Jola Cloud Solutions' Blog

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

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?

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Topics: IoT

Mobile Data Opportunities in Smart Car Parks

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 28-Jul-2021 13:00:33

The Internet of Things (IoT) is making parking a lot easier. IoT parking solutions capture images of vehicles, registration numbers and times of entry to automatically calculate parking charges on exit.

Parking sensors are autonomous, wireless devices that are easy to install. The entrance and exit of vehicles and the duration of parking are monitored in real-time, and parking costs are calculated accurately.

Specialists are providing solutions for public and private car parks to help users pay for parking more efficiently. Private APN connectivity is often required, and data deal sizes are often in their thousands. The challenge to some specialists lies in the service they directly receive from the MNOs and the lack of direct monitoring and control over their SIM estates. Lack of visibility of usage can lead to large data overage charges on a regular basis.

Aggregated multinetwork SIMs managed in a single management portal offer specialists full visibility and control over their estates as well as the ability to completely avoid data overage charges.

Jola is an award-winning, channel-only supplier of business communications, specialising in mobile data SIMs. We are a global mobile data specialist providing innovative IoT and mobile data solutions to MSPs, ISPs, distributors, IT support companies and telecommunications resellers.

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Topics: IoT, M2M

High demand for M2M and IoT SIMs

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 23-Jun-2021 13:09:54

Demand for Machine to Machine (M2M) and (IoT) SIMs is growing, as well as multi-network and Low Power SIMs (LP-WAN). Channel partners are building a pipeline of big deals in key vertical markets, generating high-margin recurring revenue from 4G data.

Transport

There are many experienced providers offering 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 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 tracking hours worked, engine telemetry and miles travelled.

Utilities

Businesses are managing their energy flows through smart energy grids and smart meters, allowing for more accurate bills. There is a focus on improving energy efficiency and resolving outages more effectively, with remote site monitoring. These devices often require LP-WAN SIMs for longevity and don’t use much data.

Health

Smart devices offer important patient benefits, like connected ambulances. Ambulance crews have access to high-bandwidth internet capabilities, and tablets holding patient records. This means that information can be sent to hospitals in real-time. Tablets require data-only SIMs with data packages to meet requirements.

Security

Commercial security is getting smarter. CCTV and alarms can be monitored securely and footage can be stored remotely. Security devices typically require M2M data SIMs or Fixed IP SIMs.

Retail

Stores are using technology to differentiate themselves by enhancing their in-store experience. They are allowing customers to beat the queues with connected handheld smart devices. From personalised billboards to tailored signage, retailers are evolving to meet changing market conditions. For digital signage, Intelligent 4G routers and multi-network M2M SIMs allow retailers to plug signs in anywhere in the UK and not worry about signal strengths, blackspots or hackers trying to edit their content.

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Topics: IoT, M2M

Smart Water Meters

Posted by Cherie Howlett on 18-May-2021 15:43:05

As water management systems age and infrastructures are updated, utilities companies consider long-range remote meter systems. By connecting water meters, utility companies eliminate the need for on-site meter readings, saving time and often improving customer satisfaction.

Dispatching staff to manually read water meters is both time-consuming and a logistical challenge. Reductions in manpower, fuel and vehicle maintenance costs add up to significant savings for utility companies switching to smart water meters.

Nonconnected water meters take point-in-time readings on a periodic basis, therefore providing a fairly limited amount of data about water usage patterns. Smart water meters give companies access to a continuous stream of real-time information about water consumption.

Smart water meters also give utility companies real-time alerts regarding outages, pipeline failures and leaks. This additional information allows companies to engage in early or preventative maintenance, detecting problems before they worsen and become more costly. Water management information can be stored in the cloud, accessible via web-based dashboards, making data gathering and analysis simple and efficient.

Specialists rolling out smart meters need reliable cellular connectivity they can manage, which will continue to perform as long as the devices are deployed.

Jola offers the widest range of mobile data SIMs from multiple suppliers, including LP-WAN, which are easy to order and manage via Mobile Manager.  

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Topics: IoT

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.

A collaboration between leading industry vendors enables retailers to minimise up-front investment time, reduce interoperability issues and allow innovation to happen at an accelerated pace.

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Topics: IoT

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

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

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.

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Topics: IoT, M2M

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