Postal service picks new CTO

As the new chief technology officer for the U.S. Postal Service, Robert Otto essentially will be taking on the tasks of two positions.

Otto, a 23-year postal veteran, will continue to manage and maintain the Postal Service's information technology infrastructure, as he did as the former USPS chief information officer.

He described the infrastructure, which supports more than 650 applications, including payroll for 740,000 employees, as "everything the company would require to do day-to-day business."

In addition, as CTO, Otto will take on a decision-making role for operational standards. Otto reports to the chief financial officer, and he will oversee the operation of the world's largest intranet, which connects processing centers and 38,000 post offices.

While it may sound like a daunting task, Otto said he will now have broader responsibility so he can implement the standards and changes across the entire organization. "Here's the secret to success," Otto said of his new position, "Great direct reports and [the ability] to delegate."

He said that the first thing on his to-do list as CTO will be to continue his efforts to simplify computing for Postal Service customers and employees. From using the Web site to making internal purchases, Otto said the tasks should be easy for the user, cutting down on the strain on the help desk and thus cutting costs.

"I'm trying to make everything very simple so you can solve your own problems," Otto said. "It's not the quality of the software, it's the ease of use of the software that's the real differentiator."

Otto previously served as the Postal Service's vice president for information technology and the chief information officer. Otto also has served as the portfolio manager for the Postal Service's financial systems and manager of IT value, responsible for technology investments.

Former CTO Charles Bravo has been named senior vice president for intelligent mail and address quality. Bravo, a 29-year USPS veteran, will report directly to the postmaster general and will be in charge of augmenting barcoding technology, which allows the Postal Service to track envelopes, packages and customer forms.

Prior to his position as CTO, Bravo was vice president for information platform, responsible for managing Postal Service resources.

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