The Voicemail Association!
In 1983, the "Voicemail Club of Berne" was organized by Paul Finnigan and René Beusch. The founding members included Voicemail International, Radio Suisse, British Telecom, Deutche Telecom, Belgium Telecom, Voicemail Swenska, Italcable/Teleo, Telephonica Spain and Voicemail Japan. The Club held annual meetings to discuss voicemail opportunities and programs for worldwide services.
In 1987 the Club formally became "The International Voicemail Association" (iVMA.com) eventually gaining a membership of over 200 Telecom providers and equipment vendors worldwide. René Beusch and Paul Finnigan served as Chairman and President respectively until 1999.
The VMA held bi-annual conferences throughout Europe hosted by Telecom providers and sponsored by equipment vendors. The invitation only conferences were generally sold out affairs of 200 attendees. The VMA conducted a U.S. Technology Tour that was hosted by long distance carriers, the regional bell operating companies and equipment manufactures.
The VMA standards working group established standards for the Voicemail user interface and networking of diverse systems that were eventually adopted and published by the International Telecommunications Union and the CCITT. Equipment vendors demonstrated inter-system networking at the 1987 International Telecom Conference in Geneva Switzerland.
The VMA continues today to serve as a melding pot for service providers in regard to enhanced communication services.
1987 - 88 Geneva - Berne - Stockholm - Rome - Geneva
1989 - 90 Sevilla - Geneva - Luzanne - Brussels - Rome
1991 - 92 London - Andorra - San Francisco, Portland, New York
1993 - 94 Juan-Les-pins -London - Copenhagen - Rome
1995 - 96 Berliin - Montreaux - Dublin - Amsterdam
1997 - 98 Budapest - Brussels - Lisbon - Athens
1999 - 00 Helsinki - Montreaux - Vienna - Interlaken