Martello Employee Gift Giving Program Around the world, our employees are involved in causes and organizations that are important to them. To share in our successes as a company, we decided there was no better way to honour the hard work of our employees than to contribute to the community organizations that matter to them – and the Employee-Directed Gift Program was born.

We’re excited to see the ripple effect these contributions will have on our community. Here is the first in a series of posts offering a glimpse into these stories.

Martello Director of Marketing, Tracy King chose the Cochlear Implant (CI) Support Group of Ottawa as the recipient of her employee-directed gift from the company. A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted electronic medical device that replaces the function of a damaged inner ear. This helps a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing in both ears to hear.

Martello Employee Gift Giving ProgramFour years ago, Tracy was navigating the challenges of hearing loss and facing the prospect of a cochlear implant. Directed to the CI Support Group by her audiologist at the Ottawa Hospital, she attended her first meeting in the hopes of learning more about the surgery, rehabilitation and prospects for improvement in her hearing. What she received from the group went far beyond her initial expectations: “At that time, there were very few environments where I could easily follow a conversation or even understand what was being said”, said Tracy. “The Cochlear Implant group was like a breath of fresh air – what I couldn’t understand through lip reading during the meetings, I could read on the screen because of the real-time captioner at the meetings. The support and encouragement I received at that first meeting convinced me to go ahead with the surgery”.
Martello Employee Gift Giving Program

Since then, Tracy has attended meetings regularly and takes great satisfaction in helping others the way in which she was, through the trials and tribulations of surgery, rehabilitation and learning to live with hearing loss. Recently, the group recognized that it would need to raise new funds in order to continue to offer real-time captioning at their regular meetings. Captioning is a costly but critical requirement for the CI Support Group: “The people attending our meetings have various degrees (or are in different stages) of hearing loss, and it’s important that this be a place where EVERYONE can understand what is being said and share their feelings. The real-time captioning also produces transcripts that are sent to a larger distribution list after each meeting, furthering our ability to help CI recipients in the community”, said Elisabeth Lumsden, who started the group more than 20 years ago after becoming one of the first in Ottawa to receive a cochlear implant.

It’s been proven that diversity brings value to organizations. Whether inside our doors or outside in our community, Martello values and promotes inclusion and full participation.

This past spring, Martello’s fault & performance management software was launched to Mitel’s partner community as Mitel Performance Analytics (MPA). Since that first exciting release, our developers have been hard at work on MPA 2.1, which introduces plenty of new features and functionality that’s anxiously anticipated by our user community.

We can tell you about what’s coming, but there’s no better way to learn what’s next than to ask the developers themselves. Our developers listen and truly understand our customers’ needs to layer on more value with each new release. In this video, developers explain the features they have created and how they’ll improve the way our customers monitor and manage the performance of Mitel business communications networks. From Co-op students to our senior software architects, every developer here at Martello works on features and functionality that have a direct and positive impact on our customers.

Service QualityIn the years since Mitel first introduced its fault & performance management offering to enterprises, channel partners and service providers, the importance of service quality has grown. Increased adoption of cloud communications and growing network complexity means that proactively managing performance is now a strategic requirement. We looked at some performance management use cases to demonstrate just how service quality can impact your business.

Use Case #1 – Find the Network Problem Faster

Pomperaug District School Board was experiencing choppy audio and echo on calls. Partner Total Communications had difficulty emulating and identifying the source of the problem over a 6 month period. After deploying Mitel Performance Analytics, the problem was identified – a faulty switch. Within a week of using MPA, the problem was resolved.

While a voice quality issue may look like a Mitel problem, it typically isn’t. That’s why MPA monitors the entire network – from Mitel MiVoice Business to routers, switches and servers. 24/7 monitoring identifies problems, while alerts, testing tools and remote access ensure you can identify the source quickly – often before the user is impacted.

Use Case #2 – Avoid Lost Revenue

Mitel Performance Analytics monitors the connectivity status of handsets connected to MiVoice Business and Mitel Border Gateway. The use case that drove this feature came from universities: they had a regulatory requirement to ensure an always available landline in student residence, in case of emergencies. Customers like Carleton University have taken advantage of this feature to help ensure student safety.

However, universities and retail customers have found another advantage of this capability. During busy periods like the holidays (retail) or fall registration (universities), these businesses are vulnerable to significant revenue loss if a disconnected phone goes undetected. This feature has saved thousands in lost revenue.

Use Case #3 – Avoid Performance Problems that Come with Growth

Rapid growth can create performance and reliability problems on a network. More users on a system creates greater strain on available bandwidth and services, and it’s often difficult to predict what resources will be needed, and when. Mitel itself provides a great example of using Mitel Performance Analytics to manage growth successfully. Following an acquisition, the company’s network grew from 1,800 to more than 5,000 users. By monitoring digital and SIP trunk utilization, MPA gives advance warning when more licenses are needed and when it’s time to add more trunks. This can prevent quality issues and downtime that can occur if the system begins to run over capacity.

It’s no longer enough for partners to deliver reactive performance management. Proactive service quality can positively impact your customer’s bottom line.

Harrow SchoolCommunication is a hallmark of successful schools – whether a small elementary school or a sprawling university campus, a rock solid unified communications system  eases every day communication between administrators, parents and students. In an emergency situation, it can be a lifeline and epicentre of information sharing. To achieve seamless and flexible communications, schools are turning to unified communications systems to replace their existing dated telecommunication systems.

Schools have unique requirements. Emergency preparedness means that landlines and communication infrastructures are essential – these systems must be there when needed. To complicate things, most schools are also dealing with extremely tight budgets and small IT teams. While trying to manage shrinking budgets, network administrators must make do with limited resources to troubleshoot issues or fix problems. In this environment, fault & performance management software can bring significant ROI. Monitoring multiple devices on the network reduces strain on already stretched IT resources, and a subscription-based SaaS model means more manageable costs.

University campuses are typically spread out across multiple locations, and with fault and performance management software you have 24/7 monitoring, smart alerts, remote access and capacity planning tools at your fingertips. Alerts are quickly generated to notify IT staff of any issues – often before the end user is even impacted. Secure remote access makes troubleshooting problems easy, keeping costs in check and reducing the issue-to-resolution window.


Maintaining ‘Up-Time’ During Critical Registration Periods

Registration periods are among a university’s busiest and can tax existing communications systems.  To avoid downtime during a critical window, Ottawa’s Carleton University chose Mitel Performance Analytics (MPA) fault and performance management software to monitor, alert and report on their Mitel communication system. The Carleton IT team is now able to detect issues like excessive delay or packet loss and they get supporting data that shortens the problem-to-resolution time.

Upgrading Technology While Ensuring Service Quality

Undertaking a technology upgrade can be a challenge. Britain’s prestigious Harrow School had a campus that covered over 400 acres, hundreds of landlines and more than 800 students. Harrow was in need of aligning their communications infrastructure with increasing demands. A new network infrastructure featuring MiVoice Business was paired with MPA. Now, thanks to MPA’s proactive monitoring and support Harrow can rest easy while delivering exceptional service quality to the campus.

A Needle in a Haystack – Simplifying Troubleshooting to Improve Quality

In a school’s complex multi-vendor network, it can be difficult to not only pinpoint but also FIX voice quality issues.- finding the source of the issue is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Pomperaug Regional School District had invested in the Mitel MiVoice Business system but were facing persistent voice quality problems that could not be isolated or reproduced. Fortunately, they had invested in Mitel’s Premium Software Assurance subscription, which includes access to MPA. Using MPA, the detailed voice quality reports quickly pinpointed the problem’s cause.

Managing school campus networks using fault and performance management software means that issues are quickly identified and helps avoid downtime during peak times.

Harrow SchoolIf you follow tech industry news, you know that billions of devices will soon need to be connected – from a simple toaster to the most complex hospital equipment performing lifesaving surgeries. It’s the ‘Internet of Things’, or IoT, and research guru Gartner says that 6.4 billion ‘things’ will be connected by the end of 2016, hitting 20.8 billion by 2020.  For most of us, it’s an interesting future to look forward to, but for network administrators supporting large scale unified communication systems it’s a looming concern.

So what’s the big deal about the IoT? Well, as more and more ‘things’ require consistent AND constant connectivity, demands on the network skyrocket. This growing demand can lead to network instability, the potential for unexpected downtime and service quality inconsistencies.  Preparing your network for growth means that your organization can reap the benefits of the IoT, including increased revenues, a boom in internal productivity an overall increase in end user satisfaction due to the growth of connected devices.

Monitor, Monitor, Monitor…

So how can you stay ahead of the curve? Knowledge is power and a network that is monitored using fault and performance management tools generates detailed data that can be transformed into a powerful asset to prevent problems associated with the IoT. Using fault and performance monitoring software ensures that as demands on the network grow with the IoT, you have end-to-end visibility to monitor, track and analyse the status of the network in real-time.  This leaves no gaps in performance and availability monitoring of both the private and public devices that make up the network allowing you to quickly detect, diagnose and resolve network performance problems – before they impact the end user.

As the IoT grows, so do the sprawling and complicated networks required to support it. For most organizations, moving to cloud based applications and spreading out network locations is the only way to sustain growth going forward. A network that is nimble and can scale quickly is essential. Think tank IDC has predicted that by 2017, 90% of enterprises will have adopted new business models to accommodate the IoT.

Crystal Clear Visibility for Voice Network Success

Today’s business communications networks are a complex mix of cloud-hosted and on-premise PBX systems, third party devices, multi-vendor routers, switches and servers. To prepare voice networks for the demands of the IoT, network visibility is the key. A monitored network sends real-time alerts that warns of  impending network issues that could negatively impact voice service. This helps reduce the problem-to-resolution window and avoid downtime.  Managing a network in the virtual darkness leaves your team firefighting issues brought forward by unhappy end users and finds you patching up issues as they arise.  When increased demand starts to tax the overall system, you’ll be scrambling to scale.  With network performance management tools you can leverage analytics to collect data on the health and performance of your network. This comprehensive data helps you plan, predict and forecast for network growth and management.

The IoT is coming – some say it’s already here. Network administrators must prepare to maintain and scale for the additional requirements of increasing connected devices.  The only way to effectively do this is to know exactly what is happening on your network – with the crystal clear visibility that fault and performance management software gives you into your network with around the clock monitoring.  Will your organization be ready to reap the rewards of our increasingly interconnected world? The time is now to prepare your organization.