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February 09, 2009
Interview with Mike Hickey, President of Pitney Bowes Business Insight
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor


by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
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Industry News

Interview with Mike Hickey, President of Pitney Bowes Business Insight

By Susan Smith


This week Pitney Bowes Business Insight President Mike Hickey talked to GISWeekly about Pitney Bowes MapInfo’s announcement of their new business unit composed of Pitney Bowes MapInfo and Group 1 Software.


Prior to acquiring MapInfo, in 2004, Pitney Bowes had acquired Group 1 Software, a company with some similarities to MapInfo, according to Hickey. They were both similar sized businesses, both former public companies with some product lines that could work together. Pitney Bowes wanted to create a better business by tying together their back end infrastructure and system supports and drive costs savings through the business, while also integrating at the front end in solutions offerings to customers, having more integrated and full value propositions to bring forward. As one organization, Pitney Bowes Business Insight is said to provide “all the integral location and
communication intelligence offerings that companies need to secure an accurate view of their customers and effectively integrate it into daily business operations. Armed with this critical data analysis, companies are able to realize increased revenue, improved profitability and enhanced operational efficiency,” according to press materials.


GW: Can you talk about the decision to bring the two businesses, MapInfo and Group 1, together at Pitney Bowes?


Mike Hickey: Pitney Bowes made a decision in September, 2007 to bring the two businesses together. For the past year or so that’s what we’ve been doing. We built a vision and strategy for the business, we’ve restructured, I’ve put the right management team together. Pitney Bowes was also looking at the fact that they have acquired 80 companies since 2000, and how do they start to move their brand so it gets more credit into some of these spaces instead of being known only as someone who is focused on the mailstream?


So that’s where we are now, we’ve launched this new name, it is a subsidiary of Pitney Bowes called Pitney Bowes Business Insight. It is the product of putting the two companies together. We are focused on delivering customer and operational intelligence for our clients. We bring three primary core benefits: we help them locate opportunities which comes with a lot of the location intelligence business that came with MapInfo, and we help connect those opportunities into their workflows of their business, whether it’s changing business rules strategies or somewhere in the work processes. This intelligence helps them give better insight and we also help them
communicate effectively with their clients. The communication part was a strong part of the Group 1 product lines as well.


GW: Is the communication also part of your GIS?


MH: The GIS was more focused on communication in the form of marketing to the actual customer, which we still have. But the Group 1 communication side was more towards Delta Dental. For example, they have statements they send out to their clients, what should they look like , how they are easy to read so that if someone has to call for support or questions and customer service that the customer service people can look at the same statements as them, they can open the web and do self service. A lot of that infrastructure and software will depend on how you optimize communication with clients. Think about something like an American Express bill and how it’s organized and how
the content is managed in the bill. We have that type of presentation software as part of it.


The two pieces come together on the marketing side, which is from the MapInfo side of the business. The location intelligence is something called ‘transpromotional,’ so companies like American Express are sending out statements every month. How do you combine the fact that you can marry this transaction document with actually doing some promotion? With our site cluster segmentation systems we can tell them a lot about someone just based on their physical address and strong indexes on what type of cars they drive or magazines they read. It helps add value to that whole process. Location intelligence and the whole overlap with GIS and where MapInfo came from is all part of our legacy and is the largest part of our business, it’s about 55% of our overall business and it’s a big part of our future. Our goal is to become a billion dollar business over the next five years and you can’t do that unless the 55% part of your business continues to grow. A lot of people in the Group 1 side to whom data quality has been sold, can also be sold location intelligence solutions now. And we can go back and sell to the customers to whom we were selling LI solutions data quality and integration type systems. In almost all those cases, there’s a need to communicate more effectively with your customers. We are able to help the same clients out in many
different parts of the business with what we can offer now.


GW: Are there any changes you’re making to accommodate the economic situation at the moment?


We look at our cost structures and make sure we’re aligning that to what’s going on in the market. From a marketing standpoint we’re not spending as much time marketing on things that might be driving topline because a lot of our clients don’t know if people are going to spend the money to drive the topline, so they start focusing on bottom line themselves. If you can’t control the top line, people want to know if you can help them control their costs. We have solutions that help people with their topline and help them with their cost side, which seems to be more of a focus in solutions at this point.


GW: As I recall when I attended your conference, and in conversations I’ve with your company since that time, you had clients like Home Depot, big stores chains. What are those customers doing with you now, as they may not be looking for new places to build stores?


That’s true. Obviously we would help them if they’re building out a network to place their stories in the best place. But also when they get to the point where they have to close down stores, the same process that you use to put them up you sort of use to pull them down, so we get pulled into a lot of those conversations, and we also do a lot around optimization, profitability of different store concepts, or how to get the most profit out of particular markets. There are still areas we can really help them as their business faces more challenges, and help them to have the insights to be able to manage those challenges.


That’s why we’re somewhat diversified, we are in financial services, insurance, telecommunications, public sector and retail and certainly retail has been one of the ones that has been more challenged over the last couple of years.


We’re diversified by vertical, but also globally, so we’re in all parts of the world. Many times when one part of the world isn’t doing well, another one is, so that does help to balance your loads. We do have some regions of the world that are doing well, and we have some verticals such as in financial services which has been a tough market we did pretty well in. Part of that is our value propositions are lining up with the challenges they’re having now.


GW: What countries or parts of the world that are doing really well with what verticals?


MH: Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe, we have also some of the non-U.S. American market – Latin American and Canadian markets have been doing well as well.


GW: Going forward, what are some of Business Insights goals?


MH: We’re looking to build the business. We understand people don’t buy technology for technology’s sake anymore. CIOs have been through things where they’ve had projects where they’ve spent way too much money and the project has under delivered and underperformed. They’re all pragmatists at this point and they want things to work and so we want to be known as a company with those dependable technologies but also as a real trusted advisor and dependable partner for them in their business. We want to be known as providing the best solution in the marketplace and really having a focus on understanding the customers’ verticals and their business
problems.


GW: What percentage of your business is service oriented?

MH: 20-25 percent. Years ago, MapInfo only had about 10-12 percent.


GW: You mentioned customization - is that something customers do themselves or do you as a company go in and help them?


MH: I think there’s a little of both and it always depends on the types of applications and solutions you have and obviously how knowledgeable you are about the problem you’re trying to solve. You try to get as far into the product with the client as you can, where the client can do some of that customization themselves. But sometimes you can’t do that, sometimes their processes are so unique or the business model is so unique. Because it’s unique, then it’s new for us, so we end up doing it together.


Top News of the Week


Google Inc. announced the launch of ocean in Google Earth, a new feature that enables users of Google Earth to dive beneath the water surface, explore 3D underwater terrain and browse ocean-related content contributed by leaders in ocean science and advocacy. The new version of Google Earth also introduces Historical Imagery, a feature that enables users to virtually travel back in time through archival satellite and aerial imagery, Touring, which makes it simple to create a narrated tour in Google Earth and share it with the world and Google Mars 3D, which features hi-res imagery and terrain of the red planet. To begin exploring Ocean in Google Earth follow this
link:
Ocean in Google Earth.


Acquisitions, Agreements, Alliances


DigitalGlobe, a global provider of high-resolution world imagery content solutions, announced that it has signed an agreement with Telogis, the leading global platform for Location-Based Services (LBS). Under the agreement, Telogis developers will have access to DigitalGlobe’s high resolution imagery – a fundamental tool for Mobile Resource Management (MRM) across Telogis’ 350,000 mobile devices in 40 countries worldwide.


geoXMF LLC announced it has signed an agreement with Longmont-based Laurel Hill GIS, Inc. to become a value added reseller of Laurel Hill’s GeoData Sentry software. Sentry offers complete GIS quality assurance solutions for businesses and government organizations. This agreement expands the availability of GeoData Sentry to the water utility, agriculture, transportation and state and local government markets that geoXMF serves.


NAVTEQ, a global provider of digital map data for vehicle navigation and location-based solutions, has announced that it has signed an agreement to supply NAVTEQ map data of Mexico directly to DestinoGPS, a navigation device retailer and the exclusive distributor of Mio brand PNDs in Mexico. Products are available for sale in over 1,000 retail stores in Mexico such as RadioShack, Costco, Sam's Club, Palacio de Hierro, Telmex and others.


Enspiria Solutions, a provider of consulting and systems integration services to the utility sector, has supported Pepco Holdings, Inc. (PHI) in its successful execution of a contract for AMI technology. AMI technology contract execution is a major milestone enabling PHI’s Blueprint for the Future, an ambitious plan to pursue innovative technologies and initiatives that will help PHI’s electric utility customers manage their energy more effectively, reduce the total cost of energy and protect the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


Announcements


James W. Sewall Company announced the launch of its new corporate web site. The site offers new and expanded content, image-rich design, and intuitive, easy-to-use navigation. Information is accessible by market-based client solutions, specific products and services, featured projects, partners, and standard search, Email, and interactive forms. Other features include Aerial View--staff perspectives on industry trends and technologies—a digital library, and a client login to project information.


The new site, powered by Sewall, culminates a process begun two years ago to rebrand the company as a client-focused consulting organization. Sewall invites clients, partners and business associates to visit the
website


Following an ongoing programme of quality management and 4 days of intensive auditing 1Spatial has successfully upgraded its ISO9001 accreditation to comply with the 2008 specification and TickIT version 5.5.


1Spatial has been ISO9001 accredited since 1994. The company achieved accreditation against the 2000 standard in January 2001. More recent developments in the company that fall within the scope of the registration include the use of Agile software development techniques in conjunction with the Rational Unified Process.


Tele Atlas, a global provider of digital maps and dynamic content for navigation and location-based solutions, announced the company’s innovative Mobile Mapping technology will be deployed in Thailand, further demonstrating its commitment to delivering high quality digital map data around the world. The van in Thailand will focus on collecting data to ensure changes to the map are accurately reflected and to help generate advanced map features such as 3D landmarks, city blocks with textures and junction views to help generate maps that accurately reflect the urban landscape for a superior, safer navigation experience.


Galdos Systems Inc. invites participation in the industry-leading event focused on GIS and the Internet:
GeoWeb 2009 Conference! GeoWeb conferences focus exclusively on geographic information systems, the Internet, and the economic potential associated with their convergence. GeoWeb 2009 will continue the tradition of focusing on the reciprocal impact of the Web and Geographic Information as well as
the ever-increasing need for collaboration in light of global economic and environmental concerns. GeoWeb 2009 is for everyone.


Representatives from both public and private organizations are invited to meet, discuss and learn about today's most innovative geospatial technologies. Be sure to save the date and join us this coming summer as we explore and unlock the future of the GeoWeb! Registration begins online April 2, 2009.


GeoWeb 2009 is taking place July 27-31, 2009 in downtown Vancouver, BC Canada at the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue.


Demonstration products generated by the RapidEye system are being made public for the first time . The samples of the RapidEye Standard Image Products show an area over Griffith in New South Wales, Australia.


The sample datasets are available for download as a RapidEye Ortho Product (level 3A) and RapidEye Basic Product (level 1B).The datasets can be downloaded instantly as a zip-file from the
RapidEye website


Financials


Trimble announced revenue of $268.1 million for its fourth quarter ended Jan. 2, 2009, down approximately 14 percent from revenue of $312.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2007. For fiscal 2008, Trimble had revenue of $1.33 billion dollars, up approximately 9 percent over fiscal 2007. See
press release


People


Geographic Technologies Group, Inc. (GTG) announced the recent addition of Brent Johnson GISP, GIS Solutions Manager, to their new Milton, Florida office. This marks GTG’s third regional office in Florida after the Orange Park and Davie offices.


New Products


The beta release of the ArcGIS API for Microsoft Silverlight will coincide with the 2009 ESRI Developer Summit in Palm Springs, California, to be held March 23–26. This new API allows application developers to integrate ArcGIS Server and Microsoft Virtual Earth services and capabilities in a Silverlight application. ArcGIS Server delivers maps, geographic information system (GIS) services, and applications over the Web.


Developers can use the Silverlight API to combine GIS-based Web services from ArcGIS Server with other Web content and display it in fast and expressive mapping applications that can be deployed over the Web.


The
ESRI GIS Bibliography, available at no cost from the ESRI Education and Training Web site, recently surpassed 75,000 entries, making it one of the world’s largest online repositories for information about geographic information science (GIScience) and geographic information system (GIS) technology.


Cox Communications, a cable provider throughout the United States, has commenced roll out of Tensing Web GIS as their internet GIS tool. Tensing, a leader in geo and mobile solutions for the telecommunications and utilities industries was selected by Cox because of their standard products and fast implementation process.


Urban Mapping, Inc (UMI), provider of location-rich content for interactive applications, announced the availability of a Free Mass Transit Proximity API that permits access to the company's comprehensive database of mass transit systems. The free version offers API access for developers to build location-based applications that can leverage Urban Mapping's URBANWARE Mass Transit database. With the API, developers and publishers can enhance the value of local content by associating information about nearby transit stops and routes or lines serving those stops.


NASA and Google announced the release of a new Mars mode in Google Earth that brings to everyone's desktop a high-resolution, three-dimensional view of the Red Planet.


Besides providing a rich, immersive 3D view of Mars that will aid public understanding of Mars science, the new mode, Google Mars 3D, also gives researchers a platform for sharing data similar to what Google Earth provides for Earth scientists.


Maponics LLC, provider of neighborhood boundary data, announced the beta release of the MAPONICS SPATIAL API - Neighborhood Data to selected existing customers. With this move, Maponics becomes the first data development company to deliver its entire neighborhood dataset via an application programming interface (API), including all
neighborhood boundaries. This database covers 60,000 (and growing) neighborhoods in over 2,300 U.S. and Canadian cities.


Events

 
Date: February 8 - 11, 2009
Place: Charleston, SC USA

The International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) and the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) are pleased to announce the 13th GIS/CAMA Technologies Conference, to be held February 8-11, 2009 in Charleston. This conference is designed to foster collaboration and integration of data, technology, and functionality.

Date: February 10 - 13, 2009
Place: Hyderabad International Convention Centre

Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

Map World Forum will not just be a conference. It will be a forum that will simply aim to “Converge Ideas and Expand Horizons for Sustainable Planet Earth”. It will aim beyond speeches and discussions to find practical ways to protect the earth and improve people's lives.
Date: February 12 - 13, 2009
Place: Hyderabad International Convention Centre

Hyderabad, India

Location Summit 2.0, the first Global Summit on Positioning and Navigation with the theme "Towards Collaborative Model", brings together the pioneers, industry leaders and developers who are setting the direction for the future of location technologies and markets, guiding the development of new applications and shaping the way to meet the challenge of making location enabled services ubiquitous.
Date: February 16 - 19, 2009
Place: Barcelona, Spain

Welcome to the The 3GSMA Mobile World Congress is the world’s leading mobile communications conference, Fira and exhibition. Held annually since 1994, the event has attracted over 70,000 visitors from 175 countries, more than 1500 exhibitors and 2000 media and press representatives.
Date: February 17 - 18, 2009
Place: Bloomingtown Monroe County Convention Center

Downtown Bloomingtown, IN USA

Have you been working hard all year on a really great project? Have you found a technical solution to a difficult question? Have you learned something from your community of users? Come share your experience at the Indiana 2009 Annual GIS Conference!!!
Date: February 18 - 20, 2009
Place: Walter E. Washington Convention Center

DC USA

Take the geographic approach. The FedUC is the ultimate resource when it comes to using geospatial technology in government. The conference offers presentations from technical and industry experts, valuable insight from your colleagues, and the latest solutions that fit your agency. Professionals across organizations are invited to discover effective and efficient ways to meet goals, overcome challenges, and address issues.
Date: February 19 - 20, 2009
Place: Raleigh Convention Center

Raleigh, NC USA

The 2009 NC GIS Conference will be at the Raleigh Convention Center in downtown Raleigh, NC on Thursday, February 19 and Friday, February 20. The theme, Capitalizing on Spatial Data, is a perfect fit for bringing the practitioners and users of GIS data together at this Eleventh biennial conference.
Date: February 20 - 21, 2009
Place: The Waterfront

Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

The International Map Trade Association (IMTA) represents the commercial interests of the global mapping and spatial information industry.
Date: February 23 - 25, 2009
Place: Houston Marriott Westchase

Houston, TX USA

From senior executives to GIS professionals, you will take away from the PUG Conference ideas and tools you can put to work immediately. See how to widen the scope of your GIS investment and invite your colleagues who work in IT and HSSE to learn how they can use GIS.
Date: February 25, 2009
Place: Best Western Gateway Grand

Gainesville, FL USA

The Florida Region of ASPRS will be hosting the 2nd Annual Florida ASPRS Geospatial Symposium Feb 25th 2009. We are also hosting an ASPRS Certification Preparation Course taught by Bob Burtch the day before, for anyone interested in pursuing their Certified Photogrammetrist (CP), or Certified Mapping Scientist (CMS) certifications (or their respective Technologist Certifications).
Date: February 25 - 27, 2009
Place: Tampa, FL USA

Caliper Corporation, a worldwide leader in GIS, transportation and mapping software, invites you to express interest in Maptitude training classes. Please contact Caliper as soon as possible to express interest in these training dates.
Date: February 28 - March 2, 2009
Place: Bombay Exhibition Centre

Goregaon, Mumbai, India

FESPA is a federation of trade associations and an organiser of exhibitions and conferences for the screen and digital printing industry. FESPA has 28 member associations in Europe and 6 associate members in Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and Thailand. FESPA’s objective is to promote imaging and to encourage positive business growth through the sharing of knowledge, know-how and expertise.
Date: March 3 - 7, 2009
Place: Palace Grounds

Banglore, Karnataka, India

World Leaders Gather at Green Energy Summit 2009 to Plug Bailout Scenarios Clean Technology, Renewable Energy, and Sustainability as Sound Engines for Economic Growth.
Date: March 9 - 13, 2009
Place: MARRIOTT WATERFRONT HOTEL

BALTIMORE, MD USA

ASPRS proudly celebrates its 75th Anniversary throughout 2009, with special events taking place at the 2009 Annual Conference in Baltimore.


You can find the full GISCafe event calendar here.


To read more news, click here.



-- Susan Smith, GISCafe.com Managing Editor.