Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

USPS improves deliveries with real time IoT analytics

William Payne
July 14, 2016

Often described as the world's largest logistics organisation, the United States Postal Service has deployed an analytics and visualisation system to track deliveries in real time across hundreds of thousands of vehicles and employees. The USPS deployed solution from Kinetica has resulted business efficiencies and logistics optimisation. According to technology market analysis firm IDC, which has just awarded USPS with its 2016 HPC Innovation Excellence Award, the system has resulted in improved quality of delivery and service to US customers.

USPS was faced with the need to improve safety, efficiency and services, despite increasingly tight budgets. The USPS's logistics were becoming increasingly complex, while the market for postal services was being liberalised and subject to greater competition.

To respond, USPS had to deliver sophisticated services like just-in-time supplies, tracking and delivery updates, and dynamic shipment routing. It also had to improve end-to-end business process performance as well as cut costs.

USPS implemented an IoT analytics solution from Kinetica, which merges the query needs of the traditional relational database developer with the scalability demands of an IoT-centric enterprise.

The platform USPS implemented had been developed originally for US Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) at Fort Belvoir. The in-memory, GPU-powered database was built from the ground up to deliver real-time insights on data in motion. The system has been continuously developed since.

USPS went live with Kinetica in a high-availability production environment in November 2014, and the platform hasn’t had an outage since. Today USPS runs Kinetica in a load balanced, distributed, multi-rack environment spanning numerous datacenters, running on HP Enterprise servers with Nvidia GPUs. The platform supports 15,000 concurrent users and ingests data from more than 200,000 scan devices.

"The HPC Innovation Excellence Awards recognize organizations that have excelled in applying advanced supercomputing technologies to accelerate innovation and generate ROI while benefiting science, engineering, and society at large,” said Kevin Monroe, senior research analyst at IDC. "USPS' application of Kinetica enhances the quality of service that US citizens receive by giving them a better, more predictable experience sending and receiving mail."

"We're honored to have had the opportunity to partner with the US Postal Service and are humbled by the profound impact our technology is having on their everyday business operations," said Amit Vij, co-founder and CEO, Kinetica. "This IDC Award demonstrates the tremendous value that real-time analytics and visualizations can have when applied to solve supply chains, logistics, and a range of other business challenges."