Jola Cloud Solutions' Blog

Going back to work

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 01-Jul-2020 12:54:55

As many more businesses plan their openings, the channel prepares to support their changing IT and telephony requirements. For many, Microsoft Teams has been a great tool for video calls, group meetings and collaboration during lockdown. Some are now considering adding a calling plan to be able to talk with people outside of Teams.

One stumbling block some employees find is the move away from handsets. They are used to handsets on their desks, they hold their frequently dialled numbers and are plug and play so can be used at home or in the office.

Direct Routing

Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams offers much more than the standard Microsoft Calling Plans. Jola’s Direct Routing offering offers numbers in 167 countries and every area code in the UK. It comes with free UK calls, competitive international call bundles and unlimited in-country local call packages.

We are the first Direct Routing supplier to offer handsets, certified for Microsoft Teams. The new handsets are cost-effective, with multi-touch screens and HD audio. They are also compatible with Bluetooth headsets. 

As businesses return to work, we think Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams users could be a great opportunity for the channel to increase ARPU and win new business.

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Topics: Direct Routing

Direct Routing Made Easy

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 24-Jun-2020 11:37:18

With the popularity of Teams during lock-down, Direct Routing has really taken off. Many new suppliers have entered the market and resellers are selling it as a great opportunity to expand their telecoms portfolio and win some lucrative new business. The challenge many face however is the provisioning. It’s not straightforward and even with Microsoft qualified engineers and extensive Microsoft PowerShell or S4B knowledge, many have struggled until now.

 

 

Jola has a good track record with portals. Our ethos is to make it easy for the channel to sell, provision, bill and manage telecoms services. We understand how much margin the channel needs to make on these products and how competitive the market is. We know that needing specialist engineers in-house will put-off many resellers and our solution is fully automated provisioning on our SIP management portal.

 

Our unique Direct Routing proposition provides partners with unlimited UK calls, competitive out-of-bundle rates, international call packages and in-country calling packages in 30 countries.

 

Our Automated Configuration for Direct Routing is based on best-practice and doesn’t require partners to provide Office 365 credentials. It gives all resellers the opportunity to sell, provision and manage Direct Routing within a self-serve portal, without the need for specialist knowledge, skills or software.

 

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Topics: Direct Routing

Could the channel benefit from the popularity of Microsoft Teams?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 27-May-2020 11:38:18

Microsoft Teams now has around 75 million daily users. With so many businesses ‘living on Teams’ during lockdown, could this be an opportunity for the channel in a ‘post-lockdown’ environment?

For people working from home using Teams, this can also become their phone system. Teams users can upgrade the software to include a full telephone system, however if they want to make and receive calls from ‘non-Teams users’, they will need to add Dial-Tone. The Microsoft solution to this is their own product they call Calling Plan.

Instead of using Calling Plan to make calls outside of Teams, Microsoft will allow customers to connect Teams Phone System to an alternative network provider, using Direct Routing. It can be quite complicated to set up, so it may be worth looking for automated provisioning, even if you have Microsoft qualified staff internally to help.

Most resellers in the channel, already have an established business telecoms solution, as part of their core portfolio. Why then should they consider adding Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams?

Horses for courses

If you are already generating good, recurring revenue streams from a telephony solution, you are unlikely to want to launch a product to compete with it. However, if homeworking becomes a part of the ‘new-normal’, a phone system that can be used effectively by those in and out of the office, will rise to the top of some companies’ priorities.

As we return to work, we anticipate many conversations about how well Teams worked during lockdown and investigations into Microsoft licence pricing and upgrades. End-users will be looking at Direct Routing and hosted solutions, so why not sell both?

Direct Routing

Jola Direct Routing for Teams is built on a Microsoft approved platform. It offers numbers in 167 countries and every area code in the UK. Jola’s unlimited wholesale UK call package is a lot cheaper than Microsoft’s Calling Plan and comes with competitive international call bundles and unlimited in-country local call packages.

Jola partners enjoy healthy recurring margins on call bundles and out-of-bundle call charges, whilst still offering compelling prices to their customers. Ordering and management are all self-serve, through our well-established SIP Manager portal.

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Topics: Direct Routing

Jola adds International and In-Country Call Packages to Direct Routing

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 21-May-2020 12:40:06

Resellers, providing Direct Routing to businesses making international calls, can now buy a 600-minute international call bundle, covering 200 countries for £7.65 per month.

In addition, end-users, with offices in up to 30 countries, can now buy unlimited local call packages from Jola partners. Prices range from £2.50 to £18 per month, reflecting different countries’ local pricing policies.

Jola’s Direct Routing for Teams is built on a Microsoft approved platform, and offers numbers in 167 countries with every area code in the UK. Jola’s unlimited wholesale UK call package is priced for resellers excluding VAT at £2.50 per month on a 30-day contract.

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Topics: Direct Routing

Jola adds Pay Per Zone eSIMs to MVNO offering

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 13-Feb-2020 17:42:20

In December, Jola launched the UK’s first multi-network eSIM built for the channel. Jola eSIMs give MSPs and resellers ultimate choice and control, whilst solving the biggest mobile data problem facing their end-users – how to automatically connect any device almost anywhere in the world. 

The price of data varies when roaming between different countries and on different networks. Until now, the roaming tariff set, has had to be that of the most expensive country in which the SIMs needs to operate.

Jola has solved the problem of variable global roaming rates by introducing Pay Per Zone eSIMs. Data consumption on Jola Pay Per Zone eSIM tariffs is charged at the rate applicable to the country it is used in.

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Topics: Direct Routing

Dial-Tone for Microsoft Teams

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 14-Jan-2020 10:15:34

Teams is Microsoft’s fastest selling product, with over 20 million daily active users. It comes as an upgrade to the Office 365 Enterprise license, offering collaboration tools, screen sharing, voice, video, IM and a host of other features. If you want to upgrade to Microsoft’s Business Voice, you will need to add dial-tone. Many MSPs and resellers are partnering with Jola to offer this to their customers.

Jola’s Direct Routing for Teams is built on a Microsoft approved platform and offers numbers in 167 countries as well as every area code in the UK. Jola’s unlimited wholesale UK call package is less than a third of the cost of Microsoft’s Calling Plan with very competitive out-of-bundle rates – billed monthly in arears. 

For the first time suppliers of Office 365 will be able to offer a viable alternative to traditional, or hosted telephony. Jola’s Direct Routing pricing allows partners to offer dial-tone at a compelling rate to their customers, whilst making a good recurring margin on the call bundles and out-of-bundle call charges. 

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Topics: Direct Routing

How is Microsoft Teams helping to drive voice revenues in the channel?

Posted by Andrew Dickinson on 09-Oct-2019 17:45:33

 

Part of Office 365 and launched in 2018, Teams is Microsoft’s fastest selling product and recently overtook Slack as the #1 collaboration tool, according to recent research. By upgrading to MS Phone System, Office 365 users also get call management features.

If you need to make and receive calls outside of the Teams family, the Microsoft solution starts to look a little clunky and quite expensive. Out-of-bundle calls are paid for per minute by logging a company credit card on the system, and whilst some country rates are in line with the market, others are not.

Instead of using their Calling Plan, Microsoft will allow you to connect Teams to an alternative network provider using Direct Routing. However, setting this up is complicated and expensive and only a handful of companies in the UK offer Direct Routing as a service. There has not been a true, self-serve, white-label, channel programme for Direct Routing in the UK - until now.

 

Jola’s Direct Routing for Teams is built on a Microsoft approved platform and offers numbers in 167 countries as well as every area code in the UK. Jola’s unlimited wholesale UK call package costs less than half that of MS Calling Plan with very competitive out-of-bundle rates – billed monthly in arears. 

For the first time suppliers of Office 365 will be able to offer a viable alternative to traditional, or hosted telephony, at a compelling price to their customers, whilst making a good recurring margin on call bundles and out-of-bundle call charges.

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Topics: Direct Routing

Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams

Posted by Andrew Dickinson on 07-Aug-2019 09:19:49

What’s the opportunity?

Launched last year, Teams has become one of Microsoft’s fastest selling products. An upgrade to the Office 365 Enterprise license, it offers collaboration, screen sharing, voice, video, IM and a whole bunch of other cool features. If you upgrade to E5 you also get Phone System, Advanced Security and Analytics, for £30.80 per user per month. If you have E1 or E3 and only want Phone System, you can just pay an additional £6 per month. Microsoft do not currently offer Phone System as an upgrade on their most popular Business Premium licence, but this is a logical next step.

What’s the issue?

If you want to connect Microsoft Phone System to the PSTN (you will, if Teams is to replace your PBX or hosted telephony system), the Microsoft Calling Plan product is a little clunky. It’s also quite expensive, compared to SIP bundles available in the market.

What’s the solution?

Instead of using their Calling Plan, Microsoft will allow customers to connect Teams Phone System to an alternative network provider using Direct Routing. However, setting this up is complicated and expensive and there are only a handful of companies in the UK offering Direct Routing as a service.

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Topics: Microsoft Teams, Direct Routing

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