Jola Cloud Solutions' Blog

Why don't more resellers sell mobile data?

Posted by Andrew Dickinson on 23-Nov-2021 20:09:03

According to Ofcom 8500 organisations in the UK have a RID code but, despite it being the fastest growing product in the world, only around 1000 of these sell mobile data. Why is this?

Resellers feel it is dominated by the mobile networks direct.

Well, yes it is, or at least until recently it was. However, early movers in this market are now hoovering up huge deals by working with aggregators offering products (like Multinet and eSIM) that the networks cannot deliver but their customers demand.

Managing thousands of SIM assets is difficult and resellers have been burned by high overages in the mobile voice and data market.

Agreed but aggregators that offer a real-time comprehensive portal remove the headaches associated with ordering, provisioning and managing SIMs and have eradicated unexpected data overages completely.

It’s hard to sell and too niche.

Resellers often conflate mobile data and IoT. IoT is a subset of mobile data and requires resellers to either partner-up, or develop their own sector ecosystem. Conversely M2M projects for applications like CCTV, coaches, signage and car parks often only need a specialist router and a SIM.

The ARPU is too low and the margin is eroded by the MNOs direct.

Again, you’re probably thinking of IoT projects and the mobile data market is far bigger than just IoT. That said aggregators now have powerfully differentiated IoT solutions that help resellers beat the networks and at decent margins.

The market is not worth the effort.

Seriously, does anyone really still believe this? Mobile data is now the fastest growing ICT product in the world and mobile data companies are valued by the market at 3x the value of traditional comms companies.

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Topics: mobile data

4G in Distribution

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 18-Nov-2021 13:27:50

A shift towards online shopping has driven demand for fulfilment and distribution centres. These new spaces require reliable connectivity. Where no existing fibre is available, MSPs are turning to 4G.

MSPs are quoting online retailers for bespoke 4G connectivity packages that meet their exact requirements. They are offering solutions that can be preconfigured and delivered to multiple locations to meet tight deadlines.

MSPs are turning to Jola for their multinetwork roaming SIMs controlled in Mobile Manager.

MSPs partnering with Jola are offering multinetwork solutions. Data is managed within Mobile Manager, an online management portal for ordering and managing SIM estates globally.

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Topics: 4G, Multi-network SIMs

Uncovering opportunities in the health sector

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 18-Nov-2021 13:21:45

The healthcare sector has been adopting new technology to assist with medical activities for some time. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, technology has developed at a much faster pace in this sector, which presents opportunities for the channel.

Medical professionals are adopting new ways to treat patients and avoid unnecessary in-person treatments, and IoT devices have helped make this possible. Smart thermometers have been used to measure temperatures, and wearable IoT devices are used to track patients’ vital signs. Smartwatches and heart rate monitors gather data that can be remotely analysed by a physician.

Challenges

Data security and patient confidentiality are critical in healthcare. The industry must protect itself from hackers, and patients must feel comfortable that their personal data is secure.

Opportunity for the channel

The healthcare sector is in desperate need of technology to avoid unnecessary visits to surgeries and hospitals and to protect frontline workers. Opportunities for mobile broadband, cloud-based telehealth software and mobile data flooded the market, as demand increased for real-time communication and remote monitoring.

Patient experience has changed dramatically during the pandemic, with patients encouraged to wait for doctor call-backs or arrange video calls. Phone systems are being upgraded, telehealth software is being rolled out and smart devices are provided to mobile healthcare workers. Some exhibition centres have been turned into vaccination centres, and the channel was called upon to set up communications and monitoring equipment.

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Topics: mobile data

Ready for 5G?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 18-Nov-2021 13:11:47

The channel is well placed to help customers adopt new technologies such as 5G. Resellers will know which of their customers are in an area with 5G coverage and also what their requirements are. Many resellers may already be using 4G to solve their customers’ Internet access issues in areas with poorly performing fixed-line services, so 5G is a great opportunity to upsell to new 5G hardware and SIMs.

Is now the time to build offerings that use 5G services?

Now is definitely the time because there’s the opportunity to provide 5G-ready solutions. 5G routers also support LTE Advanced, which is already available in much more of the country than 5G. So by selling a 5G-ready SIM and router, the customer could enjoy a big performance boost even before 5G actually arrives. 

What is the appetite for 5G-ready devices?

In the mobile voice space, the latest handsets from all the main manufacturers are already 5G ready, so any handset replacement project is likely to have 5G readiness as a requirement. In the mobile router space, though, there are extremely few 5G options available although we expect that to change this year now that the major chipset and modem module manufacturers are now producing 5G components in volume.

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Smart Transport Networks

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 18-Nov-2021 13:00:29

Smart transport networks

Smart transport networks offer significant benefits to passengers, operators and local authorities, enabling urban services to become more efficient, effective and safe. Cities from London to Singapore are already building them. Madrid is leading the way, with a central control room that receives and integrates data from 40 urban control rooms. They cover more than 100 bus routes, 300 railway lines and 200,000 cameras, delivering end-to-end surveillance and security solutions.

Many experienced providers offer end-to-end solutions to the transport industry, involving 4G routers and cameras. Trams, buses and trains are tracked, and arrival times accurately estimated and advertised, factoring in potential delays. These devices need 4G data SIMs, often with fixed IPs or delivered via a secure private APN. On average, there are seven SIMs per bus for logging into cameras to download relevant footage, Wi-Fi, secure card payments, passenger trackers, applications for tracking hours worked, petrol levels and miles travelled.

Challenges

Service providers face some challenges with 4G. First, some networks are stronger than others in specific locations, requiring partnerships with multiple network providers. Second, they have no way to track data usage, and if devices use more than their allocated monthly allowance, they incur high data overage charges. Third, they need a secure channel for transmitting financial data.

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Topics: IoT

Cyber Security

Posted by Adrian Sunderland on 18-Nov-2021 12:50:54

There have been some high-profile cybersecurity attacks on IoT and M2M devices and deployments. The Bristol Airport's flight information system was hacked and held for ransom, and the digital signage in Union Street station was hacked as well, with the train information screens being used to display hardcore pornography at rush hour. These attacks were obviously highly visible and disruptive, but there are also hidden attacks where IoT devices are hacked to become part of botnets that are then used to power massive DDOS attacks against whomever the hackers are trying to target. In this scenario, the device owner may not be aware of their role until their monthly bill arrives and their connectivity consumption has increased dramatically.


Jola provides SIMs that are used in a wide variety of different IoT and M2M scenarios. We’re acutely aware of the need to protect our resellers and their customers from the consequences of falling victim to a cybersecurity attack. At the foundation of what we do is our Mobile Manager portal, which, with its real-time alerts and control, provides visibility into the SIM usage before the monthly bill arrives. However, our approach goes beyond just managing costs. If the application does not need access to the Internet, then why would you expose it online? Jola offers SIMs that provide secure private access back to a corporate network with no access to the Internet at all. This almost eliminates the ‘attack surface’ completely. Jola has also been involved in some extremely high-profile digital signage deployments where our approach to security has gone beyond just securing connectivity. We have provided secure devices with hardened device operating systems and configurations to deliver a truly secure solution.

Our goal is to enable our channel partners to embrace opportunities and benefit from our experience to deliver unique and differentiated solutions to their customers that are secure from threats that are undeniably out there.

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Topics: Cyber Security

Looking for an exciting new role in marketing?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 11-Nov-2021 16:03:25

We are looking for a fantastic Marketing Executive, with excellent attention to detail, to work within our marketing team on a wide range of projects from digital marketing to live events. You would be part of a fast-growing technology company, based in Stapleford, Nottinghamshire with an inclusive ethos, great benefits and flexible working.

We welcome candidates with marketing experience, great communication skills and excellent attention to detail to join our hard-working, supportive and friendly team.

We are hoping to interview bright, enthusiastic, can-do people, who can balance priorities and take ownership of campaigns and projects.

Essential

1 years’ experience in a marketing role
Excellent communication and people skills
Attention to detail
Strong organisational and time-management abilities
Creativity and commercial awareness
Team player
Basic knowledge of Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook)

Nice to have but not essential 

BSc/BA in marketing or relevant field
CIM qualifications
Experience with online CRM systems
Experience with online mailing systems 

Ability to learn on the job

Jola’s products
The market in which we compete
Accounting software
CRM software
Mailing software
Social marketing software
Website management software and analytics
Social media platforms
Marketing best practice

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Topics: marketing

Thinking about getting into M2M and IoT?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 20-Oct-2021 11:15:23

M2M and IoT are not as difficult to get into as you may think. Your customers are working on mobile data projects right now, and demand is predicted to increase dramatically over the next few years. If you get this right, you will quickly generate high-margin recurring revenue and, due to higher EBITDA multiples for IoT/M2M, increase the value of your company.

Your mobile data partner will need to give you the tools to win these 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 networks would take years to develop and launch. Mobile data is easy to sell, support and bill when you partner with the right channel supplier.

Jola took on just under 300 new partners in 2020 and now has over 1,000. COVID-related projects fuelled early demand, but these temporary revenue streams were quickly dwarfed as our partners’ customers started to look at projects they had on the back-burner like cost-saving IoT solutions. We recently put 30,000 multinetwork SIMs into iPads for one public sector project, unrelated to COVID.

Getting started

Speak to your existing customers, understand their requirements and then partner with an aggregator that can provide innovative solutions, unavailable elsewhere. Find out about their current projects and challenges. Once you have established your customers’ requirements, start building your solution.

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Topics: IoT

Mobile data - the silent revolution

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 19-Oct-2021 14:59:21

Andrew Dickinson was the only mobile data representative on the panel “How will next generation digital infrastructure revolutionise channel business models?” at Connected Britain alongside panellists Carl Peters, European VP Solutions Engineering, Zayo Group, Chris Fraser, Managing Director, Aspire Technology Solutions and Aidan Piper, Chief Executive Officer, Welcomm.

The messages were clear.

  1. There has been a silent revolution in mobile data with download speeds up to 300Mbs available in most parts of urban UK. These technologies have recently been made available to the channel. Jola’s partner base has more than doubled in two years and smart MSPs and resellers accept that mobile data must be in their portfolio.
  2. Every reseller/MSP has at least one significant IoT/M2M opportunity in their existing base of customers, and mobile data aggregators like Jola are helping them find and win them.
  3. The financial markets value mobile data EBITDA at least twice the multiple of fibre and broadband. With self-service portals like Mobile Manager, it is easy to sell, manage and bill.

Jola

Jola is a multiple award-winning mobile data aggregator, which means that we offer services from all the major UK networks and hundreds of networks globally. We sell a wide range of options and are a well-established, channel-only company. We are innovative and we launch on average two new products and product extensions every month. We operate in many different vertical markets with market-leading specialists, so we understand the specific needs of each vertical and can help you productise differentiated solutions. We give you complete control over your global SIM estate with Mobile Manager. Your customers can also have access to our white-label portal so they can see directly how much data they are using in each device and make decisions accordingly. We help you uncover opportunities and win them with solutions end users just cannot buy from anyone else. Our objective is to help you reduce churn, increase ARPU and the overall value of your business.

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Topics: mobile data

Account-Based Marketing

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 14-Oct-2021 12:06:57

According to recent research, 98% of marketing departments now adopt account-based marketing (ABM) in some form, with 73% claiming the strategy has exceeded the expectations of their organisations. But what is it really?

In its simplest form, it targets key accounts. The better you know your audience, the more effective your communications with those prospects will be. ABM strategies have helped sales and marketing teams focus their efforts on targeting specific accounts in addition to more generalist inbound campaigns.

During lockdown, face-to-face interaction was limited to video calls, and ABM was used to fill the gap in many companies. Marketing teams took more time to research individual companies and contacts to build a clearer picture of specific needs and wants in the market. They were able to use information gathered to personalise their campaigns, and their approach switched from mass marketing to much more personal contact.

Generating B2B leads is achievable with a good integrated strategy, but generating larger specific targets is more of a challenge. It requires the ability to pull together work from both sales and marketing teams, analysis across multiple platforms and much more forensic analysis to measure success.

Getting the sales and marketing team aligned is a problem many companies struggle with. Marketing often gets pulled into continuously implementing new ideas and messaging and can become misaligned with the sales team, who have clear targets and concise requirements to meet. When marketing is aligned with the sales targets, they can put together a strategy to achieve the leads the sales team need to convert to hit their targets.

Setting expectations on timings is key. All shareholders want to see results and return on their investment, but setting expectations on when they will start to see results and reporting on agreed KPIs and timings are helpful for all parties. ABM strategies targeting larger key accounts take much longer than run-rate accounts to pull in, their requirements are often more complex as is their selection process and number of key influencers.

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Topics: marketing

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