Martello NEWS

June 4, 2019

Hospitalitynet

The Mandarin Oriental hotel in Kuala Lumpur is offering Martello Technologies’ potential clients the ultimate try-before-you-buy experience this week.

John Proctor, the CEO of the Kanata-based software firm, is hosting business meetings at the posh hotel in Malaysia’s capital city. Martello, in its first full year as a publicly traded firm, is making an aggressive push into Southeast Asia ​- and it’s not hurting Proctor’s cause that his home base for the week already happens to be a Martello customer.

“It’s hard to come here if you just have an idea of a product ​- if you don’t have references, you don’t have case studies, you can’t say where you’ve done it before,” he told OBJ in an interview Wednesday morning.

“It’s kind of nice to stay in your client’s hotel. It takes a lot of noise out. Most of our meetings are at the hotel and we say, ‘Yes, you’re connected to the internet with us at the moment. This is the case study.'”

One of the fastest-growing firms in the Kanata North tech park, Martello makes software that helps customers detect and troubleshoot problems in their high-speed communications networks. The company – which went public via a reverse takeover last September – now employs nearly 100 people, about half of them in Ottawa and the rest at offices in Montreal, Amsterdam, Paris, Dallas and New York.

Martello is already a major global player, selling its software in 150 countries and generating nearly two-thirds of its revenues in its most recent quarter from foreign sales. Proctor says he expects that ratio to grow as a result of new partnerships in Asia, Russia, the Middle East and Africa, where the firm is currently pursuing a deal with a government client.

Proctor says Martello is seeing big gains in the hotel space, where network connectivity and security are paramount. The company recently signed the Fairmont and Accor brands to its roster of more than 5,000 customers.

“If you’re a GM of a hotel, the most complaints you get are about the internet,” he explained. “We offer a solution that solves a lot of those bandwidth and real-time sharing issues, where things like Netflix and Zoom are really straining the bandwidth coming out.”

Banks and other large institutions are also key verticals for Martello, which added the U.S. Postal Service, the United Nations and KPMG to its list of recent wins. Proctor said the company recently competed head-to-head with a U.S. software giant for a contract with a national bank in South America and came out on top.

IOT AND AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

Martello is also gaining traction in the burgeoning Internet of Things space, in which a myriad of machines and appliances from fridges to cars wirelessly send information to each other and the world around them.

The firm is currently part of a new program run by BlackBerry QNX, one of the world’s leading producers of software for autonomous vehicles, and Kanata-based accelerator L-Spark.

Martello software is helping ensure that the data being sent to and from self-driving cars via BlackBerry QNX’s platform flows as smoothly and securely as possible. The two companies have been working together for six months on a proof of concept that will be showcased at the new 16-kilometre AV test track off Woodroffe Avenue later this year.

Since forming the partnership with BlackBerry QNX, Martello has been in touch with manufacturers of other forms of transport such as trains and drones about helping to ensure their network connections stay in good running order.

“We’re talking about a moving IoT environment,” Proctor said. “As soon as you’ve done it once with QNX and you’ve proven that the system works, you get very good access to a multi-platform environment – trains and drones just being two examples.”

When you’re growing as fast as Martello, one of the biggest challenges is fighting the temptation to bite off more than you can chew, the veteran tech executive added.

“You only take on the big projects you can manage one at a time,” he cautioned. “If you try and do too many things too quickly, you will have problems. When you’re going to do something like this, you have to do it really, really well because quite often in the IT world, you don’t get a second chance. If it doesn’t work the first time, there are a lot of other options out there.”

Proctor remains bullish on Martello’s “build-and-buy” strategy that combines organic growth with well-timed acquisitions. He said the firm has pretty much finished integrating its two most recent buys, Montreal’s Elfiq Networks and Dutch IT analytics firm Savision BV, into its operations, adding Martello is looking closely at new targets ranging from smaller “tuck-ins” to more substantial deals.

“We’re quite pleased with what’s in the (M&A) pipeline,” he said. “Now it’s just a question of really getting through the due diligence part and having those tough conversations.”

Proctor knows this is a big year for Martello, which is in the critical process of maturing out of its startup phase. Being located in a tech mecca means there is no shortage of seasoned entrepreneurs who’ve been there and done that to provide friendly guidance when it’s needed, he noted.

“The nice thing about being in Ottawa is, there’s an awful lot of people we can go talk to,” he said. “Nobody’s too busy to have a coffee when we ask, ‘How did you deal with this?’ I think that’s a great statement on the nature of the Ottawa business community.”

Delivering Stellar Hotel Internet in the age of realtime streaming services

 

The IT Nerd

May 31, 2019

Martello Technologies Group Inc. announced today to mark National Autonomous Vehicle Day, the demonstration of a network performance management solution for mobile applications such as autonomous vehicles. The proof of concept was developed in collaboration with BlackBerry QNX as part of the BlackBerry QNX/L-Spark Accelerator, and was showcased at the recently launched L5 Track in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 28th. Find out more in the video explaining Martello’s mobile network connectivity technology innovation.

Martello’s mobile network performance proof of concept demonstrates that it is possible to maintain reliable cellular network connectivity for bandwidth-intensive real-time services such as an autonomous moving vehicle. This offers potential for solutions such as the mobile office, autonomous trains and drones, disaster relief and emergency response, where reliable communication is critical to success and safety. Martello presented this solution recently to the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police on their visit to the L5 Track in Ottawa.

Working with the BlackBerry QNX technical team over six months, Martello was able to provide connectivity to the infotainment system inside the BlackBerry QNX vehicle.

Martello’s solutions have been widely acclaimed in the industry. In September 2018, Martello received a Frost & Sullivan Leadership Award for NPM (Network Performance Management) and ranked as Ottawa’s Fastest Growing Company, at No. 28 on the Growth 500 list of Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies. The Company has expanded its solution portfolio with several acquisitions, and recently provided a business update on its market and channel expansion, product innovation, acquisitions and capital market activities.

Buckley Smith


Published: May 31st, 2019

In celebration of National Autonomous Vehicle Day, Martello Technologies Group Inc. announced a proof of concept for a network performance management solution for mobile applications such as autonomous vehicles.

The proof of concept was a culmination of a six-month collaboration with Blackberry QNX as part of the BlackBerry QNX/L-Spark Accelerator program.

John Proctor, the chief executive officer and president for Martello spoke with IT World Canada about some of the major takeaways from this collaboration and what could be expected for autonomous vehicles in Canada.

Martello CEO, John Proctor, presents the proof or the BlackBerry QNX L-Spark Accelerator on May 28, 2019. Credit: CNW Group/Martello Technologies Group

Proctor said they were able to prove that it’s possible to maintain a reliable cellular network connectivity needed for much of the technology required by autonomous vehicles, including some of the luxuries like in-car apps to allow for passengers to work from the comfort of their vehicle.

“The vehicle itself will have a need in terms of being connected for safety data, map data, smart city connectivity, but then also the customer experience in the back… video conference, voice call, etc, into that vehicle. So there’s a range of things there,” said Proctor. “And what we showed is our solution can deal with those complex applications where demand and capacity are often variable. And that’s particularly challenging.”

If a vehicle were to lose connectivity, the technology used to create these vehicles would still maintain functionality, albeit in a more cautious manner or limited capacity.

“Ultimately, what you’re looking for is this car is going to have its own processing ability. And what it will then be able to do is recognize it’s lost that cellular connection. Doesn’t mean it’s not safe. Doesn’t mean it can’t recognize risks around it. So all those things will keep going,” explained Proctor. “Are we going to put certain controls on those times when they lose that center link? The recognition that there are things that it shouldn’t be doing? So for instance, are we increasing spacing between the cars, and so on? I think these are things we’re figuring out. We’re not saying that the cars aren’t safe without it, it just means you may not be able to do things you want to do with the vehicle given it doesn’t have a connection.”

While this may quell some fears among the general public, Proctor does say that he understands the feeling of mistrust that many foster towards this technology.

One prime example of how distrust in the public has materialized is the recent protests against the testing being done in Arizona by Waymo LLC.

Waymo began testing its driverless cars in Chandler, Ari., in 2017. Since then, they have dealt with numerous attacks on the vehicles, including rocks being thrown at them, tires being slashed, people trying to run them off the road, and in some of the more extreme examples, Waymo employees have been threatened by citizens brandishing weapons like pistols and pipes.

Proctor said that he believes situations like this can be avoided if the introduction of IoT technologies like autonomous vehicles and the infrastructure required is done at a reasonable pace with open lines of communication to keep the public informed.

“You have to have a team effort on this. If they are not comfortable using that technology, they won’t allow themselves to use it. Whereas if you can explain to them the benefits and walk them towards it. We don’t want to flood them,” he said.

So as Canada moves towards the adoption of the technologies, when might we be able to expect to see fully autonomous vehicles on Canadian roads?

According to Proctor, it is a little farther on the horizon than most might think; adding that the infrastructure that is put into place will be a huge factor that will affect the timeline.

“If we look at cities that can create roads that are specific to autonomous vehicles and autonomous vehicles alone, we could probably go faster. But the likelihood of that sort of infrastructure investment is light. So I think when we see fully, truly autonomous vehicles mixed in with regular traffic, I think is five, six plus years.”