AAPT-iiNet user migration on track: Broad

White label telco billing system business yet to gain traction

The migration of AAPT’s consumer business to iiNet is tracking to schedule and will be complete by the planned 30 September deadline, according to AAPT CEO, Paul Broad.

“The separation and sale of the consumer business is going really well, it is friendly and we have a close relationship with iiNet, which is great,” Broad told Computerworld Australia.

“Staffing matters have been dealt with and the people who have been offered jobs with iiNet have taken them, and the cultural fit between people has been great.”

Broad would not comment on how many AAPT consumer division staff would not be migrating to iiNet, but said some of these staff had been migrated into AAPT’s Business division. iiNet chief executive, Michael Malone, and chief regulatory officer, Steve Dalby, confirmed that between 50 and 60 staff from AAPT would move to iiNet's Sydney offices during the transition.

Broad added that there had also been discussion between AAPT and iiNet around the former’s call centres in Manilla, and also the rationalisation of AAPT products -- something which has earned the ire of many existing AAPT unlimited plan users. While iiNet confirmed this asset was part of the acquisition, Dalby told Computerworld Australia that the telco would reassess the call centre at a later period, but said its location overseas would unlikely factor into a decision either way.

iiNet will also take on AAPT’s Hyperbaric billing engine, which is based on the Infonova platform and delivered via the cloud. The asset has been marketed by AAPT as a white label billing engine to wholesale telcos and other new telco market entrants.

“We have put a toe in the water on the white labelling and we have one wholesale player trialling it but we are yet to get traction on it,” Broad said. “We still think it is the right thing to do but we are still in the making of how far it will go and how fast it will go.”

Broad said a major challenge to the adoption of the company’s billing system was that many smaller telcos had too many product offerings which effectively overloaded the billing engine.

“You have to get you products right,” he said. “The reality is that… they have so many products they end up killing the system. So it is getting them to get their products online so that they will work with the system. That is the number one issue.”

However, while smaller telcos typically had many different offerings it was this variety and uniqueness which gave these telcos their competitive edge, Broad acknowledged.

“It is [a challenge] and it will not work for all [telcos] but it will work for some,” he said.

The company would now place heavy emphasis on ramping up its wholesale business, and pressing “hard on” for further on-net data sales, Broad said.

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