Jola Cloud Solutions' Blog

Cherie Howlett

Cherie has over 15 years’ experience in IT marketing and was promoted to Head of Marketing for MDNX post purchase of Griffin. She was Marketing Manager for 5 years and Head of Marketing for Griffin for 2 years setting up a marketing department and strategy for connectivity, data networks and cloud-hosted solutions. During her time at Griffin, the company won 7 Channel ISP of the year awards, 5 Sunday Times Tech Track 100 awards, 2 Deloitte Fast 500 EMEA awards, 1 Deloitte Fast 50 award and 1 Channel Expo award. Cherie built brand awareness in the channel from 0% to 95% using an integrated strategy consisting of online, print, electronic and face to face marketing. Cherie had previously spent 2 years in a Marketing Manager’s role at Pipemedia before it sold to Business Serve in 2006. At Pipemedia she built a VoIP brand called PipeCall using a combination of PR, direct marketing and an online ordering and provisioning portal with plug and play hardware and electronic point of sale units. Cherie’s early career was in International Marketing working for software house AceCad Software and IBM in the European sales division.

Recent Posts

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 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

Channel Marketing

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 14-Oct-2021 09:30:18

As part of our onboarding process at Jola, we help new partners understand, productise and promote our services under their own brand, tailored to meet the needs of their audience. We spend much time analysing their current customer base, looking for opportunities we can win.

Marketing reflects the pain points of its audience whilst gently suggesting unique solutions that cannot be delivered by anyone else. It helps to build a brand and a voice in the marketplace which is unique.

Marketing understands the competition and how its own brand is different. There is a science behind delivering the right message to the right person at the right time. It can be achieved by multiple departments working together: sales with their ear to the ground gathering market data and customer requirements, product teams creating innovative solutions that exceed expectations and offer cost savings, delivery teams doing what they say they are going to do, billing teams who charge you accurately and support teams you can depend on to fix any issues.

Marketing is designed to be emotional, to build strong feelings about a brand no new information can influence. Marketing should continually evolve to meet the changing needs of the market. 

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Topics: marketing

Thinking about offering 4G primary and backup solutions?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 06-Oct-2021 09:52:27

Are you thinking about adding a 4G connectivity solution to your proposition? Are you being asked about it from customers, or are you looking to enhance service or reduce risk for your clients?

4G primary is often called mobile broadband and is used for both temporary and permanent connectivity solutions. Resellers can often provide temporary connectivity until a broadband or Ethernet circuit goes live and can also be used as a 4G failover solution should the primary circuit fail.

4G backup is commonly used to back up primary networks to add an extra layer of resilience; however, managing 4G can be challenging for the reseller and expensive for the client. You need to consider applications that work perfectly well over Ethernet or broadband, which need to work equally well over 4G should the primary network fail. You also need to consider the cost of using 4G data should the primary network fail and the ongoing cost of a 4G solution that no one is using whilst the primary connection is stable.

Need Fixed IP or L2TP?

Many MSPs require one or more Fixed IP addresses on their SIMs. ISPs often require SIMs to be using L2TP so they can control the IP addressing and routing. Jola can supply both.

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Topics: 4G, 4G Back-up

How do I get into IoT?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 06-Oct-2021 09:41:54

We were a Gold Sponsor at Margin in Mobile recently, and the number one question we were asked was ‘How do I get into IoT?’ Reading the room, most of the delegates in attendance already sold mobile SIMs. They were familiar with the mobile opportunity, managing voice and data SIMs for businesses, and some had an established mobile broadband proposition. Very few had ventured into selling mobile data for M2M and IoT solutions.

They were familiar with the opportunity to provide sensors, starting with smart meters in offices to street lighting opportunities for local councils, but many were not sure where to start.

The advice we gave was as follows:

Speak to your existing customers to gather requirements

Do you already supply local councils? Schools? Colleges? Universities? Blue-light services? Transport companies? Local and national retailers? Hotel or pub chains?

Find out about their current projects and challenges. Who in your base is involved in smart street lighting? Smart bin collections? Smart parking solutions? Digital signage? Smart ticketing solutions? Smart kiosks? Smart devices for taking orders? Who needs smart devices for remote learning? Who needs connected devices for personal alarms and CCTV cameras? Push-to-talk radios? Bodycams? Security alarms? Who needs asset tracking and monitoring devices? Who needs sensors? Once you have established the requirements of your customers who already buy from you, start building your solution. 

With whom do you need to partner to meet these requirements?

Whom do you need to partner with for the devices, and where are you going to get the connectivity from? What challenges do you need to overcome? Who has the most cost-effective mobile data solution to meet the requirements? Who is agile enough to develop solutions to meet the time frames? Can you manage the data usage across the estate? Can you control usage and costs and protect your customer from bill shock?

Read More

Topics: IoT

What is the 5G opportunity for CSPs?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 29-Sep-2021 12:57:36

Experts such as McKinsey suggest that 5G will have the most impact in four key areas: mobile broadband, IoT, mission-critical control and fixed wireless access.

Enhanced mobile broadband

Faster speed, lower latency and greater capacity could enable on-the-go, ultra-high-definition video, virtual reality, and other advanced applications.

Internet of Things

5G will unlock the potential of IoT by enabling more connections at once at extremely low power. This could create additional monthly revenues, but average IoT revenues will be a fraction of those for mobile broadband because of low usage.

Mission-critical control

As connected devices become increasingly central in applications that demand absolute reliability, such as medical devices and vehicle safety systems, latency will serve as a limiting factor. Because 5G has the potential to deliver significantly lower latency, it provides opportunities in healthcare, utilities, and other time-critical contexts.

Fixed wireless access

Fixed wireless access has existed for years, primarily in areas with no viable wired broadband. 5G is capable of delivering speeds of more than 1Gb/s to the home, making it a viable alternative to wired broadband in many markets, especially in markets without fibre.

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Topics: 5G

Need a better way to manage data SIMs in smart kiosks?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 29-Sep-2021 12:52:19

Retailers, such as fast-food restaurants, have invested in self-service kiosks to allow customers to order their own meals in-store and have them delivered to their seats. Connected kiosks require gateways, routers and data SIMs. Stores typically have multiple connected devices, which are becoming more complex and expensive to manage.

Self-service kiosks in hotels allow guests to check in and out. They are really useful at peak times to reduce waiting times and improve customer experience. Automating processes help reduce costs for the hotel, which no longer needs to pay employees a premium to work unsociable hours on the front desk. Kiosks are also used to promote upgrades and extras, generating additional revenues.

MSPs installing self-service kiosks in multiple locations must consider electricity points, the availability of connectivity as well as the management of an increasingly complex IT network at each location.

Connected kiosks often require gateways and routers in addition to 4G. Managing multiple connected kiosks in different locations can be costly and complex to manage. Site surveys are often required to establish the strongest 4G signal in each location.

Jola partners offer a unique solution with their Intelligent 4G routers. Our routers are smart and negate the need for a gateway. Jola SIMs are all managed within one easy portal. MSPs can easily manage and monitor data usage across sites. We offer multinetwork roaming data across all four major mobile networks, and our routers arrive preconfigured. 

Suitable for mobile broadband and large-scale IoT rollouts, our routers run a unique operating system allowing apps to be installed alongside the core routing software. There is a range of off-the-shelf apps that add several other capabilities. To help accelerate IoT projects, Jola can develop apps on a consultancy basis.

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Topics: M2M

Pooled Data Explained

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 15-Sep-2021 13:06:14

Pooled data is the ability to have mobile data, that can be shared across more than one associated SIM card. Pooled data plans are popular in both consumer and business markets to help negate overage charges.

What problems does pooled data solve?

Business customers find data usage difficult to predict, especially in phones and tablets, as so many factors can influence excess usage. If usage notifications from the carriers are late or not received, both customers and resellers are unaware of the data overage charge, until the bill is received. This has put many resellers off selling mobile data, as the bill shock caused by overages has upset their customers.

What types of pools are available?

Fixed pools are available for resellers who know how much data they need for their customer. Their monthly data usage is predictable, and the customer wants to pay for an amount of data each month, which can be shared across multiple users.

Aggregated pools are available for resellers whose customer’s SIM estates are growing or shrinking. The pool increases or decreases every time a data SIM is added or removed.

Buffer pools are available to help negate overage charges at an account and network level. You need to buy separate buffer pools for each carrier network, however you can use the buffer to negate any overage charge from that carrier in your estate. It can reduce the data overage cost significantly.

Data Buckets allow you to buy data that can be used over a period of time.

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Topics: 4G

Opportunities in the public sector

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 15-Sep-2021 13:00:36

Public sector services in healthcare and blue light services are being encouraged to ‘go digital’ to become more efficient and get the most out of their budgets. MSPs are helping to provide innovative and cost-effective solutions such as;

Smart Devices

Ambulance crews are using tablets containing 4G SIM cards to access online information about medical and traumatic conditions and treatment on the move. They are completing incident forms online and accessing ePCRs and information about healthcare providers and plans.

Police Officers are able to record arrests on body cameras and send content in a live stream to officers nearby for assessment and support.

Smart Communications

Ambulance crews can electronically send details about the patient to the emergency department including appropriate photographs from the scene of the incident e.g. road traffic collision or electrocardiogram readings, to help doctors determine the extent of injury that may have been sustained. This allows staff in the hospital to prepare and be ready to act when the patient arrives.

Mobile forensics

Police are now using mobile fingerprinting systems that allow them to check the identity of an unknown person against a database of 12 million records in less than a minute. Many officers carry hand-held scanners connected to their 4G smartphone, allowing them to scan fingertips. The scans are checked against the database.

Digital interviewing

Many police forces are using digital audio-visual interview equipment and touch screens for custodial interviews. These provide improved access to recording for police, legal representatives and suspects.

Push to Talk Radio

Two-way walkie-talkie radio technology is being upgraded to 4G. This has created an opportunity for partners, who are already familiar with selling 4G data solutions.

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Topics: 4G

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