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Lookup NU author(s): Professor Feng Li
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The deregulation of the utilities in the UK has forced most companies to improve efficiency and develop innovative services, often through the aid of new technologies. In the last two years or so, Internet billing is emerging as a strong competitive weapon in the energy sector. Using the evidence gathered from the literature and from four recent case studies in the UK, this research investigates the new technologies that are making Internet billing feasible, outlines the main models that are emerging and assesses the impacts it generates in terms of cost, organizational structure and customer relationships. Our research has found that introducing Internet billing is an extremely complex process, and so far all companies have adopted a staged approach to its introduction. At the moment, several billing models exist, and no one model appears to satisfy the multiple driving forces for its introduction. However, once a particular model is adopted it will have long-term implications. In particular, Internet billing will redefine the customer–biller relationship and the internal billing process, thereby generating structural changes to the utility companies. Due to the barriers of cost and security, the positive impacts of Internet billing will not be instantaneous, predicting that the unraveling of a complete Internet billing service to gain competitive advantage will be a struggle for any utility in the evolving networked economy.
Author(s): Milroy M, Li F
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: International Journal of Information Management
ISSN (print): 0268-4012
ISSN (electronic): 1873-4707
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