The Communications Management Association (CMA) has expressed its regret that CITA (formally TIA – Telecoms Industry Association) has closed down. CITA counted amongst its’ membership companies such as Teleware, Inter-Tel, Avaya, Bailey Teswaine, BT and Mitel as well as a raft of smaller vendors and resellers.
The CMA commented that this is a sad moment for the industry and reflects the difficulties faced by many organisations coming to grips with change over the past few years. CMA itself has had to transform and is now once again a growing communications organisation encompassing convergence in all its forms.
“Over the past five years, CMA has become much more collaborative with the supplier community and, in 2004, it broadened its individual membership to include all communications professionals – wherever they sit in the value chain. It also introduced new categories of Associates and Partners for the suppliers and channel to participate in its essentially user based organisation.”
With the departure of CITA, CMA is extending its Partner and Associate programme to offer former CITA members a home.
CMA is doing this for two reasons. Firstly it believes that CITA members would be a good fit with its more user focussed community. Together, they will create a stronger ICT community for the benefit of UK enterprise as a whole. Secondly, it believes that many of the CITA activities would enhance CMA and improve its independent role as the interface between supplier and user.
To achieve this, CMA will launch a new ‘CITA’ forum within the organisation. This would have many of the attributes of CITA and in particular there will be a CITA panel to lead and guide the new Forum in much the way that the previous Board did for CITA. There will then be the opportunity to strengthen channel activities through the new ‘CITA’ Forum.
Glenn Powell CMA Chief Executive said “CMA and TIA (now CITA) have always worked closely together on many industry issues such as convergence and interoperability. TIA have supported us through our own change and it is entirely appropriate that we should seek to support CITA members and provide them a base. This is all part of the process of change and we can use the opportunity to make CMA even more inclusive and responsive to the whole industry including the channel.”
Alan Bullen a Director of CITA and MD of Lynx Networks plc said: “This is an ideal opportunity for us as suppliers to work with the users for the benefit of all concerned. I will be working with CMA to form the new Forum and to continue some of the excellent activities previously carried out by CITA. It is also intended to have codes of conduct similar to those adopted by CITA.”