Jola Cloud Solutions' Blog

Do IoT device manufacturers need to consider connectivity?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 15-Nov-2019 12:06:19

The short answer is yes. Device manufacturers may not need to provide the connectivity, but they need to ensure their devices can connect to available networks.

4G is widely available and 5G is being rolled out by all major mobile operators. Roaming options are available globally. WiFi and Bluetooth are useful for short-range, high-bandwidth communications, however 4G and 5G allow IoT devices to connect to mobile towers much further away. 4G is a cost-effective, reliable service, used by many IoT devices globally.

eSIMs can be embedded into devices or delivered as a traditional plastic SIM. Operator profiles on the eUICC can be securely and remotely updated over-the-air. Instead of swapping plastic SIM cards, profiles are downloaded and managed on a device as needed. In the eSIM model, a device is ready to deploy anywhere network coverage exists. If a device moves and crosses networks, its profile can be updated quickly and securely.

Global IoT manufacturers and distributors have been considering how to scale the Internet of Things and increase adoption. Scale is both the biggest opportunity and biggest challenge, as the cost of changing SIMs in millions of devices can be prohibitively expensive. eSIMs resolve this.

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Topics: eSIM

Why is eSIM better for roaming?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 15-Nov-2019 11:56:53

A global eSIM will allow you to connect devices to the Internet in any country where it is being used. For devices that are continually changing countries, such as Pan-European coaches, trains and lorries, roaming is a must, to guarantee a seamless connection.

During the manufacturing process, it's not always known where the device will end up, so having one eSIM that will ensure connectivity globally, is essential.

eSIMs can be embedded into devices or delivered as a traditional plastic SIM. Operator profiles on the eUICC can be securely and remotely updated over-the-air. Instead of swapping plastic SIM cards, profiles are downloaded and managed on a device as needed. In the eSIM model, a device is ready to deploy anywhere network coverage exists. If a device moves and crosses networks, its profile can be updated quickly and securely.

eSIMs give resellers back their edge over the retail mobile networks. They can offer a truly un-steered, multi-network connection ensuring the customer is always getting the best technical and commercial solution, whatever happens in the market. They are offering an alternative to retail mobile network contract lock-ins and saving customers the pain of swapping out SIMs.

 eSIMs will really help IoT adoption and encourage channel partners, who cannot currently see how they can make money from IoT, start generating profitable, recurring revenues.

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Topics: eSIM

Four awards in the last five months

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 15-Nov-2019 11:48:12

Jola, the channel’s leading mobile data specialist, won four prestigious channel awards in the last five months. In June, Cherie Howlett, our Marketing Director won the very first Comms Business, Women in Channel Award.  In October at the Comms National Awards, Jola won Best Wholesale Service Provider and Best Mobile Distributor. Last week at the CRN Women in Channel Awards, Cherie Howlett was named Entrepreneur of the Year.

We established Jola five and a half years ago. Andrew Dickinson, Adrian Sunderland, Lee Broxson, Cherie Howlett and Antony Dearden were the founders. We had previously worked together at Griffin Internet, as had Rob Stevens, who joined us in July 2016. The team has grown to twenty seven, supporting over six hundred channel partners. We run the company using very similar values to those used at Griffin, customer first, accountability, results, integrity and respect.

Jola’s ethos is to work with partners to uncover profitable opportunities, which generate recurring revenues, increase ARPU and build eBITDA, whilst keeping operating costs to a minimum. We do the hard work with the carriers to provide resellers with a wide choice of products, at the best possible pricing, with tools to make ordering, provisioning, management, support and billing easy. We focus on developing innovative new products such as Direct Routing for Microsoft Teams Phone System and eSIMs to give resellers a way to profit from new technologies and win against the retail carriers. We are passionate about helping partners succeed and grow and just as passionate about supporting our own staff to reach their potential.

We are one of the fastest growing companies in the channel and look to recruit bright, can-do professionals, who can grow with us. We are a diverse organisation with an inclusive ethos, great benefits and flexible working. We use the products we sell, champion our employees and the resellers they support.

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Topics: marketing

New Business

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 15-Nov-2019 11:12:16

The success rate of selling to a customer you already have is 60-70%, while the success rate of selling to a new customer is 5-20%. So why, when it is five times more expensive to win new business than it is to retain existing partners we can cross-sell and up-sell to, do we focus all of our efforts and budget on new business?

I think it is because we are looking for bigger and better deals to help grow the business. We want bigger brand names to add to our case studies and to be able to provide, in many cases, much more of a solution to embed customers with us, reduce churn and increase ARPU.

We often underestimate how long it takes to; build a list of key prospects, craft campaigns, build trusted relationships, have the exact proposition they need, in a situation where they can’t get it from their existing supplier. As a marketer or salesperson with a big target, time is not our friend.

In the meanwhile, crafting campaigns to existing customers can help get some quick wins and build confidence in the strategy. Adding new product content to communications, presentations and proposals, especially as an easy up-sell, can be really effective.

The other short cut comes from existing relationships. If you have a trusted relationship within a prospect you can often leverage this to get you in-front of the right people to understand requirements with a view to start proposing a solution. Being sponsored into a new prospect by an existing customer is very powerful and should be encouraged.

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Topics: marketing

Marketing Tips for New Partners

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 15-Nov-2019 10:49:20

New partners tend to sign contracts with a new supplier either because they have made a strategic decision to add complementary services to their portfolio, or they are working on an opportunity which requires services they do not sell.

The first scenario is often driven by the senior management team, engaging departments as required, to help onboard a new product. They have a clear idea on who their target audience is, their requirements and price points to win business. They are familiar with competitive offerings and are keen to leverage USPs. They know how to package and position solutions to gain competitive advantage, and are quick to act.

These partners are happy to use white-label marketing materials to enhance their own website, campaigns and sales literature. They focus on the products that exactly meet their requirements and quickly skill-up, in order to sell, provision bill and support. They track their success financially and put pressure on suppliers to ensure they continue to win, in changing market conditions.

The second scenario is driven by a current opportunity. Pricing is key as well as a successful test of the product. If the testing goes well and the commercials cost-in, orders are placed as and when they are needed. If deals are successful, they may be productised. Focus is often on the original deal and case studies and testimonials crafted to support sales and marketing campaigns to win similar deals.

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Topics: marketing

Channel Marketing

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 21-Oct-2019 15:16:33

Good marketing consists of the right message, hitting the right prospects at the right time. This formula generates leads, which, when converted, help to fill sales pipeline with revenue. We have a growing list of MSP, CSP, ISP, traditional voice resellers and IT specialist partners, who invest in marketing to enhance their propositions. They incorporate Jola services and brand solutions. We support partners at every stage of new product roll out from marketing, through to opportunity uncovering, pricing, pitching and on-going support.

When marketing to existing customers and new prospects, it is important to get the right content to the right person. If you haven’t spent time building your prospect list or customising your messaging, you may not get the results you expect. It’s the equivalent of printing flyers and letting them go in the wind. They may be great flyers, your colleagues and friends may like and share them, but it won’t necessarily land you that big deal.

We encourage partners to have a social listening and engagement strategy, aimed at prospects in key vertical markets for mobile data. We help to identify common prospects, highlight key issues and propose unique solutions.

Working with partners we have helped to improve win rates and build sales pipelines. We advise our partners to be strategic and not generic with everything they do in marketing to achieve a much higher success rate. We recommend our partners stick to their strategy and don’t lose focus when the next project comes along. Be agile, enhance the marketing plan, report on everything they do and build on successes.

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Could eSIMs provide a scalable solution for the Internet of Things?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 21-Oct-2019 15:02:42

Demand for 4G SIM cards is increasing and channel partners have been quick to market with propositions from 4G routers in rural areas to tracking and monitoring devices globally, but few are involved in rolling out large scale IoT solutions. Outside of the channel, global manufacturers, distributors, mobile networks and specialists, have been considering how to scale the Internet of Things and increase adoption.

Scale is both the biggest opportunity and biggest challenge, as the cost of changing SIMs in millions of devices can be prohibitively expensive. Some say the need for scalable IoT solutions has led to the development of eSIM technology, a network-agnostic white label plastic or embedded mobile data SIM.

These SIMs can be embedded into devices or sold separately and operator profiles on the eUICC can be securely and remotely updated over-the-air. Instead of swapping plastic SIM cards, profiles are downloaded and managed on a device as needed. In the eSIM model, a device is ready to deploy anywhere network coverage exists. If a device moves and crosses networks, its profile can be updated quickly and securely.

Yes, eSIMs could really help IoT adoption and encourage channel partners, who couldn’t previously see how they could make money from IoT, start generating profitable, recurring revenues.

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Topics: eSIM

Unlimited voice and data

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 16-Oct-2019 14:07:13

Mobile retailers Vodafone, O2, EE and Three are currently advertising unlimited voice and data packages for businesses on their websites.

Is the data truly unlimited?

The short answer is no. If you read the small print, the mobile networks have set data usage limits per month. Some limit the number of devices that can be tethered, others will limit the amount of bandwidth available, which slows downloads and restricts usage.

Are there any other catches?

Some of the retail mobile operators are offering 12 and 24 month plans with a discounted rate for the first 6 months.

Do I need unlimited data?

That’s the big question, and the answer in most cases is no. If you’re streaming multiple hours of video each day over mobile data, or using mobile data to download large files then you might, but for most users 20GB is fine. The danger of buying unlimited for some businesses is that they will simply pay too much.

What can the channel learn from this?

The channel should partner with a wholesale supplier that can provide a range of competitive voice and data SIMs, which allow them to compete with the single offerings from retail mobile operators. They need to add value by helping their customers choose the right package for their business, by understanding their usage and pitching solutions to meet their exact requirements.

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Topics: Mobile SIMs

Can the channel make money from IoT?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 09-Oct-2019 18:32:39

 

IoT is not for me

We are told that there will be 28 billion devices in a market worth £5.6 trillion, however resellers are struggling to see where the opportunity is for them. Why is this?

It’s difficult to compete with the mobile operators in this market

The mobile data side of IoT is dominated by the Mobile Network Operators. As data usage is often fairly low, management of usage becomes less of a priority and therefore less of a benefit for the reseller to differentiate themselves. The key is to look for problems the customer has with the status quo and then find ways to solve them.

Key challenges

In mobile data for IoT there are two really big problems facing resellers and their end users.

It is costly for the end user to change to a better SIM deal

Even when users know they could be getting a better mobile data deal elsewhere, the thought of swapping SIMs in thousands of devices in hundreds of locations around the world is an operational nightmare, and extremely expensive. Irrespective of what they are paying for the SIMs, very often a technology refresh, such as upgrading 2G to 3G, also entails changing all the SIMs.

The retail mobile network operators know this

Because the retail mobile network operators know there is a high cost to switch suppliers, they can hold the end user to ransom over price. Either by increasing the price at the end of the initial term, or failing to keep up with price decreases in the marketplace.

Will this always be the case?

The issues above relate to SIMs that are locked to a particular MNO. They are physical SIMs that are associated with a network and a package. If SIMs were not tied to a network operator and package and didn’t need to be replaced, this would change things.

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Topics: IoT

How can the channel benefit from M2M?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 09-Oct-2019 17:57:10

 

Demand for Machine to Machine (M2M) SIMs is growing. Channel partners are building a pipeline of big deals in key vertical markets, generating high-margin recurring revenue.

Transport

The driving experience is being revolutionised. Apps and services are giving drivers everything from in-vehicle Wi-Fi and incredible entertainment, all the way through to faster, more insightful diagnostics and maintenance.

Utilities

Businesses are managing their energy flows through smart energy grids and smart meters, allowing for more accurate bills. There is a focus on improving energy efficiency and resolving outages more effectively, with remote site monitoring.

Health

Smart devices offer important patient benefits, like connected ambulances. Ambulance crews have access to high-bandwidth internet capabilities, and tablets holding patient records. This means that information can be sent to hospitals in real-time.

Security

Commercial security is getting smarter. CCTV and alarms can be monitored securely and footage can be stored remotely.

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Topics: M2M

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