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A new conference on the horizon

HP user groups crank up consolidation

Encompass and its allied user groups offered specifics on the consolidation of four groups, a move the groups have scheduled for April pending member approval. Encompass, the Tandem ITUG user group, HP Interex Europe and the Pacific Rim outpost of Encompass want to become a single entity.

As a single group, the entity that's being called Endeavor hopes to attract more notice and cooperation from Hewlett-Packard and offer a better package of benefits to its members. Encompass president Nina Buik hopes the consolidation will make Endeavor more attractive to younger members of the HP IT professional community.

But first comes the vote on the consolidation, scheduled for "soon" in a message to user group members. In order to inform its electorate, Encompass pointed to an "Agreement and Plan of Consolidation", a legal document that Encompass posted online for members to review prior to the upcoming vote. You don't have to be a current member of any of the user groups to look at the plan; just head to the new Endeavor site to review the document.

Only user group members will be asked to vote, however. But they'll have a clear view of what the user groups need them to approve.

The consolidated group's site also has recorded Webcast presentations and an FAQ file, but the message of this week highlighted several plans for the new group:

Board of Directors: The Board of Directors slate for the new organization will include current board members from each of the three organizations that were chosen to represent their respective members. These trusted individuals have demonstrated exemplary service and dedication to their communities and are considered qualified to serve as Directors of the new organization. The bylaws detail the Board positions and terms as well as the various committees and subgroups.

New Organization Name: There are name recommendations under consideration that are currently undergoing a trademark search process. This due diligence will have a bearing on the name that is eventually chosen. Therefore, the new organization's proposed name is not included within the Agreement and Plan of Consolidation, but will be finalized for the intended launch at the HP Technology Forum & Expo 2008 in June.

Membership Dues Structure: The membership structure and fees are detailed in the document for both basic individual membership and corporate membership. Basic individual membership will be US$50 and an additional fee for the Connection magazine subscription. Should the new organization be approved, current memberships with Encompass will be honored with the new organization.

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