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

Intel selects Jola to join the Open Retail Initiative (ORI)

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 13-May-2021 16:39:30

Jola joins Intel’s ORI, which is a broad ecosystem of retailers, system integrators, software vendors, equipment manufacturers and solution aggregators that drive the future of retail. The goal of ORI is to enable open, accessible solutions that accelerate iteration, flexibility and innovation at scale – from the edge to the cloud.

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Topics: IoT

Why sell 4G SIMs?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 13-May-2021 08:40:34

There are two types of partners that sign up with Jola for SIMs. The first already has an opportunity and needs a supplier to help fulfil their 4G element; the second is looking to grow their business by adding profitable M2M/IoT revenue streams to their portfolio.

Experienced Partners

Partners with existing opportunities often have strong relationships with their clients. Although they may not yet offer 4G, they are trusted advisors and source the elements they need to build and roll out solutions. These partners are looking for a solution to a data problem. They need a partner to provide a cost-effective solution and help them win their bid. This may involve presales and product development to create a tailored solution. MSPs winning bids for thousands of connected devices, such as iPads for the NHS and tablets for local schools, often include SIMs and associated security measures to help win the deal.

New Partners

New partners selling 4G data for the first time want to understand the products, pricing and, more importantly, the opportunity. Partners with a large connectivity base often start by offering 4G backup solutions and temporary Ethernet solutions. Many can already see how the product would meet the needs of their audience and package it accordingly. During lockdown, many sold homeworking solutions involving 4G routers and unlimited SIM cards and then moved to keyworker solutions for pop-up hospitals and testing and vaccination centres.

In retail and construction, specialists started to add 4G connectivity to their IP-CCTV and IP-PTT radios on short-term contracts for site offices. In transport, specialists sourced 4G connectivity partners for their cashless ticketing systems, on-board WiFi, IP-CCTV and tracking solutions.

Successful partners conducted case studies and produced reference sites to help them build a pipeline of similar opportunities.

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Topics: 4G

Looking for SIMs for smart parking solutions?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 13-May-2021 08:25:16

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 European cities 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 improve the productivity of commuters, and the lower volume of circulating traffic helps 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 reduce fuel consumption and the build-up of road traffic air pollution.
  3. Parking sensors are autonomous, wireless devices that are easy to install. The entrance and exit of vehicles in parking spaces and the duration of parking are 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.

Councils are partnering with solution providers to help reduce pollution and improve traffic flow in major cities. Specialists are providing solutions for public and private car parks to help users park and pay more efficiently.

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Topics: IoT

Looking for SIMs for smart meters?

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 28-Apr-2021 14:05:49

What is a smart metering?

Smart metering is the collection of remote data using IoT sensors in real-time, without human intervention.

Smart metering provides the tracking of any measurable parameter available on a machine, in a room or an outdoor environment. It is traditionally used to describe the monitoring of utilities such as water, gas and electricity.

Why are smart meters becoming popular?

Country-wide schemes, such as the Government’s Smart Metering initiative, have helped drive demand for smart meters in the energy sector, as it helps businesses to track their energy usage and provide more accurate bills. It also helps utility companies to plan resources and improve customer experience.

The Internet of Things (IoT) saves time and money by automating remote data collection. We have seen demand for mobile data surge for IoT devices, enabling the remote monitoring of devices measuring usage and temperatures.

Who are MSPs turning to for 4G data for smart meters?

Jola offers the widest range of mobile data SIMs from multiple suppliers, which are easy to order and manage via Mobile Manager.  We offer embedded MFF2 SIMs and low-power SIMs for long-life battery powered devices.

Mobile Manager

Mobile Manager is our online management portal for ordering and managing estates of eSIMs. This white label portal communicates in real-time with 4G networks and can be used by both resellers and their end users. Mobile Manager handles SIM activations, ceases, suspensions, reports, alerts and bolt-ons.

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Topics: M2M

The LPWAN Opportunity

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 28-Apr-2021 13:08:30

What are LPWANs? 

LPWANs are Low Power Wide Area Networks. LPWANs are used to deliver IoT connectivity at low cost, over wide geographic areas, often where there is no local power source, so battery life becomes key. LPWAN deployments are often simple and cost-effective, due to device design and long battery life. With efficient power consumption and battery lifetime of up to 10 years, management costs are low.  It also delivers the added benefit of deep penetration into areas such as basements and underground car parks. The protocols used in LPWANs provide much better wireless penetration so it is possible to get a signal where a standard 3G or 4G SIM wouldn’t be able to.

Could you be selling LPWANs?

Some end-users have tried the networks directly for LPWANs and many have been disappointed by the lack of control MNOs give them over their SIM estates. These deals can be to supply thousands of devices on long-term contracts and are low-hanging fruit for MSPs with existing relationships and control panels.

Who uses this technology?

It is being used in street lighting, smart bins, smart parking and traffic monitoring, as well as parking sensors. Their devices don’t need much power and have a long battery life. The SIMs required for these smart solutions are low-cost, long-life SIM cards, which can be activated and controlled within a central portal.

This technology is also being used in the consumer space with smart metering. Gas and electric companies are installing hundreds of thousands of smart meters, which require a low power SIM on a long-term contract. Usage is minimal, costs are a few pence per SIM, however the contract length is typically 5 years plus.

Warehouses are adopting smart technologies and there are opportunities for resellers to supply LPWANs in warehouse monitoring, within safety devices such as cameras in lifts used by lone workers washing windows at height and in cranes.

In agriculture, LPWANs SIMs are being used in monitoring devices for animals, crops and soil. They need a SIM card with the same lifespan as their device.

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Topics: LPWAN

Internet of Things (IoT) in Health Care

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 31-Mar-2021 18:03:21

The health care 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 health care. The industry needs to protect itself from hackers, and patients need to feel comfortable that their personal data is secure.

Opportunity for the channel

The health care 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 for real-time communication and remote monitoring increased.

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

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Topics: IoT

Reliable 4G Connectivity for Smart Transport Solutions

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 31-Mar-2021 17:34:58

According to a recent report by Transport Focus, passengers listed value for money, punctuality, Wi-Fi connectivity and safety as their main priorities. These factors are driving an increase in demand for smart transport networks around the world, creating 4G and 5G data opportunities, which Solution Providers are well-placed to provide.

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 over 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 connected devices. Trams, buses and trains are tracked, and arrival times are accurately estimated and advertised, factoring in potential delays. These devices need data SIMs, often with a fixed IP or delivered via a secure private APN. On average, there are seven SIMs per bus for logging into the 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 a few challenges with 4G. Some networks are stronger than others in specific locations, requiring relationships with multiple network providers. They have no way of tracking data usage, and if devices use more than their allocated monthly allowance, they get high data overage charges. They also need a secure channel for transmitting financial data.

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Topics: 4G

Reliable 4G Connectivity for Point-of-Sale Devices

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 31-Mar-2021 12:22:58

In today’s restaurants, PoS devices do so much more than taking orders. They can also connect with inventory management systems, back-end pricing systems, loyalty programmes and so much more. Before handheld devices, servers had to write down orders and take them back to a centralised terminal or stand behind them to fulfil orders.

PoS systems allow servers to spend more time with customers to improve their experience. They allow servers to promote new menus and link loyalty accounts to keep customers coming back for more.

Challenges

One of the challenges MSPs face when installing PoS systems is Internet connectivity. Where 4G signal is strong, it is often used, as it is quick and easy to set up. Multinetwork SIMs offer simplicity for chains in multiple locations.

Jola’s Solution

Jola eSIMs offer multinetwork roaming data across all four major mobile networks, and our routers arrive preconfigured. Estates can be managed in Mobile Manager.

Mobile Manager

Mobile Manager is our online management portal for ordering and managing estates of mobile SIMs. Our white-label portal communicates in real-time with multiple 4G networks and can be used by both resellers and their end users. Mobile Manager handles SIM activations, ceases, suspensions, reports, alerts and bolt-ons.

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Topics: 4G

Smart City Kiosks

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 10-Mar-2021 11:27:53

As UK cities investigate upgrading their phone boxes, self-service kiosks are a compelling option. They provide services such as WiFi, VoIP calling, as well as public notifications and security alerts. Self-service kiosks can also be found in train stations and bus stations, providing commuters with up-to-date travel information. Digital adverts played on the screens often fund their deployment and maintenance.

Kiosks with embedded sensors can also monitor environmental data, such as air pollution and noise pollution. Integrated cameras can capture data to help optimise the flow of traffic and track licence plates.

MSPs rolling out solutions such as these face connectivity challenges. 4G presents a solution as it is fast, reliable and quick and easy to set-up. 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. Our eSIMs offer multi-network roaming data across all four major mobile networks and our routers arrive pre-configured.

Suitable for mobile broadband and large scale IoT roll outs, 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 additional capabilities. To help accelerate IoT projects, Jola can develop Apps on a consultancy basis.

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Topics: IoT, M2M

Connected Kiosks in Hotels

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 10-Mar-2021 11:04:11

Self-service kiosks in hotels allow guests to check themselves 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, who no-longer need to pay employees a premium to work unsociable hours on the front desk. Kiosks are also used to promote up-grades and extras, generating additional revenues.

MSPs installing self-service kiosks in multiple locations need to consider electricity points, the availability of connectivity as well as managing 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. Our eSIMs offer multi-network roaming data across all four major mobile networks and our routers arrive pre-configured.

Suitable for mobile broadband and large scale IoT roll outs, 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 additional capabilities. To help accelerate IoT projects, Jola can develop Apps on a consultancy basis.

Read More

Topics: IoT, M2M

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