IBM and Pitney Bowes, a technology services company for small, midsize and large firms, have announced a collaboration on new hybrid location services to deliver context and personalization for data in multiple industries.

Use location-based intelligence tools to aid underwriting decisions in insurance, analyze network coverage in telecommunications and predict buying decisions in retail.

“This open-platform collaboration will inspire development that accelerates innovation and fosters growth,” Steve Robinson, general manager of IBM Cloud Platform Services, said in a statement.

IBM collaborates with Pitney Bowes on hybrid location services.

Unveiled on Feb. 24, BlueMix is a beta platform as a service (PaaS) that lets developers increase adoption of hybrid clouds, in which some applications run on premise and others are hosted in the cloud.

BlueMix enables IBM clients to build business applications on databases in the cloud by combining IBM software, third-party applications and a platform as a service. IBM has built BlueMix on open standards and it uses Pivotal Cloud Foundry to allow organizations to scale a PaaS on a private cloud. BlueMix incorporates mobile, Web apps and data management.

Developers can use BlueMix to build sales apps that provide access to inventory management data, according to IBM.

It includes DevOps, an open, integrated development tool that allows developers to scale. DevOps incorporates tools that allow developers to store and manage code and les them integrate applications within Eclipse, an open-source software community, or Visual Studio, Microsoft’s collection of development tools.

DevOps also allows workers to automate application deployment and streamline performance monitoring.

Pitney Bowes offers location intelligence tools that include MapInfo Suite, which allows users to understand relationships between locations and check in on social media. Its location-based intelligence applications are used by more than 1.2 billion people, the company claimed.

Insurers use Pitney Bowes’ location data for underwriting decisions and telecommunication providers analyze network coverage using the technology. In addition, retailers use Pitney Bowes tools to offer promotions to customers and can make predictions on whether they’re likely to buy a certain product.

Using IBM’s API Management, Pitney Bowes will market its location-based services, e-commerce fulfillment, Internet postage and parcel management software to developers, Big Blue reported.

“Once built in BlueMix, these APIs can be easily managed in the cloud, including providing easy self-service access to the APIs for developers,” Michael Curry, vice president for IBM Websphere, told CruxialCIO in an email. APIs that Pitney Bowes publish in the BlueMix environment can be used as inputs into any API that developers build, he added.

“Companies need tools and expertise to manage and integrate APIs, leverage location intelligence and customer data, and then seamlessly extend their services to reach their customers via the cloud and mobile devices,” Roger Pilc, chief innovation officer for Pitney Bowes, said in a statement. 

Pitney Bowes was already using IBM middleware, Curry noted.

“As they have begun to publish APIs for their core capabilities, they have turned to IBM software and SoftLayer for help in managing those APIs,” Curry said. “This immediately entered them into the IBM ecosystem, so it was natural for them to introduce their APIs into BlueMix to take advantage of the broad range of developers there.