The utility industry continues to discuss how it will keep pace with the increasing numbers of Baby Boomer retirements that are expected over the next few years.

Observers believe one solution will be to attract the so-called Millennial generation, those born between between 1982 and 1994 to the utilities industry, by adaptation of technologies which Millennials have used since their youth. Industries that don’t adapt these technologies risk being labeled as non-progressive and out of touch, pushing workers to other, more “hip” industries. Utilities, already at risk of being pegged on environmental concerns, can shore up their appeal through attention to these Web 2.0 technologies. 

This month’s edition of Computerworld Hong Kong provides an excellent story, beginning on page 12, about how one utility company, CLP Group, is tuned into the next generation of employees, the future knowledge workers we’ve written about before.

The story details CLP’s implementation of Microsoft Office Communicator as part of an early-adopter pilot program and specific examples of how unified communications – between email, video, chat, calendaring, voice, conferencing and instant messaging – can strengthen utility operations by increasing the collaboration of utility teams. It’s a great read with a level of detail that’s inspiring and informative. - Jon Arnold

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Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates demonstrates Microsoft RoundTable during the Unified Communications launch on Oct. 16, 2007, at the Bill Graham Civic Center in San Francisco