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This is going to be a busy week. Your work schedule is hectic and your to-do list is already overflowing: Get stamps and send out those party invitations, return that outfit you ordered online, and find a new cell phone provider – your current contract is just about to expire! Sitting on your sofa, you wrack your brain about how you are going to manage it all and still pick up the children from school on time. Then you see a Poste Italiane commercial on TV [in Italian]. “Wow, this is exactly what I need,” you think. Reaching for the phone, you schedule an at-home appointment with Poste Italiane’s “mobile post office.”

For citizens throughout Italy, Poste Italiane S.p.A. means much more than reliable mail service. In addition to processing more than 5 billion pieces of mail a year, Poste Italiane and its subsidiaries also provide postal savings, logistics, mobile communications, insurance, and financial services. In total, this large organization provides universal services to about 80% of the country’s 61 million residents. 

Although Poste Italiane’s mandate is quite broad, the organization does not have a monopoly. The post office must compete with parcel delivery companies, banks, and insurance providers, among others. And as a company that listens carefully to its customers, Poste Italiane knew that one of the keys to differentiate its services from the competition was to make life easier for busy consumers.

The organization embarked on an innovative “electronic postman” initiative to equip the country’s 40,000 mail carriers with state-of-the-art mobile technology: handheld computers, scanners, printers, and point-of-sale devices. The goal is to improve customer satisfaction with an expanded service portfolio and real-time traceability of the mail. This ambitious project enables Poste Italiane to bring a virtual post office to the doorsteps of more than 26 million Italian homes.

From the outset, postal officials wanted to support this important project with a first-rate mobile management system. “We recognized the need for centralized control, trouble-free software delivery, and ironclad security,” says Vincent Nicola Santacroce, head of research & development at Poste Italiane. With these objectives in mind, the Italian postal service chose the SAP Afaria mobile device management solution.

Postal workers equipped with mobile devices are now delivering a new generation of services to Italians across the country. Instead of traveling to their local post office, people can now sign electronically from home for registered mail, credit cards, phone SIM cards, or even contracts for insurance and financial services. In some cases, consumers can pay for e-commerce purchases via credit card when the mail carrier delivers the product.

Poste Italiane also wants to expand its service portfolio even further. This includes providing services such as driver’s license renewals and the home delivery of medicines from the National Pharmacy Federation. In fact, mobile technology is helping the postal service implement new products and services faster than ever before. Such innovation does more than create a competitive edge. Most importantly, it makes life easier for millions of Italians who will now have one less thing to worry about.  Read more