The ‘Cloud’ Above All


The energy industry is in the midst of a revolutionary transformation. Strong words to be sure, but accurate ones too, because this change is a technological one; fueled, pun intended, by mobile communications, real-time intelligence, improved operations and the fulfillment of a business prophesy that, until now, would otherwise remain atop the pile of outlandish–and outlandishly wrong–forecasts.

I refer specifically to the arrival of the paperless office, a milestone that will remake the way fuel delivery drivers perform their work, provide instant savings to their respective employers, eliminate redundancies and give managers information (color-coded to indicate the delivery, in green, or spots awaiting delivery, in red) about their drivers on a second-by-second, minute-by-minute basis.

These advantages in addition to the rewards of creating a paperless office are many (and perhaps a bit overwhelming) but the technology to inaugurate this era of expediency already exists.

Indeed, that technology is responsible for the entirety of this article–as it is a composition wrought with my smartphone, laptop and tablet.

That same technology, in the pockets of fuel and oil drivers, represents the difference between a mobile workforce and a mobilized one. This distinction is not a semantic one; it is, instead, a matter of having a mobile device versus maximizing its benefits. It is, to mix metaphors (to the dismay of the technorati), the equivalent of buying a car with no engine; or having a horse pull a Formula One roadster.

If we are to achieve true mobilization and conduct paperless transactions, then we need a more expansive understanding of what this phenomenon means. We need, in short, an example of a company that already is a model of the future today.

To find that business we do not have to travel to Silicon Valley; nor do we have to patrol the precincts of Silicon Alley in New York City, where coders, developers and venture capitalists vie for the next “Big Thing.”

We simply need to visit the family-run businesses, in the Northeast, the South, the Midwest and along the Pacific coast which deliver fuel, propane and oil to a variety of clients. These companies, with their respective legacies and multigenerational bonds of continuity, are not technology brands; they are not R&D factories, or laboratories for brilliant computer engineers. But these companies are nonetheless at the forefront of championing new technology and real-time intelligence.

The Multiple Advantages of Mobile Devices and Real-Time Intelligence

Mobile devices and real-time intelligence offer a variety of advantages today. These include:


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