Interview with Marie-Pierre Belanger, VP Digital Solutions & Product Manager at Pitney Bowes
By: Skip Henk, EDP – CEO of Xplor International
Xplor’s annual Technology of the Year Award honors an individual, company or organization that has conceived and developed an original concept leading to a significant advancement in the industry.
Each year Xplor’ call for Award Submissions yields a plethora of hardware and software submissions as vendors vie for recognition which tasks the Xplor Award Committee.
This year’s winner of the Technology of the Year Award is the Clarity product by Pitney Bowes, a new cloud offering that leverages data analytics and services to help increase productivity and lower the cost of running a print and mail operation.
I had the opportunity to speak with Marie-Pierre Belanger, VP Digital Solutions & Product Manager at Pitney Bowes to learn more about their award winning product. Marie assumed her role in August of 2016 with the mission of continuing the success of Clarity by leading highly skilled team of experts to define, develop and deliver PB Industrial Enterprise Mail equipment data optimization solutions.
Skip: First, congratulations on receiving the Technology of the Year Award. I have to say our judges were quite impressed.
Marie: Thank you and we are honored to accept this award recognizing our work in the Industrial Internet and it’s especially gratifying to be recognized by Xplor.”
Skip: Clarity is part of the Enterprise Business Unit of PB. Could you share with our readers how it fits within the PB family?
Marie: Our clients include many of the world’s leading insurers, telecommunications companies and financial institutions who have come to rely on Pitney Bowes to process billions of pieces of mail annually. Faced with increasing competition and cost pressures, mail operations are constantly looking for ways to improve efficiency and productivity, and maintain a competitive advantage. By connecting industrial sensors, machine data, people and processes, the Clarity solutions suite helps clients access new intelligence to drive higher levels of operational performance.
Clarity Solutions is a cloud based SaaS offering available on our global fleet of production mailing systems. It integrates and organizes data collected from sensors on our machines to drive greater operational performance for our clients.
Skip: In a nutshell, what is Clarity and what does it represent to the industry?
Marie: Clarity is a disruptive technology that brings the transformational benefits of the Industrial Internet to production print and mail. The data and real-time insights enable the predictive analytics, and prescriptive maintenance that drive optimized performance and improved business outcomes. The Clarity suite is comprised of three offerings:
Clarity Advisor, launched in early 2016, is our new service delivery model that offers an intelligent view into the performance of our client’s equipment to help drive higher levels of machine efficiency. It proactively monitors trends and patterns to diagnose and resolve issues before they occur resulting in up to 10% greater machine efficiency. Our technical experts leverage these analytics and insights to prevent system downtime and predict anomalies allowing us to start moving to outcome based service support.
Clarity Optimizer leverages actionable insights and industry benchmarks to identify an optimal combination of jobs, machines and operators to help clients improve equipment performance, operational productivity and capacity.
Clarity Scheduler provides real-time adaptive scheduling to help clients meet critical service-level agreements and drive productivity.
And in late 2017, Clarity for Production Print Systems will provide a detailed view of machine efficiency and consumable usage.
Skip: Clarity utilizes the “industrial internet”. For those not familiar with the term what exactly the industrial internet?
Marie: The Industrial Internet brings together industrial machines, advanced analytics and people in a network of highly secured connected devices to monitor, collect, analyze and deliver data-driven insights that help drive transformational business outcomes. The business benefits include lower cost of operations, greater productivity, output and increased service levels.
Skip: This seems to be a collaborative effort with GE. How do they fit in to the equation?
Marie: At Pitney Bowes, we are leveraging a combination of physical and digital technologies to transform our businesses, which include mailing and shipping, global ecommerce and location intelligence. We chose to partner with GE to transform our enterprise mailing business with GE Predix, the software platform for the Industrial Internet since GE has expertise in industrial manufacturing. Our production print and mail equipment is very similar to the large scale industrial GE equipment.
Skip: What makes Clarity unique?
Marie: This cloud based Industrial Internet technology, the first in the mail industry, allows Pitney Bowes to provide unique innovative capabilities to our clients. Many systems collect and report data; however, by coupling the cloud analytics with our technical system knowledge and expertise, Clarity Advisor delivers the intelligent insights needed to drive higher levels of operational performance.
And by leveraging the data collected across our global install base, our clients can begin to understand how their operation compares with industry benchmarks and obtain insights that will drive the most optimal combination of jobs, machines and operators through Clarity Optimizer.
Truly innovative and unique, Clarity Scheduler leverages machine learning capabilities along with in-depth insight into the productivity relationships, trends and reoccurring patterns between operators, machines and jobs. This provides our clients with a dynamic, adaptive real-time scheduler that learns from historical performance to unlock additional capacity and maximize yield.
And finally, all this is delivered through a secure cloud platform that allows our client to focus on their core competencies and automatically receive new features instead of supporting and maintaining complex IT infrastructures.
Skip: Marie, once again congratulations to Pitney Bowes. Do you have any closing comments? How can our readers learn more about the Pitney Bowes Clarity product?
Marie: We are proud of the recognition we have received from Xplor for Clarity. This innovation offers the Xplor community a solution that will transform the way print and mail operations provide high quality service to their clients and driver better business outcome. We invite you to learn more about how Clarity might benefit your operation. Click here to do so.
Skip Henk, EDP