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Legacy Tech Vendor Pitney Bowes Is Rolling Out Cutting-Edge Geospatial Software To The Channel

The 96-year-old vendor recently launched its first partner program after a multi-year digital transformation process that saw investment in several technologies, enabling location intelligence solutions.

Pitney Bowes, a legacy corporation typically associated with non-digital technologies — such as machines for sorting snail mail — has been transforming its business over the last few years with an array of software assets that enable cutting-edge geo-location capabilities.

Capping that process, the 96-year-old business technology vendor, headquartered in Stamford, Conn., launched its first channel program earlier this summer, and is recruiting data-centric IT solutions providers by offering them tools with which to pioneer unique use cases, said Mark Taylor, the company's senior vice president of software channels.

The new program offers partners software assets they can use to build solutions that help enterprises better identify, locate and communicate with their customers, Taylor said.

[Related: Docker Launches Two-Tier Channel Program To Support Expansion Of Enterprise Platform]

"We have more knowledge around physical locations than virtually anyone on the planet," Taylor told CRN. "And we can wrap customer information management and analytics around that."

Products like its Spectrum Technology Platform can integrate a variety of data sources to help enterprises build location intelligence, or digital knowledge of a physical environment.

Such services fulfill a number of diverse use cases, such as insurers assessing topological features, property managers looking to demarcate boundaries, delivery companies plotting routes, social media providers identifying check-in locations, and financial fraud investigators verifying physical addresses.

Before April, those capabilities and others were never offered to the channel in any substantial way. Aside from a mapping product, Pitney Bowes' go-to-market motion had always been direct, Taylor said.

Since then, Pitney Bowes has struck partnerships with several global systems integrators such as Accenture and Capgemini.

"Where we're really expanding this is with more of the regional systems integrators as well," he said. "Especially the firms that are today really good at helping clients with data. Partners that are working with data, databases, doing analytics, trying to help clients visualize more of their data. Those are the right kinds of partners for us."

Solution providers can extend their practices by partnering with Pitney Bowes across many industries, he said.

Jim Gallo, vice president of Business Analytics Strategy at Information Control Company, an IT solutions consultant based in Columbus, Ohio, told CRN that his company began partnering with Pitney Bowes in July to start bringing to market the Spectrum geocoding and spatial data analysis platform, as well as EngageOne Video, an interactive, data-driven video product.

"Their partner model is truly unique," Gallo said. "Given what they've done and how they've crafted it, they've really thought through what it takes for customers, partners and their sales force to be successful."


Gallo said he's never seen a vendor show his company as much attention and involvement, from the executive suite to sales teams to the partner management organization.

"They are putting money behind their words," Gallo told CRN.

Vincent Raineri, senior vice president at RCG Global Services, told CRN the data-focused solutions consultant based in Edison, N.J., has integrated Pitney Bowes technologies into solutions serving its core customers in financial services, insurance, health care and retail.

"We got involved because of the software products, especially around location services and customer identifiers, and the rich data sets they have," Raineri said. "We're developing solutions around financial fraud, money laundering, insurance claims fraud and we've integrated Pitney Bowes software and data sets in a number of those."

One benefit of the Pitney Bowes tools is that they work well with major Hadoop distributions, he said.

Raineri also praised the new program.

"From the executive level on down, there is a sense of how important their partners are for their growth engine," he said.

Pitney Bowes currently has roughly 50 partners working with its location intelligence services portfolio, Taylor told CRN.

As it builds out that channel, the company seeks to maintain close relationships with partners, having them collaborate extensively with the direct sales team and approach clients together.

Many data solutions on the market — such as Qlik, Tableau, and Hadoop implementations from Hortonworks and Cloudera — can run on top of Pitney Bowes technology, Taylor said, and partners in those ecosystems are good fits for the new program.

Pitney Bowes is aiming to eventually drive half of its revenue through partners, Taylor said. "That's a big transformation from where we are today."

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