Pitney Bowes Puts Its Stamp on Advanced TechBy Samuel Greengard | Posted 2016-10-31 Email Print
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The 96-year-old firm uses advanced tools for mailing and shipping, global e-commerce, customer information management, location intelligence and data analytics.
Digital disruption is forcing almost every company in every industry to adapt and evolve. One business that is successfully navigating the transition to a digital framework is Pitney Bowes.
Although the public knows the 96-year-old firm mostly by its iconic postage meters, the company now uses sophisticated tools for mailing and shipping, global e-commerce, customer information management, location intelligence and data analytics. The journey has transformed Pitney Bowes, which boasts 1.5 million clients worldwide, including 90 percent of the Fortune 500.
"It's critical to deliver SaaS-based products, but also to integrate and dynamically configure solutions to meet different client needs and pricing scenarios," explains Pitney Bowes' CIO Joe Schmitt. "In today's marketplace, flexibility is absolutely essential. The goal is to create the maximum possible value for our clients so they can achieve the best possible results for their customers and clients."
Pitney Bowes has built many of its business offerings into a Commerce Cloud Platform powered in part by Aria Systems. The vendor delivers strong support for billing systems and financial management capabilities—including usage-based and subscriptions systems—that operate within Pitney Bowes' business framework.
In the past, Schmitt says, the company had to configure many components and processes manually to operate within an existing SAP ERP platform. The Aria platform integrates pricing configuration tools with its billing solution to create a highly flexible environment.
"It has provided us with the speed to market that we require," he reports. "We are now able to set up multipe pricing schemas very quickly."
Enterprise-Grade Capabilities Deliver Flexibility, Scalability
That's no small matter for Pitney Bowes, which oversees about 750 different applications and solutions globally. When it came time to modernize, "We were faced with the proposition of re-architecting and, to the extent required, ripping out and replacing global enterprise applications to work within the existing SAP system," Schmitt explains. "We wanted to put in place enterprise-grade capabilities that would deliver greater flexibility and scalability, but also continue to connect them to the ERP system and have everything operate seamlessly."
Clients of all sizes can now securely access a full range of Pitney Bowes shipping, mailing, ecommerce, location intelligence, customer information management, customer engagement and payment solutions. They are able to use PCs, mobile devices, connected metering devices, or APIs to handle transactions.
According to Schmitt, during testing, the platform demonstrated that it could accelerate the go-to-market timing of new products by a whopping 700 percent. In practical terms, what was once a 14-month application delivery process now takes only a few weeks. In addition, the system offers reporting and analytics tools that provide deeper insights into the business.
Schmitt reports that the end result is a better customer experience, accurate and transparent real-time pricing and billing information for customers, and improved security and compliance for Pitney Bowes.