nly two years ago Internet use was merely dabbling by a small group of technically literate consumers. Security fears eliminated any possibility that a corporation would provide employee access to the net.
Today, the world is poised for a digital consumer and customer revolution. Internet use is nearly universal in tomorrow's consumers and students; and within the adult population it has passed from the "innovators" to the "early adopters". The Internet becoming mainstream has coincided with an almost borderless, homogeneous global economy, and a new consumerism that is grounded in convenience, information-based decision making and control of the communications relationship.
New competitors will emerge that will use technology as a competitive platform. To keep pace, current market leaders will be forced to effectively manage the Internet for consumer and customer communication. In order to effectively manage the relationship and provide adequate service levels, integration of the Internet and Intranet into corporate information technology platforms will be integral to defending market position and profitability.
[Randal Johnston was the 5:00 speaker at our November 20, 1996 General Meeting of Members -- Editor]