by James Cartledge – Post & Parcel
Secure digital mail pioneer RPost has launched a new cloud-computing platform that opens up its suite of services to independent software developers.
The company is offering to act as a third-party authenticator within external digital mail services, that might be run by postal operators or by independent software developers.
For postal operators, it means they can add services like legally valid proof of delivery, security and encryption, as well as legal electronic signature and authentication, to their own digital communications services quickly and without major cost.
So a postal application or digital mail service could, for example, direct any messages tagged as “high value” through RPost’s cloud-based servers for authentication before they are delivered to the final destination.
Dennis Gilham, director of business development for the postal sector at RPost, said: “The addition of the new platform really opens up the services to the entire world – developers can simply integrate the RPost suite of services into their own products.”
Downloadable postal-branded apps are available to help with the process, which can be used with desktop email programs like Outlook and Lotus, mobile devices including smartphones and tablets, as well as in web browsers.
These apps can then be opened up so that developers can build them into their own software platforms to add on the RPost features to their own products.
RPost is also opening up its application programming interfaces (APIs) so that postal operators can even make RPost services available through their own platforms that are open to independent developers to come up with apps.
It means postal digital services can take on a “viral marketing” approach, the company says.
Gilham told Post&Parcel: “One of the problems postal operators have had in the past is that they have traditionally been very operationally strong, rather than strong in their marketing. Going into the digital world can be a very difficult environment for them, but cloud technology opens up the service to anyone – it can essentially self-sell.”
Payment for the system can be set up to be based on the number of messages sent through the RPost servers, or on a per-user basis, with “a few pennies” per message going to RPost, then the developer of the application can then charge an additional fee as they see fit.
RPost can then return data to its partners including evidence records and security intelligence in a variety of preferred formats.
For postal services, RPost also offers the capability to attach documents to registered email messages with encryption options for extra privacy, including large files like contracts.
Gilham said the secure electronic service was becoming increasingly important as requirements for security compliance become more and more ingrained within the business world.
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