Understanding Postal: USPS Transitions to Digital Agency in Hopes to Survive
It's all about authentication in the secured messaging business, Vogel said. It would take a lot of service agents to put such a platform together, he added, and the USPS cannot do it all. It could do in-person proof of identity, but not all the other sophisticated look-ups needed for secured messaging.
However, Vogel did say the USPS Inspection Service, the law enforcement arm of the agency, could oversee secured messaging, which could bring real value to the overall messaging community. He added that it would take some time to think it all out, including what pieces are needed to make the service robust. "We think someone needs to provide this service, and that it should be us," Vogel said.
Retail Partners Emerge
On the second front, the USPS is currently testing a consumer platform via the development of an app that provides a customizable dashboard which enables customers to personalize an aggregated mail and package status view across multiple carriers. This service will provide a convenient and personalized way to monitor and manage mail and packages. The app offers a single site to view all inbound package information as well as a single shipment-tracking tool. The USPS has already gained commitments from several e-commerce retailers that are willing to participate, with evaluations being performed by Amazon.com, eBay, Etsy and others.
The USPS is looking at different ways to customize the tracking views as well as assessing advertising potential. It's currently alpha testing the dashboard and said its DSG gradually will expand the user base to test platform features and pricing in the marketplace to ensure stability before a full public launch.
Vogel told customers that the USPS wants to hear ideas from them on digital solutions it could provide. He said the USPS soon will launch a website where users can submit ideas. Vogel stressed that the mailing community must be part of the USPS' assessment process. The Postal Service plans to invite a group of customers to its "virtual lab" to be part of alliances and its go-to-market strategies.