CONSUMER FRAUD. The National Association of Attorneys
General, meeting Nov. 18 in Washington, D.C., to discuss electric restructuring, issued a warning to electric consumers on...
uncouple itself from conduit. Content will seek to combine with the internal infrastructure to capture the newly liberated customer. This business imperative will force flowing-content convergence with the internal infrastructure.
The internal retail infrastructure (IRI) exists to serve many human needs and requirements. These needs include shelter and storage, information and entertainment, comfort and control and work and worship, among others. In every instance, the combination of energy services, computing, communication and knowledge management services adds immeasurabley to the ability of the infrastructure to serve these needs.
Voice, Data, Text and Image
Digitization accelerates the transition from the endowed to the earned revenue base. Digitization mutates the analog world by stripping information from mass and simplifying it into just four elements: voice, data, text and image. It extracts the essence from quantity (i.e., physical commerce) and presents the consumer with convenient, digestible quality. With the world in a box, the consumer's search, selection and switching decisions are simplified.
Digitization amplifies consumer drivers while empowering customers to act on those drivers. Some of the most powerful consumer drivers the energy industry must comprehend are increasing time pressure, rising discretionary income, growing quantitative saturation and increasing democratization of choice. Many people are reaching their limit of physical consumption of commodities since basic requirements have long been met. This means that while consumers cannot spend much more on the quantity of physical consumption, they can and will spend more on qualitative consumption. These qualities incorporate added features and exchanging inferior for superior experiences.
Consumers will pay for anything that liberates their time and increases intensity of experience. The ability to satisfy these needs will emerge as powerful new value propositions. Aggressive companies stand to gain a growing portion of the total consumer spending on energy, telecom, infrastructure, etc.
The delivery medium is cyberspace (see Exhibit 1). Strategic Billing, Collection and Customer Services (BCCS) System is the dominant delivery mechanism that will materialize. The Strategic BCCS System offers such items as customized transactions, help and payment.
The tactical BCCS Systems currently in use by all energy and almost all telecom companies, are supplier-focused, and organized around product information. A Strategic BCCS System is consumer-focused and organized around customer knowledge. The scale and scope of the Strategic BCCS System will compel energy and telecom industries to pool resources, talent and market research. Pooling resources will create a new and vital element of a convergent value chain.
The Strategic BCCS System will itself transform into the "product and the experience" the customer seeks. By transcending the energy, telecom, water and IRI industries, the Strategic BCCS System will subjugate and combine them because that is what the consumer demands.
The Consumer Portal (em
No Longer the Mail Box
The Strategic BCCS System and convergence with telecom are also the keys for passing through what will develop into the most formidable strategic choke point for the energy retailing industry (em the consumer portal. Currently, the energy industry transfers responsibility at the portal and is rarely welcome beyond it. Today, only the entertainment and information media have accomplished this