Typically, you might prefer not to be institutionalized, but a couple thousand people saw it differently last month in Orlando at FUSION 2011. The association formerly known as IAPP, and more recently known as IAPP/IARP/NAPP/TAWPI, finally settled in on a new and decidedly simpler name – “The Institute of Financial Operations” (The IFO).

During his opening remarks to kick off IFO Fusion, Executive Director, Tom Bohn spoke about the change as a more accurate representation of the group’s charter – to educate and inform its members. The IFO is more than an association of professionals; it is an institute of learning and spans capably across multiple departments in the financial and operational suites at enterprises of all sizes.

Owing its inherited membership to a number of pre-existing associations, The IFO will continue to serve all of its communities with dedicated curriculum. AP professionals that enjoyed focused networking and education at IAPP events will still enjoy the same opportunities to meet with and learn from peers.

Similarly, TAWPI members that enjoyed a consistent diet of education on automation solutions and other modes of work place improvement can still count on an uninterrupted program. And the same consistency can be expected from all of the groups now aligned under the new flag.

From this bloggers perspective, Fusion attendees not only understood the decision to unify under the new name, but they also appreciated the change. The reactions I heard from attendees at the conference showed that they are looking forward to the many benefits that will follow the announcement. “I have been coming to IAPP for 15 years,” said one AP manager from a $10b manufacturer, “and I have consistently been exposed to the most relevant ideas in my space that were going on at the time. The only problem was that I was not getting feedback on the topics that were happening in the departments outside of or adjacent to mine. The new IFO structure will expose me to all of the information I need to make good decisions and to know why I am making those decisions. I am excited!”

From the Lavante perspective, IFO Fusion presented yet another great annual opportunity to network, meet prospects and get exposed to the most cutting edge technologies and ideas in the financial space. In addition, this year’s theme: Motion Pictures, created the perfect backdrop for the event. While on the trade show floor, Lavante leveraged an Indiana Jones themed booth into an Oscar-worthy affair. If you had your picture taken with Indy, and want the digital files – let us know! We can shoot those over to you.