including Gesmer Updegrove, have made the commitment to learn about these needs, and to provide services specially tailored to meet them. We have worked with many of the organizations listed below for many years and would be happy to provide recommendations.
Ruane and Company
An accounting firm that provides audit, tax and business consulting services to many consortia and trade associations.
Applied Testing and Technology (ApTest)
Founded by the President and Chief Technical Officer of 88open Consortium, Ltd., one of the first consortia to develop its own test suites and create and run its own on-site certification testing facility. Aptest develops test suites and/or offers testing services for web sites, application software, system software, middleware and Orbs.
The Open Group
A consortium in its own right, TOG was formed by the union of the Open Software Foundation, the developer of Motif and other software and standards for the Unix community, and X/Open, a world-wide certification testing organization. Besides supporting its own members, it continues to provide worldwide testing services; hosts forums which guide the development of initiatives; organizes conferences where IT customers and vendors meet; and provides support services to other standard setting groups.
Gesmer Updegrove LLP
Since 1988, GU has helped form scores of standard setting and promotional consortia, and has advised many more — in all, more than 115 standards organizations and open source foundations in a very wide range of technologies. Its advisory services include pre-formation advice on structural, membership, budget, promotional and other matters crucial to ensure a successful launch and ongoing growth; advice on standardization, certification and branding strategies; and advice on restructurings, mergers and alliances to help consortia successfully adapt to changing times. The firm believes that it has represented more standard setting and promotional consortia than any other law firm in the United States, and is the creator and host of this site and the electronic publisher of Standards Today, as well as the Essential Guide to Standards, an on-line, book-length guide to getting the most out of participating in standards development organizations, or to form one yourself. To learn more, contact Andrew Updegrove at 617/350-6800, or by email at Andrew Updegrove (and also see the related entry below under Legal Services).
Gesmer Updegrove LLP
Gesmer Updegrove believes that it has represented more standard setting and promotional consortia than any other law firm in the United States. Since 1988, it has helped form scores of standard setting and promotional consortia as well as open source foundaitons, and has advised many more — in all, more than 115 organizations in a very wide range of technologies. Its legal services for standards organizations include initial formation and structuring; securing tax exemptions and ongoing tax compliance; antitrust compliance monitoring and advice; administering worldwide trademark, service mark, and certification mark registration programs; structuring and documenting technical processes; advising on intellectual property rights issues and creating IPR policies; advising on licensing and technology transfer matters; addressing international issues; negotiating and documenting restructurings, mergers and alliances; addressing management and employment issues; and litigation services. For individual companies, the firm provides advice relating to participation in standards organizations; standards-related litigation services; preparation and filing of amicus briefs in standards litigation; and expert witness services. The firm is the creator and host of this site and the electronic publisher of Standards Today. To learn more, contact Andrew Updegrove at 617/350-6800, or by email at Andrew Updegrove (and also see the related entry under Consulting Services).
Alliances Management is a professional services firm that delivers operations management, administrative services, and strategic consultation to trade associations and standards organizations. Founded by Tono Aspinall, with ten years of experience in operations management, the company leverages streamlined processes and best practices to deliver its clients financial/budget management, board services, executive committee management, legal/compliance management, conference management, website management, general administration, and more. Alliances Management believes that while a professional services organization should leverage its best practices for efficiency’s sake, it should also tailor its approach to each client’s manner of doing business so as to achieve the best possible results.
Association Management Solutions (AMS)
Over the past fifteen years, AMS has helped start, organize and manage technical industry initiatives and fora. AMS’s philosophy is to partner with technical leadership to provide association management expertise, manage day to day operations and provide collaborative tools to insure that important work gets done. AMS provides a turn-key solution that combines experienced staff with an established technology infrastructure that is customized for the unique needs of technical organizations. Areas of service include Board support, membership and financial management, IT management and web-based collaborative tools, marketing program development, legal coordination, and comprehensive event and meetings services.
The IEEE Industry Standards and Technology Organization (ISTO) was established in January 1999 as a global, not-for-profit corporation [501(c)(6)] designed to accelerate and extend standards development and adoption activities for technology industry consortia. Unlike for-profit management services that support incorporated consortia, IEEE-ISTO is organized as a non-profit membership confederation promoting industry standards and technologies in the electro-technical sector, and does not require hosted consortia to be incorporated.
Hosted by The Linux Foundation, the JDF provides the corporate and legal infrastructure to enable groups to quickly establish and operate lightweight collaborations to develop technical specifications, standards, and source code, when appropriate before moving the effort to a larger standards organization. JDF offers “check the box” choices of legal agreements, allowing projects to launch quickly and inexpensively without incorporating or negotiating custom documentation.
Virtual provides a complete range of outsourced services for consortia and trade associations, including member recruitment and communications; membership fee invoicing and financial management; marketing strategy design and deployment; web design and administration; electronic and in-person meeting planning and hosting; and all other services necessary to permit an organization to operate without its own staff. Virtual is often retained before an organization is formed, and handles all aspects of its formation.
VTM Group is an association management company specializing in the high-tech industry since 1995. With over 90 employees, VTM offers support to startups and established standards organizations alike, providing expertise in helping industry organizations achieve their goals. Full scale services include best known methods and consultation, day-to-day operations, membership and licensing management, workgroup and committee support, tradeshow and event planning and execution, financial and budget management, initiatives and infrastructure formation support, web services, PR and strategic communications, professional employer organization services, and engineering and technical services to include compliance program management and test tool development.