Jola Cloud Solutions' Blog

Mobile data opportunities in health and social care

Posted by Adrian Sunderland on 30-Nov-2023 17:24:44

The digitisation of healthcare has had a major impact on IT and telecommunications requirements. In recent years there has been a huge effort within NHS trusts to move to 100% electronic patient records which are more easily accessible.


The demand for mobile connectivity services and devices has been increasing consistently since the start of COVID. During the pandemic, there was a need for healthcare professionals in the field to be able to work remotely rather than return to a GP practice or hospital at the end of each shift to update records.  However, that simple change has now led to those mobile devices being used for so much more than simple data entry. Now that single device and SIM card will be likely used for video calling, collaboration, lone worker safety and access to the latest reference material and procedures.

Given that this mobile access is now so mission critical and in some cases life critical then it is no surprise that we seeing more and more demand for data and voice SIMs that can roam un-steered on all the UK networks providing better coverage and resilience than any traditional SIM from one of the big four mobile operators.  


When you’re dealing with an individual’s health information, cybersecurity is a top priority.  With internet-based health applications, this is usually addressed with application layer encryption.  However, where the application isn’t hosted on the Internet but is hosted within an NHS Trust's data centre or cloud then it is very common for a private APN to be required.  A private APN works using standard SIMs and devices but instead of providing access to the Internet, it provides secure access between the SIM and the application without requiring the traffic to traverse the Internet at all.  Private APNs used to be the sole preserve of the mobile operators, but now our resellers can set these up in a matter of days and choose from a variety of different tariffs that provide support for single or multiple mobile networks.

Three years ago we were involved in a project to connect over 30,000 ambulances to the Internet to be able to access electronic patient records which has been a tremendous success.  However, now the requirements have moved on significantly from just being patient records.  The mobile connectivity we supply is now being used to replace the traditional 2-way radio voice communication using either cellular voice or PTT over IP technology.  The largest increase in data usage is coming from video calling which is being used to connect patients, control centres and paramedics to improve the speed and quality of clinical decision making.

A more recent initiative is the concept of ‘virtual wards’. Jola is involved in several different projects of this type throughout the UK with several different partners.  A virtual ward is a term used to describe how digital technology can be used by a hospital to communicate with and monitor the health of hundreds or thousands of patients.  Typically the patient will have a device such as an iPad with a SIM card in it that is linked to wearable sensors that monitor things such as heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and environmental conditions.  The data is then combined with virtual or in-person outpatient visits that can give the patient more choices about their care and free up valuable hospital beds.

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Topics: mobile data


Posted by Cherie Howlett on 22-Nov-2023 13:36:54

When advertising for new recruits, we use local apprenticeship specialists and target university students. We also advertise locally using a refer-a-friend scheme. LinkedIn and the website are a given, but we have more success targeting people we know, or local people looking for a chance to learn something new.

A lot of experienced candidates expect remote working and often ask how many days they need to be in the office. However, we have also found that many new recruits want to be in the office with experienced mentors to help them develop and succeed in their roles. We have found running our business with a mix of remote working and in-office hot desking very successful. It is important to monitor and measure the right key performance indicators so that employees know what they need to achieve. With this in place, ‘where’ the work is completed becomes less important.

We are at the forefront of technology, with a work-from-anywhere ethos and connected Robustels in our backpacks. We embrace new technologies and help our channel partners to benefit from technology sunsetting and switch-offs.

I am not sure all companies are prioritising diversity and inclusion in their recruitment strategies but we do. We have reviewed our end-to-end process to eliminate unconscious bias and remove barriers.

Promoting company culture can attract like-minded individuals who share the same goals. A competitive package, attractive bonus schemes and the chance to grow and develop with a company are equally attractive.

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Topics: Business

Successful partnerships

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 15-Nov-2023 11:17:07

Jola has over 1400 partners and runs a channel-only business. All of our growth comes from partners winning deals using our unique and differentiated solutions. Trust is a key element of our relationships with partners. MSPs need to trust that we have reliable, easy-to-manage solutions they can sell and support making healthy margins. Partners need full control of their own solutions, so having real-time fully automated portals allowing full direct control over live orders is essential. 

At Jola, we have taken our relationships to the next level. Partners trust us to identify and qualify opportunities from within their customer bases. They invite us to speak to end users to understand challenges and discuss solutions fully. We have a lot of vertical market experience which is useful for end-users who feel immediately at ease when they understand how we have solved similar problems in their industries.

Good supplier partners are open honest, trustworthy, always contactable and professional. They value every customer and always deliver what they say they will when they say they will. They go the extra mile to meet customer expectations and have case studies, testimonials, awards and NPS scores to back this up.

One of our partners was approached by a major supermarket to provide digital signage within their stores. The supermarket required a bespoke build with a completely managed solution. The digital advertising boards were for 300 stores across the UK and required 24/7 connectivity.

Due to the scale of the opportunity, our partner had to source reliable connectivity that could be rapidly deployed across the country. As well as working to a tight deadline, it was also necessary to find a solution that offered control and management of the connectivity across the different sites.

The Jola solution offered a complete connectivity package, including routers, SIMs and access to Mobile Manager®, an online management portal for ordering and managing estates of SIMs. Jola proposed 4G aggregated SIMs for un-steered, multi-network roaming connectivity with all four UK mobile networks. The SIMs are all managed within Mobile Manager®, which handles SIM and eSIM activations, ceases, suspensions, reports and bolt-ons. 

Jola recommended Intelligent 4G Routers. The routers are suitable for mobile broadband and large-scale IoT rollouts. Devices are pre-configured with the Jola App, allowing auto-configuration. As a result, there was no need for manual configuration on-site; the routers were delivered to stores, ready to install, saving valuable time and set-up costs.

To bolster security, Jola preconfigured a security measure into the devices, to prevent a third party from accessing the routers.

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Topics: mobile data

The importance of mobile data

Posted by Adrian Sunderland on 08-Nov-2023 11:44:53

Your customers are working on mobile data projects right now and demand is predicted to increase dramatically over the next few years, writes Adrian Sunderland, CEO at Jola. If you get it right with M2M and IoT, you will quickly generate high-margin recurring revenue and, due to higher EBITDA multiples, increase the value of your company.

According to McKinsey, revenues from mobile data are set to increase dramatically over the next five years due to the availability, speed and reliability of 4G, 5G and IoT. Statista forecasts that there will be over 25.4 billion IoT devices worldwide in 2030. Fortune Business Insights predict this market will be worth £1085bn by 2027.

People think IoT is low revenue and you’ve got to win hundreds of thousands. You don’t. You can often get a decent ARPU of £10 to £15 on thousands of devices and sometimes margins of more than 40%, so it’s an attractive line of business to pivot into.

Your mobile data partner will need to give you the tools to win deals, usually competing with the direct sales arms of the mobile networks. Your supplier will need to be an aggregator with access to all the networks and ideally, they will also be an independent MVNO. Most importantly everything must be automated, with real-time APIs offering zero-touch provisioning and management through a single self-service portal.

They will need to be innovative, with a constant stream of relevant mobile data and IoT products
that the networks would take years to develop and launch. When you partner with the right channel supplier, mobile data is easy to sell, support and bill.

The opportunity for the channel is significant. ICT resellers already have strong relationships with business customers for IT infrastructure, asset tracking, digital signage, mobile WiFi, monitoring and utilities.

Mobile data is an easy product to sell and provision and needs very little support. Jola took on just over 200 new partners in 2022 and now has over 1300. We put 30,000 multinetwork SIMs into iPads for one public sector project, with a very quick book-to-bill timeframe and no issues. Our SIMs are in devices such as ANPR cameras, CCTV cameras, vending machines, digital signs and tracking devices around the world.

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Topics: mobile data

Changes create compelling events which create opportunity

Posted by Adrian Sunderland on 25-Oct-2023 13:28:08

This has been true for UK resellers since deregulation in the early 1980s through the launch of the first competing telephone service to BT in 1986, fax, telex, ISDN, 21CN and now the transition of everything to IP. At the same time, the constant need for more speed drives another fibre revolution creating a plethora of local, regional and national fibre companies. Similar to what happened to cable companies in the 1990s these will inevitably consolidate into a handful of national providers. Most will get bought and some will go bust.

This move to full-fibre brings challenges as well as opportunities. BT has led the way with its ‘unbreakable’ proposition and for ISPs to compete it must develop its own Layer 2 4G/5G proposition. Unless they decide to build their own mobile infrastructure, this requires network integration with a mobile data aggregator. Neither solution is technically trivial and ISPs need to be careful to evaluate the technical competence of potential suppliers before deciding which way to go.

The networks are already switching off their 3G networks and there are thousands of routers out there that need to be replaced to work with LTE. This is a great opportunity for MSPs, many of whom are unaware that their customers are using mobile data already. A channel-only aggregator will use their experience to help you find and replace these with high-margin, high-value alternatives.

Finally, the move to all-IP is bad news for customers of the millions of single telephone lines servicing lift lines, retail, alarm lines and healthcare services. Rather than pay twice the monthly rental for a SOGEA service they are choosing to use tailored 4G/5G products. Apart from hitting the price point, these get around logistical issues like laying cable across third-party space.

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Topics: 4G, 5G

Mobile data opportunities in retail

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 18-Oct-2023 14:59:18

Retail customers are using 4G and 5G for temporary sites, for backup and in locations where fixed-line connectivity is impractical, such as for digital signage in retail stores where running cables is difficult. Multi-network SIMs are useful for multiple, geographically dispersed sites as they negate the need for costly site surveys and provide nearly 100% uptime. One supplier is easier to manage and visibility and control over all SIM assets in a single real-time mobile manager portal is essential.

Fast food restaurants are increasingly adopting self-service kiosks for in-store ordering and delivery. These kiosks require routers and data SIMs and intelligent 4G/5G routers eliminate the need for gateways and simplify setup.  These routers offer multinetwork roaming data connectivity and arrive preconfigured for easy installation.

Retailers will need to replace single PSTN lines in lifts, payment terminals and alarm lines. Often mobile broadband solutions are faster, cheaper and more practical than fixed-line connectivity solutions. Selecting the right SIM package is key and managing the data costs is essential.

Jola helps partners uncover prospects with immediate requirements for mobile data SIMs. We help develop unique solutions to existing issues, they can't buy from anyone else at a competitive price for them and margin for partners. We are channel-only so by helping resellers fill their pipeline we are filling our own and can help pitch and close big deals. We are on hand to support MSPs and their customers throughout the buying process and post-sale and can help partners use this winning proposition to target and win similar deals.

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Topics: mobile data

Jola hosts a mobile data event for partners at the BT Tower

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 11-Oct-2023 08:40:57

Supported by BT Wholesale and Robustel, the BT Tower was packed with Jola partners and prospects on 27th September. Over seventy channel partners and prospects gathered to hear about the latest hardware and network innovations and how these are creating high-recurring margin opportunities for resellers and MSPs. With legacy mobile and PSTN networks being decommissioned, there is no better time for the channel to sell mobile data.

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Topics: 4G, 5G, mobile data

Jola sweeps the board at the Comms National Awards

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 05-Oct-2023 13:37:37

Jola was shortlisted for five awards at the Comms National Awards last Thursday night at the Park Plaza Hotel in Westminster. We won Best Partner Programme over £10m turnover and Best Partner Portal for Mobile Manager®. We also came second with Highly Commended awards for Best Wholesale Service Provider above £10m, Best Supplier Innovation award and the Diversity award.

The judges shortlisted 160 entries from over 100 suppliers and resellers including other well-known channel businesses such as BT Wholesale, Talk Talk Wholesale, Giacom and Gamma. To dominate such a prestigious field demonstrates the strength of the Jola channel proposition.

Adrian Sunderland, Jola CEO, commented, "We were delighted to do so well at the CNAs and to sponsor the Mobile IoT reseller categories. It is an amazing achievement and I would like to thank our suppliers, partners and wonderful team for their continued support and dedication. It was a fantastic evening. Vernon Kay was brilliant as was Fat Tony. A great night was had by all.”

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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd

The Jola team celebrates in style

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 26-Sep-2023 21:08:10

Last Thursday night, the Jola team celebrated exceeding their first-year earn-out target benefiting all Jola employees. Every Jola employee has helped the company to achieve phenomenal growth over the last twelve months and everyone was rewarded with a life-changing bonus. The Exec team treated their other halves to private dining in the London Edition in Soho.

Since Wireless Logic bought Jola last July they have whole-heartedly got behind Jola as their channel arm, collaborating to launch new products such as Conexa Voice and allowing Jola to do what they do best, supporting channel partners.

“What we have achieved at Jola is quite incredible. We enjoy working together and collaborating with partners to win deals with unique solutions they can’t buy from anyone else. We are at the forefront of technology when it comes to products, processes and portals. We have grown our own team, who have developed with us. I would like to thank all of our staff, partners and suppliers for the support they have shown us over the last 12 months. We have another big target to achieve and look forward to celebrating again in FY24!” Adrian Sunderland, CEO.

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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd

Gigabit Britain what to expect

Posted by Adrian Sunderland on 20-Sep-2023 17:22:23

We can expect a huge amount of opportunity for the channel. Successful resellers are trusted by their customers, they are more than just suppliers they are advisors. For the SME business, they are perhaps faced with some uncertainty, such as what happens with my PSTN lines and the things connected to them.  The reseller that takes away the uncertainty is in the driving seat to help their customer benefit from the new connectivity as well as solve some of the more niche PSTN replacement problems that are being ignored by the large telcos.

Is the future of connectivity fixed-first, mobile-first, or something in between?

I think the future of connectivity is definitely something in between. There is no doubt that a business that is on-net with one of the fibre providers will want to take their primary connectivity that way.  For them, this connectivity will almost certainly be mission-critical. So, for fibre-connected customers, more and more we see a growing requirement for cellular (4G/5G) backup. Many of the fibre providers are including this as standard with their B2B offerings, providing seamless failover between fixed-line and mobile. 

Of course, not every business is on-net for fibre and so we’re seeing more and more sites where resellers are choosing a mobile broadband solution. According to Ofcom, 73% of homes could benefit from gigabit broadband at the end of last year compared to 82% that could get 5G.  I think that whilst both footprints will continue to grow, in all likelihood 5G will always be the technology used to fill the gaps or provide connectivity where the requirement is temporary (such as construction sites, festivals etc.) or mobile (such as public transport, marine etc.).

The average speed achieved by Three UK’s 5G customers was 275Mbit/s last quarter with the highest performance measured at 1.4Gbit/s!  So there isn’t necessarily a performance compromise to be made through the use of mobile vs. fixed like there was when 3G was the best service available.

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Topics: Business

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