Martello BLOG

At Martello, we always look at September and the return of school as the perfect time to take stock, brush up on some of our skills or gain a better understanding of a subject that we feel a little uncertain of. Maybe you feel the same as we do and have had some questions about SD-WAN and the BIG impact that it can have on your network. Below we have given you a primer on SD-WAN and what it can mean for your UC solution.

The reality is, if you are in the networking space, you already know that delivering reliable network performance is difficult and costly to achieve. The cloud is creating increased network complexity and carrier networks and WAN connectivity haven’t kept pace with the exploding demand for bandwidth. Real-time services are complicating everything because rich media, streaming and UC require costly bandwidth for good performance. Buying the ‘Rolls Royce’ of bandwidth doesn’t help either because it can leave you dependent on just one Internet service provider (ISP) which can leave you vulnerable to outages. How do you manage costs and deliver the service quality users demand?

Software Defined-WAN (SD-WAN) Solutions make the task of managing and optimizing competing network traffic simple and cost effective. With SD-WAN, you control your current bandwidth needs through established policies and prioritizations allowing you to diversify providers, links and technologies to add flexibility – optimizing your network performance.

What does that mean for your UC solution:

Uptime… All the Time
Carrying your network using a single ISP is risky and can get expensive. Using multiple concurrent ISP links though without the proper technology in place is a gamble you shouldn’t take. Using SD-WAN, you can take advantage of carrier diversity because it balances and maximizes the use of costly private circuits by running multiple SIP trunks on multiple ISPs, and dynamic failover ensures you’re not impacted by carrier outages.

Ample Bandwidth for UC – at a Lower Cost
SD-WAN reduces your outlay on bandwidth. Many smaller companies delay the deployment of a UC solution that would improve their business because of the high cost of dedicated MPLS circuits. SD-WAN solutions make it possible to lower bandwidth costs while achieving better results. The freedom to mix and match network technologies and ISPs gives you more control over your costs as well — you’re not dependent on one provider.

Prioritizing UC
Your network is strained by user activity around the clock, and it can be hard to prioritize bandwidth to mission critical applications. Imagine an office where one employee is streaming a FIFA soccer game while customer support is fielding a call from a customer. SD-WAN gives you control over how bandwidth is used, by setting policies that establish prioritization. Policies allow you to identify which applications get a higher bandwidth priority without compromise. SD-WAN solutions can divert less bandwidth-intensive applications to lower-cost DSL circuits so that higher-bandwidth applications, like UC, can operate smoothly.

Always Optimizing for the Best Experience
Taking advantage of ISP diversity keeps costs in check and decreases downtime. SD-WAN behaves according to the policies you’ve set for your organization, but it is flexible so can also make smart and quick decisions on the fly, choosing which packets take priority and which don’t. A resilient infrastructure with managed SD-WAN services can monitor the health of each ISP and distribute the required bandwidth accordingly. If a link fails to respond appropriately, it is removed from the available list – being tested until it is ready.

Delivering reliable network performance is a constant challenge, but with our primer you’ll know how to build a scalable, flexible, and affordable network infrastructure to position your business for success. When it comes to building an agile network, investing in SD-WAN is an obvious choice.

Martello Employee Gift Giving ProgramWhen we first introduced Martello’s Employee Gift Giving Program, we did not fully understand the level of commitment that many of our employees had towards the organizations that they were supporting. As we enter our second year of the program, we are excited to see that we are having the opportunity to make a contribution a second time to an organization. It gives us a chance to see the impact that our employees are having as they deepen their commitments in the community.

Martello Employee Gift Giving Program

This is the case with long-time Martello Operations Lead, John Salem, who last year chose to direct his Employee-Directed Gift Program donation to The Maverick Volleyball Club’s Athlete Benevolent Fund. This year, he’s doing it again. The Mavericks Benevolent fund provides financial assistance to athletes on an as-needed basis, subsidizing everything from club fees to uniforms to travel expenses. Volleyball, unlike other sports, doesn’t have a regular season with games played locally but instead hosts eleven tournaments across the region. Expenses add up quickly for Maverick’s athletes, and the Athlete Benevolent Fund helps to relieve them of any financial stress so they can direct their focus on the game.

John has been coaching the Maverick Volleyball Club for nine years. For John, sports are an essential and valuable tool for teens to learn life skills and coping mechanisms that can be applied to their everyday lives.

“As a lifelong coach, I see the value that sport brings to my athletes throughout their lives. Life skills like strategy, problem-solving, teamwork and leadership are all things that they pick up along the way, as well as confidence. Seeing these skills stick with them beyond the game is the most rewarding part of coaching.” John Salem, Martello Operations Lead.

The level of commitment that John lends to this organization is impressive. With practices taking place three times a week in addition to the busy tournament circuit, it means that a good part of his time is spent happily on the side of the court. It is clear that John sees the value of the work that he is doing every season at the club as the impact is evident, both on and off of the court for the athletes that he coaches.

Martello is thrilled to contribute to The Maverick Volleyball Club’s Athlete Benevolent Fund for the second year in a row. We look forward to seeing the positive impact the fund will have on these young athletes in their upcoming season.

We have already discussed how Mitel Performance Analytics (MPA) R2.3 extends flexibility when it comes to which alarms and alerts users receive, with filtering by severity or other criteria. Today’s Feature of the Week looks at the latest improvements in how you receive these alerts. As users of MPA are aware, the system sends an alert notification to warn IT admins when a network performance problem has occurred, and alerts can be sent by email, desktop notification, SMS, Twitter Direct Message and SNMP trap. Designed to ensure MPA fits flexibly into your existing workflow, Flexible Alerting allows you to customize the content in your alerts, using templates.

MPA R2.3 allows you to create your own email alert notifications with a customizable email template that can be sent to you via text or HTML. Subject lines and email messages are easily adjustable to emphasize the most important content and remove unneeded content. Users can select the email template to best fit their existing business practices or 3rd party systems.

Mitel Performance Analytics feature of the week
For instance, one of our customers uses flexible alerting to customize their email alert content by integrating MPA with their existing ticketing system to effectively issue a customer’s ticket. This way, the network problems are seamlessly streamlined to their ticketing system for quick problem resolution. HTML code can also be used to improve the visual aesthetic and overall user experience of notification emails.

With MPA R2.3’s flexible alerting, you can effectively customize your email alert notifications to highlight critical problems, allowing users to quickly action the right alarms at the right time. To learn more about how network monitoring tools can integrate with a customer’s existing business practices, check out our MPA R2.3 Primer or the MPA R2.3 demo video.