Jola Cloud Solutions' Blog

Measuring Innovation

Posted by Andrew Dickinson on 26-Apr-2018 15:18:03

In the IT/communications industry most of the products we buy from the networks are essentially commodities, in vanilla form. This is because product development in the large Telcos lags technical innovation by 2-3 years. With such rapid technical innovation and cost/unit (£/MB, £/MBs) decline, more bespoke products are often out of date before the network has a chance to launch them.

This is one reason why good aggregators thrive in the channel and why good resellers and dealers are able to beat the direct selling divisions of the networks – particularly in the SME market. For aggregators, tailoring these vanilla products for specific markets is critical to continuous growth. For resellers it often comes down to their process for evaluating, selecting and on-boarding new suppliers (usually aggregators) and then how quickly they can produce collateral, update provisioning systems and train staff.

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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd

Looking for a mobile data aggregator?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 26-Apr-2018 10:55:22

A mobile data aggregator partners with all the mobile carrier networks to provide the widest range of mobile data services, at the best possible pricing. Aggregators have one platform for ordering, monitoring and management.

Why do I need a mobile data aggregator?

Mobile data coverage is not universal. The networks use frequencies between 800Mhz and 2600Mhz. This means that the best network for a customer depends on their location, the device they are using and whether they are indoors or outdoors. Companies are looking for providers to meet an increasing demand for 4G services from SMEs. It is much easier to contract with one provider, with one portal, than it is dealing with multiple providers and platforms.

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Topics: Mobile

White label documentation at your fingertips

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 24-Apr-2018 21:43:55

Selling services to UK SMEs is rarely a nine to five occupation. When customers need information quickly, companies can’t afford to rely on third parties. They need access to answers fast. For core products this information is readily available. When launching new products, easy access to relevant information helps to influence decision makers, improve sales and reduce churn.

The Knowledge Base

Jola is a wholesale provider of hosted telephony, internet connectivity and 4G solutions to the voice and data channel. We created the Knowledge Base for partners to have 24/7/365 access to our product information, templates and guides in a white label format.

It is divided into product sections to make it easier to search for materials. Partners can re-brand ‘how to’ guides to help customers manage their own changes instantly. Guides are designed for both the employee and organisations to answer common set-up and provisioning questions such as; how do I set up busy lamp fields on my new handset? and how do I reset my Office UC password?

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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd

Building a strong brand

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 18-Apr-2018 10:22:45

There are many ways to build a strong brand to positively influence your target audience and support sales. There are also a few things to avoid. Jola is a wholesale provider of hosted voice, internet connectivity and 4G solutions to the voice and data channel. We provide white-label services to help our partners build their own brands and increase the value of their businesses. Our top three tips on building a strong brand are as follows;

Naming

The name of your business is really important. It is tempting when you are starting a business to link your company name with the products you sell. This can be challenging in the voice and data industry, where technologies have shorter product life cycles and ‘the next big thing’ doesn’t take-off as predicted. By distancing your brand name from your products, you are less likely to have to re-brand, if the technology you sell becomes obsolete or your business goes in a different direction.

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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd

Hosted Voice for IT VARs

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 18-Apr-2018 10:12:01

Are you an IT VAR looking for a good deal on a world-class, hosted telephony brand?

Best of Breed

Jola is a channel-only supplier of Broadsoft hosted telephony solutions. Our packages come with 45 features as standard and a range of cost-effective add-ons. By packaging the common features, we made it easier for our partners to meet the majority of requirements, with the ability to bespoke solutions with add-ons.

Managed Billing

If branching out into telephony for the first time, do you have an adequate billing system?

To save the cost of new billing software and additional resource, Jola offers a fully managed, white label billing solution for both Jola and non-Jola services. We have developed a cost-effective front-end to the market-leading platform aBILLity™.

Our billing platform can be programmed to invoice any product you require and data can be pre-loaded. Our specialist team does the legwork for you; managing ‘back office’ processes to ensure customers are billed correctly and processes run smoothly. Our system provides real-time analysis and fraud prevention, with a data export facility to common accounts software.

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Topics: Hosted telephony

What is Mobile Manager?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 10-Apr-2018 12:27:50

We have developed a unique white label SIM management platform called Mobile Manager which is unlike any other mobile data management platform because it is multi-carrier and has the ability to eliminate bill shock.

Mobile Manager is Jola’s online management portal for ordering and managing estates of mobile data SIMs. The white label portal communicates in real-time with multiple 4G networks and can be used by both resellers and their end users. Mobile Manager handles SIM activations, ceases, suspensions, reports, alerts and bolt-ons.

Why was Mobile Manager developed?

It was designed to help channel partners grow profitable revenue streams from SIM-only solutions, for 4G connectivity. Our partners have found opportunities for DSL and Ethernet back-up, fixed line replacement, multi-network worldwide roaming and multiple IoT and M2M projects. Resellers can brand and package their own 4G data solutions for multiple devices all over the world. We have helped partners to supply 4G routers to UK SMEs in areas of poor fixed line connectivity, as a replacement for satellite services and in cameras for national TV coverage of live events, such as the General Election.

How does it manage overages?

The portal solves the problem of bill shock from data overages by allowing partners to track usage and add bolt-ons to help eliminate overage charges completely. This is the exact opposite of what the market does at the moment. Carriers earn super-profits from overage charges and the channel loses customers because of it. We are the first company in the channel to challenge this and put the resellers and their customers first.

Why is it unique?

Mobile management portals are available from other suppliers, but Mobile Manager is unique and the first of its kind because it communicates with multiple carrier networks and actual devices. With monitored 4G routers (ZyXEL and Teltonika) Mobile Manager has instant access to data usage, avoiding delays from carrier CRDs. As well as usage alerts, Mobile Manager employs a predictive algorithm to track usage and has an automatic bolt-on feature that can eliminate out-of-bundle charges.

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Topics: Mobile

Building to sell

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 10-Apr-2018 12:14:15

When starting a new business venture, it is useful to consider your exit strategy, especially when building a business to sell. Many of our partners started their business with a view to sell it for a life-changing amount, in an agreed timeframe. By considering the types of business that are attractive to buyers, you are more likely to build a business that sells.

There are many qualities a potential buyer looks for in a business for sale such as;

  • A good spread of longstanding customers. Businesses with one large customer that makes up most of the revenue are riskier investments.
  • Loyal customers that order on a predictable and frequent cycle. Recurring revenue streams from a wide range of customers, on predictable contracts, with high margins are attractive.
  • Good quality financial information, showing which customers and products are profitable. Market data demonstrating future opportunities can also help.
  • A simple ownership structure is attractive. No one wants to deal with difficult shareholders with very different needs.
  • A flexible property position such as short leases are attractive. Requirements to sell a freehold property along with the business can complicate deals and put off potential investors.
  • A clean history of tax and regulatory compliance, if the seller wants to maximise entrepreneurs’ relief by selling shares.
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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd

Establishing Trust – 5Cs

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 22-Mar-2018 14:27:18

Growing a business is hard. Finding your niche, winning new business and retaining customers isn’t easy. Trust between you and your customers takes time to build and is easily lost. The same applies to suppliers. There are many ways to build and maintain trust. It starts with your employees and extends to your customers. The 5Cs summarises good practice as follows;

Commitment

A committed business is loyal to the cause, the vision, and the customers they supply. They are companies who persevere despite setbacks. When account managers are committed, they can build the trust of their customers by staying present, engaged, and positive. Commitment is the number one thing a business can demonstrate to build trust.

Connection

A trustworthy business is well-connected to customers who rely on them. They don’t get bogged down in the day-to-day and forget the needs of their customers. Account managers are always contactable and visible, never distant or detached. They take time to get to know their customers in a meaningful way. This helps customers to see businesses as people who care about their requirements and who value the relationship.

Compassion

A trustworthy company takes time to understand the needs of their customers, their requirements and concerns and responds in a meaningful way, each and every time. If a service goes down businesses take positive action to update customers and let them know when services will be restored.

Consistency

By being consistent across your business your customers know what to expect from you, which helps to build trusted relationships. By trusting you, customers are much more likely to share their issues with you and allow you to help them solve them. Being calm, collected and professional under fire is important, as well as reacting in a consistent and timely manner.

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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd

The importance of ongoing business planning

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 22-Mar-2018 14:21:40

Most companies draft a business plan outlining the course of a business over a lifespan and share it with investors or the bank. Fewer than you would think regularly revisit the document to assess growth against target.

A good strategy document, regularly reviewed, can help to document latest market information and outline current opportunities. A good plan reveals how investment would be used and the expected returns.

It is a great document to review annually to see where you are, where you want to be and how you plan to get there. Were key targets met and business priorities achieved?

By adopting a continuous and regular business planning cycle, which keeps the plan up to date you can maximise your chances of success.

If you regularly assess your performance against the plans and targets you have set, you are more likely to meet your objectives. It can also signpost where and why you're going astray.

The assessment will also help you in discussions with banks, investors and even potential buyers of your business. Regular review is a good vehicle for showing direction and commitment to employees, customers and suppliers.

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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd

I don’t sell mobile

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 21-Mar-2018 10:37:03

I received an email from a reseller recently who said, “I have no interest in selling mobile. It’s competitive, it’s risky and I have been burnt before, however I would like to know about your no bill shock guarantee."

Sound familiar? There are many resellers that see the exponential rise in mobile data usage as a double-edged sword. Data SIMs are quick and easy to order and get live and a fantastic high-margin recurring revenue stream. However, historically the process has been manual and they have had little control and no in-life management tools. Jola has solved this problem with Mobile Manager and our partners are finding new opportunities for 4G.

Slow fixed line connectivity replacement

According to a recent report by Ofcom, 90% of all UK premises (almost 26 million) can access up to 24Mb/s fixed line broadband, however there are at least 190,000 premises that can’t get 2Mb/s and 2.2 million premises that can’t get 10Mb/s. Where the LTE signal is strong, 4G data is a great solution.

Temporary connectivity

Leased lines have traditionally long lead times, so what do you do for internet connectivity whilst you are waiting? 4G can provide a fast, reliable, temporary solution.

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Topics: Mobile

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