Pitney Bowes today launched a new line of business whose goal is to help companies leverage the data and analytics they need to drive digital transformation, improve customer experience, and innovate with products and services.
A supplier of products and solutions designed to power commerce, Pitney Bowes boasts a portfolio of more than 400 data sets—which include information pertaining to businesses, location, geocoding, and demographics—across 240 countries and territories. The vendor also offers a host of master data management and location intelligence technologies through its Spectrum product line.
According to Dan Adams, vice president of data product management at Pitney Bowes, the company's approach has traditionally been to start businesses on its software and only then layer in the data necessary to optimize customer records and help them act based on predictions. However, in conversations with clients, prospects, and the systems integrators who are helping build out its partner networks, Pitney Bowes has discovered a high level of interest in the data and data products themselves. "We realized that in order to pull out and accelerate the road map and deliver capabilities to the market, we needed to put more attention on it."
The central goal of the line of business, says Adams, is to help companies of varying sizes overcome the challenges presented with the growing volume of data they have at their disposal, standardize it, and enrich it to yield valuable customer-related insights.
"What we're trying to do is take a step back from the software—or systems—problem, and really look, from a data standpoint, at the specific inputs that are needed to make this work well," Adams explains. "It's a purposeful step to separate the data challenges from the software challenges, and really allow the data team to focus on content, consistency, quality, cycle time, [and the] freshness of data."
Adams joined Pitney Bowes in July when it acquired Maponics, a specializer in spatial data management. He will direct corporate strategy and work to deliver cross-company data assets to clients. Assisting Adams will be a team that will work to increase exposure of these assets to internal and external development, innovation, and application teams. Olga Lagunova, Pitney Bowes's chief data and analytics officer, will head research and development for products across the company's businesses.
"Part of what we're doing with creating the data line of business is also saying: We see the value in being able to bring some of these data products and data capabilities to market separate from the software," Adams says. "So it offers more flexibility to the market, in terms of accessing our data products with or without the Pitney Bowes software stack."
Adams says that the practice will allow the company to evolve in departments where it hasn't been as active in the creation of data products, including e-commerce, or SMBs.