Jola Cloud Solutions' Blog

How to add social media to your marketing strategy

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 11-Jun-2019 11:34:09

Step 1 – Outline your objectives

Social Media is another marketing tool, at our disposal. Objectives need to be set, strategies developed, and monitoring implemented, to measure success.

Step 2 – Identify and build your target audience

Social channels, like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook, are great marketing tools, especially when integrated into a marketing strategy, bringing effective traditional and digital channels together. You can often research companies and individuals, to build up a better picture of their business and responsibilities. The richer the information to hand, the more targeted the messaging and the more effective the campaign can become.

Step 3 – Plan your posting schedule and content

Regular and relevant posting on social channels, built to communicate with prospects, can be very effective, as can engaging with prospect and customer posts. By creating powerful vertical market case studies, resellers can use them to attract similar companies, with the same problems.

Step 4 – Report on success

On social media we can get lost in statistics, numbers of followers, connections, likes, comments etc. To understand success, it is important to align measurements with objectives. For example, it doesn’t matter how many followers you have, if none are target audience.

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Mobile data opportunity – dashcams in buses and coaches

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 11-Jun-2019 11:11:37

Bus and coach companies are installing dashcams in vehicles to improve safety. 4G streaming devices are mounted on dashboards. They capture 12 seconds of video and audio when incidents take place. Systems record events which cause a higher than normal G-force automatically, as well as recording footage on demand.

The objective for many companies is to identify risky behaviours, to prevent accidents and improve safety. Companies installing dashcams have reported a 23% reduction in preventable collisions.

Typically, MSPs and specialists serving this market with M2M and IoT solutions, have partnered with the mobile networks directly for SIMs, however many have struggled with a lack of flexibility and control.

Jola is proposing an alternative to dealing with mobile networks directly. We offer a range of competitively-priced mobile data SIMs, including unique products you can’t buy from the mobile networks directly.

Our 1GB SIMs are cost-effective and meet common requirements, alternatively multi-network roaming SIMs are available. Using Mobile Manager, partners are able to order new SIMs and pools from a single supplier, add SIMs to pools, set up alerts and monitor the pool to monitor data usage.

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Topics: 4G, JolaMobile, IoT, M2M

What are the differences between M2M and standard data SIMs?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 05-Jun-2019 11:20:24

M2M SIMs have different qualities for a variety of industrial uses. M2M SIMs can have greater storage capacity and a higher number of read-write cycles (up to 8 million), meaning they have a longer lifetime than a standard SIM. With data retention of up to 17 years, M2M SIMs outlive standard SIMs. Additionally, M2M SIMs are built with materials that enable them to operate in harsh environmental conditions such as deserts or arctic weather.

In summary M2M SIMs offer:

  • Real-time data reporting: this significantly reduces the risk of expensive, overage data charges
  • Superior ‘Control’. controlled in real-time e.g. bars, changing roaming zones etc.

M2M SIM cards are manufactured to a superior specification:

  • They are robust (‘ruggedised’) and so able to withstand corrosion, vibration, shock and extreme temperatures (-40°C to 105°C).  This means they can be used in environments such as Industrial IoT (‘IIoT’) where ‘standard’ consumer grade SIM cards would quickly physically deteriorate and fail.
  • A longer life-span of up to 17 years.  Useful for all installations in long-term projects and large but particularly important in hard to reach locations.
  • Superior number of read-write cycles (up to 8 million).  This again means these SIMs have a longer life span.

What to consider when choosing a SIM package

Think about what you need the SIM for, what you need it to do, how much data it will require, how long you need it for, where the SIM will be located (in which device and country) what network it needs to be connected to and whether it always needs to be connected.

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Topics: IoT, M2M

How can the channel benefit from IoT?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 05-Jun-2019 10:49:14

IoT is set to be disruptive and far reaching. It is predicted to transform entire business models and lead to competitive advantage. IoT provides the connective infrastructure, that lets companies collect information from disparate devices, store it, visualise it, analyse it and use it to make smart decisions. Customers looking to invest in IoT solutions are turning to channel partners for help with mobile data. Demand for mobile broadband, 4G back-up, 4G failover and 4G data for M2M devices is increasing. How can the channel benefit from this rise in demand?

Create bespoke solutions

By identifying new requirements from customer bases, resellers can productise solutions to upsell. For example, resellers serving construction companies with a need for fast, reliable 4G, on short-term contracts, are packaging mobile broadband solutions, using robust routers and cost-effective SIM packages. ISPs selling Ethernet and broadband are productising 4G pre-ethernet and 4G failover using Private APNs, routers and flexible SIM packages. Resellers managing logistics companies are providing bespoke 4G data packages for mobile tracking devices.

Promote success

Promote solutions and case studies on websites, via social channels, send customer notifications and write press releases. Use case studies in awards entries and campaigns to help generate leads from existing and new customers.

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Topics: IoT

Self-Serve Private APN for ISPs

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 21-May-2019 14:00:02

There are over 200 ISPs in the UK with their own backbone network, but thousands more selling internet services to business customers. End users buy predominately on price and demand a good service from sales, through provisioning to support.

Innovative ISPs are looking for new revenue streams and ways to differentiate their services from the competition. 4G failover is not new, however there are new ways of providing the service to increase resilience, control and security.

ISPs selling Ethernet services with 4G fail-over use private APNs to ensure seamless failover, when connectivity via the primary circuit fails. The issue with setting up private APNs is often the cost, the lead-time and the lack of direct control.

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Topics: Private APN

The benefits of sponsorship

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 21-May-2019 09:12:21

Sponsorship is the financial or in-kind support of an activity. It is used to reach specified business goals and is considered a qualitative rather than quantitative medium, aligning a company with a person, activity or event. In the channel there are plenty of opportunities to sponsor awards and events and there are companies working with well-known sports people.

Enhancing brand image and customer relations

Many companies associate themselves with popular, well-established events, that appeal to their target audience. The objective is to shape buying habits and influence decision making, by creating a positive emotional connection with their target audience.

Building brand awareness

By sponsoring an event you have the chance to get your brand name in-front of your audience at an opportune time. You can often promote your attendance in advance and address your audience directly on the night. The objective is to influence decision makers, so that when they have a need for your services, they remember your brand name and can locate your contact details.

Increasing reach

A good sponsorship opportunity will enable you to reach targets you can’t easily contact through other channels. It can promote positive word of mouth, with potential for positive conversations long after the event. It can generate supporting press and brand coverage, before and after the event.

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Topics: marketing, MSPs

Quoting bespoke SIM requirements for IoT

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 14-May-2019 13:42:53

As a channel, we are uncovering increasing numbers of mobile data opportunities with bespoke requirements for IoT opportunities. You may have a council wanting to measure traffic flow on busy roads or the availability of car parking spaces in the district. You may also have retailers with 4G back-up requirements in 25 countries in or logistics companies with 4G tracking devices in containers travelling to multiple destinations.

You need to get a competitive quote over quickly to stand a chance of winning the business. By choosing a standard mobile data or M2M package which covers all the countries you require and many more is the quickest option, but may not be competitive enough to win the deal. The other option is to go back to your carrier or wholesale service provider and request a bespoke quote for the size of package you need and the exact countries you need the SIM to work in. The problem with option two is the time it takes for the bespoke quote to be compiled, approved and sent back to you. In both cases you run the risk of not winning the deal.

We had a similar situation years ago with leased lines. Today leased line quoting portals are readily available. You add your postcode and receive quotes from all the major carriers in minutes explaining the best speeds and pricing available. Wouldn’t it be great to have something similar for SIMs?

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Topics: mobile data, Multi-network SIMs

Who is buying Private APNs?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 14-May-2019 13:16:03

An APN (Access Point Name) is the name given to the gateway within a Mobile Network Operator (MNO) that provides the ability for a device containing a SIM card to access an IP network, such as the internet.  The vast majority of SIMs available on the market will access the internet via the MNO’s public APN.

For some customers and solutions, a public APN isn’t appropriate because it is not secure enough and doesn’t offer enough control. They would choose a private APN.

Customers with a need to increase security

Private APNs can be configured to provide a completely private IP network with no internet access at all. Customers with a need to securely access devices, with a much reduced risk of hacking, choose private APNs.

IPCCTV providers, who want secure access to their devices to upload software or download footage, are moving away from using fixed IP SIMs in devices, which are regularly being hacked. Fixed IP SIMs are typically more expensive, so users are saving money and improving security by using a private APN.

Customers who want more control over their network

By connecting remote 4G devices using a private APN, customers can implement bespoke routing and apply policies, such as content filtering.

ISPs selling Ethernet services with 4G fail-over use private APNs to ensure seamless failover, when connectivity via the primary circuit fails.

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Topics: Private APN

Comparing multi-network SIMs

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 07-May-2019 18:16:06

For applications where it is critical to have a strong 4G internet connection at all times, businesses are opting for multi-network roaming SIMs. Both steered and un-steered solutions are available, but what’s the difference?

Steered SIMs

Steered SIM cards prioritise one primary network over all other available networks. This is not an issue for customers with a preferred network and strong UK coverage, unless the local mast fails and connectivity is lost.

Some SIM cards force devices to stay connected to the primary network even if the signal is poor. This presents a problem for solutions that need fast, reliable connectivity, such as trackers and monitoring devices.

Un-steered SIMs

This solution is much more flexible and effective, as it doesn’t have a primary network. Since no single network is prioritised, devices can roam to the strongest signal seamlessly.

Having a SIM card that can switch between networks enables businesses to get more from their M2M device. Devices are less likely to stop working due to poor signal. Un-steered SIMs are important for M2M monitoring and tracking devices, mobile WiFi, CCTV and 4G back-up.

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Topics: JolaMobile, M2M

5G

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 07-May-2019 17:59:48

Experts like McKinsey are suggesting 5G will have the most impact in four key areas; mobile broadband, IoT, mission-critical control and fixed wireless access.

Enhanced mobile broadband

Faster speed, lower latency, and greater capacity could enable on-the-go, ultra-high-definition video, virtual reality, and other advanced applications.

Internet of Things

5G will unlock the potential of IoT by enabling more connections at once at very low power. This could create additional monthly revenues, but average IoT revenues will be a fraction of those for mobile broadband because of low usage.

Mission-critical control

As connected devices become increasingly central in applications that demand absolute reliability, like medical devices and vehicle safety systems, latency will serve as a limiting factor. Because 5G has the potential to deliver significantly lower latency, it opens the door to opportunities in healthcare, utilities, and other time-critical contexts.

Fixed wireless access

Fixed wireless access has existed for years, primarily in areas with no viable wired broadband. 5G is capable of delivering speeds of more than 1Gb/s to the home, making it a viable alternative to wired broadband in many markets, especially in markets without fibre.

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Topics: 5G

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