Transcription of Finance News Network Interview with Inabox Group Limited (ASX:IAB) Chief Information Officer, Laura Jacob
Transcription of Finance News Network Interview with Inabox Group Limited (ASX:IAB) Chief Information Officer, Laura Jacob
Lelde Smits: Hello I’m Lelde Smits for the Finance News Network and joining me from telecommunications wholesaler, Inabox Group Limited (ASX:IAB) is its Chief Information Officer, Laura Jacob. Laura welcome to FNN.
Laura Jacob: Thank you.
Lelde Smits: Inabox has taken its billing system in-house. Why did you decide to move from outsourcing and bring it in internally?
Laura Jacob: Telcoinabox supports and supplies over 200 service providers and one of the offerings that’s included in that is a provisioning and billing system, so that they can bill their own customers. And, as we’ve evolved to accommodate the market demands, we realised that the billing system that we were using wasn’t evolving in the same direction as we were. So we’re committed to giving our service providers, next generation communication products and as much automation as we possibly can.
In order to do that, we have to be able to move quickly and with the same speed that’s characterised us as a business up till this point. And it was just simply becoming too hard and too slow to do it with an outsource billing provider, so we made the decision to bring it in-house.
Lelde Smits: Could you outline the size of the investment in terms of time and resources?
Laura Jacob: Sure, when we decided to embark on this project we allowed a year to make it happen. And the first thing we did was to recruit three developers and we sent those developers to work with that billing company for seven months, so that they could be fully trained in the billing system. And then they came back to Sydney and within three months, we had migrated the billing system in-house, which was fully three months ahead of schedule. So that was a really exciting accomplishment for us.
Lelde Smits: What has been the upside now after a year of billing in-house?
Laura Jacob: That’s easy, freedom and flexibility. So when we’ve wanted to do a product launch before, we would have to gather the requirements and then go speak with the billing company, to determine if this was something they could even do. Then we would have to scope the entire project and then price it, and then we’d have to somehow fit it into their development schedule. And sometimes that could add three to nine months to the product launch, which was really problematic for us. And for our service providers, it made them uncompetitive in the marketplace.
Having the billing functionality in-house means that our teams can work collaboratively, so that we can get these product launches out so much more quickly. And we get exactly what we need, because we’ve been involved in the process from the beginning.
Lelde Smits: Are your systems NBN-ready for your retail service providers?
Laura Jacob: They are indeed. Our retail service providers are geographically disparate, so some of them have been impacted by NBN for much longer than others. So they’ve been selling NBN services for over a year. But as NBN footprint grows we’ve had to build a new system, a new integration with a new carrier that’s more robust, that has more coverage and that offers a higher degree of automation than they’ve had up until now.
Lelde Smits: Finally Laura, what are your plans for future technology upgrades and developments?
Laura Jacob: We have such an exciting build happening and bringing the billing system in-house was the first step to that. So it’s actually quite a cool time to be in telecommunications right now with NBN, because it’s really changing the face of what communications are and how those communications are delivered. But, with that brings challenges as to how you manage those products and how you bill those products. And so we’re embarking on a new architecture and something that will allow us to bill those products a lot more naturally. And basically, make it a lot easier for our service providers to sell and bill complex products.
Lelde Smits: Laura Jacob, thank you so much for the update from Inabox Group.
Laura Jacob: Thank you.
Inabox Group Limited (IAB) has appointed former iVox CEO Michael Clarke as Chief Technology Officer. This appointment is key in the company’s strategic move to be positioned as an information communication technology (ICT) company.
communication technology (ICT) company.
“He will be instrumental in driving our next generation product strategy together with our
CIO Laura Jacobs and Group Product Manager James Espie,” said Inabox Group CEO
and managing director, Damian Kay.
voice products and cloud services.
Four teams will be reporting to the CTO, including networks, system
administration, voice engineering and the new cloud business acquired this
week, Neural Networks.
of IT&T organisations with a specialisation in VoIP technology.
His wholesale VoIP company, iVox, was acquired as part of the initial public
offering of Inabox Group in 2013.
Inabox to the next level,” said newly appointed Inabox CTO, Michael Clarke.
With this new appointment, alongside the cloud computing Neural Networks
acquisition, Inabox Group is one step closer to its vision to be recognised as a
leading provider of wholesale telecommunications and next generation
Inabox Group to acquire the business and agreed assets of Neural Networks Data Services Pty Limited on a debt and cash free basis Inabox Group expects the acquisition to be eps accretive during FY15 Neural Networks to contribute key IP and expertise in cloud services as well as an established wholesale customer base Inabox Group expects to pay initial acquisition consideration from existing cash reserves
The acquisition will provide both immediate and long term strategic benefits to Inabox Group, including:
- a diverse and profitable group of more than 100 wholesale customers including ICT and managed service providers, purchasing cloud and VoIP services
- a team with experience in building and supporting dynamic next generation cloud and VoIP products
- a next-generation proprietary customer portal able to be used in Inabox Group’s existing businesses, Telcoinabox and iVox
- other established systems and back of house operations to support cloud products
“Cloud is a key strategic direction for Inabox Group. Our customers’ end users are typically SMEs, where demand for cloud services is extremely high. The acquisition of the Neural Networks business sets us up well to take part in the growth of these revenue streams. David has proven he is a great operator and we are excited to have him heading up our cloud strategy. This acquisition complements our acquisition of iVox in 2013. Inabox has demonstrated with iVox that it can integrate and gain substantial benefits from strategic acquisitions like Neural Networks. ”
The acquisition involves a cash payment on completion of $350,000, less adjustments. Inabox proposes to pay this consideration from existing cash reserves. In addition, an earn out payment is payable depending on the financial performance of the Neural Networks business in the FY2015 year. Subject to approval by Inabox Group shareholders, the earn out may be composed partially of new equity.
Inabox Group was advised by TMT Partners in relation to the acquisition.
Transcription of Finance News Network Interview with Inabox Group Limited (ASX:IAB) Managing Director and CEO, Damian Kay Lelde Smits: Hello I’m Lelde Smits for the Finance News Network and joining me from telecommunications wholesaler, Inabox Group Limited (ASX:IAB) is its Managing Director and CEO, Damian Kay. Damian welcome back to FNN. Damian Kay: Thank you very much, pleasure to be here.
Transcription of Finance News Network Interview with Inabox Group Limited (ASX:IAB) Chief Operating Officer, Paul Line - Retail or Wholesale Telecommunications?
Lelde Smits: Hello I’m Lelde Smits for the Finance News Network and joining me from telecommunications wholesaler, Inabox Group Limited (ASX:IAB) is its Chief Operating Officer, Paul Line. Paul welcome to FNN. Paul Line: Hi Lelde, thank you. Lelde Smits: Paul, could you start by outlining what is it that Telcoinabox does?
Paul Line: Hi Lelde, thank you.
Lelde Smits: Paul, could you start by outlining what is it that Telcoinabox does?
Paul Line: Sure, Telcoinabox is a wholesale telecommunications aggregator. What we do is provide anything and everything that an individual or a company needs to become a full serviced telecommunications service provider.
Lelde Smits: What is the difference between a wholesaler and a retail provider?
Paul Line: A wholesale provider doesn’t provide services to the end user directly. At Telcoinabox we are only a wholesale service provider, unlike some of the other names you might know in the industry like Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX:TLS) or Optus, who have a wholesale and also a direct retailer. And we think that’s really important for us as a differentiator, because we don’t compete with our service provider customers. And that means we have a joint incentive to grow their businesses. If they don’t grow, we don’t grow.
Lelde Smits: Who are your service providers’ end user customers?
Paul Line: We have two types of end user customers. We have residential consumer customers who are purchasing household services and we have small and medium size enterprise customers.
Lelde Smits: Given Telcoinabox are the wholesale provider; does this mean you pass on the wholesale pricing to the service provider?
Paul Line: Absolutely, that’s core to our model. Unlike some other models in the industry, where the service provider is really a dealer operating under the auspice of a retail brand, our service providers actually own the contractual relationship with the customer. And, they make the wholesale margin. So, we sell the products and services to them at a wholesale price. And, they’re then free to set their own retail price and determine their own retail margins.
Lelde Smits: So Paul, why would customers choose you as their telecommunications service provider?
Paul Line: Sure. What we found is that the reasons that people choose a Telco provider are fairly similar, if they are a residential consumer or a business. And it really comes down to three things - trust, the relationship they have with the provider and value for money. In the residential consumer space, what we’re increasingly seeing is that people have relationships with other trusted brands in their lives, such as financial brands or utilities brands, their electricity company, their bank perhaps, or even their local retail outlet.
A great example of this is Tesco in the UK which everybody knows as a grocery store, but is now the largest telecommunications, or one of the largest telecommunications service providers in the UK.
On the business side, what we find is people are really looking for a service provider that understands their business, and that can help them to make their business more productive. And, not just see them as another account number, that some of the larger Telcos may see them as.
Lelde Smits: How does your offering vary from the major providers, such as Telstra and Optus?
Paul Line: We really pride ourselves on offering a very wide range of products; in fact we like to call ourselves a one-stop shop. I guess one of the key differences between what we enable our service providers to offer, and some of the retail brands is that we have access to lots of different products from different providers. Whereas a retail provider like Telstra or Optus is really only going to sell you their products. So if their products don’t suit you, you’re kind of stuck. In our model, our service providers have the option to provide products from a range of different wholesale providers.
Lelde Smits: I assume the question most service providers would ask is, “How do I make money as a retail service provider?”
Paul Line: It’s certainly a very important question and it’s a discussion we have often. It really comes down to creating a great partnership, between us and the retail service provider. In simple terms, they buy from us at a wholesale price, they set their own retail price and they make the margin between those two price points.
Lelde Smits: Finally Paul, what do you believe makes a successful service provider?
Paul Line: We like to say that there are four key pillars in the business that make a successful provider. And those are to get the customer, so they have to go and be able to sell to somebody effectively. To keep the customer and provide them with great customer service. To collect the money and make sure that their customers pay on time. And to manage all that profitably and make sure that they’re making enough money, to generate a great return for themselves.
Lelde Smits: Paul Line, thank you for the update from Inabox Group.
Paul Line: Thank you very much Lelde.
New customer for Inabox Group Inabox Group Limited has today announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Telcoinabox, has signed a telecommunications supply agreement with new customer Montimedia Pty Limited. Montimedia is a well-established reseller of internet and phone services and was formerly supplied by ISPOne.
Inabox Group Limited has today announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Telcoinabox, has
signed a telecommunications supply agreement with new customer Montimedia Pty Limited.
Montimedia is a well-established reseller of internet and phone services and was formerly supplied
Approximately 2000 customers were migrated across to the Telcoinabox platform earlier this
month including mobile, wireless broadband, fixed wire, email and hosting services.
“Montimedia is an incredibly well run business with many loyal customers,” said Damian Kay,
Inabox Group CEO & Managing Director.
“Montimedia managing director, Richard Monty has endured a difficult time, yet has been
incredibly successful in reducing the impact on his customers.
“We are thrilled he has chosen to bring his business to Telcoinabox.”
Inabox Group continues to attract new resellers and in this half year of 2014 Telcoinabox has
signed agreements with several well-established resellers formerly supplied by ISPOne.
Consistent with previous indications, Inabox Group Limited (IAB) provides guidance that its earnings for the second half of FY14 will increase over the first half as the business continues to strengthen.
Consistent with previous indications, Inabox Group Limited (IAB) provides guidance
that its earnings for the second half of FY14 will increase over the first half as the
business continues to strengthen.
IAB now expects, based on current assumptions, that the net profit after tax for all
entities currently owned by IAB will be no less than $850,000 for the period 1 January
2014 to 30 June 2014.
Inabox beginning to reap initial benefits of investment in systems
Managing Director, Damian Kay said: “Inabox Group made a significant investment in
its systems in the first half of FY14, but still showed underlying organic growth from the
Telcoinabox and iVox businesses.
The earnings position continues to improve in this half. As expected we are now seeing
the start of revenue from the nationwide launch of our first mass market customer and
as they build their customer base we expect this to become more significant in early
We continue to attract new resellers and in this half Telcoinabox signed agreements
with several well established resellers formerly supplied by ISPOne.
I am confident that we have provided a customer and technology base to broaden our
revenue and profit earnings over the longer term.”
IAB’s cash position remains strong with little to no net debt expected at year end.
Inabox Group’s brand Telcoinabox has signed an ex-ispONE customer and is also attracting the attention of ex-carrier telco dealers. According to Telcoinabox CEO and managing director, Damian Kay, the interest to sign with Inabox is largely due to the current market environment. “ispONE customers are simply examining their options and reviewing what the market can offer, while dealers, on the other hand, are searching for business security and customer ownership.”
Inabox Group’s brand Telcoinabox has signed an ex-ispONE customer and is also attracting the attention of ex-carrier telco dealers.
According to Telcoinabox CEO and managing director, Damian Kay, the interest to sign with Inabox is largely due to the current market environment.
“ispONE customers are simply examining their options and reviewing what the market can offer, while dealers, on the other hand, are searching for business security and customer ownership.”
The major reason for this upswing in dealer interest is due to large carriers changing their sales strategies and refocusing on direct selling to customers.
Over the past six months 30 per cent of Telcoinabox’s new customers have been ex-dealers. Notwithstanding this increase in customers, Telcoinabox’s parent entity, Inabox Group, views its new enablement service as the number one growth area for the business due to an emerging trend among big retail brands broadening into telecommunications.
Consumer brands in retail, energy or financial service can now plug in to Telcoinabox’s back end infrastructure and turn on telecommunications. This includes service provisioning, management and billing. “Competitors have attempted this with pre-paid options in the past, however this is the first post paid option the market has seen. It’s also based on a fully flexible and credit risk controlled model. We supply the back end support and the network deal is handled directly with the carrier,” said Mr Kay.
Inabox has recently announced that it has signed its first large household brand and is in negotiations with several others.
“Sales cycles and lead times to launch are typically long in this industry, but we hope to have some interesting announcements in the near future,” he said.
Due to contractual obligations the ex-ispONE customer cannot be named.
For comment/information: Please call corporate communication manager, Andreina Amato, on 0410 434 227 or email
firstname.lastname@example.org to organise an interview or visit www.inaboxgroup.com
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"We understood the size and potential of the telecommunications industry from our experience. Telcoinabox appealed more than any other franchise. There was nothing else as cost-effective or lucrative."
- Andrew Branson at IF Telecom