Pitney Bowes combines Group One, MapInfo

Troy, N.Y.-based Pitney Bowes Software Inc. has combined two of its previously acquired companies into a single business unit that will focus on delivering services location intelligence and communication management under one roof.

Combining the expertise of MapInfo Corp. and Group One Software Inc., acquired in 2007 and 2004 respectively, the new Pitney Bowes Business Insight unit will provide services that will allow companies a more accurate customer view and integrate that data into daily business operations.

The approach makes the business unit “unique,” said David Ower, managing director for Pitney Bowes Business Insight in Canada, in that the organization is “able to bring an intelligent process and workflow through that communication channel.”

Specifically, Pitney Bowes Business Insight will, through MapInfo technology, deliver location intelligence like where customers and services are situated, and predictive analytics like demographic profiling. And, through Group One Software’s technology, intelligent communication will allow customers to create customized one-on-one messaging.

The business unit, headquartered in Toronto with about 120 staff, has several satellite offices around the world. It forms part of one of Pitney Bowes four “mainstream pillars” globally, said Ower.

Companies like Pizza Pizza, said Ower, can use technology like location intelligence to validate the addresses of customers ordering pizza, and tying that with a likely demographic profile based on predictive analytics, the company can know what the best offerings might be for that customer.

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Scotiabank, another customer, performs network and location profiling to ascertain where best to locate bank branches and what services to offer from that location based on the clientelle, said Ower.

The move to integrate these technologies in a single business focus makes ample sense, especially considering location-based services has gone from niche product to being used as the basis for overall business strategy, said Carmi Levy, London, Ont.-based independent technology analyst.

“There is a huge amount of business intelligence baked into the output of location-based services,” said Levy, “The challenge is taking that intelligence and turning it into business advantage.”

Levy described Pitney Bowes’ move as “fairly bold” and “leading edge” while other companies are still “sniffing around the edges of location-based services right now and haven’t figured out what to make of it.”

Pitney Bowes’ objective, here, said Levy, is to package this value for its customers and brand that offering before others do the same.

Even as the economy suffers a downturn, Ower believes the unit presents many new value propositions. “I think there is a lot of organic growth opportunity to drive in the next couple of years,” he said.

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