Saturday, 16 April 2016 16:16

Pitney Bowes has come a very long way

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I interviewed Jack Bullock, Senior Vice President of Digital Commerce Solutions, Pitney Bowes.

He was in Australia to launch a ‘new Single Customer View software solution to help organizations enhance and deepen their understanding of customers in the Digital Era.’

“I remember when I was a kid,” I said, “in the 60’s my father had a Pitney Bowes franking machine! So where have you come since then?”

Since 2000, it has invested over US$2.5B to acquire software and services business including Bell and Howell, Danka, Imagitas, and Mapinfo. On January 14, 2015, Pitney Bowes unveiled a new brand strategy and logo that is to better reflect the company's role as ‘a technology company that powers billions of physical and digital transactions across the connected and borderless world of commerce.’

Obviously, the franking machine paled to insignificance in light of his purpose here. The company had long since moved to digital and e-commerce, business intelligence, location intelligence, customer engagement, and shipping and mailing solutions.

He explained that Single Customer View allows organizations to rapidly design, deliver and evolve contextually-relevant views about a customer in real-time across all channels of engagement, whether that customer happens to be a consumer, organization, citizen, patient, or potential fraudster.

More recently customer information has exploded with the addition of data generated through mobile devices and social media chatter. While many organizations are equipping themselves to handle the volume, velocity, and variety of big data, the focus must also be placed on the veracity of big data. The accuracy of data ultimately dictates an organization’s ability to drive relevant and meaningful experiences across a customer’s journey, and it will impact the ability to mitigate risk by identifying patterns of fraud.

The new solution is powered by the release of Spectrum Technology Platform v11, the delivery platform of Pitney Bowes’ customer analytics and Master Data Management capabilities, for which Pitney Bowes was recently recognized as a leader by industry analysts.

The rest of the interview is paraphrased to avoid the overuse of ‘he said’.

Spectrum v11 enables organizations to manage data with the introduction of big data cleansing and big data matching capabilities. The new capabilities allow the processing of data quality checks to move directly inside Hadoop and Spark-based environments, giving organizations the tools needed to derive relevant and meaningful insights from these platforms with a more complete and accurate view of customer information. As big data continues to grow at exponential rates, and the physical and digital worlds collide, accessing a connected view of a customer will be an essential aspect to becoming craftsmen of commerce.

The benefits to experiencing a Single Customer View is being seen across verticals and geographies to provide better, more efficient customer service; optimize cross-sell offers; monitor for potentially fraudulent transactions; and provide integrated healthcare delivery across the continuum of care.

For example, MAPFRE, an international Insurance Company based in Spain and one of Mexico’s largest insurers, was challenged with deficient results from client-focused campaigns, due to an inability to access reliable client information that was severely hampering programs and campaigns in multiple areas. MAPFRE selected Pitney Bowes’ Spectrum Technology Platform to solve this costly and time-consuming issue by creating a Single Customer View through data cleansing, standardization, validation and information enrichment.

Now the company can identify its clients allowing it to improve the quality of its original data and improve commercialization and management initiatives, particularly marketing activities. Without the Pitney Bowes solution, the organization would have taken at least five years to manually unify its platform, but would not be able to drive greater profitability, reduce risk and deliver more personalized and contextually relevant customer experiences.

Healthcare providers are also increasingly relying on technologies that provide a Single Customer View solution for patients. Electronic Health Network (EHN) is a health information interoperability company deploying the leading health information exchange (HIE) technology platform to enable payers, hospitals, clinics, labs, and public health agencies to securely share patient health information. The company relies on the Spectrum Technology Platform to enhance master data management and data quality capabilities to produce patient information reports and ensure healthcare compliance around confidential patient information.

“It all starts with the ability to accurately and precisely identify customers, despite the quality of the input data,” said Bullock. “To do so, you need a technology with a longstanding history of dealing with name and address-related data challenges across the globe, and there’s no one in the world who understands names and addresses better than Pitney Bowes.”

By delivering contextually-relevant customer intelligence across the enterprise, organizations can expect to increase revenue, decrease costs, improve customer satisfaction and mitigate risk.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw [email protected]  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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