Last June, a group of 10 vendors formed The Compliance Consortium. Its mission: To publish governance, risk and compliance (GRC) best practices and reference architectures; to influence and contribute to GRC-related industry and computing standards; and to establish conferences and other professional events focused on governance, risk and compliance topics.The companies-Approva, Axentis, Hyland Software, Hyperion, Intuition, Jefferson Wells International, Navigant Consulting, The Network, Corpedia and Staffware-formed the consortium because their customers, flooded with marketing hype, were asking them for guidance on what technologies they needed to develop a best practices compliance program.

"Many of us knew each other and had done business together," says Ted Frank, chairman of the consortium and president of Axentis LLC, a Warrensville Heights, Ohio-based enterprise compliance management software firm. "So we all sat around a table one day and said, 'This market desperately needs a standard-a reference architecture. And, while none of us alone provides the complete architecture, we certainly have enough knowledge to put together a good solid approach to managing enterprise risk and compliance.'"

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