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Pitney Bowes Places Big Bets on Data and Analytics

4 minute read
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Struggling Pitney Bowes — a provider of physical products turned digital technology company — is digging deeper into data and analytics with two new initiatives.

The company today unveiled a new line of business designed to help organizations use data and analytics and better leverage location-based data.

Stamford, Conn.-based Pitney officials said the company's new data practice will help clients deal with the volume and velocity of data. It will sell customized industry data sets to clients planning digital transformation initiatives, according to Dan Adams, VP of data product management at Pitney Bowes.

The announcement comes on the heels of news yesterday about a partnership with Yellowfin, a provider of business intelligence and analytics software provider. Pitney is partnering with Yellowfin to develop a visual insights and BI tool for its customers to enhance its analytics portfolio.

Both efforts are designed to revitalize the company, which last week exited the S&P 500 because its value slipped below the listing’s threshold. 

Pitney, which had been listed on the S&P 500 since the index’s founding in 1957, now belongs to an index for medium-sized public corporations, the MidCap 400.

Data as a Standalone Product

"We have an integrated sales team — direct sales team, partners and services — that deliver analytics solutions that leverage our expansive data portfolio," Adams told CMSWire. "We are selling data for the first time as a standalone product."

Pitney plans to make use of capabilities from its July acquisition of Maponics, a provider of boundary sets and other data. Adams is the former CEO of Maponics.

Asked to provide a hypothetical use case for the new practice, Adams cited a global AdTech company using Pitney Bowes’ data to deliver hyper-local promotions to consumers on their phones.

“Our objective is to support our customer’s desire to increase the value of location-based data and deliver competitive differentiation,” Adams said. “Data has been at the core of our business for close to 100 years. We have access to billions of unique and proprietary data points, and we have the ability to transform them into actionable insights.”

Pitney works with a network of about 50 Regional Systems Integrators (RSIs) to develop personalized client solutions. It offers business and location data including geocoding, world boundaries, streets, demographics and points of interest.

Learning Opportunities

Olga Lagunova, the chief data and analytics officer for Pitney Bowes, will head research and development of data products for this initiative. "As is the case with most businesses," Adams said, "they are stuck with too much data that they don’t know how to interpret and use to produce actionable insights."

Yellowfin Partnership

Pitney's partnership with Yellowfin is intended to enhance its Spectrum Customer Information Management platform. It will help its clients "understand essential data quality metrics in order to provide a meaningful way to manage progress against quality Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)," according to a statement.

Pitney plans to leverage Yellowfin's BI platform to launch Spectrum Visual Insights, a tool within Spectrum, to help business enterprises "obtain a better perspective on customer data" and "help every facet of client business from marketing to monitoring of frauds," the company noted.

Pitney predicts the new offerings will help organizations capitalize on new relationships and deliver a more "personalized and meaningful" customer experience — "an essential step for any organization preparing for digital transformation."

A Big Drop in Value

Pitney Bowes has seen a precipitous drop in value since late 1998 — from about $18 billion then to about $2.5 billion now.

The company reported losses in its most recent annual report. Profits dropped from approximately $408 million in 2015 to $92.8 million last year. Fiscal 2016 revenues totaled about $3.4 billion, a 5 percent decrease year-over-year.

Pitney is trying to reinvent itself from a company perhaps best known for postage meters for the digital age. Since the beginning of the millennium, it has been adding more digital offerings and providing clients more access to products and services through online and direct sales channels.

Despite its struggles, Pitney has market strengths. In a 2016 Wave report on Master Data Management (MDM), Forrester Research called Pitney Bowes a leader along with Reltio, Informatica, SAP and IBM.

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