Hey, Hey! We're the OMA!
Eyelids getting heavy yet? Stifling a yawn? So are we. Just how many bodies dedicated to open standards can one closed industry have, we ask ourselves (rhetorical, like).
Well, the OMA will actually sound the death-knell of a number of other bodies, most notably the WAP Forum Ltd. and the Nokia-led Open Mobile Architecture (OMA) project.
And it will make life easier for whoever is tasked with putting together Powerpoint presentations when CEOs like Don Listwin of Openwave Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: OPWV) go on the road.
"We crafted this realignment because there were about fifteen different fora out there," says Listwin. "You should have seen my chart."
But will the new OMA succeed in its stated aim of developing and delivering open standards for the industry? "We could still screw up," Listwin allows, with refreshing perspicacity.
The analysts Unstrung spoke to about OMA seemed somewhat underwhelmed by the shiny new forum.
"OMA is a broad-based agreement to comply with standards devised by other standards-setting bodies," says Seamus McAteer, principal analyst at the Zelos Group LLC. "It's a statement of intent and a press release. It looks analogous to the [3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP)] and a bunch of other umbrella organizations. Doesn't mean a whole lot in the real world."
"It's an alliance of alliances," agrees Amit Nagpal, senior consultant with the U.S arm of Analysys Consulting.
Not even the fact that Microsoft is on board from the beginning this time (Redmond was a member of the WAP Forum) can get a rise out of McAteer. "The fact is that Microsoft does not have a big impact here," he says So, there you have it: The OMA is a standards body about standards bodies. A meta-standards body, if you will – the wireless alliance that ate itself.
— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung