s The technology is digital.
s The medium is cyberspace. The product is a strategic system for billing, collection and customer services (BCCS) that integrates knowledge and choice through an automated customer interface.
The impending obliteration of the business boundaries between the gas, electric and other energy industries will launch a series of convergent waves of change. Executives, regulators, legislators, investors and, naturally, consumers must ride this wave over the next 10 to 15 years. Even as the gas-electric wave turns from a freshet to an Amazon, the next convergence is beginning. This next convergence will fuse energy, telecommunications and the internal, largely retail infrastructure of consumers. However, before companies can make money by playing convergence they must master the transforming forces, anticipate the emerging value chain and position themselves to market to the convergent consumer.
One legacy of decades of regulation is an inefficient gas and electric production, transmission, distribution and control system. Annual capacity-use factors fall well below those in competitive industries. This once-hidden, excess capacity now stands visible to customers, new entrants and aggressive industry players alike.
Competition creates transparency of prices and functions. Transparency and transactions create liquidity. Customers benefit from excess capacity, market liquidity and the eagerness of competing suppliers to earn a revenue stream. Customer switching inevitably follows. The entire historical structure of the "endowed" revenue base of the incumbents collapses to be replaced by an "earned" revenue base.