An affordable model for retailers’ enterprise solutions business model innovations, based on Free Open Source Solutions, is reported by Bill Opalka at Knowledge 2007. The model suggests how the electric industry can become an intelligent enterprise. SAP American, IBM and Oracle Utilities shared their incumbent visions, with IBM's seeming to be closer to the EWPC.
K2007 Retailers’ Enterprise Solutions
By José Antonio Vanderhorst-Silverio, Ph.D.
Systemic Consultant: Electricity
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Bill Opalka added two posts in www.energyblogs.com. The first is Knowledge 2007 Underway (please hit the link on the left and below to read the details).
In brief: At first glance, an upstart airline and a century-old electric utility might not seem to have much in common. Not so says the Chief Information Officer of Virgin America Airlines, who kicked off Knowledge 2007 this morning. Bill Maguire explained how IT for an airline barely 10 weeks in the sky, created by larger-than-life British entrepreneur and adventurer Richard Branson, and a utility striving to become an Intelligent Enterprise aren't all that different.
While the airlines deregulated kind of successfully, the electric industry’s barriers to innovation need to be taken down first. It is only after the introduction of the EWPC market architecture and design breakthrough paradigm that the conclusions of Mr. Branson would make sense.
And the key driver in Virgin's technology is reliance on Free Open Source Solutions. FOSS provides much of the company's software and e-commerce solutions. It's very low-risk to the business, cuts costs and helps reduce head count, all major concerns of the CIO, Maguire says. Virgin, with relationships with outside partners in customer service and other functions, has an IT staff of 17, where a similar enterprise might be expected to have 100 people. Another real-world cost benefit -- its e-commerce site cost $700,000, when a similar operation might be expected to run $3.5 million to $5 million.
FOSS is the “start up” key element for the airline business model innovation that is trying to compete with enterprise solutions of the Three Giants on the Stage (Bill’s second post).
In brief: It's not often that SAP American, IBM and Oracle Utilities share the same podium, but they were all present at K2007 to give their respective visions on Enterprise Solutions -- Perspectives from the Market Leaders during the first afternoon of the conference.
In addition, IBM seems to be closer to a non-utility or customer oriented statement as follows:
Gerry Metzler, a partner in IBM Global Business Services, expects the electric utility market moving over the next 10 years from the "passive persistence" model currently in vogue, to a "participatory network" in which the customer is involved in the decision-making, becoming the trailblazer in determining energy consumption. One question that remains to be answered is if the changes will derive from operational concerns or customer decisions. But there will be massive capital expenditures, whcih the industry's perceived slow pace in decision-making, as opposed to say, telecom, may provide some benefit.
I claim that the shift from “passive persistence” to “participatory network” is nothing more than the paradigm shift from the slow pace vertically integrated utility to the competitive innovators that will develop The Sixth Disruptive Technology of EWPC. EWPC aims to both operational concerns and customer decisions.
Please read the two related articles on business model innovations enterprise solutions needs.
Let the Innovations Locate the Smarts (a comment to Oracle’s strategy).
In brief: An effective smart metering system should develop under competition of business models for several market segments of the power industry. Innovations should be the jury.
Disintegrating the Grid and Retail Worlds (a comment to a retired CIO's article).
In brief: Instead of trying to integrate the grid and the retail sides of the utilities, CIOs should take the results of an essential system analysis that supports the EWPC market architecture and design breakthrough paradigm shift of the power industry.