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Are There too Many Consortia?

Oct 11, 2010, 20:03 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Andrew Updegrove)

"Companies that participate in hundreds of standard setting organizations (SSOs) often bemoan the continuing launch of more and more such organizations. Why, they are wont to ask, are so many new ones being formed all the time? And indeed, the aggregate participation costs for such companies in terms of membership dues and personnel are very high.

"Of course, if you read the press releases of the new consortia launched in any given year, you'll see that almost all include some of the same companies among their founding members. So which is the more accurate picture — that there too many consortia, or too few? The best answer to both questions almost certainly is "yes."

"It's not whether there are too many SSOs in existence at any point in time, but whether the right SSOs are available to do the work that needs to be done

"How can that be true? Let's look at these questions in reverse order to find out.

"First of all, there are never likely to be enough SSOs, in the sense that while the inventory at any point in time will be large, the range of the available stock will rarely be completely comprehensive when compared to the technology landscape at the same instant. This is particularly true with respect to new technologies, where more often than not, no existing SSO will prove to be technically appropriate as well as interested in expanding its mission to fill the gap."

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