Utilities & Telecom

The United States’ energy consumption nearly tripled from 1950 to 2007, driven by population growth and increased standard of living: then fell back in 2009 due to the recession. The United States’ population doubled during this same period, the average home became larger and most of the country grew accustomed to using more appliances and electronic devices.

Energy is a significant factor in the U.S. economy, accounting for 10% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). But as consumers, we are often aware only of the price we pay for gasoline and the amount of our residential utility bills. Gasoline and utilities, however, constitute only a small fraction of the total quantity of energy we actually consume each year. Most consumers are unaware of their role in the consumption of energy in the commercial, industrial, and transportation sectors. Many consumers may not realize that the cost of products and services they purchase includes the cost of this energy. (These statistics were taken from a report by J. Richard Moore at Penn Energy, May 2010.)

Many executives recognize that they under-manage their back-offices – which is one of the reasons that the business process outsourcing market is growing.

In other words, in-house operations aren’t as likely to be accountable for the same SLAs (service level agreements) or held to the same standards for data quality, reporting ,and KPI (key performance indicator) achievement as an outside service provider. Many companies that haven’t outsourced utility bill payment struggle to accurately calculate their internal costs for invoice processing. Most organizations can’t calculate what they pay in late fees. Organizations that boast low costs for in-house invoice processing typically cannot produce sophisticated reporting and analysis of their energy spend, which devalues the perceived “savings” of their low internal processing costs. In today’s high-cost energy environment in which corporations are examining consumption patterns and working to reduce carbon emissions, few enterprises have the internal systems to capture, validate, and report on key energy usage statistics. (Information adapted from Cass Information Systems, Inc.)

Now add the growing impact of telecommunications. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the world’s effective capacity to exchange information through two-way telecommunication networks grew from 281 petabytes of (optimally compressed) information in 1986, to 471 petabytes in 1993, to 2.2 (optimally compressed) exabytes in 2000, and to 65 (optimally compressed) exabytes in 2007.This is the informational equivalent of 2 newspaper pages per person per day in 1986, and 6 entire newspapers per person per day by 2007. Given this growth, telecommunications plays an increasingly important role in the world economy and the worldwide telecommunication industry’s revenue was estimated to be $3.85 trillion in 2008. The service revenue of the global telecommunications industry was estimated to be $1.7 trillion in 2008, and is expected to touch $2.7 trillion by 2013. (Statistics provided by Wikipedia.)

Case Studies

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