The Kanata North Business Association recently commissioned a comprehensive study to analyze the impact of the tech sector on the country’s economy. When the study was completed, the magnitude and breadth of Kanata North’s financial contribution was clear – offering substantive proof of the success of this robust and unique environment that continues to draw savvy entrepreneurs, industry leaders and highly-qualified employees to the area.

The findings in the report were interesting but at Martello we weren’t surprised. We already knew what a dynamic and super-charged place this is to grow a business. With our offices nestled in the heart of Kanata North we see every day the caliber of skilled and talented employees we are able to secure and the resources at our fingertips.

Small is Mighty

Kanata North Martello

Kanata North employs over 20,000 employees directly with another 10,000 indirectly employed to provide support services; this employment number has continued to consistently grow since 1991. Here at Martello, we clock in at a little under thirty employees with a diverse, highly technical skill set and a variety of educational backgrounds. We recognize the need to hire smart and focus resources on the areas that will have the biggest impact. Here in Kanata North, 75% of the tech firms have less than 50 employees. Our CEO Bruce Linton was recently interviewed about the fine art of growing a Software as a Service (SaaS) company and the challenges that small companies face if they scale too quickly.

Small is mighty and the continued balancing act in small businesses is to operate in a way that places you in the big leagues but on a trim budget. The emergence in Kanata North of ‘incubators’ similar to L-Spark, mean that growing tech businesses can thrive in a dynamic and supported environment.

The Telecom Powerhouse and the Emerging Software Opportunity

Kanata North contributes a net value-add of $7.8 billion to the economy and hosts the largest research and technology park in Canada – you can find the Martello offices smack dab in the middle of it. Like Martello, over 64% of the companies in the Kanata North technology sector are Canadian owned.

In the past, Telecom was the bread and butter of Kanata North and to this day Telecom continues to be the foundation for Kanata North’s original growth with its heavy focus on research and development. Today, the Telecom sector employs almost half of the Kanata North workforce and is closing in on 2 billion in revenues. A recent Techopia article based on the BIA report, highlighted Software as one of four subsectors to watch in Kanata North. Martello was proud to be recognised as a leading company in this category and CEO Bruce Linton credits the SaaS model for enabling the company to scale quickly. In the article he said that now, “it’s no longer, ‘What part of telecom do you work on?’ It’s, ‘What is your tech company?’ I’m talking to people who are doing aviation systems to people who’ve got gaming applications to people who are trying to figure out the next trend on consumer behaviour.”

At Martello, we develop Software as a Service (SaaS) for the Telecom industry – so in a sense, we work in two of the key sectors highlighted in this report. Both sectors are slated for continued and growing opportunities. Many say that the SaaS market is the new Telecom in Kanata North –  it is now the second largest employer in the area with total revenues of $576.6 million and the estimated productivity by sales-per-employee is at $209,000. SaaS start-ups thrive in Kanata North with the draw of available talent, exceptional mentors, investors and passionate leaders.

The Way Forward

Kanata North MartelloKanata North draws innovators and entrepreneurs that are hungry to succeed – this entrepreneurial spirit paired with established cornerstone industry giants mean that we attract exceptionally talented candidates. This is a powerful and heady combination that leads Kanata North to be almost three times as productive as the rest of Canada – instead of a GDP creation of $85,000 per worker we set the bar up at $255,000 per worker.

The SaaS industry is growing and is set to catch up to the Telecom sector, the bedrock of Kanata North’s economy.  SaaS is increasingly recognized as a significant opportunity for Kanata North and Canada, as this industry does not require sizable capital investment like many other industries – the bulk of the investment is made in acquiring skilled workers. At Martello, we are honoured to be a part of such a thriving and dynamic community and look forward to being a part of the evolving success story of Kanata North.


As network complexity increases, downtime can seem inevitable. Each year, companies lose $26.5 billion in revenue due to IT downtime – either planned or unplanned. When there are critical application failures on the network the costs can hit a staggering 1 million dollars per hour  lost in Fortune 1000 companies.

Pinpointing the source of a voice quality problem is among the greatest challenges for telecom professionals and isolating the issue takes time and eats up valuable resources. Resolving problems quickly requires end-to-end remote monitoring of the network – and to effectively manage voice quality, a solution that combines UC and network management is critical. Tools that alert IT professionals to problems and identify their source quickly lead to a dramatic decrease in downtime.


Mitel Logo

Mitel powers more than 2 billion business connections every day and is a leader in the unified communications industry. Having grown their corporate network from 1,400 to 5,000 users, network management was a challenge for Mitel’s regional network and voice teams. They chose to standardize on the fault and performance management software they recommend to their customers – MarWatch. The SaaS ensures they can monitor the performance of their entire network including third-party and proprietary devices, detecting problems and alerting admins before users experience a voice quality disruption or downtime.

MarWatch Success Story: Mitel

Identifying the cause of a voice quality issue is exceedingly difficult in today’s complex business communications networks. From routers to switches and session border controllers, there are many multi-vendor systems in the network infrastructure, any of which can be misconfigured or failing – impacting VoIP systems. ZK ResearchIt’s no surprise then, that finding the source of a voice quality problem can be like looking for a veritable needle in a haystack for IT professionals, channel partners or service providers trying to isolate and then identify where a specific issue lies. Often, issues are only flagged after they begin to impact the end user but by then the root of the problem could have gone unidentified for days or weeks.

Pomperaug Regional School District, located in North Eastern USA, is comprised of 7 schools. They had invested in the Mitel MiVoice Business system but were facing persistent voice quality problems. Users experienced echo and consistently choppy audio. Pomperaug’s channel partner, Total Communications, had made repeated attempts over a six month period to try and replicate or isolate the problem but had been unable to find the root cause.

Voice quality can be impacted by many different variables and in complex networks just the time it takes to isolate the issue can consume valuable resources. PomeraugFortunately, Pomperaug Regional School District had invested in Mitel’s Premium Software Assurance subscription, which includes access to the MarWatch fault and performance management software-as-a-service. With MarWatch, Total Communications was able to simplify their troubleshooting process. The detailed voice quality reports pinpoint exactly where issues lie, eliminating the laborious and excessive use of resources to locate the issue. Using MarWatch, they were able to immediately identify that their voice quality issues were caused by a faulty switch. Now, any voice quality problems are quickly detected and are often resolved before the user experience is impacted.

Networks are increasingly complex and users need to have clear visibility across both public and private components – leaving no gaps in performance monitoring. Voice quality issues are difficult to isolate on unmonitored networks and pinpointing the exact source of the problem is time consuming and costly. Only comprehensive monitoring quickly detects, diagnoses and resolves network performance problems.

Read the Pomperaug Regional School District Success Story

Every tech start-up has its own culture – that set of values that fit the company and its employees. Rapid growth means success for SaaS start-ups – but is it possible to maintain the culture that attracted the people on your team in the first place? At Martello we want to rise to that challenge and believe that it is both worthwhile and possible.

Startups on the road to success face plenty of bumps along the way. However, a great team with a strong culture can overcome them and become better. That’s why it’s important to instill your company culture and take every opportunity to strengthen and nurture it.

Communication is a common challenge for companies of all sizes – but is particularly critical for companies experiencing rapid growth. Growing pains can impact communications and shift a company’s culture. A team of 2 can communicate easily – but when you add 5, 10 or 20 to the team, all with different functions or in different locations, the challenge grows to keep everyone rowing in the same direction.

Having experienced triple digit revenue growth, Martello faces these issues too – particularly with a global workforce. We’re always reviewing and improving the way we communicate – from the tools we use, to how we document processes, to issuing regular updates. Through every aspect of our business, we know that our team is the key to our success. That’s why we strive to maintain our uniquely Martello culture as we grow – based on respect, a strong sense of community, and a thirst to tackle new challenges.

Martello recently participated in the Employees’ Choice Awards (ECA) program, which honors companies within the National Capital Region (NCR) that recognize employees as their greatest asset. We’re proud to have been selected as a winner of this award, which is based on a survey of our Ottawa employees.

We asked a few ‘Martellians’ to tell us what makes this a great place to work, here is what they had to say :