Canada Post has recently completed a project with Tangentia Inc, a Toronto-based boutique IT consulting and outsourcing firm which integrated the crown corporation’s shipping services systems with IBM’s WebSphere Commerce platform.
The company developed the Tangentia Shipping Accelerator or T-Ship for Canada Post to simplify integration with WebSphere.
With the continued decline of demand for mail delivery services, Canada Post is increasingly turning to the e-commerce side of its operations to prop up profits and remain relevant.
Key to this strategy of to be able to integrate its system with the e-commerce platform used by retailers and among the most popular customer-facing retail portals are built on WebSphere.
“E-commerce is the fastest growing service at Canada Post,” Phaneendra Rao, e-commerce partnership and development manager for Canada Post, told CDN. “We dominate the B2C shipping sector in the country.”
He said Canada Post ships several millions of packages each year and the number keeps growing. For instance, during the Christmas shopping season in 2012 Canada Post had around five days where it made more than a million e-commerce deliveries. The number of such days, were estimated to reach upwards of 10 for the same period last year, Rao said.
Canada post foresees a further 20 per cent growth in its e-commerce operations. Some analysts project that the e-commerce market in Canada will grow to more than $16 billion by 2016.
In implementing its WebSphere integration, Canada Post looked to Tangentia, because of its knowledge of IBM systems and is track record of implementation successes, said Rao.
“We were looking for a company with extreme knowledge of IBM products and someone who complete that work fast,” he said.
Tangentia began consultations with Canada Post around March this year and by early May the WebSphere implementation was operational, according to Feite Kraay, partner at Tangentia.
A key advantage of Canada Post over other delivery services, according Kraay, is its ability to offer flexible delivery options.
“Online shoppers don’t need to drive to a faraway depot to retrieve their packages when they miss a delivery,” he said. “They can just pick up missed packages in a nearby Canada Post kiosk because Canada Post has a very extensive network.”
Tangentia’s T-Ship further enhance the customer experience with a direct connection to Google Maps which enables customers to quickly locate the nearest Canada Post kiosk.
With the T-Ship solution, Canada Post can offer retailers greater choice and convenience for their customers, including expected shipping times, delivery options, improved tracking and best in the industry returns experience, said Kraay. Retailers will also benefit from higher operational efficiency and reduced support calls.
T-Ship’s simplified integration process is based on Tangentia’s pre-built reusable service assets which easily plugs into the IBM WebSphere Commerce platform. The service assets make real-time incorporation with Canada Post’s shipping data fast and easy. It also means no additional customization is required with WebSphere Commerce, which reduces the cost of data integration and speeds up implementation.