Meet the Team – Conor Stirk, Operations Manager
10 May 2022
Tell us about your background and how you came to work at SLA Digital
I joined SLA Digital as a Marketing Assistant during my placement year as part of my university degree. After my placement year, I was offered a part-time position to enable me to gain further experience whilst studying for the final year of my degree. Following graduation, I accepted a permanent full-time role with SLA Digital as a Marketing Executive, where I spent 5 years learning more about all things carrier billing. I then moved on to a new opportunity to further my career in a different industry.
Then the pandemic happened and while I was enjoying new hobbies like yoga, individual water sports such as sea swimming, and purchasing a cello, a position opened up as Operations Manager with SLA Digital and I happily returned.
What is your current role and what do you enjoy most about it?
My current role is Operations Manager. I have enjoyed the challenge of learning a new role, whilst working with a fantastic team of software engineers and integration specialists. As part of my role, I work with a diverse range of people worldwide on a range of projects, allowing me to constantly look at how we at SLA Digital can optimise our integrations processes to get our mobile operator and merchant partners live and generate revenue as quickly as possible.
What significant changes have you seen in the carrier billing industry over the last few years?
A few years ago carrier billing wasn’t necessarily a key tool for mobile operators to generate revenues and build their brands. With the increasing number of brands such as Google, Netflix, and PUBG expanding into carrier billing we have seen an increase in demand and drive to build revenue partnerships. This has led to carrier billing being considered a core pillar when mobile operators are building their digital business. Brands like PUBG are noticing the benefits partnerships with mobile operators can provide, especially around awareness in markets they may be looking to expand into.
Do you have any advice for merchants to help them to get started with carrier billing?
Focus on user experience and quality. Your users are now very digital savvy and have high expectations when it comes to their digital experience. I think the key to this is to remain enticing to the users, ensure you are adding value to their digital experience and be aware of what your competitors are doing, as they have many alternatives they could choose from.
What do you think merchants look for in a carrier billing aggregator?
I think merchants are looking for good communications and efficient integration management from their chosen aggregator as they need to get to market quickly. Clear and concise communication to discuss what is required and the anticipated timeline will help both sides meet their goals, completing the integration in good time. For this, the merchant must ensure that they have a reliable point of contact within the business, therefore it’s important to ensure the aggregator you choose to work with can offer good support and guidance through their Account Managers.
What do you see as the biggest challenges for merchants and how can SLA Digital help?
In my opinion, the biggest challenge faced by merchants in managing multiple integrations, along with maintaining and developing the multiple connections for these. SLA Digital can help by offering merchants a single integration with many mobile merchants worldwide. Therefore, this will enable the merchants to streamline resources and ensure effective project management.
Is there anything in the carrier billing industry that you would like to change or improve?
There has been a pendulum swing across the market to restrict flows brought about by the wave of fraudulent activity which we were seeing across all markets. I would ideally like to see a shift back towards the middle ground, opening up the option to use more user-friendly flows with Header Enrichment, provided proper fraud protection mechanisms were in place, allowing merchants to be able to give their users a better user experience and increase conversions.
Why should mobile operators and merchants choose to work with SLA Digital?
SLA Digital have been working in the carrier billing space for more than 15 years and we’re trusted by merchants and mobile operators around the world. The team has a broad range of knowledge and expertise, supported by a suite of online documentation to help merchants get integrated with their chosen operators, ensuring support every step of the way.