The International Hybrid Mail Coalition was born in June 2012 under the umbrella of the Global Address Data Association (GADA) of New York and Xplor Italy (The Electronic Document Systems Association) thanks to the idea of eight founding members.
The mission of the organization is to engage in research and advocacy to promote the inclusion of hybrid mail communication models within the Universal Postal Union regulatory environment. This is to provide a neutral settlement and exchange system within the UPU’s terminal dues system. It is anticipated that this will encourage broader use of international direct and transactional mail because settlement rates and schedules will be transparent from both the postal and user perspectives.
The digitalization of all communications, but especially postal communication, has not been met by the UPU system yet where the terminal dues system rests on the assumption that all mail is still created and delivered in paper form by 19th Century bulk methods. There is a need for a system which can also adapted to the electronic delivery of correspondence and other mail which can be digitized or printed on paper anywhere in the world, across any border, with the push of a button. Users want to use the UPU system for electronic messaging which they wish made physical. New compensation models must be created to account for these new messaging forms.
The IHMC worked on a first work plan, which included research on the size of the market, publication of more information on hybrid mail as an important business tool, and preparation for attendance at the UPU Congress in Doha in April 2013, where a resolution was debated regarding conducting more research on hybrid mail.
At Doha the Coalition successfully concluded the two weeks’ working session of the Postal Operator Council, with the inclusion of the project presented into the work plan of the Products and Services Work Group of Committee 4. The Coalition successfully proposed a set of actions which will be carried out in the next months with the support of the UPU Consultative Committee.
First of all, an Hybrid Mail Research Project and survey of current state of use of international hybrid mail and technology (IHM), which will look into volumes and technologies employed. At the moment domestic and international volumes lodged in each country are extremely under-reported and should be measured and reported to the UPU on a consistent and uniform basis.
The second topic of common interest is a new Pilot project. A previous pilot demonstration project in this subject was conducted during the 2004 to 2008 period. The environment has now changed dramatically with the launch of dot Post, a top level domain with rules written by the postal community and regulated by the UPU. The new pilot project would be conducted through participants having domains within dot Post. It is essential that the Committee would report back on their observation and recommendations topics such as security, reliability, repeatability, tracking and tracing, flexibility, interface characteristics and technology.
The IHMC will carry out these activities with its confirmed members which are Poligrafico Roggero e Tortia, Doxee, Click2Mail, Docapost, Michael Schiffer, and Postel.