Inabox innovating new billing system


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.