Jola Cloud Solutions' Blog

Subscription Services

Posted by Adrian Sunderland on 14-Feb-2024 12:14:05

Subscription Services

Subscription services allow organisations to benefit from new technologies and services without having to spend large amounts of CAPEX.  It also allows them to scale up or down, which is invaluable for organisations facing seasonal demands. 

Impact on the Channel

Subscription services generally work exceptionally well for channel companies because we’re all used to supplying services such as fixed line and mobile on a monthly recurring basis, often with some term discount to reward loyalty.  The only channel business model that could get disrupted is traditional hardware and perpetual software sales funded by leasing. 

Nowadays, many companies that would have had a PBX in their office and a bunch of servers, switches and firewalls in their comms room or data centre will likely have replaced everything with the private or public cloud equivalents. 


In the mobile data world, we’re seeing a shift towards CPE as a service. This enabled, for example, many customers to deploy 5G routers in their networks where it would have previously been prohibitive due to the relatively higher upfront costs compared with 4G routers. 

This is a win-win.  The reseller gets a more valuable stickier solution sell than they might have otherwise enjoyed.  The end-user gets the performance and productivity benefits offered by the latest 5G technologies. 

Key Trends

The key trends that are driving subscription services are the ever-accelerating march towards digital transformation and the cloud.  This has created a virtuous circle that means constant growth in customer adoption drives innovation which delivers improved services which drives more adoption. 

The other side of this equation is that organisations are more reliant on their digital infrastructure and all professional services that provide peace of mind have never been in more demand such as 24x7 network monitoring and support and 24x7 security operations centre services. 

Of course, these professional services are an ideal candidate to be delivered as a service.  We have MSPs delivering managed network and managed security services on a per-user or per-device per-month subscription basis. 


The best place to look for opportunities is always in your existing customer base.  Seek out those customers that may have struggled to sign off on a project in the past due to CAPEX constraints but that could do using a purely OPEX model.  Look for customers that have experienced rapid growth organically or have grown through acquisition, they will be facing technology and communications problems that you can help with. 

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Topics: mobile data

Jola sponsors The Big Goal

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 07-Feb-2024 14:21:47

Jola is delighted to be a founding member of The Big Goal, an initiative dedicated to addressing youth homelessness through the transformative power of football.

The Street Soccer Foundation is tackling youth homelessness with the support of clubs across The Premier League and English Football League (EFL) by equipping individuals with the skills and support they need for a brighter future.

The Big Goal Initiative is known for its holistic approach to youth development, aligning with Jola's commitment to fostering positive change and well-being. By supporting this initiative, Jola aims to make a lasting impact on the lives of young people.

Cherie Howlett, CMO Jola, commented “Football is a passion for many at Jola and after England won the Women’s Euros in 2022 it has become even more of a talking point in the office. We got involved with this charity because it is a great cause. By supporting the Big Goal Initiative, Jola is supporting vulnerable young people in our community, who may one day work in the industry. This initiative focuses on imparting valuable skills, and changing lives for the better, which I think we can all get on-board with.”

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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd


Posted by Adrian Sunderland on 31-Jan-2024 13:42:32

During 2024 3G will be switched off by most, if not all, UK mobile operators. This transition will leave end-users stranded with devices that no longer work such as vehicle trackers, payment terminals, and industrial handheld devices. This situation presents a significant opportunity for the Channel to offer new devices paired with SIMs supporting 4G and 5G.

While most of the population will have access to 5G, fostering the adoption of higher bandwidth applications, SME businesses can expect optimal performance and value for money through (FTTP). In cases where FTTP is unavailable, 5G is likely to hugely outperform (SoGEA) based broadband in terms of performance and efficiency. The cost of 5G hardware is expected to decrease with advances in performance, making it an attractive investment.

The opportunity

The ongoing PSTN switch-off represents a substantial business opportunity. Many major operators and resellers may underestimate the amount of businesses using PSTN lines in locations where high-speed broadband is unnecessary. Resellers offering PSTN replacement solutions leveraging 4G find they are easy to sell. Many resellers will already be talking to their customers about the PSTN switch-off and guiding them towards appropriate solutions in plenty of time, potentially saving their customers money whilst making more margin.

Internet security is no longer a nice to have. In the mobile data space, the Fixed Public IP SIMs present the easiest attack surface for hackers.  There have been many examples of CCTV cameras, IoT devices, VoIP handsets and mobile data routers being hacked, used as part of botnets and used to facilitate DDoS attacks and telephony fraud.  At Jola, we’ve been running all our Fixed IP traffic through Cloudflare for two years and we now prevent hundreds of hacking attempts against our customers monthly.  

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Topics: PSTN Replacement

Key Performance Indicators

Posted by Rob Stevens on 22-Jan-2024 14:41:44

One of our most important values is ‘customer first’. This is because our customers all have their own customers and when things go wrong, or their end user needs information, speed is vital.

For the first time, we are publishing some of our KPIs and whilst we think these numbers are world-class, we know we can always improve.

Financial Year






*Percentage of all calls received answered within 20 seconds






*Percentage of all tickets responded to within 1 working day






*Percentage of all tickets resolved within 3 working days






*Professional contact centres use this methodology to measure success. You may see organisations publish average response times and this is often either down to weak management or a deliberate attempt to hide poor performance.

To explain by example. Imagine a 9-5 contact centre receiving 100 calls an hour on average. From 9-12 and 2-5 the average response time is 10 seconds but over the lunch period, inadequate cover means the average is 300 seconds. The daily average wait time is less than a minute and a half but this masks the true overall customer experience. Furthermore, if managers believe in this flawed system, customer-affecting issues are harder to identify, diagnose and fix.

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Topics: Business

Selling in 2024

Posted by Lee Broxson on 17-Jan-2024 18:20:16

The B2B buying process has undergone significant change in the last 10 years. Surveys have shown that when SMEs are buying ICT they 1. Research the web 2. Approach existing suppliers 3. Ask peers for recommendations. Unsolicited approaches by phone, email or IM are disliked, ineffective and may actually hamper your chances, especially when used in isolation. Your salespeople are your most expensive resource. Stop wasting their time and expertise by forcing them to make hundreds of cold calls, most of which end in failure or rejection.

For quality run-rate leads you need a 5-touch inbound marketing strategy that combines direct mail, social media, PR, SEO and events. For larger prospects, you need an ABM (Account Based Marketing) programme that integrates the sales and marketing departments. It’s easier to sell to existing customers, so build an effective cross-selling programme using product specialists where justified.

The biggest waste of your time is the deal you don’t win

The best test of a new supplier is conversion rate and margin. Good Account Managers help you identify and qualify opportunities. They give you the questions to ask to uncover problems and needs and they help you close deals. A channel-only vendor growing rapidly with a lot of partners is a good sign because it means their partners are closing lots of large contracts. Most vendors say they have a channel programme but there is little substance behind the fluff. Ask for evidence and references. Pull their accounts!

Don’t let new products damage the relationship with your customers

Make sure your vendor has properly developed products that can be easily productised and billed. They should be provisioned, managed and supported through a mature, well-established, API-enabled, real-time, self-service portal. Ask for evidence that the products are reliable and easy to support. Make sure you don’t lose control of the process and the relationship with your end users. Your salespeople will be reluctant to sell anything that might damage the rapport they have with their customers and/or puts core product lines at risk.

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Topics: mobile data

Transport and Logistics

Posted by Adrian Sunderland on 10-Jan-2024 14:43:04

Current Trends

The increasing demand for reliable mobile data extends beyond traditional tracking to broader applications that require precise control. This involves leveraging technology in diverse ways and supporting different requirements across the sector, such as optimising scheduling processes and managing sensors.

As we explore trends in the transport and logistics sector, it's evident that the focus is shifting towards sophisticated solutions. While the tracking of assets remains crucial, smart transport networks are now delivering substantial benefits to passengers, operators, and local authorities. Urban services are becoming more efficient, effective and safe.

End-to-end solutions within the industry leverage advanced technologies like 4G routers and cameras. Tracking systems for trams, buses, and trains are becoming more sophisticated, accurately estimating and advertising arrival times while factoring in potential delays. These solutions often rely on 4G data SIMs, some with a fixed IP or delivered via a secure Private APN.

Warehouses are increasingly adopting these solutions to stay competitive and realise significant benefits in terms of manpower savings and cost reductions. The advent of 5G further empowers companies, even in rural locations, to adopt new technologies that streamline and enhance workflow tracking.

MSP Priorities

In serving the evolving needs of the transport and logistics sector, resellers and Managed Service Providers (MSPs) need to offer choice and control. A wholesale supplier with a diverse range of connectivity options, from single to multi-network to Fixed IP, is essential. Many MSPs have established robust relationships within this sector, understanding the challenges and proposing customised solutions.

End-users require continuous connectivity and control over their data usage to prevent data overage charges. Jola’s partners play a crucial role in managing global SIM estates through Mobile Manager, providing real-time data usage insights, alerts bolt-ons, and data pools. These tools enable efficient monitoring of usage, preventing bill shock. Additionally, the use of mobile data networks expedites start-up processes, eliminating delays associated with lengthy fixed-line installations.

Key challenges

Service providers, without the assistance of an intelligent aggregator, encounter several challenges in the 4G landscape. Firstly, varying network strengths in specific locations necessitate relationships with multiple network providers. Secondly, the absence of data usage tracking leaves devices susceptible to high overage charges when exceeding monthly allowances. Thirdly, there is a crucial need for a secure channel for transmitting financial data.

Cost-effective multi-network SIMs, coupled with an online ordering and management portal, address these challenges. Portals which facilitate data usage tracking, enable the setup of usage alerts and allow for the retroactive application of bolt-ons ensure data costs are controlled. Data pools provide the flexibility of sharing data across multiple SIMs, while buffer pools eliminate high data overage charges. Furthermore, the utilisation of Private APN networks enhances security by facilitating the encrypted transmission of data across a private mobile network.

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Topics: mobile data

Providing support for PSTN replacement solutions

Posted by Adrian Sunderland on 20-Dec-2023 15:17:46

Businesses don’t have ISDN, WLR3 or ADSL problems. Businesses have credit card payment processing, voice communication, security alarm monitoring and emergency lift line problems. The channel’s job is to be the trusted advisor and recommend the right solution for each problem. As a mobile broadband company, we’ve seen resellers use low-cost SIMs to solve all the problems mentioned above whilst saving their customers money and making more margin than they would be by simply pushing fibre-based solutions.

The country will be split into businesses with type A and type B resellers. Type A resellers will already be talking to their customers about the PSTN switch-off and guiding them towards appropriate solutions in plenty of time, potentially saving their customers money whilst making more margin. Type B resellers will be too busy to worry about 2025, so they won’t proactively do anything about the PSTN switch-off.  As a result, they might lose some of their customers to the proactive Type A resellers. Alternatively, they will be having a very stressful time in 2025 when suddenly their customers are being bombarded by warnings coming from every direction about their services being disconnected and then rushing to prevent that from happening.

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Topics: PSTN Replacement

PSTN Switch-off Preparation

Posted by Adrian Sunderland on 13-Dec-2023 12:55:29

Are we ready?

Of course not!  The BT Digital Voice debacle and the Salisbury and Mildenhall delays show that neither industry nor customers are ready.

What support is available?

Businesses don’t have ISDN, WLR3 or ADSL problems.  Businesses have credit card payment processing, voice communication, security alarm monitoring and emergency lift line problems.  It’s the job of the channel to be the trusted advisor and recommend the right solution for each of these problems.  As a mobile broadband specialist, we’ve seen resellers use low-cost SIMs to solve all the problems mentioned above whilst saving their customers money and making more margin than they would be simply pushing fibre-based solutions as the solution to every problem.

How will it all play out?

I think the country will be split into businesses with type A resellers and businesses with type B resellers.  Type A resellers will already be talking to their customers about the PSTN switch-off and guiding them towards appropriate solutions in plenty of time, potentially saving their customers money whilst making more margin.  Type B resellers will be too busy to worry about 2025, so they won’t be proactively doing anything about the PSTN switch-off.  As a result, they might lose some of their customers to the proactive Type A resellers.  Alternatively, they’re going to be having a very stressful time in 2025 when suddenly their customers are being bombarded by warnings coming from every direction about their services being disconnected and then rushing to prevent that from actually happening.

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Topics: PSTN Replacement

Powerful Hardware

Posted by Adrian Sunderland on 06-Dec-2023 11:19:40

New hardware for FTTP and 5G

We are seeing significant demand for single devices that support Gigabit Ethernet and 5G or for 5G devices that can sit alongside Gigabit Ethernet routers.  Internet connectivity is now mission critical to virtually all businesses whether they are SMEs, mid-sized or the largest of enterprise or public sector.  For the channel, these devices need to be robust, reliable and manageable out of the box.  At Jola, every single device that we supply includes unique software that we’ve developed in-house to make the device provisioning zero-touch and to enhance the remote support that the reseller can provide.  Supplying hardware isn’t just a case of shifting a box anymore, now the reseller needs to make sure it will work perfectly with the customer’s particular mix of connectivity as well as any wide-area network-specific requirements such as SD-WAN or VPN connectivity to other locations.  


The latest generation of equipment is significantly more powerful than what’s gone before.  Two years ago, using the best external antennas, a typical cellular router, even from a premium brand, would struggle to perform much beyond 40Mbit/s.  The constraint was both the device itself but also the cellular service available.  In a recent test, our entry-level 5G router, inside a building, using its internal antenna delivered 490Mbit/s.

The other major benefit of the new equipment is the cost savings.  Our average leased line customer has 100Mbit/s of bandwidth but our average FTTP customer has 300Mbit/s available to them.  On average our 5G customers achieve speeds of 276Mbit/s (using the Three UK network).  FTTP is around 80% cheaper than a leased line and 5G is around 97% cheaper than a leased line!

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Topics: 5G, Intelligent 4G Routers

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

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