Jola Cloud Solutions' Blog

Productising Processes

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 29-Jan-2019 17:03:53

In the channel we are well-versed in productising products and services. We know how to package them, how to promote them and how to sell them, promoting our USPs over the competition. We seem to accept processes as part and parcel and rarely productise them. Are we missing a trick?

When the processes we offer form part of our USPs, we are definitely missing a trick by not productising them. Everyone says they offer ‘excellent customer service’, but what if this is the one thing you know makes you different from the competition? By productising your processes, you can demonstrate the value to your customer base and reap the benefits.

Where to start?

By defining your customers needs. What are customers looking for? How do you meet these requirements better than the rest? What evidence do you have to support this? By noting down the journey, you can productise your unique process, reflecting back the customers’ needs and how you are meeting them.

Understand success

By mapping processes next to KPIs to help you track success, you can start to see how you achieved success. Analyse your biggest customer deals, where did the original lead come from? How was it generated? How was it converted? How was the first opportunity generated? How was this closed? How was the order placed and processed? How did you prevent any installation issues? How did you ensure the customer was billed correctly? How did the customer feel when the first order had gone live? What support was given along the way? How does the customer rate the support given?

Map your unique process

Once successful order journeys have been mapped, unique processes ensuring success become visible. Describe and name each step of the process. Write it up as a flyer and advertise it on your website and as part of your proposals.

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Topics: jola, marketing

What is the difference between M2M and IoT?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 29-Jan-2019 16:49:36

M2M (Machine to Machine) is how machines use a network to connect to each other, without the need for human intervention. M2M involves connecting devices to the cloud, managing devices and collecting data. M2M is about connecting and communicating with a machine that can send and receive data such as a device or sensor.

IoT is the network of connected devices. Things connecting with systems, people and applications.

Simply put M2M provides the connectivity that offers capability to IoT.

How much is this market worth?

Forbes estimate that the global IoT market will be worth £352bn by the end of 2020. According to GrowthEnabler & Markets and Markets analysis, the global IoT market share will be dominated by three sub-sectors; Smart Cities (26%), Industrial IoT (24%) and Connected Health (20%). Followed by Smart Homes (14%), Connected Cars (7%), Smart Utilities (4%) and Wearables (3%).

How does this growth affect MSPs?

The potential for new recurring revenue is significant. Experienced providers, set up to manage complex solutions, have the opportunity to establish themselves as M2M/IoT authorities, winning multi-national opportunities from within their existing base and from competitors.

As solutions go live, data needs to be collected and analysed in meaningful ways to the business. Many will use third parties for systems and data analytics to interpret data, to be used to process changes and launch new products and services.

Security is a major concern for many MSPs, particularly when processing sensitive data such as financial transactions. MSPs who already deliver managed security services, or can partner with third party data security companies, will have an advantage.

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Topics: M2M, IoT, Mobile SIMs, JolaMobile, mobile data

Industries to Benefit from IoT/M2M

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 21-Jan-2019 15:47:52

Which industries will benefit the most from IoT/M2M technology and why?

Advertising

Connected devices such as wearables and smart devices have given marketers granular data on buying habits, allowing them to target consumers with their preferences. You may have noticed that adverts within social media and pop-ups within online apps are much more targeted, based on information gathered from online searches and online buying habits.

In some countries, smart advertising boards are changing content to target passers-by more accurately and smart drink bottles exist, where customised content can be received by scanning the bottle with a smartphone.

More commonly, sensors are being used in public spaces to track traffic and even happiness based on the number of Wi-Fi connections from hand-held devices such as mobile phones.

Construction

IoT applications will help grow margins for building developers and enable more efficient building operations, enhanced tenant relationships and new revenue generation opportunities. Smart buildings will deliver unprecedented energy and cost savings alongside new levels of occupant comfort.

In addition to helping reduce costs, smart buildings are also positioned to significantly improve physical security. Through the incorporation of IoT connected facial-recognition cameras, organisations can now protect their offices in real-time, taking account of risk factors and the long-term costs / reputational damage that could be involved in a potential security breach.

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Topics: M2M, IoT, mobile data

M2M and IoT in Manufacturing

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 21-Jan-2019 15:32:35

M2M and IoT have created smart factories in the manufacturing industry. This is having a positive impact on productivity and profitability alike. As the cost of smart sensors has reduced, the use of them for gathering information on factory floors has increased.

According to a recent McKinsey study, the greatest value from IoT for manufacturers will be in operations optimisation, making the various processes within the factory more efficient. This includes using sensors, rather than human judgment to adjust the performance of machinery and data collection from production to amend processes. Essentially, by remotely tracking and monitoring machinery, output can be optimised, and downtime avoided, reducing costs.

Using sensor technology, manufacturers can track serialised and non-serialised components as they are received, warehoused and used to construct sub-assemblies and finished goods. Traceability of raw materials/parts is essential and new technologies are being engaged to track them from goods-in right through the manufacturing process to goods-out.

Monitoring can help reduce costs in inventory, ordering raw materials/parts on demand on a just-in-time basis. Pulling relevant data into one single piece of software can help factory management create a dashboard of key measures right across core processes.

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Topics: IoT, M2M

How will your customers benefit from 5G?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 16-Jan-2019 11:09:31

How will your customers benefit from 5G?

5G is short for ‘fifth generation mobile networks.’ It will be a constantly developing network of networks encompassing a far broader array of devices than mobile phones.

Faster Speeds 

5G is set to be much faster than 4G, some are saying as much as 100 times faster. The increased speed will benefit your business customers in lots of ways. Businesses could use 5G instead of a fixed line broadband circuit and use cloud-based applications with ease, in the office and remotely. You could add 5G to your connectivity portfolio and send out pre-configured 5G routers.

Lower Latency 

5G will also have much lower latency. We will see much less delay on AI and VR devices for example. 5G will make using mobile data even more attractive, opening up new revenue streams for partners and better solutions for end users.

Greater Capacity 

5G will need to have greater capacity in the backbone networks so that the networks will be able to cope better with many high-demand applications all at once. Businesses will benefit from new products and services not yet invented, creating new potential revenue streams for you.

Reliability 

5G is expected to be ‘ultra-reliable’, meaning no dropped calls or connectivity, which will power more ‘critical’ devices, in healthcare and transport. Partners could create their own IoT/M2M solutions designed specifically to meet the needs of their customers, with the help of specialist 5G SIM suppliers with excellent management portals.

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Topics: 5G

What is the plan for 2019?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 16-Jan-2019 10:33:13

Where do you want your business to be by the end of the year and how are you planning to get there? What are your key opportunities and what could threaten your success?

Objectives

Many business owners outline exactly what they want to achieve and articulate this in a list of smart objectives, with measurable targets. For example, in the next 12 months we want to exceed £xm annual revenue.

Engage key people

It is useful to involve the sales and marketing team when planning revenue targets. It is a good idea to analyse current revenue streams and pipelines to understand where business is being won and how much winning the business is costing. Which products are the most profitable? Which products are the easiest to sell? Do you have a handle on churn? Where will the opportunities come from in 2019? Is the current sales and marketing strategy working? What needs to be added or changed?

What will be accomplished by when?

The business plan usually contains high level objectives, strategy and financials, however, the sales and marketing plans often contain more detail, analysing where we are now, where we want to be, how we will get there and arrive safely.

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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd

Increasing business competitiveness

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 19-Dec-2018 09:39:41

According to recent ONS labour market report, there is a huge gender imbalance in IT and technology. Only 18% are female compared to 50% in other industries. Why is there such a gender imbalance in our industry and is this affecting our competitive advantage?

From a purely marketing point of view, having balanced and diverse teams, gives us a wide range of skills, helping us to develop products for a wider audience. The more we can understand the needs of our audience, the better our products will be, and the more we should sell. When developing new technologies and unique solutions, we need to ensure that we are connecting with all of our audience. McKinsey found that organisations with ethnic, social and gender diversity were 33% more likely to outperform their industry average. By hiring similar people, with similar skill sets, we will no doubt miss opportunities.

Speaking to business owners in the channel, there are a mixture of opinions that range from, ‘it’s not much of an issue’ to ‘I want to hire the best person for the job, but don’t see a diverse range of candidates to choose from.’ The issue seems to be that women and other minorities are not applying for vacancies or rising through the ranks quickly enough. So, what’s the problem?

Fewer females are taking STEM subjects than males from the age of 14 onwards. As parents we can try to keep career paths open and encourage STEM subjects. As individuals we can become role models to demonstrate what is possible. As businesses we can offer work experience placements, apprenticeship schemes and graduate placements. We can run mentoring schemes and personal development support. We can look at our recruitment communications and processes to make sure we are not putting off potential candidates with unconscious bias. We can look at career progression and development internally. We can look at making hours flexible and encourage working from home. We can share maternity leave and think outside the box to be more inclusive to all groups, using technology to help us.

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Topics: jola

IoT, M2M, 4G and the Channel

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 19-Dec-2018 09:21:44

The channel is uncovering opportunities from customers wanting 4G data SIMs for M2M/IoT solutions, however they face two challenges; how to manage SIMs remotely and how to avoid bill shock.

The opportunities

Slow fixed line connectivity replacement                                                                

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. 

Back-up

Catastrophic failure often effects multiple services going into a building, so a fixed line back-up to a primary internet connection is not guaranteed to provide business continuity. With the introduction of 4G management portals for fixed IP SIMs and unique overage protection, 4G becomes a cost-effective alternative. Customers pay a small monthly fee for the back-up service and when the data fails-over, they pay for the additional usage, only for the period it was used.

M2M

There is a wide range of devices that need an internet connection and 4G data SIMs fit the bill. Opportunities are flooding in via partners, from electricians, wind farms, vets, farmers, festival organisers, bus and taxi companies to CCTV installers, all with different requirements. Some need IP addresses, others need multi-network SIMs, but all need the ability to monitor and manage usage remotely.

How to manage SIMs remotely?

Mobile Manager communicates in real-time with multiple mobile network operators. It handles SIM activations, ceases, suspensions, reports, alerts and bolt-ons and can be used by resellers and their end users to manage large estates of data SIMs in multiple devices worldwide.

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Topics: mobile data, 4G, M2M, IoT

4G data opportunities - Broadcasting

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 06-Dec-2018 14:13:26

According to a recent report by GSMA, the roll out of 4G and the adoption of smartphones has seen an explosion in consumers viewing mobile video content such as live TV, time-shifted TV, on-demand video and YouTube videos. 

The ability to access live content on the move is becoming increasingly important to mobile users, but streaming services have struggled with high volumes of traffic in the past.

4G mobile broadcasting solves this problem by delivering video in a consistent quality to myriads of users simultaneously.

Opportunities for the channel

Broadcasters are looking for cost-effective mobile data packages, easily managed within a portal, to avoid the hassle of contracting with multiple, global operators and bill shock.

Jola provides a wide range of 4G data packages including cost-effective multi-network roaming packages, controlled within Mobile Manager. Our multi-network SIMs roam to the strongest signal in each area and usage is monitored.

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How can I benefit from mobile data?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 06-Dec-2018 14:05:52

This is a question many small businesses are asking their communications providers. Many already sell 4G solutions, packaged for SMEs.

Small businesses are often early adopters when it comes to using the latest technologies, out of necessity. Few are keen to invest in upfront payments when it comes to financing business communications, so packages with no upfront costs are attractive.

4G presents many opportunities for small businesses. It is widely available and, in many locations, offers faster speeds. 4G routers are plug-and-play and can be up and running within 24 hours. Traditionally the downside has been usage. Businesses needed to remain under their monthly data allowance to avoid high, data overage charges every month. Jola solves this problem with their no bill shock guarantee.

Jola partners are selling managed 4G router packages to SMEs with temporary offices and pop up retail stands, They are packaging 4G routers with primary circuits for pre-Ethernet and back-up solutions, as required.

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Topics: JolaMobile, mobile data, 4G

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