Customer Intimacy is the name we've given to the type of relationship that cutomers and suppliers will expect from each other in the 21st Century.

The World Wide Web is not an isolated entity. It is the logical intersection of at least two major trends in Western economic life. The first (History) is the 30 year long movement to transform our institutions. From Management style to factory floor acountability to Reengineering, organizations have been flattened and focused. In hindsight, it looks like an intentional redeployment of economic energy.

The second trend (Context) is the increasing automation of the economy. From mainframes to PCs to the Web, our economic engines have been increasingly distributed throughout the organization.

The two trends begin to merge as the Web finds its place in the organization. The technology is both tool and metaphor. It is an implementation strategy as well as a way of envisioning enterprise.

In the end, the organizational transformation movement is faced with twin problems. The Marketing function was fundamentally untouched by the quality and management movements. They were too busy making sales or out of the office. The Information Systems function, long the turf of the Finance Department, was a black art, immune to the required analysis.

The Web provides the tool and the metaphor for transforming these two last bastions of industrial age thinking. The Result? Customer Intimacy: individual and personal relationships between each customer and their suppliers.

Intimate relationships require maintenance of the romance. Decades-long partnerships need perpetual passion. Maintenance is the way we manufacture passion. Although it's often forgotten, maintenance is the continuation of the design passion that began the relationship in the first place.

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The presentation is generally given to senior managers who need an understanding of the strategic significance of the Web. Therefore, the first two sections (History and Context) are tutorial in nature.

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