What is holding up Secure Electronic Mail

Pitney BowesCloud Computing Journal reported today that “After more than two years of promising the imminent arrival of Volly, Pitney Bowes … has failed to materialize the cloud that was supposed to replace postal mail, especially posted bills.”    According to the story, Pitney Bowes has pushed back the launch in North America until no earlier than late in 2013 after first announcing Volly’s launch in September of 2011.

Currently Pitney Bowes appears to be focusing on getting Volly up and running as a product of Australia Post.  Australia Post was supposed to implement Volly in October 2012 but the system is still not operational when the Cloud Computing Journal was written.

CEO Marc Lautenbach indicated that Volly will have to compete with other uses of corporate resources.   His comments indicated that  Volly with other projects based on whether Volly serves a market where it holds a significant competitive advantage and the projected return on investment in Volly as compared with other investments within Pitney Bowes

Furthermore, as Maureen O’Gara noted in her Cloud Computing Journal article,  “Marc Lautenbach … confessed to analysts that there are “no scared cows” at his new under-performing company, aside from the client and the shareholder, and hinted that the speculative Volly platform may be dumped.”

At the analyst day conference today, Joe Timko, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer indicated that the future of Volly may not involve Pitney Bowes offering the secure electronic mail service under its own brand name.  Mr. Timko clearly indicated that the focus of Pitney Bowes investments of corporate resources into its “Digital Commerce Solutions.”   These includes solutions for location intelligence, parcel management and secure evidencing.  As Volly does not fit into this focus of Pitney Bowes investment strategy, it would appear that its future will consume less of senior management time in the future than it had over the past two years.

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One Response to “What is holding up Secure Electronic Mail”

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  1. Interesting that they are down playing the viability of Volly actually coming to fruition in its original form. The idea that PB would become the ultimate destination for consumers to go to, to get their bills was an overly optimistic goal that would take a small miracle to achieve. The best opportunity for any entity to claim this space exclusively was the USPS back at the dawn of email with the “Electronic Post Mark” to leverage the power of the postal security laws. The USPS can still make a play for this marketplace as they will soon be rolling out a service that will let consumers know what is in their mailbox. They are already capturing electronic images of the mail as it goes thru their sorting machines. It would not take much for them to expand into the EBPP arena and dominate. This is a one player, end all goal. Consumers will not put up with having to go to multiple portals to get their bills. One site will rule them all. Who will come out on top, if any?

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