As it continues to rack up staggering financial losses, the United States Postal Service predictably faces criticism for being slow to innovate and react to market conditions. But last week the USPS signaled its interest in the emerging technology that both entices and threatens it: digital mail.
A secure, closed system for the delivery of customer correspondence clearly is a boon for banks, utilities and plenty of other businesses. In recognition of that potential the Systemware Digital Mail Gateway was developed to easily enable these organizations and others to take advantage of electronic delivery customer correspondences. Systemware through its Digital Mail Gateway captures, transforms and delivers data streams to digital mailbox service providers. It has been well received by the industry, which to date has been the domain of private enterprise.
Last week Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe announced the launch of a USPS Digital Solutions group and named as its president Paul Vogel, who will “will lead efforts to produce new digital products and services.”
“Our growth in this area is potentially quite large …,” the announcement continued, perhaps signaling this will be more than a token effort. In charge of it is a man who had been the agency’s president and chief marketing/sales officer. Vogel’s UPS bio now says, “he leads a group that has a broad mandate to extend the U.S. Postal Service’s current technology and data platform in ways that help better support the mailing industry and the American public.”
Another statement attributed to Donahoe shows how serious the USPS may be. Post & Parcel quoted him as saying, “Digital Solutions will begin with a matrixed structure and will grow into a separate business unit over the coming year with the flexibility to explore, pursue, and/or create quickly evolving digital technologies.”
Just how quickly the Postal Service can move and the probability of its success can be debated. But its new emphasis on digital mail is yet more proof that this technology has the potential to radically change the way businesses communicate with customers.