Jola Cloud Solutions' Blog

Cherie Howlett

Cherie has over 15 years’ experience in IT marketing and was promoted to Head of Marketing for MDNX post purchase of Griffin. She was Marketing Manager for 5 years and Head of Marketing for Griffin for 2 years setting up a marketing department and strategy for connectivity, data networks and cloud-hosted solutions. During her time at Griffin, the company won 7 Channel ISP of the year awards, 5 Sunday Times Tech Track 100 awards, 2 Deloitte Fast 500 EMEA awards, 1 Deloitte Fast 50 award and 1 Channel Expo award. Cherie built brand awareness in the channel from 0% to 95% using an integrated strategy consisting of online, print, electronic and face to face marketing. Cherie had previously spent 2 years in a Marketing Manager’s role at Pipemedia before it sold to Business Serve in 2006. At Pipemedia she built a VoIP brand called PipeCall using a combination of PR, direct marketing and an online ordering and provisioning portal with plug and play hardware and electronic point of sale units. Cherie’s early career was in International Marketing working for software house AceCad Software and IBM in the European sales division.

Recent Posts

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

How to update your website, without damaging your Google rankings

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 27-Nov-2018 12:53:13

If you are thinking about re-designing your website, it is important to consider your SEO – Search Engine Optimisation, to ensure any changes you make, do not have a negative impact on web enquiries.

Strategy

The first thing to do is to revisit your SEO strategy and consider how major changes may affect this. For example, you may have written many blogs on a subject, which include source links back to your webpage. If you decide to remove this webpage completely, when readers click through your blog pages, they will receive error messages instead of the content you wanted to point them to. By mapping your existing strategy, you can ensure that page links are re-directed to the new content.

Structure

Secondly, consider your structure. It is important to ensure that any new URLs, page titles and meta descriptions all match up properly, because if they don’t this may affect your Google rankings and key word traffic. This may result in your prospects not finding you when they need you.

Build on what you have

If you have a good flow of high quality web leads, you should protect this. Don’t remove historically important pages, edit them instead and build additional content and links into those key pages.

Understand your site structure

Spend time understanding the flow of traffic to your website and where visitors spend their time. It is worth mapping all the URLs your content points people to, to ensure any changes do not break old links.

Noindex

It is worth ticking the noindex box to ensure Google does not index your test site pages as you are drafting them, otherwise when you launch you will create duplicate content, which has no value in the eyes of Google.

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Topics: marketing

4G Data Opportunity – CCTV

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 27-Nov-2018 12:38:39

Demand

According to a recent report by Nester, the global electronic security market is expected to be worth £104.5 billion by the end of 2024. Predicted growth is being driven by increasing demand for safety and surveillance systems.

The market is segmented by product type such as; video; surveillance systems; intrusion alarm systems; fire alarm systems; access control systems; CCTV; electronic article surveillance and detection systems; electrified door hardware; hybrid video recorder and network video recorder.

The CCTV segment has the highest predicted growth, due to increased utilisation in newly constructed buildings and offices.

Opportunity

Partners who sell security solutions are partnering with companies like Jola, for a wide range of 4G data packages for their pre-configured 4G routers. Data SIMs with static IP addresses within 4G routers allow users to access their CCTV camera footage when fixed line connectivity is not available, for example on construction sites and in remote areas.

Partners use engineers to test the signal strength in each location to advise on the best 4G network to connect to. Multi-network roaming SIM packages are popular as they always connect to the strongest signal. External antenna can increase signal strength and routers are generally pre-configured for a plug-and play solution.

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Topics: 4G, Mobile SIMs

Repositioning your brand

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 21-Nov-2018 10:37:06

As part of our on-boarding process at Jola, we help partners with current opportunities and explain how our product portfolio can help them to win them. Many join us with a growing need for internet connectivity or hosted voice, and as they move through our training programme, they uncover opportunities for additional services such as mobile data.

Adding new services can lead to brand repositioning, to reflect new solutions and USPs in key vertical markets. It is tempting to think that by changing your website you will achieve brand repositioning, however the strategy will impact every area of your business.

Where to start

Start by establishing why you are repositioning your brand. The reasons why will determine the extent of change that is necessary. For example, if you want to be known as a specialist in one area, you need to research the market, the suppliers, the competition, the customers and the products, to see where you fit into it and how you can differentiate yourself within it.

Testing

Test your messaging to ensure it reflects reality. Are you the market leader? If you are, then back it up with facts. It you are a new entrant, you need to test your content and your messaging over time, to reflect reality. Build up case studies and testimonials across key verticals and target similar prospects, to build market share. Ensure you use the right terminology, as this will help prospects find you.

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Topics: marketing

4G Data Opportunity – Push to Talk

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 21-Nov-2018 10:14:07

According to a recent report by Market Research Hub (MRH), the global Push-To-Talk market is due to grow 10.3% annually for the next eight years. Push to Talk (PTT) is a service that enables users to instantly communicate. Users activate this feature by pushing a button on a device.

Two-way walkie-talkie radio technology, frequently used by police officers, engineers, truckers and taxi drivers is being upgraded to 4G. This has created an opportunity for resellers, who are already familiar with selling 4G data solutions. However, suppliers are finding identifying the strongest 4G signal for each device challenging.

Jola provides a wide range of 4G data SIM packages, including cost-effective multi-network roaming packages, controlled within Mobile Manager. Our multi-network SIMs roam to the strongest signal in each area. Our white label management portal allows partners to place orders, manage SIMs, usage and alerts. Private APNs can add an extra layer of security.

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Topics: 4G, Mobile, Mobile SIMs, mobile data

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