I- Why the tEC Seal Program:
I-1 Enhancing company or brand image
As a business executive one of your main objectives is to promote, support or sustain the reputation of your company. If it targets its products or services to consumers its reputation is normally conveyed in terms of brand image.
But no matter the industry, the way a company deals with its customers and its employees is a cornerstone of its reputation. When an accident happens to threaten it and accidents do happen to even the best managed companies, positive relationships are found to be a precious capital with which to weather the storm.
The essence of the tEC Seal Program is to tap the current wave of concerns regarding privacy. The tEC Seal turns what is seen as a source of disruptive legislative and regulatory burdens, not to mention the possibility of disastrous leaks leading to identity thefts, into a unique opportunity to establish or burnish a positive image. An image of total respect for every correspondent, prospect, customer, employee.
Before you entertain any interest, ePrio Inc. needs to address two key questions :
I-2 Building a barrier to entry against competition
- why would you spend any resource on a company with no reputation of its own?
- would existing processes need to be modified to implement the tEC Seal program?
Please accept the following as facts subject to your due diligence:
Then the proposal ePrio extends to you is very simple:
if you bet with ePrio, and your very resources ensure you will win your bet, ePrio enables you to rank first among competitors in regard to privacy and respect of customers and employees.
The very fact that most corporations will reject this proposal out of hand, given the start up nature of ePrio, creates the conditions for a race. Not a race to win the bet, for its outcome is not in doubt once the bet is placed, but a race to be the first to bet.
Because there is only one race, winning it cannot be erased with passing years. Your image gain will not be subject to revision. Unless you, yourself, decide to drop from the program, you have created an industry-wide exclusivity, a barrier to entry to speak the jargon of strategy.
I-3 Preserving existing processes
The radical approach ePrio takes to manage privacy is doubly in your favor:
This is because ePrio's approach is based on choice, a key element to establish mutual respect and hence good relationships.
- it reenforces the value of your bet in the eyes of your audience, customers, employees and interested bystanders
- it minimizes the modifications, if any, to make to your existing processes
While privacy is a major concern for all, not everyone is ready to take the extra steps necessary to manage it. Backed by your present privacy policies, your current systems will continue to serve those who are content with the status quo.
Using ePrio's service infrastucture to avoid new internal IT investment, your company will meanwhile accommodate those for whom privacy is a priority.
Behind ePrio's radical approach lies in fact a very evolutionary implementation, commensurate at all times with both the needs of your organization and the scale of ePrio's operations.
Be they customers or employees, leaving the choice to your correspondents is not just a budget issue. By adopting a highly confidential way to manage personalized relationships over the Internet, you may be afraid to imply your current solutions are not good enough and scare people away.
But as locks come with keys, there is a trade off between privacy and convenience. Even though your current solutions are not as confidential as ePrio's novel approach, they will remain simpler and good enough for most. The ones who will be scared are rather those in relation with competitors who will refuse to let them decide for themselves.
As it denies choice to its correspondents, your competitors will appear callous and reckless. In contrast your correspondents will deem your company flexible and honest.
II- What is the tEC Seal Program:
II-1 The tEC Seal - casting an aura of exclusivity
The tEC Seal is a certificate distributed by ePrio Inc. on the basis of industry and timing. tEC Seals come in four categories:
For each industry, no more than one seal will be awarded per category. Seal requests from companies will be granted according to chronological order, the order in which the corresponding agreements are executed.
- platinum, delivered from July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007
- gold, .......delivered from July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008
- silver, .....delivered from July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009
- bronze, ...delivered from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010
Once awarded to a company, a tEC Seal is valid for as long as the company meets the conditions of the corresponding agreement.
For example in a specific industry:
I.E. winners benefit directly from an exclusivity on their ranking (seal color) and indirectly from the delay imposed on their followers.
- company A agrees to a tEC Seal on November 15, 2006 - it may display its platinum tEC Seal starting on November 15, 2006
- company B agrees to a tEC Seal on November 16, 2006 - it may display its gold tEC Seal ......starting on ............July .1, 2007
- company C agrees to a tEC Seal on ..........July 15, 2007 - it may display its silver tEC Seal .....starting on ............July .1, 2008
- company D agrees to a tEC Seal on ..........July 16, 2007 - it may display its bronze tEC Seal ...starting on ............July .1, 2009
In case no company is eligible for a tEC Seal of limited availabilty, no tEC Seal of the corresponding category will ever be awarded in the corresponding industry. Platinum Seals in particular are expected to be very rare, reflecting a deep, genuine commitment to respect privacy and boosting the overall reputation of the few industries thus represented.
People nowadays are tired of self-serving claims but appreciate awards backed by independent observers, especially when they are highly selective.
II-2 The services - practicing respect
One condition for receiving the tEC Seal is to implement and deploy tEC-based services, i.e. interactive processes over the Internet which mechanically protects the confidentiality of all participants while allowing as deep a personalization as necessary. For more information about ePrio's technology, we refer you on this site to the pages on the company and a field trial of its tEC Fair Play Matching service.
Any and all of these services can be performed using a central data base. It is highly likely that such implementations already exist at your company. The difference lies in the increased respect shown to each correspondent:
tEC, the Electronic Confidant, is a software infrastructure which can be programmed to deliver any such service. It is expected that each company will invent its own innovative services, thereby increasing the exclusive aura of the tEC Seal. ePrio is committed to support such endeavors, through custom programming at first, followed by opening its platform to third party developpers.
ePrio however proposes four basic ready to use services covering key relationships with prospects, customers and employees.
II-3 The agreement - showing commitment
- no profile is ever recorded by the company as a result of a customer survey, a focus group, an online sales pitch, a job application until the correspondent has been convinced to pursue a transaction of mutual interest
- persons whose profile is used for market research are compensated in a way similar to those who participate in focus groups: as a result of an above the board transaction
- current customers are treated with the same level of respect as unknown prospects, rather than being inundated with unsollicited mail under cover of the law based on so-called existing business relationships
- no intermediary, ePrio included, is made privy to profile information as a result of any of these services
In order to obtain the tEC Seal the company contacts ePrio (email@example.com) and commits to satisfy the following four conditions (*):
To keep its tEC Seal the company needs to continue to satisfy all conditions, payment for the seal being due each year on the anniversary date of the agreement.
- within three months of the signature of the agreement, deploy at least two services in two of the four areas mentioned above: market research, online sales, employee recruitment and team communication
- within two months of the signature of the agreement, communicate to the intended audiences the choice offered to them before they engage in the traditional form of these interactions, e.g. on the "job application" page and all job advertising
- within 30 days of the signature of the agreement, pay ePrio a non refundable fee determined according to the yearly gross revenues for the last year of record
- $10,000 for yearly gross revenues up to $1 Billion
- $100,000 for yearly gross revenues above $1 Billion
- resolve all dispute arising from the executions of the above conditions according to arbitration and immediately drop all reference to the tEC Seal if found in violation of the agreement
The industry covered by the exclusivity of the tEC Seal is determined by the principal activity of the company. For companies whose revenues are in excess of $1 Billion, up to ten industries can be specified for the fee.
The industry exclusivity is granted worldwide, in recognition of the power of the Internet to transcend geographical boundaries.
The infrastructure service provided by ePrio in support for all tEC services under consideration will be priced according to ePrio's standard prices (see tEC domain makers), i.e. a fee of $500 per domain of interest, 1 cent per filter or c-filter download, $1 per match per person, $1 per user mailbox per month.
When billing for charges incurred, ePrio will take each non refundable tEC Seal payment as a credit valid for the period covered. This is an incentive for tEC Seal adopters to roll out tEC services as quickly as possible since their operational costs will be close to zero.
(*) the implementation of each tEC service covered by the agreement is highly modular. Deployment of the first module will be deemed to satisfy the deployment condition for the service under consideration, e.g. an online marketing and sales activities covering a specific type of goods or services.
II-4 The tEC stamp
If you are not in a position to benefit from the exclusive aura created by the tEC Seal program, either because you cannot muster the necessary resources or because a competitor has already won the prize, you can still benefit from the services of ePrio to nurture better relationships with your customers and employees.
You can use ePrio as an application service provider whose service infrastructure help you deliver your own tEC services. Each such service will carry its own tEC stamp at no additional cost to you besides the associated billing.
Since the tEC stamp users will pay the same price for tEC application services as the tEC seal winners, but without the credit represented by the seal fee, the seal will appear in hindsight to have been free for those bold enough to catch it. One can compare participation in the tEC Seal program as investing in total quality. One recoups one's investment as company or brand image benefits while competitors end up spending as much to play catch up.