CASE STUDY - Pitney Bowes Improves Total Cost of Ownership with Enhanced Business Intelligence
Commentary by William Duffy, Data Warehouse Project Manager, Pitney Bowes Inc.
Pitney Bowes Inc. is the world’s largest producer of postage meters, laying claim to some 2 million customers worldwide, 1.6 million of them in North America.
The company also makes other mailing equipment and provides shipping and weighing systems, as well as online postage services, financing for office equipment purchases, and facilities management services. Pitney Bowes also develops software to create mailers and manage shipping, transportation, and logistics for government agencies and corporations.
To manage its massive customer base, Pitney Bowes operates 4 call centers and employs 1,250 sales associates and 1,500 field service representatives in North America alone. Despite this huge commitment of resources, the company lacked a unified, coordinated approach to its vast customer service, marketing, and sales operations.
To remedy the situation, Pitney Bowes turned to Oracle for a comprehensive business intelligence (BI) solution that not only brought cohesiveness and greater analytical capabilities to its sales and marketing operations, but also would work in the context of Pitney Bowes’ multifaceted IT infrastructure.
“Our technology requirement spans more than 10 legacy systems deployed on different technologies,” said William Duffy, data warehouse project manager at Pitney Bowes Inc. “Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition was one of the few business intelligence tools capable of meeting the challenge.”
Dashboards and Analytics
Pitney Bowes implemented Oracle’s BI applications for sales, service, and marketing analytics to manage its call centers, field service organization, and sales force. Oracle Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition marries the information to provide key information to the management of the company.
“Oracle’s business intelligence solution gives us a 360-degree view of our customers and an infrastructure to keep on growing,” Duffy said.
As the company hoped, the information has translated to better service. “By providing analytics to all customer-facing associates, we provide a consistent and positive experience to Pitney Bowes customers,” he said.
With Oracle’s business intelligence solution, we were able to deliver more than 400 reports to a large organization with just one person—now that’s cost effective.
Building on Oracle
The new Pitney Bowes business intelligence component was part of a series of technological advances the company has undertaken in the past few years.
In considering its business intelligence solution, Pitney Bowes wanted continuity and compatibility with the CRM solution and its larger IT infrastructure, which is made up of several Oracle databases for its data warehouse environment. Ultimately, Oracle’s business intelligence solution was the simplest and most sensible way to integrate and maximize the company’s legacy systems and applications while adding new analytic and marketing capabilities to the mix.
“It was a good way to bring all the information together to provide key information to management,” Duffy said.
Pitney Bowes chose Oracle’s business intelligence for three reasons. First, the company is a long-time Oracle customer; second, it considers Oracle’s business intelligence solution to be the most capable and comprehensive platform on the market; and third, it wanted to take advantage of the prebuilt business intelligence applications.
Because the solution has hot-pluggable architecture that allows its components to integrate easily with third-party solutions, Pitney Bowes was able to integrate its business intelligence into its business processes, get insight from its legacy system, and analyze information from historical and real-time data sources, Duffy said.
Ultimately, however, what sold Pitney Bowes on Oracle was the possibility of lowering ownership costs even as it gained new functionalities. “One of the most important values of Oracle’s business intelligence solution is its TCO,” Duffy said. “The productivity we can achieve is astounding. We created 400 reports used by 1,250 users with a staff of one within a few months—that is very cost effective.”
The key factors to Pitney Bowes’ success in implementing a comprehensive business intelligence solution include gathering feedback directly from the business users, delivering the information that the business users were requesting, availability of the right information to the right people at the right time, and ease of use of the business intelligence tools. Pitney Bowes created over 400 reports by a staff of one in a matter of a few months—a very rapid and cost effective business intelligence deployment.