You are on page 1of 3

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

Pitney Bowes Business Insight: trying © 2011 Quocirca Ltd

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.

Pitney Bowes Business Insight: trying © 2011 Quocirca Ltd

to put its stamp on the software world
About Quocirca
Quocirca is a primary research and analysis company specialising in the business impact of information technology
and communications (ITC). With world-wide, native language reach, Quocirca provides in-depth insights into the
views of buyers and influencers in large, mid-sized and small organisations. Its analyst team is made up of real-
world practitioners with first-hand experience of ITC delivery who continuously research and track the industry
and its real usage in the markets.

Through researching perceptions, Quocirca uncovers the real hurdles to technology adoption – the personal and
political aspects of an organisation’s environment and the pressures of the need for demonstrable business value in
any implementation. This capability to uncover and report back on the end-user perceptions in the market enables
Quocirca to advise on the realities of technology adoption, not the promises.

Quocirca research is always pragmatic, business orientated and conducted in the context of the bigger picture. ITC
has the ability to transform businesses and the processes that drive them, but often fails to do so. Quocirca’s
mission is to help organisations improve their success rate in process enablement through better levels of
understanding and the adoption of the correct technologies at the correct time.

Quocirca has a pro-active primary research programme, regularly surveying users, purchasers and resellers of ITC
products and services on emerging, evolving and maturing technologies. Over time, Quocirca has built a picture of
long term investment trends, providing invaluable information for the whole of the ITC community.

Quocirca works with global and local providers of ITC products and services to help them deliver on the promise
that ITC holds for business. Quocirca’s clients include Oracle, Microsoft, IBM, O2, T-Mobile, HP, Xerox, EMC,
Symantec and Cisco, along with other large and medium sized vendors, service providers and more specialist

Full access to all of Quocirca’s public output (reports, articles, presentations, blogs
and videos) can be made at

Pitney Bowes Business Insight: trying © 2011 Quocirca Ltd

to put its stamp on the software world