The year-old Electronic Business Association (Ebanz) has been folded back into its parent group TUANZ in an effort to stop member confusion.
Ebanz chairman Mark Jeffries says the move is an effort to stop the fragmentation of Tuanz’s “brand” and not because of a lack of interest among members about e-commerce.
Ebanz had around 150 corporate members, many of them large companies, and was a strong sub-group of the 500-strong TUANZ, he says. Jeffries, who is also on the government’s ECAT team, says the Ebanz representative group has not died and will continue to support issues. “I’m still chairman of e-commerce areas and I have representation at the board level of Tuanz.”
The consolidation also affects the Call Centre Association and the Interactive Association, which are also to be brought back under Tuanz’ auspices. Tuanz chief executive Ernie Newman says the three separate sub-brands had proved confusing for members and increased administration workloads. Bringing all three back together under TUANZ will simplify administration for TUANZ’ small head office team and simplify complex cost structures, he says.
Members previously paid a TUANZ fee based on the size of their corporation and then elected which — if any — subgroup to belong to, paying an extra fee. Newman says TUANZ has instead decided to lift its subscription price for all members — which will differ depending on their base fee, but will be around $200 to $300. This will give all members automatic rights to every subgroup.
Jeffries says TUANZ also recognised that the growth of convergence meant it was no longer viable to “artificially separate” infrastructure, e-commerce and call centres. “Each has a cross-over and there’s value to be had [there]. We wanted to get a big bang for the user’s buck.”