Agentware - Why Agentware: advantages for ISPs 2
Why Agentware: advantages for ISPs 2

Look, this is basic stuff which you've probably all considered, but let's talk about it anyway. Porter says that all value producers follow one of four "generic strategies". We either focus on a low cost strategy, or a differentiation strategy, broadly or narrowly targeting the market.

Well, all of us are in in quadrant 1, with the exception of some specialised folks, Lexis.Nexis, porn BBS. We are all aimed at driving out costs. It's the obsession of our industry. But how will we drive costs down past free; I.e. where the big players cross-subsidising to build their business. How will you combat this strategy?

I urge you to remember that Porter also talks about "best-cost" strategy (consider the Saturn Cars idea); people who exceed consumer expectations, while meeting price floors. People who straddle quadrants; and I believe this is what the MCIs and AT&T are thinking in their war rooms right now. They understand the trend toward "demassing", or mass customisation; discovering unique target segments; commanding a market premium for differentiation. but at the same time always signal value. We experience it when we go to the bagel shop in the morning and someone says, "Good, morning, Dana, how are you to-day." If you are to grow beyond the kinds of things your currently doing, you need to be able to offer that level of persistent recognition of your individual user, her life, her interests, into your web-sites. You need to do it to build brand equity, to keep people coming back to you specifically.

After having considered this proposition carefully, I conclude that there is no better way than Agentware to accomplish this persistence, this illusion of the friendly local shopkeeper.

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Agentware, a presentation by Dana Moore of AT&T.