NAID & PRISM International Merger Updates

July 10, 2018

It would be nice if a merger were like flipping a switch: Today we are separate. FLIP! Now, we are one. However, anyone in operations can tell you, nothing is quite that simple. And executing a merger is a process. With that in mind, we want to ensure members are well informed on what is happening in the midst of this process.

This page will be continuously updated as the timeline proceeds and with any new member questions.

  • February – the NAID and PRISM International Boards both unanimously voted to merge the associations.
  • April – NAID members ratified this vote
  • May – PRISM members ratified this vote
  • June – The last week of June, the merger was officially enacted and major assets transferred
  • July – Staff work on the transition of data and additional assets continue to be transferred
  • August – the new merged Board of Directors meets for the first time

Even now that the merger is official, it will take time to bring the merged house into order. We are already making exciting headway these first few weeks into July, with emails now being directed to i-SIGMA headquarters.

Questions? We Have Answers

As we continue to receive questions from members, we strive to answer those. Please review these FAQs.

Question: Who is on the joint Board of Directors?

Answer: The interim i-SIGMA Board of Directors is comprised of the existing NAID Board of Directors and PRISM Board of Directors as each stood after this year’s spring elections. They will serve for two years as a joint i-SIGMA Board to give the association stability, and then a general i-SIGMA election will be held by the membership. Here are some additional facts about this current Board:

  • Of the i-SIGMA Board of Directors, 50% formerly represented the PRISM International division while 50% formerly represented the NAID division.
  • Of the board members representing the PRISM International division, approx. 80% represent independent operators, while the remaining 20% represent large, regional or international firms.
  • Of the entire i-SIGMA Board of Directors (both PRISM Int’l and NAID divisions), approx. 90% of service provider members are independent operators, with the other 10% representing large, regional or international firms.
  • Of the entire i-SIGMA Board of Directors, approx. 65% of service provider members offer storage and vaulting services.
  • Of the entire i-SIGMA Board of Directors, approx. 35% of service provider members serve regions outside the United States.
  • No individual i-SIGMA member-company contributes more than approx. 1.4% of the organization’s annual revenue.

Question: Now that the merger has been ratified by both the NAID and PRISM International memberships, what is next?

Answer: Over the next few months, the formal transition to i-SIGMA will continue to be implemented as outlined above. Nothing major will immediately change for members and members will be notified when changes affecting them do occur. At this juncture, you may start to notice the appearance of the new umbrella association name, i-SIGMA, in certain locations. There are many moving parts to a merger like this, so in order to make it happen as smoothly as possible, the final plans and transition requirements are being put in motion, with many decisions still to be made by the newly combined Board of Directors meeting in August.


Question: I saw an email address for a staff member that ended with, but I usually email staff and Do I have to update all of my contacts?

Answer: The home office has updated their email addresses to better reflect that we are i-SIGMA: The home of NAID and PRISM International. All PRISM International emails are now being managed by our staff as well. There is no need for concern about updating contact information; the old email addresses still work just fine and all communications continue to deliver to our inboxes without any issues.


Question: What are the specific benefits of the merger to NAID Members? And how will this benefit a non-paper shredding company (i.e. hard drive and magnetic tape destruction on-site)?

Answer: Secure information management (including storage, management, imaging, sanitization, and/or destruction) applies equally to all media formats. And the benefits of the merger will apply equally to members destroying any of those formats.

NAID members will save money and make more money as a result of the merger.

Save Money: Because the merger will combine the administrative functions into one back office it will be more economically efficient. As a result, there will be less pressure on future dues increases. Also, a more efficient back office means that a greater percentage of revenue goes to promoting members and the industry.

Make More Money: The greater combined resources of the merged association means the organization can focus on their common mission, which is to promote secure and sound information management. When the association has a greater ability to promote proper information management throughout its life cycle, it better helps create an environment where all members can prosper. This includes providing more resources to members.


Question: How will Membership work? Do we become members of both NAID and PRISM International now? 

Answer: NAID and PRISM International have been around for years and have a lot of industry equity. They are not going away but will continue to operate as divisions of the newly merged parent association, i-SIGMA (see question #6 for more information on the parent association). Members of the association will have the option to join under one or both divisions, depending on their business offerings. A member-company could then display the logo(s) of the appropriate division(s) of which they are affiliated. Whether it is NAID, PRISM International, or both is up to them.

As to retaining participation in both divisions, for those who already are members of both, each division will have exclusive benefits, for instance, the use of the logos. The respective certifications are only accessible to the participants of the respective division. Resources developed specifically for divisional applications, whether already in existence or developed in the future, will also often be available only to the participants of the respective divisions.


Question: Why would any company want to be a member of both NAID and PRISM International after the merger?

Answer: NAID and PRISM International will maintain their brand identities after the merger. NAID member benefits and PRISM International member benefits are limited to their respective division members, including the use of the respective logos and access to the respective certifications and members-only sample document libraries.

A NAID member who is in the RIM space should also be a PRISM member to obtain access to industry-specific resources and studies, such as the Standard Storage Agreement, the opportunity to join the mentoring program, and to obtain Privacy+ certification, and more.


Question: What if my company is a member of either NAID or PRISM but wants to be a part of both divisions?

Answer: For Active/Company members of either division wishing to add the other membership after the merger is complete, they may do so at any time by contacting the management office at +1 602-788-6243.  There will also be a place on the 2019 dues renewal invoice to indicate that intention (and calculate the additional dues).

NAID Associate Members and PRISM International Corporate Partners will have one dues fee and automatically have full benefits for both divisions.

Question: Going forward will members have to pay for each association or just one?  Will the combined association dues be LESS THAN the separate dues of NAID & PRISM International added together? Will this affect any of our fees and costs to be just a member of NAID?

Answer: In paying annual dues, members will indicate which division they wish to be affiliated with – NAID, PRISM International, or both. If a member-company chooses to support only one division, they will pay the dues associated with that division’s membership. The current dues with NAID are not changing. If a company chooses to be a member of both divisions, it will cost them more than it would as a member of a single division, but less than they pay currently to belong to both separate associations.


Question: For those not familiar with PRISM International, please provide background information on exactly what PRISM does. 

Answer: PRISM International (Professional Records and Information Service Management) was formed in the mid-1990s through a merger of two associations: the Association of Commercial Records Centers (ACRC) which was founded in 1980; and the National Association of Secured Data Vaults (NASDV) which was founded in 1981. PRISM International provides a wide range of services and education related to these two original service areas, physical record storage and management and data protection services, it has evolved to also include imaging and conversion services.

Throughout the years, PRISM & NAID have always had overlapping members and as a result, have worked together on regulatory issues, as well as occasionally hosting combined conferences. Both associations have promoted sound and secure information management practices by businesses and governments.


Question: How will the merger impact the separate certifications? Will this change the NAID AAA Certification audit process? Will the CSDS accreditation still be recognized by the merged group (or replaced)? 

Answer: All NAID certifications and accreditations will continue. There is no plan to change anything about the tools and services offered by NAID as a result of the merger.


Question: What will be the name of the new parent association? 

Answer: The umbrella, non-profit organization that will support the continued work of the NAID and PRISM International banners will be called i-SIGMA, which stands for the International Secure Information Governance and Management Association.


Question: How will the new organization promote two different brands so that NAID is still clearly represented?

Answer: NAID, NAID AAA Certification, and CSDS accreditation have been and will continue to be meaningful entities in secure data destruction and the business world. The bylaws of the new association were set-up to ensure this. They require that NAID and PRISM International continue to be distinctly represented for a minimum a seven (7) years after the merger. This will be accomplished through distinct operating divisions, wherein each will have their own Division Charter. Similar to NAID, PRISM International and Privacy+ will also continue on as distinct brands that focus on the storage, conversion, retention, and management of hard copy or digital information and data.


Question: Will there be a new combined logo? Or do NAID Logos still identify the organization? Will these be modified?

Answer: The logos members use will not change as a result of the merger; NAID members will continue to display the same appropriate NAID member logo. NAID AAA Certification (though recently modified) will also be unaffected. The same can be said of the PRISM International logo and their Privacy+ certification logo.


Question: When do I get the new i-SIGMA logo? For that matter, when should I start using it?     

Answer: Because NAID and PRISM International will maintain their brand identities members will continue to use the current logos associated to their existing membership. Members will not use an i-SIGMA logo at any juncture.

Question: Who initiated the merger discussions?

Answer: Due to the aligned missions and member overlap of both organizations, merger communications and discussions have been happening since 2011. In 2016, the Board of Directors for both PRISM and NAID designated a Merger Task Force to formalize the discussions.


Question: What is the expected dollar amount for reduced operating costs?  Does the association have a formal plan of what to do with the surplus of cash as a result of reduced operating costs?  Some type of 3 mo/6 mo/1 yr/3yr benchmarks?  Can we assume that because it’s been highlighted as a benefit in communications that reduced operating costs are significant? 

Answer: The financial modeling used to evaluate the merger estimated a savings of $197,000 (7% of combined operating budget) in the first year, even after the planned addition of support staff. The savings in future years will depend on how the newly merged board allocates resources, but there is no reason to believe the surplus will not be sustained over the subsequent years.


Question: How much will the proposed merger cost to facilitate and integrate? 

Answer: PRISM & NAID have shared the costs of an outside consultant to support the merger process. Both associations have engaged the use of legal counsel and other support professionals for specific functions related to the merger process. The actual integration, once ratified, will involve a very specific set of costs that include the fees for the legal and financial transaction, any final support from consultants or third-party experts, the transition of existing contractual obligations, the termination costs to exit the existing PRISM association management company contract, and the planned addition of staff to support the merger.

The projected P&L shows both associations in the black and able to complete division-specific support initiatives with greater financial focus.


Question: What will membership dues look like?

Answer: The NAID membership and PRISM International memberships will continue separately after the merger with separate membership dues for each division of the joint association.

NAID members have already been billed for their 2018 dues. As always, NAID AAA Certification fees are separate.

PRISM International members should continue to pay membership dues invoices they may receive for 2018. Privacy+ fees will be paid as invoiced.

For 2019, members will receive one invoice for the dues for their appropriate member division.


Question: What if I pay membership dues sometime in the middle of 2018? Will my company receive a credit toward my 2019 Dues?

Answer: Moving forward all NAID and PRISM International members will be billed for annual membership dues in December on a calendar year basis.

NAID membership dues are already based on a calendar year; there is no change to this process and therefore no credits are applicable.

PRISM International members that have paid their full member dues in 2018 (once the new i-SIGMA staff takes over, the invoicing will be prorated) will receive a prorated credit on their 2019 dues invoice for the months covered by that 2018 payment.


Question: When will I get the next issue of the NAIDnews or InFocus? Will I start to receive the other publication as well?

Answer: NAID members will continue to receive the NAIDnews, while PRISM International members will continue to receive InFocus for the remainder of 2018. The Board of Directors for i-SIGMA will decide how publications are handled moving forward.


Question: When is the next PRISM/NAID/i-SIGMA conference?

Answer: The combined NAID/PRISM International Conference and Expo will be held April 11- 13, 2019 in Denver, CO. Registration opens in October.


Question: I’ve been a member with one of the associations for 20 years. Will my “member since date” still be effective with i-SIGMA, or will it start over from scratch?

Answer: The original join date for each division will continue to be tracked to the extent that the data is already included in a member company’s records on file.


Question: I’ve been exhibiting and advertising for years. I know there is a database of exhibitor points that give us priority access over those with fewer points. How will this work with i-SIGMA? Will we all start from scratch, or will our PRISM points somehow be combined with our NAID points?

Answer: This is subject to change should new information surface, however, it seems at this point the fairest way to assign total vendor placement priority points is by combining the total points from both organizations over the past 3 to 5 years.


Question: I have reviewed the page and still have my own question about the merger that isn’t addressed on this web page. Who can I contact? 

Answer: Contact the Director of Marketing for NAID and PRISM International Kelly Martínez at k[email protected]. She will ensure you get answers to your questions.

NAID/PRISM International Merger Announcement:
Learn more about PRISM International:
Contact the NAID PRISM International i-SIGMA Staff: [email protected]