Martello BLOG : Non classé

Libro Credit Union has 70 years of history serving the families, farms and enterprises of southwestern Ontario, Canada. Libro serves its customers in 31 branches, by phone or online. Reliable, high quality voice communication is important to Libro. After investing in a Mitel MiVoice Business solution, Libro invested in Mitel Performance Analytics (MPA) fault and performance management software. It is a solution that has paid off – resolving network problems before they can negatively impact service quality.

Challenge

An organization that calls its customers ‘Owners’ is sure to prioritize customer service. In fact, it is a critical part of Libro Credit Union’s success. No matter what mode of communication a Libro customer or Owner may choose (phone, online, or in-branch), they should expect consistently available and reliable service. When it came to their Mitel VoIP system, Libro needed a solution that would make it easier to find and fix problems on the network. Central access to all devices from one location for troubleshooting would save time and money, and allow Libro’s Mitel channel partner to assist them more easily. In addition, detailed data on voice quality would help them pinpoint the source of a problem faster.

Solution

MPA is Mitel’s fault and performance management software. Designed specifically for Mitel systems, it delivers 24/7 performance monitoring, real-time alerts for detected problems, reporting and secure remote access for fast, efficient problem resolution. For MiVoice Business, MPA also offers a suite of advanced tools – such as secure offsite backups and SMDR record collection. Deployed in the cloud and accessible anywhere from a PC or mobile device, MPA has helped Libro improve the way they manage VoIP service quality. Secure remote access means that Libro’s channel partner can easily and securely investigate issues on their voice network without Libro’s intervention. Libro’s IT staff can also access devices in 28 locations for troubleshooting and administration.
MPA is Mitel’s fault and performance management software. Designed specifically for Mitel systems, it delivers 24/7 performance monitoring, real-time alerts for detected problems, reporting and secure remote access for fast, efficient problem resolution. For MiVoice Business, MPA also offers a suite of advanced tools – such as secure offsite backups and SMDR record collection.

Deployed in the cloud and accessible anywhere from a PC or mobile device, MPA has helped Libro improve the way they manage VoIP service quality. Secure remote access means that Libro’s channel partner can easily and securely investigate issues on their voice network without Libro’s intervention. Libro’s IT staff can also access devices in 28 locations for troubleshooting and administration.

Preventing phone system downtime was important to Libro. Doug Roswell, Banking Systems and Telecommunications Analyst for Libro Credit Union, says “Preventing downtime that affects our customer base is always top of mind. If we can’t communicate with them, we can’t serve them, and that is a big problem.” MPA now monitors the performance and availability of their systems around the clock, and sends an alert when a problem is detected, allowing Libro to act quickly, before customers are impacted: “MPA allows us to be proactive and be made aware
of problems as soon as they occur, preventing downtime or a decline in voice quality,” Roswell said.

Since Mitel systems are highly reliable, when voice quality degrades, it is typically caused by an event in the network environment. From high latency to improper configuration, the trouble for IT personnel managing voice networks is identifying what exactly is causing the voice quality problem.

“Preventing downtime that affects our customer base is always top of mind. If we can’t communicate with them, we can’t serve them, and that is a big problem.”
Doug Roswell
Libro Credit Union

MPA helps: “The voice quality performance data and SMDR records have proven to be valuable troubleshooting tools for us,” explained Roswell. “We can see voice quality by call, including key data such as R-Factor, IP addresses, codec, delay, jitter, and packet loss – all of which can point to the source of a voice quality problem for faster resolution.”

Making a great product even more valuable to Libro is the secure offsite backup service for MiVoice Business, which stores configuration files, call history and embedded voice mail in a cloud-hosted file that is easily retrievable via a standard web browser. “It’s great to have the MiVoice Business backup files offsite – it’s reassuring to know that they are there if needed,” Roswell said.

For Libro Credit Union, proactively providing the best customer service is at the heart of their 70 year history – making MPA a great fit for their voice operations.

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After the media frenzy that followed Bruce Linton’s departure from Canopy Growth, Martello was put into the spotlight following comments by our co-chairman.

“I would like to help Martello both define and execute their strategy on acquisitions, because it is a very thoughtful and solid company that essentially allows all of the business applications in offices to work the way they should and avoid problems for users and the IT team.  As companies are distributing and globalizing, this should be an even bigger problem that Martello can solve, and so I would like to spend some time with that,” Bruce Linton said.

Sporting his Martello t-shirt the entrepreneurial mogul conducted interviews with Bloomberg, Global News and CTV News, the day after his release from the company he founded 6 years before.

“What I think really happened was Bruce wore the T-shirt and that sort of shone a bit of a spotlight on Martello,” said John Proctor, President and CEO of Martello Technologies Group Inc. (MTLO.V), in an interview with BNN Bloomberg’s Jon Erlichman. “When people looked at us they found we were fairly substantial – they probably thought we were a little bit undervalued and reacted accordingly.”

Interest from investors surged following the positive feedback, sending the Martello stock soaring.

Martello has been focused on both organic growth and growth through acquisitions. Continuing to increase our product offering, we have shown success in a number of different verticals including the Internet of Things, Hospitality, Health Care, Banking and more.

Recent business developments include:
  • Showcasing a proof of concept of its next generation network performance management solution for autonomous vehicles and IoT in May 2019, developed in collaboration with BlackBerry QNX, the global supplier of software platforms to the auto industry.
  • After debuting on the list last year, Martello moved up 20 spots on the 2019 Branham300 ranking of Canada’s top ICT companies
  • The Company recently highlighted its growth in the hospitality industry, with Martello’s solutions now deployed in thousands of hotels around the world and partnerships with GuestTek in Canada and Naizak in the Middle East.
  • Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) in the Netherlands, a Martello customer for 13 years, recently chose Martello to improve the performance and reliability of hybrid cloud-based services, including Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Azure.
  • In January 2019, Martello signed an amendment to its agreement with Mitel Networks, a key partner. The terms of the amendment included expanding the coverage of Martello’s software to additional Mitel communications platforms, and extending the renewal term. Subsequently, in March 2019, Mitel announced the launch of Mitel Performance Analytics (MPA) 3.0, developed by Martello, which expands the software’s coverage to include the MiVoice Connect platform.

“We have done all the right things. And if you look at our two co-chairs, one is Bruce and the other one is Sir Terry Matthews the guy who founded Mitel, who founded Newbridge, Wales’s first billionaire,” John said in an interview with Proactive Investors.

Martello’s buy and build strategy is proving to be fruitful after the most recent acquisition of Amsterdam-based Savision in November 2018.

“Martello is fortunate to have Bruce’s expertise on capital markets and acquisition strategy”, said John Proctor, President and CEO of Martello. “Additional time with Bruce will accelerate and drive our program as we seek to expand our business with further accretive acquisitions, and focus on continuous and strong revenue growth.”

“We’re more than just a T-shirt that Bruce wore,” John told BNN Bloomberg.

While we are more than just a t-shirt, we are offering everyone a chance to claim their piece of Martello now in our Online Store.

Martello has a busy fall schedule lined up with a number of tradeshows in North America and Europe.

Catch us at the SD-WAN Summit in Paris, France from September 24-26.

We will also be attending Microsoft Ignite from November 4-8, 2019 in Orlando, Florida.

You can also find us at Gartner IOCS in Las Vegas from December 9-12.

Whether you’re a partner, customer, investor or just a fan of our smallcap business doing big things, we thank you for your support!

The Future Is Wireless

To access the Internet today, users typically go about it one of two ways: either by logging onto any available WiFi in the area or by using their smartphone’s mobile network (LTE, 4G, 3G networks), usually in that order of preference. There are many reasons for that.  Mobile networks are managed and delivered by operators over cell towers. WiFi is most commonly used as the access point to a home, office of public network serviced through cable or fiber. While mobile networks offer more freedom of movement, WiFi offers more stable throughput. All this may be about to change with the introduction of 5G.

5G is the 5th and latest generation of cellular communications. It’s currently being rolled out worldwide to tackle the increasing pressure put on mobile networks, including from the growing number of IoT products joining the market daily. 5G is succeeding the incumbent 4G/LTE system which is currently the worldwide standard.

At a throughput of around 20Gbps (or the capacity to download over 600 songs in a single second), it’s reasonable to think that 5G should make WiFi obsolete. If only it were so simple. 

The Difference

Comparing WiFi and Mobile networks, is like comparing apples to oranges. While they’re both fruit, they have a very different look and feel. WiFi, in essence, is a wireless local area network. Devices connecting to it are essentially on the same network and can normally “see” each other, unless specified otherwise. A mobile network on the other hand, is typically only accessible by devices authenticated through a SIM card. It can span large areas, and although devices are invisible to each other, they are visible to the network provider. 

This raises two issues, if 5G is to replace WiFi.

First, the frequencies used by mobile operators are owned by the state. Telcos need to obtain an authorization, thereby awarding them a sliver of the 5G spectrum. Then, they need to build their own infrastructure, which involves erecting cell towers all over the landscape, and connecting these to their backbone by laying underground fiber. Today, 3G and 4G cells can reach 150KM. A 5G cell is expected to reach 250… meters. It also has a hard time going through concrete. So while it may fix its throughput problem, it’s likely to kill the main benefit of mobile networks today: reach.  

Second, mobile plans are significantly more expensive than wired Internet (through which WiFi is typically serviced). The lack of affordable unlimited plans for mobile data only exacerbates that problem. Based on the reach issues highlighted above, it’s unlikely that costs will go down with the introduction of 5G service. WiFi, in and of itself, is typically free to access, unless you’re paying to access top tier WiFi, like at a hotel. 

Simply put, 5G, for all the performance improvement it promises, is not in for an easy adoption. WiFi, on the other hand, is already in your house, at the office, in hotels, and at coffee shops. As mobile communications are moving to their 5th generation, WiFi is moving into its 6th.

Enter WiFi 6

WiFi 6 (formerly 802.11ax if you’re interested), is set to replace WiFi 5 (formerly 802-11ac). Today, the theoretical maximum speed for WiFi is 3.5Gbps, and is expected to reach 9.6Gbps with WiFi 6. That’s less than half the speed of 5G.  The main benefit of Wi-Fi 6 was never speed, however – it’s the capacity to handle more devices without hurting performance. This new technology is also designed to accommodate the Internet of Things (IoT), but uses optimization rather than abundant throughput. 

In both cases, several changes will need to happen: as we transition into new generations of wireless communications, every connected device would need to be changed. Think of all the devices you have connected to the Internet, whether it’s mobile or WiFi. This includes all laptops, tablets, smart speakers, televisions – even today’s smartphones are mostly incompatible with either WiFi 6 or 5G. 

For IoT, however, WiFi has a key advantage: greater control over the network. The way IoT is designed today, devices connect onto a known WiFi (as it’s technically a local area network, after all), in order to operate. In doing so, the WiFi network can be configured to give certain applications priority over the bandwidth to ensure continuity of service. When dealing with IoT real-time applications, even a second delay can cause potentially life-threatening consequences. Think of autonomous vehicles or emergency response systems, a delay could mean the literal difference between life and death.   

Not only is the 5G network costly to build, but it doesn’t have the range and reliability to sustain IoT applications – and that’s going to be the focus of technology moving forward, so that poses a problem.

Still in spite of all the challenges that 5G faces, we are still not hearing much about WiFi6.

“Nobody was talking about WiFi 6, ”John Proctor, CEO and President of Martello Technologies, told CDN after the IoT613 event in Ottawa. “It’s like the marketing machine of 5G is determined to drive right over WiFi 6 so you can’t hear about it.”

Even with all of 5G’s faults, it’s unlikely it’s not going to prevent it from coming. Similar to today’s technology, we will see 5G mobile networks working with WiFi networks to give people the connection they need for various applications.

“As much as we see unified communications being the amalgamator of the two…we still have the issue of telco guys being different from the network guys in the enterprise setting,” indicated Proctor. “Is a network guy really going to get rid of his WiFi and put 5G aerial in, or is he going to take his current WiFi box out and put WiFi 6 in, which gives him better bandwidth and almost the same coverage. Being conscious of those operational aspects is something that is being understated at the moment.”

I guess we will see.