Southern Company Chairman and CEO says company launching aggressive Internet and e-business strategy

ATLANTA --Southern Company Chairman and CEO A.W. “Bill” Dahlberg says the company is launching its comprehensive Internet strategy that focuses on technology-driven products and Web-enabling services that will add value for shareholders and customers alike.

“Southern Company will be a leader in the robust e-business world by creating Internet business solutions that will generate revenue, interactively connect with customers and improve efficiencies,” said Dahlberg. “We will be the premier energy company in the new e-business economy.”

The company is incorporating its Internet strategy into all facets of its business units and overall growth strategy. Interested in Web-enabling processes from the onset of the Internet revolution, Southern Company has been evaluating which strategies best fit the largest generator of electricity in the United States.

After successful test pilots, research groups, product testing and customer interaction, Southern Company is proactively embarking on a global Internet strategy that will transform the traditional “bricks and mortar” company to the new “click and mortar” energy business.

“Old Economy companies with actual customer service infrastructures are superbly positioned to take advantage of the Internet as a new interaction and delivery channel. We ought to expect a shakeout of the numerous dot.coms without such infrastructure,” said Dahlberg.

As part of its aggressive e-business strategy, Southern Company:

  • customers will be able to view and pay their bills online via the Southern Company web site, their bank, portal or consolidator. The company partnered with BlueGill Technologies and Checkfree, two leading providers of electronic commerce products, to offer online bill presentation and payment.
  • will be the preferred wholesale electricity supplier for Southern Company Energy Marketing has formed a partnership with the world’s first Internet utility company.
  • joined 14 other leading energy companies to explore the possibility of forming the industry’s first e-procurement exchange, where the group may use the Internet to purchase goods and services.

In the next several weeks, details will emerge regarding a new Southern Company Internet product whereby commercial and industrial customers can receive billing history, real-time pricing and interval data.

The company’s new business development department is moving forward with expanding and enhancing the company’s e-business presence and capabilities. “We’re bringing those with Internet experience on board. We’re teaching them about the energy business. And we’re forming a quality energy e-business team that will provide stockholder value in the near future,” said Dahlberg.

Customers can also access the company’s award-winning web site——to research job opportunities within Southern Company, or link to information regarding news, investor relations, deregulation, environmental efforts, safety tips and company background. Two of the company’s other award-winning sites— and provide educational tools and environmental material for grade school children. The Web Marketing Association recognized these three Southern Company Web sites for innovation, design and use of technology.

Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is an international energy company that operates more than 48,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity worldwide. It is the largest producer of electricity in the United States and one of the world’s largest independent power producers. Southern Company subsidiaries and their affiliates serve 12 million retail customers worldwide and millions more through the wholesale market. Based in Atlanta, Southern Company is the parent firm of Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Gulf Power, Mississippi Power and Savannah Electric.

Through its Southern Energy Inc. subsidiary, Southern Company has operations in 12 countries on five continents and has a growing presence in North America with assets in the Northeast, the Midwest, California and Texas. Southern Company also provides energy-related marketing, trading and technical services in the United States and Europe and offers Southern LINC wireless telecommunications.