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Forrester Examines Pitney Bowes’ Expanding Geospatial Capabilities — We Ask Where They Come From

Marketers are looking more deeply at origins and sources where location services providers get their intelligence in order to see how accurate and actionable they are.

Enterprise business tech specialist Pitney Bowes has been steadily building up its location-based marketing offerings to better meet its clients demands for online-to-offline services and capture the data from the burgeoning Internet of Things.

Over the past six months, the company and its approach have been profiled in The Forrester Wave: Customer Analytics Solutions, Q1 2016 and The Forrester Wave: Master Data Management, Q1 2016.

Looking at a competitive landscape that includes analytics players such as AgilOne, Alteryx, Angoss, FICO, IBM, Manthan, SAP, SAS, and Teradata, Forrester examined Pitney Bowes capabilities as a geospatial vendor. Among Forrester’s checklist:

  • Current offerings that include architecture, analysis, and capabilities to serve a broad range of users as well as prebuild solutions for horizontal and vertical uses.
  • Strategy for pricing and acquisition, company and product road map, and ability to support implementation.
  • Market presence, including customer numbers, revenue, and partners.

More specifically, Pitney Bowes received the high scores in: spatial data sources; enrichment data sources; included enrichment data sources; cloud data sources; geocoding; security; buffers; edges and polygons; multi-table editing; labeling; grid analysis; time-series analysis; visualizations; model deployment; integrations; line of business and BI analysts; GIS professionals; and acquisition and pricing.

Forrester notes that the Pitney Bowes location intelligence solution “focuses on scalable analysis, fast and accurate geocoding (with additional contextual data delivered with the GeoEnrichment capability), and an increasing empowerment of developers through web-based APIs for infusing applications with additional spatial data and location intelligence, such as local geosearch and supporting data solutions.”

We reached out to Joe Francica, managing director, Geospatial Industry Solutions at Pitney Bowes, to get a sense of how Pitney Bowes accesses and deploys location technology services.

As Pitney Bowes expands its geospatial projects, the discussion of such offerings are receiving deeper scrutiny as marketers seek better guidance as to what the strengths and differences among the proliferation of players is.

For example, in terms of the “data sources” section where Pitney Bowes was recognized, there’s a lot of debate (and confusion) about the power of different data sources — bidstream data, GPS, wifi, cell phone towers, beacons (at least in terms of proximity). Here’s what Francica had to say:

GeoMarketing: Where does Pitney Bowes get its data? What sort of questions should marketers ask/be thinking about when it comes to evaluating a provider, such as Pitney Bowes, and its competitors and partners?

Joe Francica: First, the data that Geomarketing is referring to is “real-time” data that may be “streamed” from sensors, such as those included in a mobile handset. These mobile devices incorporate a GPS chip, which appends a latitude and longitude coordinate pair so that whatever data is “sensed” can be mapped. Pitney Bowes acquires data from 3rd party sources whereby we have a contractual relationship to resell, append or refine these data depending on the licensing agreement. This is the bulk of our data portfolio.

As such, we have an extensive catalog of over 350 data sets from 240+ countries. PB can be a single source (“one-stop shop) for our clients rather than having them work with number third party providers. Therefore, marketers need to be asking questions such as:

  • How current is the data? How often is the data updated?
  • What is the geographic coverage of the data (by country)?
  • To what geographic level do you provide data (ZIP Code? Political geography? Census geography? Neighborhood?)?
  • What is the attribution associated with each level of geography (economic, demographic, ethnicity, income, etc.)?
  • How geographically accurate is the data (by address, by parcel, by ZIP Code)?

Can you further define the importance of Architecture & Enterprise Scalability? Do you consider this a key differentiator for Pitney Bowes?

The differentiation in architecture speaks to Pitney Bowes’ ability to integrate with enterprise computing systems. Security, scalability, ease of integration, application interfaces, etc. This allows PB to provide solutions where adherence to industry standards in a multi-tenant environment is essential.

As an example, we are integrating our geospatial capabilities in the form of software development kits (SDKs) for use within big data environments (e.g. Hadoop). As the volume of geospatial data becomes more pervasive and immediate, PB is ready to assist our clients and scale with their needs.

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of GeoMarketing.com. A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.