Jola Cloud Solutions' Blog

How to sell hosted voice

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 18-May-2017 11:08:07


The global VoIP services market is set to reach £108 billion by 2021, according to a recent report by SMEs are turning to trusted advisors, amongst their current suppliers, for help once they have identified a need.

IT and Telecoms companies are looking for reliable suppliers who can provide not just market-leading solutions at the best possible price, but also support to ensure customer requirements are uncovered and addressed to their satisfaction.

Recommended sales approach

Don’t be tempted to reel off all the features. A good place to start is asking questions. What’s their current situation? How do they currently manage calls?

What problem is the customer trying to solve and are they aware of the problem? What is causing them headaches with their current phone system?

What’s the implication? Agree with the customer what the problems and deficiencies of the current situation are really costing the business.

What’s the need pay-off? How valuable would a different solution be to the business? Can this be quantified?

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Topics: Hosted telephony

When is more, less?

Posted by Andrew Dickinson on 09-Mar-2017 21:30:12

The hosted voice market has become extremely competitive but resellers can avoid joining the ‘race for the bottom’ on price by choosing a technology partner that helps them to differentiate. Very few suppliers understand the needs of both their channel partners and their end business customers.

More for less

A good example is handsets. With thousands of devices capable of being connected to cloud voice systems, businesses are looking for help to select models that exactly meet their requirements at the right price.

A Polycom VVX 600 costs around £100 more than the VVX 411 but if your staff need to use a headset it can work out cheaper. This is because the VVX 600 is Bluetooth enabled so compatible with hundreds of devices. A good quality monaural Bluetooth headset costs less than £20, compared to around £200 for a good quality wired headset. In addition, it has the benefit of not being tethered to the desk phone, giving users the freedom to roam around the office.

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Topics: Hosted telephony

Opportunities from growth in hosted telephony

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 22-Feb-2017 15:56:40

According to a recent report by Zion Research, VoIP services are set to grow rapidly over the next few years, reaching £112 billion globally by 2021. The report explains that the growth is driven by the technological advancement of network infrastructure and is influenced by the rise in the number of portable devices.

The report analyses VoIP by call type with international VoIP calls emerging as the leading segment, with the majority of calls being made by computer to computer. Phone-to-phone calls are predicted to see the highest growth over the next few years. Hosted services as well as IP connectivity are set to see significant growth as businesses come out of contract and realise the cost benefits of upgrading their business telephony.

The benefits

Reduced costs with no capital outlay

Many hosted solutions are sold on a per-seat basis with no initial capital outlay, unless customers want to buy handsets upfront. In addition, many call costs are free, not just internally across multiple sites, but to UK landlines and mobiles too, with low international call rates.


Features such as busy lamp fields, auto attendant, call recording, call reporting and music on hold are now more affordable on a per-seat-per-month basis and customers can tailor the solution to meet their exact requirements.

Multiple devices

Some hosted telephony solutions are available on multiple devices such as computers, tablets and mobiles, which enables customers to work remotely as if they had taken their desk phone with them.


It is easy to add or remove a seat as required, as many hosted solutions are on 30-day contracts.

Disaster recovery

If for whatever reason there is an issue with the phone system, your office, or employees can’t get into work, you can easily re-route calls to mobiles and carry on, business as usual.

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Topics: Hosted telephony

Cloud-based v on premise call recording

Posted by Andrew Dickinson on 01-Feb-2017 16:13:17

With advances in hosted telephony and increasing demand for compliance-based systems, the call recording market remains buoyant. There are a range of solutions to suit all business types and budgets. Cloud-based call recording has several distinct advantages over on premise alternatives as follows:

It is generally cheaper.

Often businesses don’t need all their extensions monitored and paying by the month per extension is easier and cheaper than installing a server onsite connected to a PBX.

It is more secure.

Any onsite system needs to be firewalled and backed-up, either online or by physically taking backups and locking them in a fireproof safe.

It is more flexible.

Certain professions (lawyers, IFAs) must record their calls and onsite systems tie them to the office. Cloud-based recording means they can work anywhere and still have their calls recorded.

It is more scalable.

Onsite systems need to be physically upgraded whereas a cloud-based system never runs out of capacity.

At the right price, many companies will opt for call recording even if there is no regulatory requirement to do so. It is essential if a company wants to take orders over the phone and is a great tool for training customer support and sales people. 

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Topics: Hosted telephony

Do you use the products you sell?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 11-Jan-2017 16:21:17

At Jola our most successful telephony partners install JolaPhone as their in-house telephony. These partners use the system regularly and are comfortable demonstrating solutions on-site and creating compelling proposals. The team are all familiar with the key benefits of the solution and have no issue sharing their thoughts or even recommending the system to others, whatever their role.

They have a regular stream of opportunities they bid for, with an excellent close rate. Customers get a great deal of comfort from knowing the supplier they trust also uses the system in-house and is well-versed on how to order, install and support it moving forwards.

Common drivers for change are a new location, an internet connectivity upgrade, a need for additional users, a need for new functionality or to save money.

By being a supplier who uses the products they sell, they are already demonstrating the benefits of auto attendant, call handing, music on hold etc. to every client that calls in.


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Topics: Hosted telephony

Why consider adding telephony products to portfolios?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 08-Dec-2016 17:07:51


Research shows that when companies are thinking about upgrading their internal communications, 48% seek advice from their local suppliers and 55% research the internet. Some suppliers are happy to give advice but then either leave it at that or simply refer a company they know. By also supplying the telephony, they have an additional monthly revenue stream and a new service to support.


Around 10% of SMEs are using VoIP (Voice over IP) but it is the fastest growing communications product in the UK. There is no equipment on-site except the handsets, which are often included in the rental. 

Recurring revenue

Hosted telephony seats are pay per month and offer a lucrative recurring revenue stream especially when bundled with additional IT services.

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Topics: Hosted telephony

Five problems your customers don’t know they have with their telephone system

Posted by Andrew Dickinson on 23-Nov-2016 12:53:03

1 – Lack of maintenance contract

Very few SMEs still have maintenance contracts on their on-site phone systems – often because they are so old they are no longer supported. This seems like good value while they work but when they break it is often terminal and the organisation can be without phones for days. 

2 - Cost

Telephone calls are 5% of what they cost 20 years ago and because your customer has not seen monthly charges going up too much they think they are doing well. The reality is they are paying three or four times the monthly charge of an up-to-date cloud voice system, which includes all of their calls.

3 - Professional call answering

Your customers have got used to the idea that their phone system can’t handle out-of-hours, public holidays, multiple calls and even busy lamp fields, showing who is on the phone before transferring. Often staff cannot pick up valuable sales and support calls even if they want to. Your customers would love to have an automatic call distribution system but consider such features outside of their budget; as well as the idea that the name of the person calling in might ‘pop’ onto their computer screen.

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Topics: Hosted telephony

Why upgrade your customers’ phone systems?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 08-Nov-2016 16:18:03

1 – To give them more functionality

Premium Broadsoft hosted telephony licences come with just under 50 features and add-ons. You can run one telephone system over several sites and manage calls as if you were all in the same building. Auto Attendant is available so you can set up options for callers to choose and then create call queues so calls are answered by the next available agent. Music on hold is available, so is video calling and conference calling. Bundles are available with the latest handsets where busy lamp fields show who is on the phone.

2 – To reduce costs

Hosting business applications, such as telephony, in the cloud typically has low upfront costs, as solutions are sold on a per-seat-per-month basis. There may be a small set-up fee, however it is possible to upgrade to a feature-rich phone system, with the latest IP handsets for under £10 a month per extension, including unlimited UK landline and mobile calls.

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Topics: Hosted telephony

The value of auto attendant

Posted by Andrew Dickinson on 20-Oct-2016 14:16:24

Until recently small businesses have avoided adding auto-attendants and queues to their telephone system, mainly because of the prohibitive cost but also because they felt it put callers off.

Now with changes in consumer behavior and the growth in cloud telephone systems this is no longer the case. Callers to a business now expect to be answered by an automated system and if the voice is succinct and professional their initial perception of that company is enhanced. As long as they are transferred at the next step to a human being they will often view the company as more organised, more professional and bigger than perhaps they actually are.

With cloud voice every individual gets their own direct phone number and for callers that don’t know who they want to talk to (like sales enquiries) they are handled professionally and directed immediately to someone that can help them. Even in very small companies where everyone mucks-in with incoming calls, employees can see on the screen what the call is about before they answer it.

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Topics: Hosted telephony

Top 3 questions from partners considering hosted voice

Posted by Andrew Dickinson on 07-Sep-2016 15:21:05

How important is price?

Price to partners is important because this is a competitive market and resellers need to win the business at a decent margin. If you look for providers that have invested in automation you will generally find them cheaper because their operating costs are lower. They may also be easier to do business with and delivery may be quicker and more predictable. Most SMEs still just need the basics, which most platforms do, and some of the advanced features are still a bit niche. Of course it is possible to get ‘free’ seats if you’re prepared to use self-developed, freeware platforms but most resellers have ditched this idea because of reliability, security and product roadmap issues. Now that hosted voice has moved out of the early adopter phase, the trend is towards established brands, low upfront costs and fixed monthly rentals for everything, including calls, over longer term contracts.

Has the connectivity issue disappeared?

Not entirely. FTTC has really helped but still doesn’t reach around 40% of businesses. ADSL2+ is better than its predecessors but with limited upstream speeds you have to be careful with how many simultaneous calls you are trying to support.

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Topics: Hosted telephony

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