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Merger SCIP / FSI

Addressing the Future

As the SCIP members have been informed and a wide spread discussion is in full swing at the various intelligence blogs I would like to inform my blog visitors about the merger between SCIP and the Frost & Sullivan Institute (FSI) as a member of the Board of Directors of SCIP serving until 2011.

Some non-SCIP members following the various blog discussions requested some insights into the facts and as we are in the middle of a process designed to fulfill legal and member requests here are some of the official facts until further information can be given.

You might have realized that SCIP, as a non-profit organization is deeply depending on the tight business model raising funds via membership involvement in events the membership dues. Since the economic crisis impacted budget and travel decisions across the global SCIP members' companies and economies in a fashion and depth never seen before SCIP's thin balance sheet was threatened to the extend to shut down within months.

In my function as a board member to SCIP I was involved in the painstaking process to find the best solution for the current SCIP members and the global Competitive Intelligence community at large.

When swimming against the water fall you might grab any lose rock while floating but let me assure you that all hands were out to reach for ground, branches and stems for months.

The solution to merge with another not-for-profit entity with some similar goals and membership base as well as mutual content capacities appears to be a solid boat with which the entire global CI community (SCIP's and FSI's) can reach new horizons. This becomes clear with the below copy of the original membership note:

"...SCIP’s merger with the Frost & Sullivan Institute is in line with our organizational strategy, and will create financial security, maintain and grow membership value, and expand the visibility of competitive intelligence to a wider range of corporate senior management.

This merger will not change any services you currently receive as a member and will allow you to gain additional membership benefits in the future.

SCIP, as an institution and brand, will remain an autonomous, member-driven society..."

Moreover, the detailed elements of the merger should assure all members and the potential members of the future that great things are to become true as opposed an endless budget cutting, financial doomsday scenario:

"...This merger provides the Society with such valuable opportunities for increased membership growth, visibility, and service expansion that it would have justified acceptance on its own merits, notwithstanding the existing financial situation.

The merger provides for the continuation of the SCIP organization and brand as the non-profit organization devoted to providing membership value and enhancing competitive intelligence as a profession.

The merger benefits all of our membership constituencies, as it provides resources to grow the membership and stabilize the Society’s finances. Long term financial sustainability will also support the development of enhanced membership benefits.

The merger allows your Society to continue autonomous operation, led by a membership-elected Board of Directors. SCIP will benefit from the insight and experience of the two additional board members representing the Frost & Sullivan Institute: David Frigstad, Chief Executive Officer and Wyman Bravard, Chairman of the Board.

The merger will allow your Society to avoid the economic and structural stresses facing other non-profit associations. Most of the 86,054 non-profits in the U.S. are being forced to reexamine their financial structure and investments, and are contracting services, cancelling meetings, considering cessation of operations, or seeking alternative ways (including mergers) to maintain their operations. In a recent poll of CEO’s of non profits 90% were expecting change of some magnitude in the next year..."

Please understand that your concerns and questions as members will be thoroughly processed within SCIP structures dedicated to deal with this transition for the time being (see original SCIP members communication with the email address provided there).

Please allow the BoD and colleagues at SCIP to concentrate on a concerted effort. Rest assured that all your concerns and inquiries will be taken seriously and responded to shortly and thoroughly. Meanwhile there is a dedicated webpage available that will be updated as progress is made, including the following FAQ's:

Frequently Asked QuestionsQuestions About the Voting Process:

1) How is the vote progressing?

The Society has to date received an overwhelming positive response from the membership supporting the merger. The vote has not only been a resounding “Yes,” but it is the largest membership voter turnout on record.

2) When does the voting on the merger close?

The vote will close at noon 12 PM EDT Friday May 15, 2009.

3) Who is eligible to vote for the merger?

All SCIP members in good standing can vote. Student members are excluded from voting by the Society’s bylaws.

4) How was information about the vote given to the membership?

An email was sent to all eligible membership on Thursday May 7, 2009 and contained a link to the voting site.

5) If I have not received this email, how do I obtain a ballot?

Send an email to SCIP After we confirm your membership status, you will receive a voting link.

General Questions Regarding the Merger

1) How will SCIP operate after the merger?

SCIP will remain an autonomous member-driven Society. The Frost & Sullivan Institute will have two of a maximum of 13 seats on the Board of Directors. The balance of the board will continue to be elected by the SCIP membership.

2) How will the association be governed?

The current SCIP bylaws will remain in place and be followed.

3) Will SCIP still be called SCIP?

SCIP’s name and brand will continue to be used after the merger and SCIP’s code of ethics will remain in place.

4) Is SCIP merging with a for-profit company?

No. SCIP is merging with another non-profit entity -- the Frost & Sullivan Institute – and will remain a 501 (6) non-profit association.