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Pitney Bowes Business Insight: trying to put its stamp on

the software world


Louella Fernandes, Principal Analyst

Quocirca Comment

Pitney Bowes has long been a goliath in the leading product for location intelligence and
metered postage market with around an geographical information systems (GIS) while its
80% share in the US and 65% latest acquisition, Portrait Software fills a gap in
internationally. The need to diversify PBBI’s customer and data analytic capabilities –
beyond the stagnant postage market has which include data integration and data profiling,
seen it venture into the software world. along with analytics products such as
This venture has been far from smooth as it demographic and psychographic data.
continues to try and carve out a niche
beyond its traditional dominance in the PBBI now certainly has a range of products to
mailroom. enable businesses to gain real customer insight,
particularly through geo-demographic and
The company has spent over $2.5 billion on psychographic analysis. PBBI’s advantages over
software acquisitions since 2000 – including some of its competitors are the ability to go
MapInfo (location intelligence), Group 1 Software beyond traditional analytic segmentation using
(data management and customer either geo-demographics or advanced predictive
communications) and most recently Portrait modelling as provided with Portrait Software.
Software (customer analytics). These are
managed by Pitney Bowes Business Insight At one end of the scale, PBBI is competing
(PBBI), which was formed in 2007 from the against standard CCM vendors such as HP
merger of the Group 1 Software and MapInfo Exstream, Thunderhead and GMC, while at the
businesses. However, the various acquisitions other end is also competing in the business
have created a patchwork product portfolio and a intelligence space with many smaller analytics
complex set of offerings. PBBI is now competing companies and the large players, many of who
with far more competitors than it is used to, so have made acquisitions in the last few years
must simplify its messaging and focus on the (e.g. IBM/Cognos, Oracle/Hyperion,
core capabilities across its product range. SAP/Business Objects). If PBBI can simplify its
messaging, it can certainly be a real contender in
PBBI’s strategy is to help its customers enable these markets.
lifetime customer relationships through the
application of Customer Communication
Management (CCM). PBBI’s CCM comprises a Exploiting the convergence of digital and
set of core capabilities - data, insights, strategy print communications
and communications that help businesses As the communications landscape continues to
acquire, serve and grow the lifetime value of become more complex, as online and offline
their customer base. CCM particularly focuses on channels converge and the use of social media
creating and delivering cost-effective multi- grows, businesses must find a way to manage
channel communications – including print, email, business processes across all these channels.
web, SMS and call centre interactions. Many of its customers are undoubtedly operating
print and digital communication processes in
A complex product range silos and are probably using some elements of
PBBI’s products for CCM include solutions for PBBI’s CCM suite – either for document
document composition, archive and compliance, composition, data quality, production or archival.
web self-service and interactive communications PBBI must now encourage these customers to
for customer service representatives. PBBI’s move to a single enterprise CCM platform, and
MapInfo has long been widely regarded as the thereby reduce the waste and inefficiency

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to put its stamp on the software world
associated with decentralised communications organisation, as it provides a single approach
processes. that can be used directly by sales and by
marketing, yet provides all the analytic and
Moving to unified CCM reporting capabilities as needed throughout the
But ultimately, the biggest opportunity for PBBI rest of the business.
is to pull together its wide and somewhat
disjointed portfolio, and provide a unified CCM PBBI certainly has the technology and the
enterprise platform that can identify the “hot breadth and scale of products to enable
pockets” of customers by both geography and businesses to create personalised multichannel
buying habits. Such highly targeted capabilities communications but it cannot ignore that other
can lead to far higher conversion of prospects to players are snapping at its heels, particularly HP
customers, so reducing the cost of sale and also and GMC who both offer end-to-end CCM
“buyer fatigue” caused by over marketing of platforms. Along with the many vendors in the
different approaches to people who have no customer interaction space, PBBI has certainly
interest. Such an approach avoids the need to got its work cut out in establishing a strong
sell to multiple different groups within the position in the market.

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to put its stamp on the software world
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to put its stamp on the software world