Jim's Mowing becomes a telco

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Jim's Mowing becomes a telco
Neil Welsh (Jim's Mobile Phones), James Jacka (Jim's Mobile Phones), Jim Penman (Jim's Group) and Peter McCarthy (Inabox)

Jim's Group, the parent conglomerate of the famous Jim's Mowing franchise network, will start Jim's Mobile Phones with Inabox as its wholesale supplier.

Former Jim's Group chief operating officer and head of Jim's Mobiles, Neil Welsh, said he's raring to launch the broadband and voice venture this quarter after some delays.

"I'm desperate to get it out there. I was desperate to get it out in January. That hasn't changed. I need it out there. We'll be trying a regional area, making sure our systems are bedded down for our external clients, and then going live from there," Welsh told CRN.

Neil Welsh (Jim's Mobile Phones) and Peter McCarthy (Inabox)

Jim's Group has always had an 'internal' mobile business that provided handsets and services to its franchisees, said Welsh. "We'd go to the market, negotiate a deal with a carrier and sell that to our franchisees."

When Welsh decided to depart as COO and end his partnership involvement with Jim's Group, establishing Jim's Mobile was his "exit strategy".

"Now if I just leave with Jim's Mobile Phones with the internal customer base that we have, I'm probably not going to be real happy. To maximise that brand, I have to take it to the external market."

Read the full interview with Jim's Mobile's Neil Welsh and Inabox's Peter McCarthy in the October issue of the CRN magazine.

Inabox account manager Peter McCarthy told CRN that the telco then came in to supply "ADSL, traditional telephone service, ISDN technologies, wireless, hosted voice, IP voice" from multiple carriers, as well as a unified billing system.

"They wanted a turnkey solution: For us to be able to provide them all the products and services that a normal telco would require," said McCarthy. "We have the speed-to-market by have the all the existing relationships set up, all the existing products and expertise for them, including market knowledge."

Jim's Group founder and chief Jim Penman in foreground, with James Jacka (Jim's Mobile Phones), Peter McCarthy (Inabox) and Neil Welsh (Jim's Mobile Phones)

Welsh said that he was "mindful of the fact that we are not telco people", so sought out an "appropriate" partner. "I need that Inabox expertise, the wholesale opportunities, [and] the operational plan."

The franchise network originally known as Jim's Mowing now has 41 different franchise models under Jim's Group, including Jim's Antennas, Jim's Insurance and Jim's Locksmiths.

The conglomerate is already in the IT channel with Jim's Computer Services and Jim's Electrical, which became a Belkin reseller in 2013.

Inabox is an ASX-listed company best known for telco aggregation. After multiple acquisitions in the past year, the Sydney-headquartered firm has 180 staff with revenue shooting up 37 percent to $64.3 million for the year ending 30 June.

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