The combination of unified communications as a service (UCaaS) and software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN) is a growing topic of interest.
Martello Technologies is a good example.
Ottawa-based Martello, which provides software that that monitors and manages UC networks, merged with SD-WAN provider Elfiq Networks in January. Elfiq is based in Montreal.
I wrote last month that UCaaS companies must decide on one of their three options for delivering a product that integrates seamlessly with SD-WAN: build, partner or acquire. While RingCentral partnered and Vonage built, Martello acquired.
Martello has existed since 2009, and Elfiq has been around since 2004 – providing SD-WAN “before it was called SD-WAN,” according to Martello CEO John Proctor. Proctor says Elfiq builds its solution into Layer 2 (the data link layer) of the network.
He says the Layer 2 angle makes the solution flexible and requires less time of the user to reconfigure elements like firewalls. Traffic routing and dynamic failover are two other components of the offering.
“There [are] a whole bunch of pieces that really work in there together to get truly software-defined networking,” Proctor said. “It’s not a VPN by another name, as it were.”
Martello has a close partnership with Mitel, providing performance management SaaS for Mitel’s platform. Proctor says the combination of the networking component with unified communications is intriguing, but it’s not simply a matter of “using SD-WAN to make UC better.”
“Sure, I don’t disagree. But imagine SD-WAN optimized with actual UC tools that already work and are proven to work,” he said. “That’s a very different proposition.”
Martello has divided its sales team into two segments to support Elfiq’s different types of customers. The first common type of client includes service providers, telecommunications providers and over-the-top providers. The other type is the enterprise, which varies in size.
“We thought we’d be very focused on the medium-to-small enterprise, and then a large, global car manufacturer will come along or a very large government organization that wants to stay in touch with their embassies in Africa comes to us and says, have we solved the problem of voice-over-IP to Africa?” he said.
Martello says its partnership with Mitel has helped it grow rapidly in recent years. It’s working with more than 6,000 customers now. Other traditional Martello channel partners are resellers, MSPs, and SIs. But Proctor says Elfiq also could integrate its product into newer technologies – such as smart cities and autonomous vehicles – and virtualize itself inside their environments.
Martello, which plans to go public on the TSX Venture Exchange after a reverse-takeover transaction, was looking for a multimillion-dollar company that is still relatively small. Proctor says his company assured Elfiq that its team would work alongside Martello and preserve its identity rather than be …