Jola Cloud Solutions' Blog

How are Jola helping MSPs who specialise in logistics?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 03-Dec-2019 16:59:33

MSPs servicing the logistics industry are providing IoT solutions, which include devices containing 4G 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.

Challenges

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

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Topics: IoT, M2M, MSPs

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

Paying too much for Roaming SIMs?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 04-Sep-2019 11:11:36

It’s challenging to set a price for roaming SIMs. Resellers need to know which countries the SIMs will roam to and how much monthly data they will need. Some countries are more expensive than others to roam in, for example UAE and Andorra. Sales people can’t always be sure how much data will be used in each country and how often SIMs will roam in more expensive countries. They run the risk of choosing a package that includes countries which SIMs will never roam in, pushing up the price.

To solve this problem Jola has launched an M2M Roaming Tariff Tool. It was designed for Jola partners to make it quicker and easier to find the right SIM tariff. Tariff Tool provides resellers with a range of options on a variety of data allowances across hundreds of countries and networks.

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Topics: JolaMobile, IoT, M2M

M2M/IoT in the Channel

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 12-Aug-2019 15:11:51

M2M/IoT covers a broad spectrum: from low-usage data SIMs in monitoring devices, to high usage data SIMs in 4G routers.

For many resellers, low usage, low management IoT opportunities are problematic because they require specialist devices, support and management software. Higher usage mobile data opportunities can be more complex, however can also be very lucrative, easier to win and easier to support. These opportunities include solutions such as mobile broadband and Private 4G.

Mobile Broadband

Mobile broadband is an element of most tenders these days, either for remote workers, as a back-up, or as a primary solution where fixed line is unsuitable. Resellers submitting compelling bids ensure their suppliers offer; all the MNOs; online asset control; and a suite of products to enable them to build bespoke solutions.

Private 4G

For customers wanting additional security on 4G devices, fixed IP SIMs are available, but can be very expensive. Private APNs are available from the carriers but do not give the reseller control over their assets. Jola is the first channel mobile supplier to launch self-serve, Private APNs. The products address security concerns by avoiding the public internet and offering a secure, remote access platform that lets resellers seamlessly extend their existing IT security controls to their end users’ mobile workforce, wherever they are.

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Topics: IoT, M2M

IoT in Manufacturing

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 25-Jun-2019 14:16:58

According to a recent report, global spending on IoT in manufacturing is predicted to grow from £1.3 billion in 2018 to £9.9 billion in 2024. IoT is enabling M2M devices, which Capgemini estimate will worth £5.45 billion by 2020.

Four key elements driving demand for IoT in manufacturing are cost reduction, shorter-time-to-market, mass customisation and a desire for improved safety.

Cost reduction

Optimising asset and inventory management can reduce machine downtime, make operations more agile, improve energy efficiency and lower operational costs.

Shorter time to market

Faster, more efficient manufacturing and supply chain management can reduce production times and get products to market faster.

Mass customisation

Products can be tailored and produced in volume. IoT facilitates mass customisation by becoming a source of real-time data.

Improved safety

IoT can help to make workplaces safer. Wearable devices can help to monitor potentially hazardous substances, giving employees early warning signs to put on protective equipment or evacuate the area.

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Topics: IoT

Mobile data opportunity – dashcams in buses and coaches

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 11-Jun-2019 11:11:37

Bus and coach companies are installing dashcams in vehicles to improve safety. 4G streaming devices are mounted on dashboards. They capture 12 seconds of video and audio when incidents take place. Systems record events which cause a higher than normal G-force automatically, as well as recording footage on demand.

The objective for many companies is to identify risky behaviours, to prevent accidents and improve safety. Companies installing dashcams have reported a 23% reduction in preventable collisions.

Typically, MSPs and specialists serving this market with M2M and IoT solutions, have partnered with the mobile networks directly for SIMs, however many have struggled with a lack of flexibility and control.

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

Our 1GB SIMs are cost-effective and meet common requirements, alternatively multi-network roaming SIMs are available. Using Mobile Manager, partners are able to order new SIMs and pools from a single supplier, add SIMs to pools, set up alerts and monitor the pool to monitor data usage.

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Topics: 4G, JolaMobile, IoT, M2M

What are the differences between M2M and standard data SIMs?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 05-Jun-2019 11:20:24

M2M SIMs have different qualities for a variety of industrial uses. M2M SIMs can have greater storage capacity and a higher number of read-write cycles (up to 8 million), meaning they have a longer lifetime than a standard SIM. With data retention of up to 17 years, M2M SIMs outlive standard SIMs. Additionally, M2M SIMs are built with materials that enable them to operate in harsh environmental conditions such as deserts or arctic weather.

In summary M2M SIMs offer:

  • Real-time data reporting: this significantly reduces the risk of expensive, overage data charges
  • Superior ‘Control’. controlled in real-time e.g. bars, changing roaming zones etc.

M2M SIM cards are manufactured to a superior specification:

  • They are robust (‘ruggedised’) and so able to withstand corrosion, vibration, shock and extreme temperatures (-40°C to 105°C).  This means they can be used in environments such as Industrial IoT (‘IIoT’) where ‘standard’ consumer grade SIM cards would quickly physically deteriorate and fail.
  • A longer life-span of up to 17 years.  Useful for all installations in long-term projects and large but particularly important in hard to reach locations.
  • Superior number of read-write cycles (up to 8 million).  This again means these SIMs have a longer life span.

What to consider when choosing a SIM package

Think about what you need the SIM for, what you need it to do, how much data it will require, how long you need it for, where the SIM will be located (in which device and country) what network it needs to be connected to and whether it always needs to be connected.

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Topics: IoT, M2M

How can the channel benefit from IoT?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 05-Jun-2019 10:49:14

IoT is set to be disruptive and far reaching. It is predicted to transform entire business models and lead to competitive advantage. IoT provides the connective infrastructure, that lets companies collect information from disparate devices, store it, visualise it, analyse it and use it to make smart decisions. Customers looking to invest in IoT solutions are turning to channel partners for help with mobile data. Demand for mobile broadband, 4G back-up, 4G failover and 4G data for M2M devices is increasing. How can the channel benefit from this rise in demand?

Create bespoke solutions

By identifying new requirements from customer bases, resellers can productise solutions to upsell. For example, resellers serving construction companies with a need for fast, reliable 4G, on short-term contracts, are packaging mobile broadband solutions, using robust routers and cost-effective SIM packages. ISPs selling Ethernet and broadband are productising 4G pre-ethernet and 4G failover using Private APNs, routers and flexible SIM packages. Resellers managing logistics companies are providing bespoke 4G data packages for mobile tracking devices.

Promote success

Promote solutions and case studies on websites, via social channels, send customer notifications and write press releases. Use case studies in awards entries and campaigns to help generate leads from existing and new customers.

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Topics: IoT

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

5G, IoT and the channel

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 07-Mar-2019 10:44:48

GSMA published their latest mobile report at the MWC19 this week. According to the report, by the end of 2018, 5.1 billion people around the world subscribed to mobile services, accounting for 67% of the global population.

5G

The report described how 5G is now upon us, bringing with it the promise of a host of exciting new services. As the boundaries between mobile and the wider digital ecosystem continue to blur, and as data monetisation poses a continued challenge, many operators are moving beyond their traditional telco businesses to explore new opportunities in a fast-changing competitive landscape.

IoT

The report predicts that between 2018 and 2025, the number of global IoT connections will triple to 25 billion, while global IoT revenue will quadruple to £0.83 trillion. With connectivity becoming increasingly commoditised, mobile operators are looking to expand their role in the value chain – from providing essential tools and capabilities for ecosystem partners to build IoT solutions, to becoming end-to-end IoT solution providers themselves.

Devices

The report suggests that although smartphones will remain the focal point of the consumer internet economy, the range of connected devices (and therefore internet access channels) is greater than ever. In the most advanced countries, today’s digital consumers (using PCs and smartphones) will likely become tomorrow’s augmented customers, adopting emerging technologies such as AI (via smart speakers) and immersive reality.

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Topics: 5G, IoT, M2M

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