Search This Blog

Friday, January 14, 2011

Volly - Less Rain, Snow and Dark of Night

Pitney Bowes is moving toward a new digital mailing age with a product called Volly.

Its hard to tell exactly what Volly might be from a technical perspective there there some clues.  What's more interesting is how Pitney is working hard to escape its old mailing image.

From this PDF on the web site:

Pitney Bowes: Uniquely qualified in this emerging market
• Current relationship with 74% of high-volume mailers across U.S.
• More than $650 million in free cash flow
• 90 years’ expertise in encryption and payment security
• Scalable systems that capitalize on mailers’ existing infrastructure
• Intuitive user experience that promotes mailers’ brand
• Leadership in customer communication management technologies
• One of the world’s largest software companies, according to Software Magazine
• Proven coverage across the full mailstream—both paper and digital

One of the world's largest software companies?  90 years' expertise in encryption?

These are pretty impressive claims.

At any rate I ran across this PDF on the Volly website.

It talks about the Pitney Bowes (PB) eBoks integrated mail and email Postal System in Denmark.  Basically the idea here is that PB takes over and creates a sort technological mail system that integrates output devices for print and non-print.  Postal customers then have the official Denmark "seal of approval" on their "important" (banks statements, etc.) electronic mail because it goes through a system blessed by the government.

I was involved indirectly in something like this a while back for one of my customers.  This customer was doing a similar integrate with the Icelandic Post Office.  The idea was that things like greeting cards and other traditional paper things would be replaced by websites and an integrated print/emailing system that would allow the recipients to receive mail in whatever form they chose.

Needless to say this all stopped with the crash of the Icelandic currency a few years ago.

What's interesting to me is that these countries are taking on the transition from print to electronic mail in novel and effective ways.  PB claims that half of Denmark's population receives its "important" mail through this system.

Here at home in the US we see that again the USPS is after yet another rate increase.  This time for commercial mailing (leaving the individual First Class postal customer alone for now).  Sadly we are not getting what the Danes and Icelanders are in terms of service or technological advancement for our money.

The Danes have been using their new Post Office system for nearly 9 years - nothing to sneeze at and perhaps showing the old PB is not resting on its laurels.

As you can see from the above picture "getting the mail" has become, at least this time of year, a chore.  Personally I would like to see a system like the Danes or Icelanders have.  Trudging through the snow to the mailbox isn't much fun through a foot of snow.

Yes I know that I can opt for "e-delivery" of many bills and such but what I would really like is more control over what I have to go and get from the mailbox.  But that won't get ride of the junk mail I will have to get anyway.

I don't want physical mail six days a week either - three is plenty.  One or two is probably enough with a Volly or eBoks-type system.

Ideally I'd like a one-click junk mail elimination system as well - either via email or to stop physical delivery of stuff I don't want to carry around all the time.  Junk email and a problem and its one of the reasons I don't go all electronic with what I have now - its too easy to lose important email in the endless parade of Viagra, pain killer, watch and other junk ads that jam my inbox each day.

How about some real reform so I don't have to trudge out in that snow...

No comments:

Post a Comment