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Like finding the needle in a haystack, finding the source of a voice quality problem is a big, time consuming task for IT personnel. Today’s networks are increasingly complex, with cloud and premise, BYOD, and a range of equipment from multiple vendors. In fact, in a 2014 study,  75% of network professionals cites identifying the source of an issue as their key troubleshooting problem.

When it comes to voice quality, issues such as echo, delay or jitter are symptoms. The trick is in finding the source of the problem on a big, complex network infrastructure. Addressing all of the systems on a network is time consuming – meanwhile the user is experiencing voice quality problems.

That’s why a UC performance management strategy needs to monitor not only the UC solution – handsets, call servers, platforms – but the many devices in the surrounding network infrastructure. Your voice quality problem could be coming from a malfunctioning router or misconfigured switch. To find that needle in the haystack, you need to monitor the performance of the entire network infrastructure. Monitoring VQ tells us there IS a problem. Monitoring the rest of the infrastructure tells us WHERE.

In November, Martello introduces a new capability to MarWatch that makes it easier for Mitel partners, service providers and customers to monitor their entire network from a single interface. Stay tuned!

It’s been a stellar 2015 for Martello. We moved into a great new office space that expands our footprint threefold. Our shareholders elected an impressive Board of Directors chaired by tech industry titan Sir Terry Matthews. Some have even considered us a leader of the pack driving SaaS innovation in Ottawa. To top it all off, Martello was named Ottawa’s Fastest Growing Company, with 3 year revenue growth of more than 600%.

BOBS RECIPIENT_2015_HIGH RESToday, we’re thrilled to share the news that we’ve won a ‘Best Ottawa Business’, or BOB award. When we take a look at some of the previous years’ winners, it’s a group we’re glad to join: Shopify, Halogen, Mitel Networks, Tweed.

It’s all great validation not just for Martello, but that Ottawa is a growing, thriving place to do business. As Sir Terry has said: “When I started Mitel with Mike Cowpland in 1972, if you’d said ‘this is a high-tech area,’ you’d have to be joking. It would be a joke. It’s no joke now.” He’s not alone in his enthusiasm for Ottawa as a place to grow a tech business. We know firsthand the value of its strong pool of software development talent, and a tech ecosystem that includes startups, growth stage companies and multinationals.

So, while we’re patting ourselves on the back for this recognition by the BOB Awards program, we’re also saluting the larger tech community in Ottawa. In case you’re not familiar with the BOB awards, they recognize companies and individuals in a variety of categories, from Best New Business to Best Performance in Exporting, HR and Sales, to the Best Ottawa Business. Want to know which category Martello has been named in? That’s under wraps for now – you’ll have to attend the 2015 Best Ottawa Business Awards on November 18th to find out!

As UCaaS continues to mature, service quality has become a hot topic. In ‘A Quick Look at the State of UC as a Service’, author Joseph Williams notes:

“UC is a 7×24 required service. If something goes wrong, the CIO is taking heat and looking for answers. A lot of cloud vendors (not just UCaaS vendors) are not providing sufficient accountability for outages or service performance, leaving the CIO exposed and unable to provide her own accountability to her boss.”

In an industry where barriers to switching providers is low, managing customer churn is critical for UCaaS providers. Churn is a real issue – 50 percent of respondents to a IE Market Research (IEMR) customer experience survey said they had been with their current service provider for less than a year, and double digit quarterly churn rates are not uncommon. That’s why service quality is attracting attention – it’s one of few tangible competitive differentiators that can mean the difference between a renewed contract and a lost customer.

Consider voice quality. As voice moves into the cloud, it’s become increasingly difficult for service providers to monitor the performance of multi-vendor networks Mitel-MiCloud-imgfor their customers. While the vendor’s equipment may be highly reliable, problems on the network can manifest as poor voice quality (jitter, packet loss, delay). That’s when the customer calls to complain, and the fingerpointing begins.

At least, that’s how it works in the traditional ‘break/fix’ UC support model. UCaaS demands a different approach. A more proactive approach monitors cloud networks on a 24/7 basis, allowing service providers to address a problem BEFORE the customer can pick up the phone to make a support call. The outcome? Happier, stickier customers and a consistent recurring revenue stream.

And the CIO taking heat and looking for answers? Key performance metrics and visibility into where problems are should be standard issue for UCaaS providers – allowing them to easily demonstrate what happened, what caused it, and what measures were taken to address it quickly.

Find out how MarWatch helps Mitel service providers manage churn with service quality.

In case you missed it, the MarWatch fault & performance management software for Mitel solutions now includes support for the MiVoice MX-ONE call control platform for the large enterprise. For Martello, it’s the latest step in our drive to continually improve the value we can offer to the Mitel community. For channel partners supporting the MiVoice MX-ONE, it’s an opportunity to manage service quality more effectively using the SaaS already used in more than 2,000 Mitel networks.

Check out these 5 rules for getting the best performance from your MiVoice MX-ONE solution:

1. DO choose SaaS for flexible access

Software as a service (SaaS) has many benefits, including greater flexibility of access. Though it can also be installed on-premise, the MarWatch SaaS deployment MarWatch5 Screenshotsmeans you can access the MarWatch dashboard (and your customer’s devices) from anywhere, whether from your PC at the office or smartphone on the go.

2. DO use a single pane of glass for performance management

Instead of a ‘one to one’ approach to managing customer networks, you can access every customer from one pane of glass using MarWatch. A single login gives you visibility into what’s happening in all of your customer’s networks – and the dashboard is designed to help you identify the most problematic areas at-a-glance.

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 3. DON’T react to problems – take a more proactive approach

It’s no longer enough to respond to support calls. The Mitel channel partners that use MarWatch are detecting problems BEFORE the customer notices them – and it’s become a key competitive differentiator for them. MarWatch monitors customer devices on a 24/7 basis, and sends alerts by email or text in real-time when an issue is detected. The channel partner can then log into MarWatch from anywhere and use tools like secure remote access and active testing tools to resolve the problem –often before it has impacted any users.

4. DON’T settle for status quo

As customers deploy an increasing variety of devices  and take advantage of developments like cloud computing, service quality can be negatively impacted if network management software doesn’t keep pace.

MarWatch benefits from an aggressive product roadmap that has seen significant feature development over the past 5 years of in-market operation. Most recently, the new MarWatch 5 platform introduced multi-tenancy, along with improvements in testing tools, a new widescreen ‘problem finder’ dashboard and other features. There’s lots coming, too – we’ll expand SNMP device support, introduce analytics, and extend MiVoice MX-ONE support to include more advanced features such as voice quality monitoring.

5. DO expect service quality to impact your bottom line

The importance of service quality is greater than ever. As network complexity grows and technology rapidly evolves, it is increasingly challenging to deliver reliable performance. Partners that understand this are winning business by taking a proactive approach to service quality. Partners can significantly reduce the cost of delivering service quality to customers – by eliminating the need for onsite support visits with remote access, and by reducing the IT resources needed to detect and address problems.

It’s a proven strategy for Mitel channel partners – business success through improved service quality. As Mitel General Manager Enterprise Martin Bitzinger has said: “Over several years of operation, MarWatch has proven a valuable tool for Mitel partners who want to proactively deliver a high level of service quality to their customers”.

Want to find out more? Check out MarWatch monitoring capabilities for MiVoice MX-ONE.

According to recent headlines, SaaS development is growing at a healthy pace in Ottawa, with start-ups like Martello joined by larger public tech leaders like Shopify and Halogen. Validating the growing importance of SaaS in Ottawa is L-Spark, an Ottawa-based incubator and accelerator designed to grow Enterprise SaaS companies. Ottawa is in a great position to become Canada’s SaaS innovation hub – it’s populated by tech entrepreneurs and world-leading software developers, folks that know a thing or two about raising investment capital and bringing new technologies to market. However, delivering software as a service requires attention to service quality – to keep customers ‘sticky’ and minimize churn.

More than 69% of US small businesses use cloud-based software and apps on a daily basis. It’s no surprise – SaaS introduces an opex model to applications that avoids the capital outlay of purchasing software for on-premise installation, offering instead a monthly subscription to software hosted typically by a service provider. The predictable monthly cost, easy upgrades and accessibility from anywhere are key drivers for SaaS adoption.

Ottawa boasts an ecosystem of tech entrepreneurs that have raised capital, started companies and brought software products successfully to market. A glance at Invest Ottawa’s Why Ottawa makes the case for Ottawa’s SaaS leadership – including the fact that 1 out of 9 employees in the region is a scientist or engineer.
While Ottawa is well positioned for SaaS success, entrepreneurs should recognize that hosted or SaaS business models live or die based on service quality. The ‘month to month’ model means that barriers to switching providers is low, so hosted services can’t afford periods of downtime or poor quality.

That’s the idea behind Martello’s SaaS. Addressing the unified communications market, and Mitel solutions in particular, our MarWatch software monitors the performance of these systems around the clock. Identifying problems like voice quality disruptions, it alerts technicians in real-time, typically before the customer can be impacted by the problem. The outcome for service providers offering UCaaS is reduced churn and higher contract renewal rates – which is the lifeblood of SaaS success.