Report: Pitney Bowes' Group 1 Acquisition Will Change Data Quality Market

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A new report by competitive intelligence firm Current Analysis, Sterling, VA, indicates that Pitney Bowes' purchase of Group 1 Software could intensify competition in the data quality market, forcing all of the players to increase their efforts.


Pitney Bowes Inc., Stamford, CT, signed a definitive agreement in April to acquire all outstanding shares of Group 1 Software Inc., Lanham, MD, for $321 million. The transaction is to close in the third quarter, and Group 1 will become a wholly owned subsidiary in Pitney Bowes' Global Enterprise Solutions.


Though it is unlikely that Pitney Bowes will change Group 1's position in the market in the near term, "the possibility that it will make Group 1 a strong competitor in the long term should encourage all players to respond," Robert Lerner, senior analyst at Current Analysis, wrote in "The Evolving Competitive Landscape of the Data Quality Market."


For example, Lerner said Harte-Hanks and SAS should give their respective subsidiaries -- Trillium Software and DataFlux -- "more competitive freedom and the resources they need to respond to the competition."


As for the marginal players, Lerner said, "they too should be preparing for a changing competitive landscape. Ultimately, the market should not discount the potential impact that Pitney Bowes and others could have."


In the report, Lerner suggested these vendor actions:


· DataLever Data Mentors, SSA and others should enhance their technology and follow the lead of the major players. They also should increase efforts to strengthen their verticals.


· Pitney Bowes should begin work on Group 1's product set and leverage its installed base to push the Group 1 technology.


· However, a Pitney Bowes official told DM News that the company can't do anything until the transaction closes.


"Until we own Group 1 ... we actually are prohibited from doing those sorts of things," said Pat Brand, vice president of global product management and marketing at Pitney Bowes.


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