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

Jola’s CEO raises over £12K for Derbyshire Children’s Charities

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 22-May-2024 13:17:09

Adrian Sunderland, Jola’s CEO, took part in a 100-mile charity bike ride from Derby to Skegness on Saturday 18th May 2024. He raised over £12,000 for the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre and Derby Kids’ Camp. To find out more about the charities, please click here.

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Topics: Business

Building an ESG Strategy

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 15-May-2024 12:40:07

How are channel companies approaching their environmental, social and corporate governance strategies?

We try to reduce our carbon footprint by preferring greener suppliers, promoting recycling, offering cycle-to-work schemes and using Teams. Apart from helping the planet, it saves money, and we have partners that need us to have green credentials. Social governance is a priority at Jola, as we provide competitive packages and an engaging culture for employees to thrive. Channel companies regularly support local and national causes running for charity, playing in football and boxing matches, hosting coffee mornings and supporting local food banks. It is a great way to engage employees, give back to the local community and encourage physical and mental well-being. Corporate governance around equal pay and diversity has been under the spotlight for the last few years in the channel and we display our diversity awards with pride.

How important are ESG strategies to purchasing decisions? 

As you would expect unique solutions, reliability, security and pricing all factor into decision-making, however, the larger corporates are asking partners for ESG policies more and more.

What support is available from vendors in the channel?

Sharing best practices is a good place to start as well as making policies available via web pages and partner portals.

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Topics: Business

Jola wins Most Innovative Partner Award

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 08-May-2024 12:48:55

Jola won Robustel’s Most Innovative Partner Award at the Robustel Global Partner Summit. Doug Morley, Jola’s Product Manager, was presented with the award on 24th April at their event in Istanbul.

The award recognises the innovative solutions Jola has developed using Robustel hardware. They include Intelligent 4G and 5G routers, secure digital signage solutions and Device-as-a-Service.

“Working together we have solved common challenges faced by partners when rolling out solutions in multiple locations on tight deadlines. Security and pre-configuration are critical as is monitoring and managing devices and their data usage remotely.” Adrian Sunderland, CEO, Jola.

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Topics: mobile data

Jola is the first to launch QR codes to the channel

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 01-May-2024 15:06:11

Imagine you have an order for thousands of SIMs for handsets destined for multiple locations around the world. You would usually need to send the right SIM card to the right device in the right location, and activate it, which can be an operational challenge under tight deadlines. Jola now has a new solution where partners are issued a single QR code in Mobile Manager instead. This is supplied to their customer for every device to scan, slashing operational costs and helping to reduce carbon footprints.

Mobile Manager was the first, white-label management portal designed to meet the specific needs of the channel. It allows resellers to order and manage SIMs from multiple suppliers, eliminate data overage charges and support their customers in real-time.

In eight years we have added products and functionality to the portal regularly so we can meet any requirement in any market for mobile data, globally. We have over 1400 partners using the portal regularly who tell us Mobile Manager meets their needs for:

  • Choice – you can buy what you need on any network in a single portal
  • Control – you can view and manage your data usage in real-time
  • Automation - you retain complete control over your customer experience
  • White-label – you can remove every trace of the Jola brand

What’s new?

We have rolled out 12 software updates in 12 months and the latest additions are RoamNet and RoamNet Voice. SIM cards with a UK phone number roaming over multiple UK mobile networks and hundreds globally using the Wireless Logic global network. Devices can be activated via a single QR code.

Adrian Sunderland, Jola’s CEO commented, “QR codes are a simple solution to a complex problem faced by many of our partners. Adding QR codes to Mobile Manager was the next logical step for us to help reduce operational costs and headaches for our partners. The feedback has been fantastic. Partners can feel confident their end-users will be connected exactly when they need to be, wherever they are.”

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Topics: mobile data

Jola celebrates its 10th birthday

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 24-Apr-2024 13:35:28

Jola celebrates its 10th birthday in April 2024, after its best-ever financial performance.

We now have over 1400 partners selling unique mobile data solutions, earning healthy recurring margins, and increasing the value of their companies with happy customers. Our ability to innovate and automate, as well as help partners identify, qualify and win significant deals from the mobile networks is part of our success story. The other is the fantastic relationships with have with our suppliers, partners and exceptional team.

 

Adrian Sunderland, CEO of Jola commented, “Our mission is to serve the channel providing solutions for every mobile data requirement globally. We strive to make unique solutions you can’t buy from anyone else, make them easy to sell, provision, support and bill. We enjoy working with partners on new and innovative solutions to common problems using the latest technologies. When we look back at what we have achieved over the last ten years it is quite phenomenal, when we started with nothing but enthusiasm, a belief in each other and a passion for the channel. We look forward to achieving our next growth milestone.”

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Topics: mobile data

Building a great team

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 17-Apr-2024 18:07:37

Hiring 

We are looking for problem solvers in the channel. People who go the extra mile, who are innovative and who can deliver what they say they will. Key skills and experience vary by department, however an appreciation of the market and how relationships between end-users, channel partners and their suppliers work is essential. At Jola, we have found success looking for people who share our values, who go the extra mile to solve problems and who continually learn and improve.

 

Home-grown talent

We offer work experience, hire university students on their gap year, offer graduate schemes, return to work schemes, and apprenticeship schemes. When we have the right people, we invest in their training and development. We have a support training school, a sales training academy and a marketing development programme. In accounts, we offer professional qualifications and in development offer bespoke training schemes for  ZoHo, Microsoft and Amazon Web Services.

Partner support

For partners, we run the usual product and portal training sessions as part of our onboarding process, but what partners tell us they want are opportunities they can win to fill their pipelines. For this, we have the MRG™ programme. A successful programme we run with partners to help identify, qualify and win high-margin, recurring revenue mobile-data opportunities. Scaling organically is a resellers’ biggest challenge because for this they need quality leads and salespeople to close them.Marketing is often viewed as an overhead rather than revenue generating. Sometimes companies aren’t specific with what they want from marketing and don’t measure activities accurately. A steady flow of leads is good news for salespeople and employers.Jola helps partners with their strategy. Our partner managers are trained to help partners identify the best prospects for mobile data and give them the questions to ask to generate the need and close the deals.

Planning for growth

Many of our academies in sales and support are set up to fill opportunities as employees develop and get promoted within our business. 

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Topics: Jola Cloud Solutions Ltd

5G in the UK

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 03-Apr-2024 13:57:00

5G in the UK

Investment

The UK was one of the first markets to launch 5G. As soon as this happened all mobile network operators in the UK ramped up investment in 5G. Three UK invested over £2 billion as part of a five-year program to deliver the UK’s Fastest 5GNetwork. These investments included network intelligence to enable data-driven network improvements. As a result of their network investments, Three has won the Speedtest Award™ for Fastest 5G Network for four consecutive award periods including Q3-Q4 2022, Q1–Q2 2022, Q3–Q4 2021, and Q1–Q2 2021.

Spectrum

When the United Kingdom auctioned off spectrum licenses in 2021, Three acquired the largest dedicated band of 5G spectrum — 140MHz frequency across several 5G spectrum bands, including a 100 MHz block of contiguous spectrum in the 3.3-3.8 GHz band.

Three has the largest single slice of 5G spectrum of any network provider. The contiguous spectrum is dedicated to 5G, allowing uninterrupted data flow across the Three Network, providing higher speeds and lower latency. Three has the world’s first 5G-ready fully Cloud Core Network managed from 20 new data centres across the UK and currently provides over 61% of the UK with 5G coverage.

Demand

Demand for cost-effective, unlimited SIMs from the channel, has never been so high, for use in, phones, 5G routers, pre-Ethernet connectivity and Ethernet back-up. Applications range from digital signage and mobile broadband to bus and train WiFi, monitoring and smart devices.  Every day, resellers, manufacturers and service companies are finding new uses for 5G mobile data and this is unlikely to slow down.

According to the Ofcom Connected Nations 2022 report, the pool of 5G capable devices increased from around 10% in 2021 to 20% in 2022, while data traffic carried over 5G tripled — from 3% of all traffic in 2021 to over 9% in 2022. In April 2023, as part of the new Wireless Infrastructure Strategy, the government set out its ambitions for all populated areas to be covered by “standalone” 5G by 2030, increasing from 77% of the population already having access to 5G from one provider using 5G NSA. 

Speeds

If you have customers with a need for 5G, trial Three Business unlimited SIMs. Packaged with 5G Routers they are perfect for primary and secondary connectivity in remote areas with external antenna speeds can far exceed those of available fixed-line connectivity and are faster to install and more cost-effective.

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Topics: 5G

The Mobile Data Opportunity

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 20-Mar-2024 11:34:59

With the sunsetting of 3G, the PSTN Switch off and the rollout of 5G, demand for mobile data solutions has never been higher. Resellers and MSPs are in the perfect position to take advantage of this and they are looking for reliable suppliers who can help them grow high-margin, recurring mobile data revenues, whilst simultaneously increasing the overall value of their company.

Wholesale suppliers will need to give channel partners the tools to win deals, usually competing with the direct sales arms of the mobile networks. They must 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.

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

The prospect for the channel is significant. ICT resellers already enjoy strong relationships with businesses and the public sector having sold them a range of IT and telecoms infrastructure. Within this customer base, opportunities for mobile data solutions exist in 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 signed just over 200 new partners in 2023 and now has nearly 1500. One of our partners recently won a huge deal for thousands of RoamNet data SIMs for use in phones and tablets. Using our unique QR technology eliminated the need for physical SIM cards, making the rollout quick and easy. QR codes are also a significant step towards minimising e-waste and removing several operational headaches. SIMs roam over hundreds of mobile networks and are managed via a single platform – Mobile Manager.

Jola SIMs also operate ANPR cameras, CCTV cameras, vending machines, digital signs and tracking devices around the world.

Our partners don’t have to add any more people in billing or accounts departments to support these deals. SIMs provision immediately on Mobile Manager, so you don’t have to wait to start generating recurring margins. As soon as customers put that SIM into their device, you’re billing for it.

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Topics: mobile data

Jola launches RoamNet Voice

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 13-Mar-2024 12:15:01

Jola, the first company to establish an eSIM data MVNO dedicated to the channel in 2019, has gone one step further by including voice and SMS with their brand new global MVNO – RoamNet Voice.  Using a single UK number, customers of Jola’s 1400+ partners can access multiple networks in the UK and Ireland, for voice, data and SMS. This innovative roaming product can be steered or un-steered and is available via eSIM, triple-cut plastic SIM and, uniquely, a simple QR code.

Their first QR implementation saw thousands of demonstration handsets go live in minutes simply by using the phone’s camera to scan a single QR code. There is no alternative quite like RoamNet Voice on the market, and certainly nothing else available to resellers and MSPs. 

Jola partners now have a genuinely differentiated product to win against the Mobile Networks with great recurring margins and the real-time management and control of Mobile Manager.

“One of the great benefits of being a channel-only, independently run company within the Wireless Logic group is that we can quickly productise solutions for the channel using existing networks. RoamNet Voice combines a true roaming SIM with a UK mobile phone number and the flexibility of our fully managed voice network. RoamNet is the most cost-effective multi-network solution we offer and competes with similar offerings from the MNOs.” Adrian Sunderland CEO, Jola.

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Topics: 4G, Multi-network SIMs

Jola speaks at Channel Live

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 06-Mar-2024 13:40:04

Most resellers still do not have a mobile data proposition and they will need one to fulfil PSTN replacement opportunities and connectivity requirements for their customers. Jola’s CEO Adrian Sunderland will highlight the opportunity at the Channel Live Exhibition at the NEC on the panel discussion’ Future Proofing Connectivity’.

Using case studies, Adrian will explain the mobile data opportunity and how high ARPUs and good margins can be achieved.  He will help the audience to uncover opportunities sitting within their own customer bases and explain how mobile data can only be successfully scaled with a supplier who can deliver unique and differentiated solutions managed in a fully automated, real-time portal.

Every reseller has at least one significant mobile data opportunity in their customer base. The objective of this panel debate is to let the audience know how they can win these deals with the help of their suppliers. Panellists will outline the opportunities and deals being won and how they contribute positively to their enterprise value. They will highlight barriers to success and how to overcome them with the right partners.

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Topics: mobile data

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