#Tradingpeople

Infrastructure, Support, Innovation: an Interview with Elie Rubin

The CEO of Innitel Telecom talks to Finance Magnates about why he loves his job.

Who are you and what do you do?

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My name is Elie Rubin and I’m the founder and CEO of Innitel Telecom, one of the largest call center software providers in the world. I’ve been with the company since its founding in 2009.

 

Describe a typical workday.

Like most, I think that I’d argue that the word “typical” might be a little difficult to nail down around here! If I have six days of work that are laid out and very well planned, one of them might actually stick to the script. The other five will almost always be full of surprises.

We think about our role in the trading industry every single day that we come to work.

Like so many others, I spend my time trying to analyze yesterday and predict tomorrow. The telecom industry is always experiencing a shift and by keeping an ear to the ground I am better prepared to be pro-active with clients. As each client has their own unique approach and flavor, I spend a lot of time talking and brainstorming with platforms and brands to better understand their immediate and long-term goals.

 

 

How is what you do important for the trading industry?

I think about our role in the trading industry every single day that we come to work.

 

Consider what communication in the trader’s world used to look like – even just a few years ago. Expensive phone systems sitting on top of expensive and (compared to today’s standards) slow ADSL connections served as the backbone of the entire practice of trading and passing orders. Compared to today’s systems and trade volumes, it would be like trying to use the Wright brothers’ airplane to take supplies to the International Space Station!

 

I believe trading will always have some sort of phone or video conferencing aspect to it – there are just some things that can’t be replaced by real-time voice communication. But, as time becomes more and more critical, the importance of the stability of these systems will continue to skyrocket. Millions of dollars can hang on a single call so nothing less than perfection will do.

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No delays. No down time. No echo or other call imperfections. Every call must reach the destination party perfectly and occur at what is essentially the speed of light.

 

 

 

I also recognize our place within the regulatory structures that have been set up for the trading industry and our responsibilities regarding the facilitation of our customers’ compliance. That’s why, for example, for the regulated companies that we serve, we only allocate dedicated PBX phone systems that are hosted in Tier 3 redundant datacenters in Europe.

the word “typical” might be a little difficult to nail down around here!

Beyond that the trading industry revolves around ensuring the first touch point is productive and meaningful. We enable the industry to project a presence into 60 countries with localized geographic phone numbers. This ensures that the call recipient sees a local incoming number even if the call originated an ocean away, and thus increases the chance of first engagement.

 

 

 

 

What do you love about your work?

 

You mean other than everything that I just wrote?

 

In all seriousness, there really are too many things to love about what I do to list here. But, if I really had to narrow it down, then I would list three things.

 

First, I love the fact that I get to be a part of, and lead, a company that is offering a very unique service that is also a highly-critical aspect of any call center’s business. We are, in effect, the reason that a call center can call itself a call center. Because, let’s face it, without the ability to reliably conduct business, a call center that can’t stay operational because of constant technical errors will disappear very quickly.

 

I understand and fully appreciate how much the businesses we work with depend on the quality of the service and support we provide to their operations. This is why our relationships with most of our customers are based on an idea of partnership; we are integrated as key partners in our customers’ business operations. That is a point that is not lost on me and I work to honor that partnership every single day.

understand that your business is not a sprint. It is a marathon

 

Second, watching the drive, talent, and motivation of the people I work with is….to say “inspiring” is a bit of an understatement. And, I know that this can be seen as a bit of a cliché. But, when you walk through the doors of and you see these amazing people who are focusing the full force of their talent on completing our business objectives – it’s humbling.

 

We have people who started with us as level one support techs and wanted to grow. So we grew them. They worked hard and we worked hard with them and they are now programmers who are mentoring new first level support techs who want to be programmers. With every cycle, our company is pulled forward as motivation to grow; financially, professionally, and personally, drives the entirety of the Innitel Telecom family forward. It’s incredible to watch and be a part of.

 

Third is that I get to challenge, and be challenged by, my good friend and CTO Dan Leubitz. Dan and I regularly brainstorm with one another and our meetings make me more and more excited about our company’s future every single time we get together. We challenge each other to ask the support questions that no one has asked us yet. We try to come up with features that no one has heard of yet or conceived. Every single time, we get a little bit closer to discovering the next product that Innitel Telecom should develop – the product that will cement us as pioneers in the call center software business and will generate greater demand for our products and services than we have ever seen.

 

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

 

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How old were you when you had your first paying job?

My first “real” job came to me when I was 19 and the idea that it could exist today is crazy. At the time I was living in Toronto, Canada and I was entrusted with the transportation of gold ingots around the city, mostly via public transportations.

 

The company was a gold brokerage called C. Mercantil. I would load gold bars into my leather bag, transport the ingots to buyers, and return to the office with very large amounts of cash that should have been transported by armored vehicle rather than by bus or underground.

 

I’d do an average of four deliveries per day with each transaction being for five or six gold ingots. Cell phones weren’t a thing yet, so the only way for the office to contact me was by my beeper (remember those?). I’d take a bus to the more outlying locations and by foot for more local runs. Cabs were out of the question – the company didn’t want to pay the fares.

 

It’s interesting. Looking back on these lines as I write them, I simple can’t imagine this job playing out today. Our world has changed so much. They really were simpler times, and that was just 20 years ago.

 

 

What got you started in the industry?

 

Honestly, it seemed like a very logical progression. I knew that I wanted to be a presence in the VoIP and telephony world. This industry is incredibly dynamic and the opportunities to learn new things and to constantly improve are endless. I understood that Innitel could create really amazing products, which, by their very nature, were also extremely competitive right out of the gate.

 

Making the jump into the gaming and forex industry was just the next logical step. When examining our competitive landscape we saw huge gaps in the integration of telephone systems and innovative products like predictive dialers into trading and sharing software. I already considered and executed on the main ideas of new software products like our Atomic predictive dialer, our cloud-based PBX, SMS broadcast and fax broadcast.

 

So, as a company, we explored the trading industry and we realized that the trading room is, at its core, a call center. Granted, it is a highly-professional and complicated call center that requires – no, demands – only the highest-quality lines, routes, support, and geographical presence. But the fundamentals were, essentially, the same.

 

The problem was that these fundamentals weren’t being met. Here you have environments where highly educated and specialized people were moving vast sums of money and leveraging entire trading portfolios, but they were doing so with subpar infrastructure. Providers gave lousy support to their customers, and the routes they were using were designed to maximize their own profits rather than provide reliability and speed for their customers.

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Interestingly, I was already building a business based on raising the bar in all of these arenas: reliability, stability, and support. So, seeing a remarkable opportunity to not only create a business but to raise the bar on the standard of service that traders would come to expect from their providers, I jumped in with both feet.

 

 

Who do you admire?

 

This one is easy – my parents will always be the first names on this list. And, since I’m talking about them, I’d like to wish them a happy 41st wedding anniversary! But, truly, they really are the people that I look up to the most. I would also have to add my wife, Naama, to this list. She is raising our kids with love and with care; and knowing that they are in her capable hands gives me the time and the peace of mind to fully invest myself into what we are doing at Innitel Telecom. I love her and I couldn’t do what I do without her.

 

Please share an anecdote that is unique to our industry.

 

Wow – where to begin? Our industry offers so many unique opportunities to see and be a part of things that you would otherwise never get to experience.

 

I guess for me it would have to be watching particular clients grow, and the rate of that growth. We have a client, who for confidentiality reasons I can not disclose, that started their operation as a four-seat call center. In 12 months, those four seats grew to 250 seats.

Millions of dollars can hang on a single call so nothing less than perfection will do.

 

But it doesn’t stop there. Two years later, this company is now a very robust trading platform provider.

 

4-seat call center to software platform provider in two years – I’d say that’s pretty unique to the trading industry.

 

What advice would you like to share here that has been important to you?

 

Above all else, understand that your business is not a sprint. It is a marathon.

 

From the very beginning, we decided that Innitel Telecom would live by the motto of “support for success.” This means that, for us, our support has led to our clients’ success. And, our success as a company in turn ensures the success of our clients. The two feed off of each other in a constant cycle. Of course, customer service and retention play key roles within our organization as well. And, one needs only to look at our growth and industry-wide relationships to gauge whether this strategy has been successful for us.

 

One last piece of advice – most companies, especially when they are just starting out, focus solely on sales. Don’t make that mistake. Grow and nurture your relationships because it’s the company that maintains the long-term relationship that will be here long after the sales-only organization has closed its doors.

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