PostalOne!® Mandatory Software Update in August

The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) is issuing a mandatory software update for the PostalOne! production system, scheduled for August 2016. This update will be implemented on Sunday, August 14, 2016. The PostalOne! Production (PROD) system will not be available during this update; more details on the outage period will be provided closer to the implementation date. Likewise, PostalOne! will also be updating the Test Environment for Mailers (TEM); that update will occur on Monday, August 15, 2016. The PostalOne! TEM environment will also have an outage period on August 15. The new Mail.dat® client download for the Production Environment will be version 44.0.0.0_PROD; all previous versions of the Mail.dat client will be expired.

Read more: http://www.windowbook.com/Learning/Postal-Concierge-E-tips

Don’t Forget! PostalOne!® Mandatory Software Update This Weekend

The United States Postal Service® (USPS®) is issuing a mandatory software update for the PostalOne!® production system this weekend. This update will be implemented on Sunday, January 3, 2016. The PostalOne! Production (PROD) system will not be available on Sunday morning January 3, 2016, between 12 midnight and 10 a.m. CT. PostalOne! will also be updating the Test Environment for Mailers (TEM); that update will occur on Monday, January 4, 2016. The PostalOne! TEM environment will not be available between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. CT on January 4. The new Mail.dat® client download for the Production Environment will be version 42.0.0.0_PROD; all previous versions of the Mail.dat client will be expired.

Read more: http://www.windowbook.com/Learning/Postal-Concierge-E-tips

USPS Prices Finally Finalized!

The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) finally approved all of the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) proposed price increases. The PRC previously approved the proposed prices for First-Class Mail and Special Services, but remanded the rest of the mailing categories to the USPS, not just once, but twice! These remands forced the delay of the price implementation date, which was originally set for April 26, 2014. The new implementation date for these approved prices is now May 31, 2015.

Again – the final implementation date for these price changes is May 31, 2015.

Overall Changes
The new prices are available in Excel and .csv format on the Postal Explorer web site. The draft postage statements are also available on the same web site. Although this information is still marked as “proposed” and “draft” on the web site, they will be changed to “finalized” within the next few days.

Software Updates
Mailers will need to update their mailing and shipping software to accommodate these new prices. There is also a new Mail.dat file format specification going into effect at the same time, version 15-1.

Because it took so long to get approval of the proposed changes, it’s been quite a challenge for software providers to complete the coding necessary for these changes. As a result, mailers will also have a tight schedule to get the software updates installed and tested in time for the pricing implementation date.

Mailers should work closely with their software providers to download and install all the pertinent software updates as soon as they become available.

There will also be a mandatory PostalOne! update on May 17, 2015, which will require mailers who submit eDoc to download and install the new USPS MDR Client software as soon as it becomes available on the 17th.

Is There Anything Else?
Of course there is! In addition to the price changes, the USPS is offering the following four (4) new incentives/promotions:
1. Earned Value Reply Mail Promotion, May – July 2015
2. Advanced and Emerging Technology Promotion, May – October 2015
3. Color Transpromo Promotion, June – November 2015
4. Mail Drives Mobile Engagement Promotion, July – December 2015

Additional Resources
Window Book is targeting a release date of May 14, 2015 for its software products impacted by these changes. Software subscribers may sign up to receive email notifications for any of our software product updates on our web site.

Still On Windows XP? Here’s How To Mitigate Security Risks

Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP on April 8, 2014 which meant no more security updates, non-security hotfixes, free assisted support options and online technical content for Windows XP users. Without doubt, this can cause serious consequences for companies that still run Windows XP. But what are the major risks companies still using WinXp face and how to mitigate those risks?

Increased Attacks
When the support ended in April, the number of infections increased by 66%, leaving Windows XP exposed to attackers who find vulnerabilities by reverse-engineering security updates for newer Windows versions. This way they can discover precisely where that weakness is and how the vendor repaired it.

Browser Risks
Users who still use Windows XP are left behind because no later version of Internet Explorer® (IE) than IE8 is compatible with the platform. One solution is to use alternative browsers, but this may pose threats, too, due to browser exploits.

Vulnerable Endpoints
Another potential security danger is that vulnerable endpoints are used as launch pads for next-generation malware that outdated systems like Windows XP might find difficult to handle. Any PC running Windows XP is a major weak spot leaving the system exposed to highly targeted attacks using software exploits to get into the systems.

Business Costs and Consequences
Users of Windows XP who prefer not to switch to Windows 7 are familiar with the interface and know the platform of XP inside out. However, this can cause unpredictable costs to businesses. The financial cost of maintaining Windows XP after support ended is rising due to availing custom support services. Administering, managing and using Windows XP systems are also significantly more expensive than doing the same for Windows 7. In terms of time management and costs that come with such, handling operational Windows XP system activities takes up a lot of resources, therefore inhibiting business continuity.

For companies that are using their Windows XP systems it is recommended to have an additional layer of protection stopping unwanted malicious applications on endpoints, like Trend Micro OfficeScan.

We still, however, advise users to upgrade to the newest Windows OS version. Here are a few tips that help companies avoid future problems:
 Virtualise your Windows XP environment to have an additional layer of protection and more efficient management.
 Using RODC (Read-Only Domain Controller) like Windows 2008, 2008 R2, 2012 or 2012 R2 on Windows XP LAN. We recommend using a domain controller on the same LAN switch connected to Windows XP systems to remotely manage Windows systems more effectively without causing problems on the security of the entire network.
 Windows XP machines should not communicate outside the internal network. If so, Web proxy or an application-layer firewall should be used. Updates to third-party software should be done manually if needed.
 Companies should use alternate browsers.
 When new Windows XP vulnerabilities are announced, patches are not released anymore because of EOL (End of Life) making it easy for exploits to target this vulnerability. Virtual patching is the answer here. Virtual Patching shields vulnerabilities in critical systems as permanent protection in the case of EOL or unpatchable systems. Solutions like Trend Micro Deep Security’s virtual patching help organisations save money by preventing system downtime, as well as by reducing the risk of breach disclosure expenses.

In this modern age of technology the process of attacking organisations is becoming more and more simplified causing massive damages. We always recommend users running vulnerability scans regularly (once a quarter) to check for breaches and stop unidentified threats from attacking their entire network.

Via Smarttech: http://smarttech.ie/blog/windows-xp-risks/#

Transition of Business Reply Mail (BRM) parcels to Merchandise Return Service (MRS)

April 8 at 10 a.m. (EDT)

This webinar discusses options for permit holders currently using BRM for parcels, and will assist permit holders with their transition to MRS or USPS Return Services. Join us as we describe the options available to BRM parcel mailers to create IMpb-compliant MRS/USPS Return Services labels, as well as the general requirements for the use of MRS/USPS Return Services.

Please visit USPS Industry Outreach website to view the upcoming webinar schedule and webinar archive presentations.

Attendee Information:
Event number: 999 478 847
Event address for attendees: https://usps.webex.com/usps/onstage/g.php?d=999478847&t=a
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Teleconference information
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U.S./Canada Attendee Dial-in: (888) 890-1547(888) 890-1547
Conference ID: 7015053

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When is a Container Placard with IMcb Required?

The Intelligent Mail Container Placard is used on containers such as pallets, All Purpose Containers (APC), hampers, and pallet boxes.  The container placard includes the Intelligent Mail Container Barcode (IMcb) and text identifying the mail owner, destination, and type of mail.  Read more.

Via USPS RIBBS

PostalOne! Contingency Plan

The new PostalOne! Contingency Plans for external and internal customers are available on the Intelligent Mail Latest News page under Important Links.

https://ribbs.usps.gov/intelligentmail_latestnews/documents/tech_guides/PostalOneExternalContingencyPlan.pdf

https://ribbs.usps.gov/intelligentmail_latestnews/documents/tech_guides/PostalOneInternalContingencyPlan.pdf

Key changes include the process for mailers submitting electronic mailing information, a process for delayed file transmissions and inclusion of the process for Electronic Verification System (eVS) mailers.

Posted on RIBBS

Important Sites, Links, and Numbers to Note

Every once in a while it becomes necessary to stop, dig through emails and stacks of paper on your desk to find a phone number, email address or website to use to get help or research something. You may want to keep the following information easily within your reach:

  • For all the latest Intelligent Mail information and guides, visit the USPS RIBBS website at: www.ribbs.usps.gov. Click the “Intelligent Mail Services” tab on the left side of the page.
  • Find your local Business Mail Entry (BME) Manager:
    http://www.usps.com/ncsc/locators/find-bme.html
  • Find your local Mailpiece Design Analyst (MDA):
    http://pe.usps.com/mpdesign/mpdfr_mda_lookup.asp
  • Subscribe to the DMM Advisory: send an email, with “subscribe” in the subject line, to:
    dmmadvisory@usps.com
  • On-line Intelligent Mailbarcode encoder and decoder:
    http://ribbs.usps.gov/onecodesolution/Default.aspx.
  • Information on OneCode ACS®: ACS Department, 877-640-0724, acs@usps.gov
  • Information on OneCode Confirm® and theConfirm service in general: Confirm Customer Help Desk,800-238-3150, option 1 or visit:https://mailtracking.usps.com
  • PostalOne! Help Desk:1-800-522-9085
  • Questions about addressing and/or move update requirements: National Customer Support Center, 1-800-238-3150
  • Information on Mail.dat and Mail.XML, including how to get a User License Code: www.idealliance.org

Window Book Publishes eDoc White Paper

Well, it was a long time coming, but the time is, indeed, here.  The publication of our 4th white paper – “eDoc and PostalOne! They’re What’s Best for You and the USPS.” 

This paper explores the world of electronic documentation (eDoc) and the USPS PostalOne! system.  It looks at why the Postal Service is really pushing for mailers to switch to eDoc, what PostalOne! is and how using it benefits you, the 3 ways to particpate in eDoc, the benefits of eDoc and why you should begin implementing eDoc right now.  It also discusses the very latest information and instructions for getting started using eDoc and PostalOne! – including the new TEM procedures detailed in the latest eDoc and Full-Service Authorization Guide for Mail.dat.

And – just as with all of our previous white papers – this brand new 21-page paper is available at no cost. 

Please click here to access and download this incredible new white paper from the postal experts here at Window Book.

– Wallace Vingelis

Vice President, Business Development & Marketing

617-395-4569

wvingelis@windowbook.com