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Pitney Bowes (PBI) Introduces Flagship SmartLink in Canada

Zacks Equity Research

Premium technology company, Pitney Bowes Inc. PBI, recently introduced its flagship product, SmartLink, in the Canadian market. Developed in partnership with Electric Imp, SmartLink has already been successfully deployed in the U.S., and has been delivering impressive results.

SmartLink is a digital technology solution, connecting postage meters to the Pitney Bowes Commerce Cloud. It has been designed within the Commerce Cloud to offer valuable data analytics and secure digital services. Powered by a secure Internet of Things (IoT) platform, SmartLink is expected to bring forth a range of valuable new benefits, online tools and services for clients.

SmartLink brings automated postage rate updates, low postage alerts, error notifications and simple self-help tutorials, all with round the clock online account management features. This digital technology solution will significantly expand the capabilities of Mailstation2 – Pitney Bowes’ extensively deployed mailing systems in Canada – by connecting it to the state-of-the-art digital applications of Commerce Cloud.

Pitney Bowes believes that the Commerce Cloud solutions will enable clients to simplify operations and manage account preferences from a centralized location. This will be a great help for small and medium businesses in Canada that are currently grappling with multiple complexities in mailing and shipping areas and are unable to optimize workflow.

With SmartLink, these business enterprises can bypass expenses and service disruptions often associated with analog phone lines. Notable benefits of using this technology include automated ink replenishment, proactive alerts and better support services. These will aid clients in streamlining shipping and mailing workflows along with generating sizable savings.

Commerce Cloud has been acting as the springboard for Pitney Bowes’ recent product launches to gain a higher market share. Ever since its launch in second-quarter 2016, the company has attracted more than 1 million visitors to the Commerce Cloud portal. Previously, it had launched a location intelligence solution on this platform.

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Despite the innovative product launch drive, Pitney Bowes’ financials continue to take a beating from escalating marketing and ERP implementation expenses. The company expects that rising capital expenditure in 2016 related to the ERP program (in areas including process automation of manual procedures, expanding web capabilities for client self-service, and additions of new functionality) will drive operating costs, thus increasing pressure on margins.

These apart, foreign currency fluctuations have also been hurting the company’s sales. This Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) expects currency volatility to continue hampering its e-commerce business by making purchases more expensive and lowering cross-border sales.

Better-ranked stocks in the industry are Konica Minolta, Inc. KNCAY, Aspen Technology, Inc. AZPN and Callidus Software Inc. CALD. All three stocks hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Interested in IPOs? Check out the special edition of Zacks Friday Finish Line below, where Editor Maddy Johnson and Content Writer Ryan McQueeney interview Kathleen Smith of Renaissance Capital about the IPO market in 2016 (see part two here).

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