In a digital age, Posts need to adopt new technologies to improve current products and services as well as processes, and respond to new customer demands.
According to a 2011 UPU study, Posts worldwide are increasingly developing and offering postal e-services, demonstrating their innovation capabilities.
About 70 per cent of Posts responding to the survey said they considered electronic services strategically important for the future.
As such, the development of postal e-services and helping member countries adopt new technologies is an important part of the UPU’s 2013-2016 strategic plan, known as the Doha Postal Strategy (to be adopted at the 25th Universal Postal Congress in September/October 2012).
The UPU’s project to develop an Internet platform as the home of current and future postal electronic services, using the .post top-level domain the UPU obtained from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers in 2009, is a key element of this strategy.
The .post platform is scheduled to be ready in 2012.
Key findings of the UPU’s 2011 study
- Postal e-services are developing rapidly worldwide; the number of postal e-services introduced annually has tripled in recent years, rising from 33 in 2007 to 85 in 2010.
- The study identified 55 specific types of postal e-services in the world. These services fall within one of four categories: e-post, e-finance, e-commerce and e-government.
- The first postal e-services – track-and-trace services – were introduced around 1992.
- Although there is a gap between industrialized and developing countries in terms of postal e-services development, the index established by the study shows that not all developing countries are trailing behind; some are considered leaders in e-post, e-commerce and e-finance.
- The development of postal e-services is driven more by innovation capability than wealth.
- ICT infrastructure and regulation as well as innovation are important drivers of postal e-services development.
- While postal e-services are considered strategically important, strategy, management and profits are not aligned.
- The study produced separate indices for e-post, e-commerce and e-finance services*. The three distinct indices are then folded into one general index called the postal e-services development index. This index ranks countries that responded to the survey in the following manner: 1) Switzerland 2) Belarus 3) Italy 4) Germany 5) Qatar 6) Tunisia 7) France 8) Korea (Rep.) 9) United States 10) Canada.
*Although e-government services are considered in the study, a lack of data prevented the production of a specific index for them at this time.