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TroubleshootingTroubleshooting problems is among the IT community’s top problems when managing voice network performance. According to a recent survey, 90% of the time it takes to resolve network problems is spent finding its source. As the provider of voice network performance management software for Mitel solutions, we know that you’ll be spinning your wheels unproductively if you don’t have the right tools at your fingertips. Take a look at these troubleshooting tips, tried and true from managing the performance of more than 10,000 devices around the globe.

Tip #1: Detect Problems at an Early Stage

The earlier a problem is detected, the less impact it will have on users. It will also cause less panic and be resolved faster. The key here is a monitoring system that uses thresholds to drive performance alarms. Thresholds for voice quality, for example can be set to generate ‘Warning’ alarms for potential or impending problems, before any significant effects have been felt. Problems that are less critical for your organization can be set to a higher threshold, so that you’ll only be alerted if it reaches a Major or Critical performance impacting level.

Tip #2: Choose Remote Access Tools that Simplify Access to Network Devices

Secure access to remote devices is key to successful troubleshooting. However, options differ in terms of their cost and ease of use. Some, like VPNs, can be costly. Others are cumbersome, requiring the network admin to open the firewall each time you need access. Remote access tools like the one included in Mitel Performance Analytics (MPA) use a locally installed probe to access devices, so there is no need for a VPN, and no need to open the firewall every time you require access. Access is single click, and cost effective with MPA included in Mitel’s Premium Software Assurance subscription.

TroubleshootingTip #3: Troubleshoot Voice Quality Problems Direct from the Handset

Voice quality problem to resolution is faster when you can launch IP traceroute directly from the call’s handset from the detailed voice quality records in the dashboard. MPA does this for calls generated from the MiVoice Business. It also offers a range of additional test tools launched from the dashboard, including ping, MTR, iftop and DNS lookup.

Tip #4: Get to the Source of Voice Quality Problems Faster by Monitoring the Infrastructure

Monitoring the status and performance of your PBX is the first step towards detecting and addressing voice quality problems. Threshold-based alerting means that you can choose to be notified at an early stage, and use the testing tools in MPA to determine where along the path a problem has happened. To kick it up a notch, though, start monitoring the switches, routers and servers on your network with MPA. This helps reduce time to resolution. Here’s why: when a voice quality problem happens, it typically starts from a resource problem (like strain on bandwidth manifesting in trouble reaching an edge router), or a failure of a device on the network. By monitoring these devices, you’ll see a pattern of multiple device alarms around the time of a voice quality alarm. If you’ve set your thresholds lower, you’ll see these problems at an early stage.

Managing the performance of voice networks starts with choosing monitoring tools that specialize in VoIP. Mitel customers and partners can choose Mitel Performance Analytics (MPA), which offers Mitel-specific voice quality management, along with monitoring of the surrounding network infrastructure. See what you can do with MPA.

Martello Move

It has been an exciting few weeks at Martello with our team participating in the CU Hackathon, sponsoring TEDxKanata and then moving last week to our shiny new office space! After the rush of the move, we are now able to catch our breath, look around and be reminded that this new space is a great testament to our team’s hard work and shows that we are ready for our next growth phase.

Any start-up struggles with how fast to grow and how to stay nimble. At Martello, we have experienced rapid growth over the past few years. Among the challenges of growth is how to best manage the space as the team expands. In recent years, we have experienced triple digit revenue growth leading us to be recognized as Ottawa’s Fastest Growing Company and named No.31 on PROFIT and Canadian Business 2016 Startup 50 list. With all this growth, it’s no surprise that our old space had gotten pretty cozy over the past few months and the constant shuffling of desks and making room for our remote employees and new co-op students had pretty much become second nature to us.

With our current headcount outgrowing the space, we were lucky to find an empty office literally across the hallway from our existing office. The new space needed some freshening up to be sure and of course we wanted to put that unique Martello spin on it!. Last Thursday, with the smell of fresh paint still lingering, we moved into our new digs and are slowly unpacking. As we continue to settle in over the next few weeks we are already planning an open house once we have everything unpacked and in place. We’ll also have the latest release of Mitel Performance Analytics 2.1 to showcase and maybe even a sneak peek of what’s to come in MPA 2.2.

At Martello, our doors are always open though so please don’t be shy so pop in and say hello – we would love to show you around!

Woodsword

Martello employee Steven Dwyer and his wife, Sandra Laughren, are strong believers in the transformative power of education.  Sandra’s Indigenous background and years of experience working on Indigenous issues also make the couple acutely aware of the unique challenges facing First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Canadians today.

Sandra’s story is particularly inspiring.  Growing up in a blue-collar community she went to work full-time in a garment factory after completing four years of high school.  After two years of working in the factory, she knew that she wanted a better life for herself and would need a university education.  With no financial support from her family, she went back to high school and graduated from an alternative school for adults with the credits she needed to apply to university.

Sandra enrolled at the University of Toronto via Woodsworth College and over the next ten years completed a part-time Honours degree in Political Science and Philosophy.  She financed her education by working as a maid in a hotel, an admitting receptionist in a hospital emergency room, and at a coffee shop, often working more than one job at a time.

After graduation, Sandra earned a certificate in Journalism from Humber College and then went to work as a reporter.  Even before he met her, Steven can recall reading her byline on the front page of the Toronto Star, where she interned before joining the local paper in the town of Simcoe, Ontario.

But Sandra didn’t stop there. Knowing that education was key, she continued on to earn a part-time Master’s degree in Public Administration from Queen’s University.

Propelled on by her drive and education, Sandra found herself writing speeches that were read in the Parliament of Canada and represented Canada at the United Nations in Geneva. Before long, she found herself dining with Sharon McIvor – the woman whose tireless fight against a paternalistic law resulted in Sandra receiving official recognition of her Indian Status from the Government of Canada.

In her job at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and in her personal life, Sandra has seen the challenges facing Indigenous Canadians and has worked to help develop solutions for them.  At the same time, Sandra and Steven understand that more work must always be done.

In 2014, hoping to lessen the financial burdens of a university education, Sandra and Steven endowed a scholarship at Woodsworth College at the University of Toronto.  The annual award is given to Indigenous students with financial need and the recipients may include part-time students.

The first two awardees are both Aboriginal women with an impressive record of bringing awareness to Indigenous issues.  And both have demonstrated their desire for and commitment to education through participation in the Millie Rotman Shime Academic Bridging Program.   The Millie Rotman Shime program is now in its 50th year and is an access program for individuals who have not completed high school.  Upon successful completion of a bridging course at Woodsworth, students gain admission into the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

When asked about the impact of this donation, Woodsworth College Executive Director of Advancement, Alumni, & Communications, Barbara Track said, “Woodsworth College is very fortunate to have donors like Sandra and Steven who understand what financial support can mean to a student and their success.  Awards such as the one they established help students to achieve their dream of a university education.  Students are encouraged and grateful that people they don’t know cared enough to help them in their pursuit of a university education.  Everyone benefits.”

Through its Employee Directed Giving Program, Martello Technologies is proud to make a donation to the Sandra Laughren and Steven Dwyer Scholarship at Woodsworth College.

CUHackingWith many Carleton University alum currently calling Martello ‘home’ we were thrilled to be asked to be a sponsor for CUHacking – the largest hackathon in Ottawa to date, with more than 800 applicants from around the world. So what’s a hackathon? Well, let’s paint you a picture; imagine over 300 university students working in teams to bring an idea to life through different challenges that will create either a software or hardware project over an intense 24 hour period. With the hackathon taking place March 4-5, we are busy at Martello putting together a team of mentors who will be able to assist students over the 24 hour period and we are developing a challenge that we know will really put the student’s skills to the test.  You can be sure there will be lots of Red Bull and most probably pizza as well but the real objective of this amazing event is for students to be challenged to develop some applicable skills and to learn something new along the way. At Martello, we are always looking for top talent and we see participating in CUHacking as an opportunity to go ‘straight to the source’.  As a sponsor, we get to run our own challenge and be in the front row as new ideas are discovered among the top-tier of engineering students at Carleton University.

The Challenge

The details are still a secret, but one thing’s for sure: Martello’s challenge won’t be a theoretical exercise. Our objective is to structure a challenge that responds to a real-life problem, and results in a working demo that students can show their friends, profs and future employers. That’s really a reflection of Martello’s culture and how we engage the talented people that make up our team. For example, we have a strong internal mentorship program at Martello where co-op students are paired to work with a mentor throughout their term and are actively developing key features of our product that customers will use every day.  The strong relationship between employee and student encourages a constant exchange of knowledge and ideas that in turn leads to a positive placement experience and allows us to develop skills that we would then look to hire for when the time comes.

Will We See you There?

For more details on this event be sure to check out the CUHacking website and follow us on twitter @MartelloTech for day-of-event pictures and updates.  We can’t wait to be there with other sponsors like March Networks, Bloomberg, GitHub and Real Decoy. Let the hacking begin!

TEDxAt Martello, we never questioned why Kanata North was chosen three years ago to be the host location for a TEDx conference. We have already written  about how we are proud to be among the great minds and big picture thinkers that are excited to set down roots in Kanata North.  TED’s mission is to spread ideas and to create an environment that helps to spark conversation – that is very much what happens on a daily basis here in Kanata North and at Martello.

Did you know that TED event attendees are carefully curated and include a delicate mix of not only CEO’s but also scholars, artists and scientists? This eclectic mix of attendees is handpicked by the organizers because every attendee is meant to contribute to the dynamic environment where innovative ideas are presented. At Martello, we believe in cultivating a similar ‘winning formula’ of employees in our office and create a workplace that nurtures curious minds and the type of forward thinking that comes up with big ideas that have a lasting impact on our business.

Last year’s TEDxKanata was a resounding success and our CEO, Bruce Linton being a speaker was a highlight for us at Martello.  Fast-forward to this year’s TEDxKanata and we are excited to be a sponsor at this great event that sees visionaries and artist coming together to support a single theme: ‘The Next 150: Driving Change’ celebrating Canada’s 150 years as a nation. We are excited by this year’s lineup which includes speakers like Mark Dabrowski, co-founder of Teldio and Allan Lee Brown the director and founder of Compasio Relief & Development.

Be a Part of It – Win a Ticket

Attending a TED conference is said to be ‘a journey into the future in the company of those creating it’ and at Martello we want to talk you along! How can you enter? Be sure to fill out our online form by March 1st for your chance to win a ticket. The winner will be announced on Thursday, March 2nd @12:00 PM. 

A Few of Martello’s Favourite TED Talks

With the excitement building for this year’s conference, we started talking in the office about some of our favourite TED Talks – it seems like everyone has one that stands out. Take a look below for a few of our favourites and the reasons why they had such an impact on us.

How great leaders inspire action by Simon Sinek : EUGENE LEE, Software DeveloperTEDx
Why it’s great: Simon was the speaker that inspired me to start using the phrase, “I believe…”
He is the reason why I changed using “I think…” at the beginning of sentence to ”I  believe…”.

Why is ‘x’ the unknown? by Terry Moore : ANTOINE ROUX, Software Designer:
Why it’s great: You really learn something in this TED talk.

My escape from North Korea by Hyeonseo LeeHARRY ANDREWS, Software Designer
Why it’s great: The speaker’s whole story was very inspiring – Hyeonseo was almost caught many times. At one point in her story she said that a complete stranger from Australia, who had no idea of her heritage, helped her by paying bail to get her out of jail – that act of a total stranger seeing what was happening and assisting her was very inspirational.

A love poem for lonely prime numbers by Harry Baker : CHRIS WILSON, Software TEDxArchitect
Why it’s great: I love language and it’s an exemplary display of how clever one can be with it. 

Do schools kill creativity? By Ken Robinson : SARA PURDON, Marketing Specialist
Why it’s great: This presenter discusses how we can be nurturing creative spirit in students and how our current school system is not currently set up to do this effectively. He actually goes on to say that most schools are currently doing the exact opposite from nurturing a love of learning in students. 

Overcoming Dyslexia, Finding Passion by Piper Ottbein : SALINA TRAN, Marketing Specialist:TEDx
Why it’s great: I like this TED Talk because learning disabilities are very common, and it’s inspiring to see someone as young as Piper had the strength to share her struggles and how she overcame dyslexia. 

Your body language shapes who you are by Amy Cuddy : TRACY KING, Director of Marketing
Why it’s great: In this talk, Amy tells a great personal story to underpin the message that something as small as body language can have a big impact on the way you think of and project yourself.