We had the opportunity to attend Pitney Bowes Tech Analyst meeting held at the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay, February 28th and March 1st 2017. The event was well attended with close to 30 analysts, many from oversees, in attendance.


So take a look at my musings on the event here: (if the video doesn’t show up, check here)


No time to watch – here is the 1-2 slide condensation (if the slide doesn’t show up, check here):

Want to read on? 
Here you go: Always tough to pick the takeaways – but here are my Top ones:

Pitney Bowes goes beyond the mailroom – If Pitney Bowes wanted to make one thing clear, they certainly succeeded: It’s no longer the mailroom automation vendor, but a sizeable software vendor that has the magical 1B US$ in sales in the cross hairs. 

Pitney Bowes Constellation Research Holger Mueller
Pitney Bowes Growth Potential

Data, Identity, Location, Communicate – Next to its ecommerce business, which is roughly half of the Pitney Bowes’ software portfolio, three major areas of activity were shared: Underpinning all with data, Pitney Bowes has an Identity. Location and Communication portfolio. We looked at the letter, focused primarily to customer engagement through modern interactions, most prominently video with the EngageOne product. Overall the focus on 4 product areas makes sense, the company has recovered from the over 80+ acquisition spree that was going on from 2002 till 2008. 

Pitney Bowes Constellation Research Holger Mueller
Software Direction and Portfolio

Wanted – a category – It’s always hard for vendors when they don’t stick into traditional categories, usually based on how enterprise buy, license and subscribe to software. In Pitney Bowes case, the vendor is partially responsible for the dilemma, as it doesn’t want to play in some categories: E.g. Pitney Bowes acquired MapInfo about 10 years ago – but we never heard an utter of “GIS” as a category. Some products are also hard to categorize, as they are working as APIs or standalone modules (e.g. Checkout) or are services (e.g. Pitney Bowes can act as merchant of record to enable borderless commerce).
Pitney Bowes Constellation Research Holger Mueller
Expanding Footprint

Partners needed for DaaS / API Economy – Pitney Bowers has realized it needs partners as force multipliers to be successful with its data and API centric approach. And it certainly has shown partner traction – but still must sign up approximately 50% more partners this year. If the conventional partners can give Pitney Bowes that multiplier will be an interesting aspect to be seen. Getting closer to where people use data / APIs would also be a good alley to explore, so developer outreach / evangelism maybe a chapter in the strategy book to consider.


A good analyst meeting, that at times stayed too high level, but made abundantly clear that it is not your grandfathers Pitney Bowers and that the company is committed to grow its software business. The four product areas are in good hands and the vendor has well working Indian developer organization, an asset not too many software vendors have. It also has a cash flow generating, but shrinking traditional business that allows it to invest in product and go to market, a good setup for a software business, that is traditionally cash hungry in its early phases. Finally Pitney Bowes executives were more than willing to learn, improve and get feedback, always a good strategy for an analyst day, that was operationally flawless.

On the concern side Pitney Bowes is in unchartered waters when it comes to the business model of its software portfolio. While vendors have figured out to make a living from data (e.g. Nielsen, IMS, Dun & Bradstreet etc.) – no vendor has created a billion and more business on the base of APIs. And while there is no technological discussion that APIs are the way how software will be offered and consumed going forward, the business model, monetization model outside the traditional transactional APIs (e.g. orders, invoices, paychecks) has not been established. And Pitney Bowes needs to grow the software business faster than its traditional mailroom related business shrinks.

A vendor under transformation, making good progress and certainly to watch, we will keep analyzing.

Want to learn more? Checkout the Storify collection below (if it doesn’t show up – check here).

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Find more coverage on the Constellation Research website here and checkout my magazine on Flipboard and my YouTube channel here.