With projects ranging from safer Web browsing to a 21st century air traffic control system, federal, state, and local agencies demonstrate that they, too, can apply IT in critical and novel ways.
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The Postal Service's "Full Service" Intelligent Mail, introduced in May 2009, is still in the early going, but adoption is growing so quickly that it's fast becoming a major source of revenue. USPS estimates the service will be adopted by 50,000 customers and generate $25 billion in annual revenue.
Full Service is enabled by a more sophisticated bar code and upgrades to USPS's automated mail-distribution technology. The service is architected for scale, capable of handling a half-billion pieces of mail and 1 billion scan transactions daily. Full Service Intelligent Mail is oriented toward businesses that are heavy-duty mailers, giving them the ability to track individual pieces of mail and better insight into undelivered mail, which amounts to a staggering $2 billion annual cost.