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

Internet of Things (IoT) in Health Care

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 31-Mar-2021 18:03:21

The health care sector has been adopting new technology to assist with medical activities for some time. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, technology has developed at a much faster pace in this sector, which presents opportunities for the channel.

Medical professionals are adopting new ways to treat patients and avoid unnecessary in-person treatments, and IoT devices have helped make this possible. Smart thermometers have been used to measure temperatures, and wearable IoT devices are used to track patients’ vital signs. Smartwatches and heart rate monitors gather data that can be remotely analysed by a physician.

Challenges

Data security and patient confidentiality are critical in health care. The industry needs to protect itself from hackers, and patients need to feel comfortable that their personal data is secure.

Opportunity for the channel

The health care sector is in desperate need of technology to avoid unnecessary visits to surgeries and hospitals and to protect frontline workers. Opportunities for mobile broadband, cloud-based telehealth software and mobile data flooded the market, as demand for real-time communication and remote monitoring increased.

Patient experience has changed dramatically during the pandemic, with patients encouraged to wait for doctor callbacks or arrange video calls. Phone systems are being upgraded, telehealth software is being rolled out and smart devices are given to mobile health care workers. Some exhibition centres have been turned into vaccination centres, and the channel was called upon to set up communications.

Read More

Topics: IoT

Reliable 4G Connectivity for Smart Transport Solutions

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 31-Mar-2021 17:34:58

According to a recent report by Transport Focus, passengers listed value for money, punctuality, Wi-Fi connectivity and safety as their main priorities. These factors are driving an increase in demand for smart transport networks around the world, creating 4G and 5G data opportunities, which Solution Providers are well-placed to provide.

Smart transport networks offer significant benefits to passengers, operators and local authorities, enabling urban services to become more efficient, effective and safe. Cities from London to Singapore are already building them. Madrid is leading the way, with a central control room that receives and integrates data from 40 urban control rooms. They cover over 100 bus routes, 300 railway lines and 200,000 cameras, delivering end-to-end surveillance and security solutions.

Many experienced providers offer end-to-end solutions to the transport industry, involving connected devices. Trams, buses and trains are tracked, and arrival times are accurately estimated and advertised, factoring in potential delays. These devices need data SIMs, often with a fixed IP or delivered via a secure private APN. On average, there are seven SIMs per bus for logging into the cameras to download relevant footage, Wi-Fi, secure card payments, passenger trackers, applications for tracking hours worked, petrol levels and miles travelled.

Challenges

Service Providers face a few challenges with 4G. Some networks are stronger than others in specific locations, requiring relationships with multiple network providers. They have no way of tracking data usage, and if devices use more than their allocated monthly allowance, they get high data overage charges. They also need a secure channel for transmitting financial data.

Read More

Topics: 4G

Reliable 4G Connectivity for Point-of-Sale Devices

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 31-Mar-2021 12:22:58

In today’s restaurants, PoS devices do so much more than taking orders. They can also connect with inventory management systems, back-end pricing systems, loyalty programmes and so much more. Before handheld devices, servers had to write down orders and take them back to a centralised terminal or stand behind them to fulfil orders.

PoS systems allow servers to spend more time with customers to improve their experience. They allow servers to promote new menus and link loyalty accounts to keep customers coming back for more.

Challenges

One of the challenges MSPs face when installing PoS systems is Internet connectivity. Where 4G signal is strong, it is often used, as it is quick and easy to set up. Multinetwork SIMs offer simplicity for chains in multiple locations.

Jola’s Solution

Jola eSIMs offer multinetwork roaming data across all four major mobile networks, and our routers arrive preconfigured. Estates can be managed in Mobile Manager.

Mobile Manager

Mobile Manager is our online management portal for ordering and managing estates of mobile SIMs. Our white-label portal communicates in real-time with multiple 4G networks and can be used by both resellers and their end users. Mobile Manager handles SIM activations, ceases, suspensions, reports, alerts and bolt-ons.

Read More

Topics: 4G

Smart City Kiosks

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 10-Mar-2021 11:27:53

As UK cities investigate upgrading their phone boxes, self-service kiosks are a compelling option. They provide services such as WiFi, VoIP calling, as well as public notifications and security alerts. Self-service kiosks can also be found in train stations and bus stations, providing commuters with up-to-date travel information. Digital adverts played on the screens often fund their deployment and maintenance.

Kiosks with embedded sensors can also monitor environmental data, such as air pollution and noise pollution. Integrated cameras can capture data to help optimise the flow of traffic and track licence plates.

MSPs rolling out solutions such as these face connectivity challenges. 4G presents a solution as it is fast, reliable and quick and easy to set-up. Connected kiosks often require gateways and routers in addition to 4G. Managing multiple connected kiosks in different locations can be costly and complex to manage. Site surveys are often required to establish the strongest 4G signal in each location.

Jola partners offer a unique solution with their Intelligent 4G routers. Our routers are smart and negate the need for a gateway. Jola SIMs are all managed within one easy portal. MSPs can easily manage and monitor data usage across sites. Our eSIMs offer multi-network roaming data across all four major mobile networks and our routers arrive pre-configured.

Suitable for mobile broadband and large scale IoT roll outs, our routers run a unique operating system allowing Apps to be installed alongside the core routing software. There is a range of off-the-shelf Apps that add additional capabilities. To help accelerate IoT projects, Jola can develop Apps on a consultancy basis.

Read More

Topics: IoT, M2M

Connected Kiosks in Hotels

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 10-Mar-2021 11:04:11

Self-service kiosks in hotels allow guests to check themselves in and out. They are really useful at peak times to reduce waiting times and improve customer experience. Automating processes help reduce costs for the hotel, who no-longer need to pay employees a premium to work unsociable hours on the front desk. Kiosks are also used to promote up-grades and extras, generating additional revenues.

MSPs installing self-service kiosks in multiple locations need to consider electricity points, the availability of connectivity as well as managing an increasingly complex IT network at each location.

Connected kiosks often require gateways and routers in addition to 4G. Managing multiple connected kiosks in different locations can be costly and complex to manage. Site surveys are often required to establish the strongest 4G signal in each location.

Jola partners offer a unique solution with their Intelligent 4G routers. Our routers are smart and negate the need for a gateway. Jola SIMs are all managed within one easy portal. MSPs can easily manage and monitor data usage across sites. Our eSIMs offer multi-network roaming data across all four major mobile networks and our routers arrive pre-configured.

Suitable for mobile broadband and large scale IoT roll outs, our routers run a unique operating system allowing Apps to be installed alongside the core routing software. There is a range of off-the-shelf Apps that add additional capabilities. To help accelerate IoT projects, Jola can develop Apps on a consultancy basis.

Read More

Topics: IoT, M2M

Looking for better ways to manage self-service kiosks?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 03-Mar-2021 15:32:32

Retailers, such as fast-food restaurants, have invested in self-service kiosks to allow customers to order their own meals in-store and have them delivered to their seat. Connected kiosks require gateways, routers and data SIMs. Stores typically have multiple connected devices, which are becoming more complex and expensive to manage.

Jola partners offer a unique solution with their Intelligent 4G routers. Our routers are smart and negate the need for a gateway. Jola SIMs are all managed within one easy portal. MSPs can easily manage and monitor data usage across sites. Our eSIMs offer multi-network roaming data across all four major mobile networks and our routers arrive pre-configured.

Suitable for mobile broadband and large scale IoT roll outs, our routers run a unique operating system allowing Apps to be installed alongside the core routing software. There is a range of off-the-shelf Apps that add additional capabilities. To help accelerate IoT projects, Jola can develop Apps on a consultancy basis.

Read More

Topics: IoT

What is 4G LTE-advanced?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 03-Mar-2021 15:12:38

4G LTE offers typical download speeds of around 20Mbps and theoretical limits of 150Mbps.  A 500MB file will download in under 4 minutes. 4G LTE offers upload speeds of around 8Mbps and theoretical limits of 50Mbps.

4G LTE-Advanced is a faster version of 4G LTE with typical download speeds of 42Mbps and theoretical limits of 300Mbps. 4G LTE-Advanced offers upload speeds of 30Mbps and can theoretically reach 150Mbps.

4G LTE-Advanced is also known as 4G+, LTE-A and 4.5G. Videos will load on 4G LTE Advanced without a discernible pause and a 500MB file will download in under 2 minutes. It is faster than many home broadband connections!

EE launched this service in London, Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester, with partial coverage in a number of other UK cities, under the name 4G+. Vodafone rolled it out in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Cardiff, Nottingham, Bristol and numerous other locations. Three launched a 4G+ service, with coverage in major cities such as London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

5G is the fastest mobile network technology available and download speeds are averaging around 130-250Mbps, but networks claim peak speeds of 1Gbps or more are already possible. Using those average speeds, a 500MB file would be downloaded in under 30 seconds. There’s less data on upload speeds, but it’s likely to average at most around half the download speed.

Read More

Topics: 4G

4G in Distribution

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 23-Feb-2021 16:24:03

4G in Distribution

A shift towards online shopping has driven demand for fulfilment and distribution centres. These new spaces require reliable connectivity. Where no existing fibre is available, MSPs are turning to 4G.

MSPs are quoting online retailers for bespoke 4G connectivity packages, that exactly meet their requirements. They are offering solutions which can be pre-configured and delivered to multiple locations to meet tight deadlines.

MSPs are turning to Jola for their multi-network roaming eSIMs controlled in Mobile Manager. Jola has deployed a UK-based, resilient MVNO mobile core network, with global connectivity to over 450 networks and local connectivity with all four UK mobile networks.

MSPs partnering with Jola are offering truly un-steered, multi-network solutions, that can be re-programmed ‘over the air’ so that the customer always gets the best technical and commercial solution, whatever happens in the market. Data is managed within Mobile Manager, an online management portal for ordering and managing estates of SIMs globally.

Read More

Topics: 4G, eSIM

Measuring customer experience

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 10-Feb-2021 14:11:51

Recurring revenue businesses rely on customer acquisition and retention. It is tempting to focus all efforts on recruitment, but churning customers is a real concern for growing businesses.

Understanding and monitoring customer experience, can help to identify early warning signs, put in measures and reduce churn. By improving the customer experience, you can increase customer retention and revenue per customer, whilst also enhancing brand perceptions in the marketplace. By getting this process right, you create ‘fans’ of your business, ‘advocates’ who freely recommend your services to others and buy frequently from you.

In order to measure customer experience, you must first identify relevant KPIs. What are the measures in your business of customer satisfaction? Many companies use NPS (Net Promoter Score) which gives an overall satisfaction score. You ask the question: How likely are you to recommend us? You use an answer scale of one to ten. You may also want to ask more granular questions to understand satisfaction across each customer touch point.

Next think about what influences the satisfaction score. This can often be obtained through a comments box on your survey, or by calling a cross-section of clients to ask specific questions about their experience. Having the right products, at the right price, on the right management portals, is key, combined with excellent service and accurately and timely billing.

By surveying customers regularly and gathering feedback, you can identify any shortcomings and work with customers to improve them. Going the extra mile to fix a problem can save a churning customer, but when handled well, also turn them into an advocate.

Read More

Topics: jola

Balancing work and home school

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 10-Feb-2021 14:03:45

In the last couple of weeks, the amount of schoolwork being set by teachers has increased, yet working parents still have their own jobs to complete. In addition, we have the added responsibility of allaying growing levels of anxiety, now clearly visible in our children. Throw in slow broadband, limited 4G devices and deaths in the family, we find ourselves in an impossible situation.

Behind closed doors, the children we once knew as happy and confident, are now showing signs of stress, anxiety and in some cases depression. Everything they relied on has gone online and activities they used to enjoy, taken away.

We keep calm and carry on. We still have our regular video calls to do, staff to mentor and deadlines to hit. We hope we have developed ways to retain professionalism at work, whilst encouraging coping mechanisms for our kids at home. We share some of our best tips below.

Planning

It is near impossible to do two jobs at the same time and do them both to the best of your ability. By planning your day, you can split your focus on each job and give it all your attention. By printing worksheets and colouring sheets, you can set your child up on their task, whilst you get going with your emails. Alternatively ask your school for weekly work packs. One lesson down, you can give the child a break and get on with your first video call of the day.

Praise

Children learn by doing. When you stop to critique their work, this may not go down well. A better way to do it is to praise them for what they have done and build on it by saying, "You could also add…" I have seen teachers do this and I now understand why this approach is more effective. The children are encouraged and empowered to learn more.

People

Plan calls, video calls, quizzes, family gaming and text chats to allow your children to communicate and play with friends and family. Grandparents are often calming influences who encourage learning life skills. It is also something that can be planned to keep them occupied, whilst you attend an online meeting.

Instilling a passion to help others, empowers children to feel more in control. Your child’s school may be collecting food for local families, dropping off learning packs and in some cases 4G devices. Getting involved can give back your child some control over the situation, having a positive effect on their emotions and ability to learn.

Read More

Topics: 4G

Learn about the latest business communication technologies.

Find out what is available in your area.

This blog contains articles, reviews and interviews about the latest communications technologies for business.Sign up to this blog:

  • Become an expert in business cloud communications
  • Learn about the latest technologies
  • Understand how they can benefit your business

 

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts