RealTime IT News

SIIA to Acquire NYNMA

In a move that boosts the profile of two technology trade associations, the Washington, D.C.-based Software & Information Industry Association is acquiring the New York New Media Association, atNewYork.com has learned.

SIIA representatives couldn't comment on the acquisition; however, other sources familiar with both organizations have confirmed.

The plan, sources said, is for the two associations to merge their internal operations and streamline some overlapping divisions; NYNMA would keep its name and board structure.

Alice O'Rourke, the executive director of NYNMA, declined to comment directly. "We have a great relationship with SIIA," she said. The two associations have worked on programs and events together, "which you may just see more of in time."

Ken Wasch, the president of SIIA, was as coy and effusive about NYNMA as O'Rourke was about SIIA.

"We're talking. My signature is not on any piece of paper yet," though he said an announcement could be expected next week.

"We at SIIA believe that there would be enormous benefits to both groups of members if we were to do more activities in partnership with one another," he said.

"We continue to talk about our respective event calendars and I can tell you SIIA has already planned four major events in New York for this fall," Wasch told atNewYork.com

He said the planned events are a Web services conference in October, a financial data event organized by SIIA's financial information services division, as well as involvement in NYNMA's CyberSuds and VentureDowntown conferences. In addition, SIIA has on tap its annual information industry summit in January and an educational technology forum in February. "These events will be good for the broad industry and great for New York."

SIIA was formed by the merger of two software-focused associations. It counts as corporate members the McGraw-Hill Corp., owner of credit rating agency Standard & Poor's and Business Week magazine; publishing and database powerhouse the Thomson Corporation and Dow Jones, publisher of The Wall Street Journal. In addition, major tech companies such as Oracle and Sun are affiliated with the association.

By merging with NYNMA, the association gains a significant entry to the technology market in the New York region, as well as access to the extensive range of corporate and technology experience among the ranks of NYNMA membership.

NYNMA, on the other hand, gets a stronger presence near the nation's policy makers. It also gets to take advantage of SIIA's back office management systems and internal management structure. For example, it is expected to use SIIA's newsletter operations to improve its own newsletter outreach to various special interest groups that focus on law, policy, and other emerging digital media issues. NYNMA's estimated 6,000 members include about 3,200 corporate members, O'Rourke said. SIIA's corporate numbers were not clear, but are estimated to be between 1,200 and 2,000.

By merging the two associations, SIIA gains a significant expansion of its mission and sponsorship base in the New York market. At the same time, the deal would provide NYNMA with a stronger financial footing based on a cost structure built around corporate memberships rather than individual memberships.

Whether SIIA would assume all of NYNMA's financial liabilities was not clear, though O'Rourke did say NYNMA had met its most recent budget predictions.

"The sweet spot of SIIA is where software code and digital content meet, which is very close to the sweet spot of NYNMA, which is the convergence of many industries to form a digital media industry," added Wasch.

At the height of the technology bubble in late 1999, membership of NYNMA ballooned to over 8,000, many of which were part of small start-up companies. When the tech bubble burst, the association struggled to scale back costs as membership dropped and corporate sponsors cut back on spending. But membership, and sponsors, have begun to return to NYNMA, O'Rourke said.