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

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

Digital Signage

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 15-Apr-2019 15:59:41

According to a recent report by Reuters, the global digital signage market is due to grow to £24 billion by 2023, from £15 billion in 2017.  Growth is being driven by innovation in display technology

Retail

Retailers are early adopters of new display technology, as signage can be changed quickly without going to site. The ability to run vivid content, such as music and video appeals to this market, who are looking to differentiate themselves, based on their in-store shopping experience. Using 4G, signs can be placed where they are needed without relying upon the availability of fixed broadband connections. 

Jola

Jola offers a wide range of 4G SIM tariffs suitable for digital signage. Our SIMs are available on 30-day terms. Fixed IP, Private APN and pooled data options are available. We partner with MSPs and Solutions Providers to provide the right package for their solution.

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Topics: mobile data, M2M

Smart Parking

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 15-Apr-2019 15:43:22

The Internet of Things (IoT) is making parking in major cities a lot easier. IoT parking solutions provide information such as available parking spaces to connected users. Information is collected, analysed and personalised for users in real-time. Intelligent parking, as well as traffic monitoring, has helped to reduce congestion and improve traffic mobility, in major cities in Europe such as Barcelona and Madrid.

County councils are investing in technology to help reduce pollution and increase traffic throughput in major cities. Intelligent parking apps are available to keep commuters informed of available parking spaces in their area.

IoT parking solutions offer a few key benefits as follows:

  1. Less time spent in vehicles helps to improve the productivity of commuters and the lower volume of traffic circulating helps to reduce the number of road accidents.
  2. A high volume of vehicles circulating at low speed creates traffic congestion, which contributes to higher levels of gas emissions. More fluid traffic helps to reduce fuel consumption and the build-up of road traffic air pollution.
  3. Parking sensors are autonomous, wireless devices, which are easy to install. Entrance and exit of vehicles in parking spaces and duration of parking is monitored in real-time. Data is sent to an application, so that all users can track free parking spaces efficiently and parking costs are calculated accurately
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Topics: mobile data, IoT, M2M

Migrating Mobile Bases

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 10-Apr-2019 12:12:51

All resellers have customers in contract for mobile services. They want the flexibility of changing suppliers, but not the hassle of changing SIMs in all the devices.

The biggest challenge organisations face is bill shock from employees going over their monthly data allowance, in the UK and abroad. They have no visibility of data usage for their SIM estates until it is too late. Finance Directors are keen to save money, however face the challenge of swapping SIM cards in every employee device for a better deal.

Jola partners are offering their corporate customers the ability to migrate existing Vodafone and O2 SIMs to Jola packages seamlessly. Our SIMs are managed within Mobile Manager and fixed data pools can be allocated so estates can share data. We also send out data usage alerts so partners can manage usage and add backdate-able bolt-ons as required. Our SIM packages are on 30-day terms, so partners can move them to better deals, when they become available.

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Topics: JolaMobile

Mobile data opportunities in transportation and logistics

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 10-Apr-2019 11:57:19

The transportation industry is the second largest segment investing in IoT, spending £75 billion globally last year on monitoring and management. MSPs servicing this industry are providing IoT solutions, which include devices containing un-steered multi-network roaming SIMs, to improve efficiency and safety records in the industry as a whole.


Fleet Management

Monitoring devices are used to provide management teams with real-time data on fuel consumption and regulatory compliance. Critical information is displayed in dashboards for management teams to monitor in real-time and analyse KPIs.

Transit Management

Devices track the exact location of a vehicle and accurately estimate arrival times. Tracking information is gathered in a central system and can be sent to relevant parties.

Smart Inventory Management

Smart inventory management systems analyse real-time data across warehouse distribution centres. By implementing sensors to track stock levels, stock management has been improved leading to more efficient distribution.

Typically, MSPs have partnered with the mobile carriers directly for SIMs, however many have struggled with a lack of flexibility and control.

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

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Topics: mobile data, M2M

Do you always get the best deal buying direct?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 20-Mar-2019 11:20:22

Many MSPs and resellers think that they need to buy direct to get the best prices, however in the mobile data market, this is usually not the case. There are also additional downsides such as lack of flexibility and control.

How flexible is your carrier?

Can they deliver a tariff that exactly meets the needs of your customers, or are you making do with an off-the-shelf package?

How easy are the carriers to do business with?

How do you find dealing with multiple in-country carriers? Are you struggling with paper ordering? How do you manage the time differences? Are processes manual?

How much control do you have over your SIM estate?

How do you manage SIM changes within your estate? Can you monitor and manage data usage per site? How do you manage data overage charges?

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Topics: 4G, mobile data, M2M

Issues with your 4G back-up solution?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 20-Mar-2019 11:04:02

Many MSPs are looking to simplify business infrastructure and reduce operating costs for their multi-sited corporate clients. Often, they provide consultancy services to analyse security risks and propose solutions. 4G back-up is commonly used to back up primary networks to add an extra layer of resilience, however managing 4G has been challenging for the MSP and expensive for the client, until now.

The challenges

The key challenges are dealing with multiple carriers, manual processes, lack of direct control, the high cost of site surveys and monitoring data usage. MSPs won’t know which sites are going to go down and how much 4G data will be used until the primary connectivity is fixed. Corporate clients often complain about data overage charges, they were not expecting post incident, especially if the 4G speeds were slower than expected.

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Topics: 4G, JolaMobile, M2M, Mobile Manager;

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