Pitney Bowes looks to IoT to streamline postage services

Pitney Bowes looks to IoT to streamline postage services

System connects to cloud to enable more services

Pitney Bowes has unveiled its new IoT-based device that at connects postage meters to the Pitney Bowes Commerce Cloud to streamline postage and enable a new range of services.

The SmartLink device leverages a secure Internet of Things (IoT) platform to enable a host of online tools and services, including automated postage rate updates, low postage alerts, AutoInk technology, usage tracking and analytics, error notifications and simple self-help tutorials, all with 24/7 online account management features.

The digital service is claimed by the firm to simplify operations and allow clients to modify account preferences from a centralised location online. Meters connected with the SmartLink device will receive low ink monitoring service and the ability to automate the process of purchasing ink via the Pitney Bowes AutoInk program.

Usage analytics and automated ink replenishment would deliver savings and improve operations, according to the firm. New alerts and support services would also help ensure the continuous operation of shipping and mailing workflows.

Pitney Bowes partnered with Electric Imp to develop the SmartLink solution within the Pitney Bowes Commerce Cloud. The SmartLink solution enables collection of real-time data from Pitney Bowes physical devices, paving the way to valuable data analytics and digital services.

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Smart Link and IoT

“SmartLink is a smart, real-world IoT use case, capturing transformational business data and helping business customers avoid down-time – all while maintaining network, data, device and application security at high levels,” said Hugo Fiennes, CEO of Electric Imp.

The SmartLink device is designed to work with Pitney Bowes low and mid-volume mailing systems, including the model K700 (Mailstation2), DM100i and DM200L. New versions of these models will include the SmartLink device. The rest of Pitney Bowes’ line of mailing systems offers digital connectivity solutions, including the recently announced SendPro P series of high volume mailing and shipping solutions.

The company also introduced its Clarity solutions suite, a new SaaS-based offering which integrates and organises data collected from sensors on production mail machines in order to support real-time insight, predictive analytics and prescriptive maintenance. Hosted on GE’s Predix platform, Clarity solutions represent the first commercially available solution generated by Pitney Bowes’ collaboration with GE.

Dermot O’Connell, executive director and general manager, OEM Solutions, Dell EMEA, told Internet of Business that as companies begin understanding the value of IoT (return on investments, efficiency, productivity, etc.), commercial IoT solutions will gain traction and the enterprise will emerge as the largest market for IoT adoption.

“The most valuable benefits of IoT are set to come on the enterprise side. Predictive maintenance enables engineers to determine the condition of equipment and machinery while it’s in service, and if maintenance should be conducted. The tools and techniques available to perform PdM are increasingly ubiquitous with the rise of IoT solutions. Today, we can embed sensors in almost every conceivable piece of equipment, from engines to pipelines, which can stream back huge volumes of data in real time,” he said.

Related: WAN technologies expected to power Internet of Things in 2016