Welcome!

Open Source Cloud Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Dana Gardner, Mike Raia, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Java IoT, Industrial IoT, IoT User Interface, Cloud Security

Microservices Expo: Article

Zumbox Sets Up Joint Venture in Oz

It’s starting in Australia

Zumbox, the American digital mail start-up, has changed its overseas strategy. Rather than try to involve the local postal operator - as it has once with New Zealand Post - it's going to go it alone.

It's starting in Australia where its wholly owned licensing arm, Zumbox Software Inc, has just climbed in bed with two big publicly traded mail outsourcers to create a joint venture called Digital Post Australia (DPA) that will offer consumers a way to get their paper mail electronically.

Digital Post Australia is supposed to be the first digital postal system in Australia.

Zumbox CEO John Payne, who's on DPA's board, claims that Zumbox is "seeing high demand for digital alternatives to the current postal system, both here in the US and abroad."

Unfortunately because of non-disclosure agreements Payne says he can't say anything about New Zealand Post's experience implementing Zumbox. And NZ Post has been completely opaque about what it's doing since it signed a national exclusive license for the Zumbox widgetry 11 months ago.

The deal was seen as a big endorsement for the US start-up and then went quiet. NZ Post was supposed to test the system and stage a trial, which doesn't seem to have happened yet. There was never a guarantee it would be implemented.

The Australia Post, which hasn't gone electronic, is already ticked off at the prospect of DPA's coming competition. As in other major markets, its letter post and revenues are dwindling under the Internet's onslaught and it needs to keep every piece of mail it gets.

Faced with the start-up's announcement of its imminent arrival, Oz Post told Australia's Daily Telegraph that it was launching its own digital post service "within a few weeks," and expressed concern that consumers will be confused by the name Digital Post Australia, thinking it's part of Australia Post.

The state-owned company also waved around the legal protections afforded the mail it carries and other scare tactics.

Zumbox' partners in Australia are the local arm of the multibillion-dollar Computershare and Salmat, who together handle mail for banking, insurance, utilities, telecommunications, government and share registries and are supposed to reach every home in Australia. Who owns what is unclear.

As a "utility service," Digital Post Australia is also supposed to be available to all "communication service providers" in the country.

Zumbox, by the way, has a deal with Computershare in the US and Salmat already offers its mailers an online service.

Seventy percent of the addressed mail in Oz, which works out to 20 million items a day, is reportedly sent by 30 organisations including government agencies and DPA has reportedly already chatted them up. It thinks it may get 15 of them but in the end the scheme depends on consumers buying into the free service.

Obviously Zumbox is kicking in its cloud-based technology for mirroring every street address in the country with an electronic mailbox and storage archive. It says the system has been extended, adapted and customized to meet the specific requirements of the Australian market.

The effort will go live in the second half probably around September. It expects to deliver bills, statements, insurance documents, warrantees, government mail, stock and brokerage disclosures and annual reports, which it promises to store securely forever for free. The system is supposed to notify users when bills are due.

According to some independent research DPA had done by GfK bluemoon 50% of Australians are supposed to be interested in the idea of digital postal mail.

Forrester Research observes that almost 80% of global consumers pay bills, transact e-commerce and do other things online, but only 20% turn off the related paper mail. It says consumers cited the need for paper documents for recordkeeping as the main reason why.

Digital Post Australia says it will deliver those documents in native digital formats such as HTML, Flash, audio and video to a household archive totally under the control of the consumer, who can search it, tag it for tax and business reasons and access it from any device, including Apple's increasingly ubiquitous iPad and iPhone and their rival Android devices complements of a PIN number the user ironically gets through the mail.

Mailers, users and their physical addresses are all supposed to be verified. The Zumbox technology has bank-level security and is said to be hacker-free and phishing-free.

Besides anytime access and online document storage, fewer trees will be cut down to make paper, fewer mail trucks will be on the road and there will less waste consigned to landfills.

Typically under the Zumbox system mailers only start paying when users suppress their paper mail. Whether that scheme will maintain in Australia is unclear.

Per-piece pricing is supposed to save mailers between 50% and 70% of their traditional printing and mailing costs and the scheme holds out the hope of mailers cultivating deeper relationships with their users though Zumbox' direct communications channel.

Of course users may not appreciate their mail being mined. And many may already get their bills e-mailed.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Identity is in everything and customers are looking to their providers to ensure the security of their identities, transactions and data. With the increased reliance on cloud-based services, service providers must build security and trust into their offerings, adding value to customers and improving the user experience. Making identity, security and privacy easy for customers provides a unique advantage over the competition.
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, will deep dive into best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business in 2016. However, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will drill down to the components in this fra...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
There is growing need for data-driven applications and the need for digital platforms to build these apps. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Muddu Sudhakar, VP and GM of Security & IoT at Splunk, will cover different PaaS solutions and Big Data platforms that are available to build applications. In addition, AI and machine learning are creating new requirements that developers need in the building of next-gen apps. The next-generation digital platforms have some of the past platform needs a...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
SYS-CON Events announced today Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
Pulzze Systems was happy to participate in such a premier event and thankful to be receiving the winning investment and global network support from G-Startup Worldwide. It is an exciting time for Pulzze to showcase the effectiveness of innovative technologies and enable them to make the world smarter and better. The reputable contest is held to identify promising startups around the globe that are assured to change the world through their innovative products and disruptive technologies. There w...
With so much going on in this space you could be forgiven for thinking you were always working with yesterday’s technologies. So much change, so quickly. What do you do if you have to build a solution from the ground up that is expected to live in the field for at least 5-10 years? This is the challenge we faced when we looked to refresh our existing 10-year-old custom hardware stack to measure the fullness of trash cans and compactors.
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions wi...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abil...
Is the ongoing quest for agility in the data center forcing you to evaluate how to be a part of infrastructure automation efforts? As organizations evolve toward bimodal IT operations, they are embracing new service delivery models and leveraging virtualization to increase infrastructure agility. Therefore, the network must evolve in parallel to become equally agile. Read this essential piece of Gartner research for recommendations on achieving greater agility.