Jola Cloud Solutions' Blog

Why attend Partner Training Events?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 15-Mar-2018 16:31:51

By attending a partner training day, you get the chance to visit your supplier, meet the team and learn more about current opportunities. They are a great place to network with other like-minded business owners focussed on growing their businesses and overcoming common challenges.

Jola Partner Days

Jola runs partner days every quarter at their head office in Stapleford, Nottinghamshire. Some partners fly in, others travel up the night before and stay in hotels to attend our events. They come to hear about new products and portals but more importantly, they come to see how we can help them grow their business.

The Content

Our training day is divided into two sections. In the morning we take delegates through our product set, highlighting current opportunities, explaining how our solutions win bids over alternatives. In our mobile section, we demonstrate Mobile Manager and the innovative way we manage data and eliminate bill shock. In the afternoon we focus on the JolaPhone management portal, sharing our tips and experience of solving common provisioning and support issues.  

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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd

Marketing for growth

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 15-Mar-2018 16:04:24

Growing a business is challenging. You need an innovative solution, a profitable edge and the right people to bring it to market. A good marketing strategy will fuel growth by; engaging the target audience, generating qualified leads and helping sales to cross-sell and reduce churn.

How do you boost visibility and increase sales, whilst retaining your margins?

Taking time out from the business to think about the basic mechanics which will bring in the right leads, at the right cost at the right conversion rate is critical. Without an effective sales funnel, reaching growth targets will be challenging, finding the time and the money to plan for growth is equally challenging.

Spend money to make money?

The first strategy to mind is often advertising. Who are my prospects? What do they read? Where do they go? We will advertise there. Advertising can be very effective over period of time, supported by additional campaigns such as PR, DM etc. however can also be costly.

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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd

Want to retain control?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 25-Jan-2018 17:03:35

Resellers are established businesses and brands in their own right and want to partner with companies who respect this. They want to retain complete control over the customer experience, from first touch to final installation and they want to feel that their business is a priority.

They are essentially looking for suppliers who can provide completely white label materials, portals and processes, so they can display their own brand from the first quote to the final invoice.


Resellers looking to supply white label broadband and Ethernet look for an aggregated pricing tool showing multi-carrier services, multiple technologies, speed options and contract terms. They want to be on-site with their customer with a portal they can access and enter minimal information, to get detailed quotes in minutes.


Equally important is the quote building and ordering platform. One portal to show all pricing is useful and the ability to build multiple solutions in one quote. For example, a phone line, broadband, phone system, numbers, options and SIMs in one document.

Once the order is signed, resellers want regular updates to keep their customers in the loop. They want the ability to provision services and make changes for customers instantly. They want routers to be pre-configured, handsets to be plug and play and installations to go to plan. They want instant access to guides and materials as required.

Resellers selling SIMs want access to be able to minimise cost for their customers and maximise margins for their business. They need to be able to activate, suspend, set-up customer alerts and add bolt-ons themselves.

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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd

Looking for new suppliers?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 11-Jan-2018 11:49:17

New suppliers

Increased competition and new technologies are driving down the cost of internet connectivity and fuelling demand for faster, more reliable services.  As companies come out of contract for both internet connectivity and telephony, they are looking for a better deal. As more of your own customers ask you for advice on the best alternatives, you may be considering supplying these services yourself. What’s putting you off?

Trusting a new supplier

To provide new voice and data services, you may need to work with a new supplier and may be worried about making the wrong choice. What if this company lets you down, causes you to lose a valued customer or worse still, takes the customer as their own?


Questions to ask

There are so many things to ask about when selecting a new partner. What products do they offer? Is their pricing competitive? Can I make my margins and still win the business? How responsive are they? Will they value my business and help me to win new business? How much control will they give me to manage my customers and how easy are they to do business with?

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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd

Could a co-branded ordering portal, help to win more business?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 23-Nov-2017 10:36:07

Jola runs a dealer programme for IT and telecommunications companies, looking for a reliable supplier of internet connectivity, hosted telephony and mobile data solutions. The dealer brings us new opportunities from their customer base and are rewarded with a 50% margin share. They do not have to request their commission, as it is automatically paid on a monthly basis.

Key Challenges

Where the dealer is a trusted advisor to their customers, they will be consulted before the customer upgrades their phone system or makes a change to their IT network.

Reputation is everything, so they want to be recommending the best solution at the very best pricing. They want the latest product knowledge and access to current pricing and an on-site availability check. They want a trusted partner they can introduce with confidence, who won’t compete with them.

Dealers want to be able to send over a professional proposal quickly, without having to wait on third parties.

Making it easy

We supply best of breed solutions supported via lifetime training for the whole team, comprising of on-site training and webinars. We help dealers to add new products and services to their portfolio and go out with dealers to customers with an existing requirement for our services.

Jola developed a single portal for dealers to create co-branded proposals their customers can click to view, edit and accept within minutes. They can quote solutions which include internet connectivity, hosted voice seats, options such as call recording, hardware and mobile SIM packages. The dealer can store customer and site data within the system to save them re-keying information at a later date.

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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd

The Jola Partner Guide to Social Media

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 23-Nov-2017 10:13:49

We often get asked about how to use social media effectively by our partners, so I put together a short guide to social media, based on our own experience.

Before you start

Answer the following questions:

  • What are you trying to achieve?
  • How are you planning to achieve this?
  • How will this engage your audience?
  • How can you measure this?


  • Don’t just share an opinion
  • Demonstrate you are qualified to comment on the subject
  • Share research that backs up your message

Drafting the copy

Before typing out your post, answer the following questions:

  • Who are you talking to?
  • What are the key messages you want the readers to take away?
  • How are you formatting your article? (Consider sub-headers to structure your article and bullet points to highlight key points)
  • What’s your call to action? (Where do readers go, if they want to learn more?)


  • Use a good title to draw your audience in, with an image that reflects the topic
  • Write in a clear and concise manner (attention spans are short online)
  • Share success stories and tips your audience can use

Posting the copy

It is tempting to post all copy to all platforms, but the overall objective is to get the right message to the right audience at the right time. Take some time to think about which platform your audience favours. In the voice and data channel LinkedIn is very popular. End user businesses favour Facebook as they encourage their customers to like and share their page. I don’t think anyone really uses Google+ but I only have my own research to back this up.

Before posting your copy, answer the following questions: 

  • Where should you post it? (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook etc.)
  • When should you post it? (Daytime, nightime)
  • How will you post it? (Via individual platforms/using social media management software)
  • Who is going to monitor response rates and answer comments?
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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd

Getting ready for GDPR

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 15-Nov-2017 16:50:24

Every business is different and as GDPR takes a risk-based approach to data protection, you need to assess your own data collection and storage practices to ensure that you comply.

At Jola we are encouraging partners to ask themselves the following 20 questions: 

  1. What personal data do you collect and store?
  2. Have you obtained it fairly?
  3. Do you have the necessary consents required?
  4. Are you telling customers/prospects what you are collecting data for?
  5. Are you offering the right to withdraw consent at any time?
  6. Are you ensuring that you aren’t holding data for any longer than necessary?
  7. Are you keeping data up to date using a level of security appropriate to the risk?
  8. Are you limiting access to data, to ensure that it is only being used for its intended purpose?
  9. Are you working on a plan to ensure compliance by May 2018?
  10. Have you allocated a Data Privacy Officer?
  11. Do you have a good data protection policy?
  12. Are you including employee data in the plan?
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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd

Making a big splash

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 13-Nov-2017 21:46:18

The definition of ‘making a big splash’ is to become suddenly very successful or very well-known.

It takes a great deal of time to establish a brand and educate a market. You want prospects to understand how unique, innovative products solve problems and deliver better value than alternatives. You need to build your brand, so that when there is a need, you come to mind. This is almost impossible to achieve overnight with one big splash.

The challenge in marketing is to balance satisfying this immediate requirement for action, with a more long-term strategy, that will ultimately achieve the goal.

The audience

The first thing to think about is the market. Who is the target audience for this product? Is it an emerging or developed market? What alternatives are available? How do you compare?

The answers to these questions will help shape the marketing plan and key messaging. In an emerging market, you will be looking for first movers, who have established a need. The message to this audience will be very targeted, focussing on solutions and highlighting USPs.

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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd

How do you choose suppliers?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 01-Nov-2017 16:35:27

When setting up the marketing department at Jola, I had some decisions to make around suppliers I would use, which would help me to shape and grow the business. As a start-up company back then, I was looking for feature-rich solutions on a very competitive, pay-per-month basis, with no upfront investment. I made a list of the software and services I would need and went online to research potential suppliers.

Trusted suppliers

I started with companies that I had used in the past. Companies with robust solutions I had tried and tested with Account Managers I could pick up the phone to. I updated myself with the latest bells and whistles and checked them against current and potential future requirements.

Recommended suppliers

I then looked at recommended suppliers other trusted marketing professionals and co-workers had used in the past. I collated new information, compared pricing and had a demo of their platforms.

Market leaders

In case I was missing I trick, I looked to the market leaders for inspiration. What did they have that may work for me and how did they compare pricewise?

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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd

3 things to consider when rolling out group applications

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 01-Nov-2017 16:04:05

There are so many useful group applications on the market designed to help improve business communications. Office UC allows you to work from any location, with an internet connection, see who is available and send instant messages as well as make phone calls. It is now common place to see a team IM or WhatsApp group, used in combination with emails, phone calls and face to face meetings. They offer a wide range of benefits to business users and a few draw backs. When thinking about implementing a new app within your organisation, it is useful to consider the following:


What are you planning to use it for? If it is not clear what the group was set up for, employees may not want to use it. Outlining the purpose of the group, and communicating the group members will help the tool to remain effective. Using a group chat to share solutions to problems and share knowledge, is an excellent way to gather data. This information could be taken and added to processes or shared with customers via an FAQ.


Define appropriate content. Employees need to know the rules to feel comfortable using a new tool, especially when senior management are included. Don’t be tempted to limit social content, as relationship building can often lead to better teamwork and sharing of information. Adding social channels to the general business communications policy, will often cover this.

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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd

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