March 2009 | Volume 12/ Number 3
Media5 Corporation, the Unique Company behind Renowned Mediatrix and M5T Brands
By: Richard “Zippy” Grigonis
The success story of the Media5 Corporation (News - Alert) begins in 1992 in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada, where a fledgling company called Mediatrix Peripherals started out producing one of the most advanced PC sound cards of the day.
In 1997 Mediatrix entered the new-fangled world of Voice-over-IP and quickly became renowned for its advanced, highly interoperable VoIP access devices and gateways for the enterprise, Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (SMBs), Small Office Home Office (SOHO), service provider and residential markets. The company’s main selling point was that its products provided an ideal migration path for end users wanting to protect their existing CPE investment (analog/digital phones, fax machines, PBX (News - Alert) and key systems) while migrating to a converged IP network. The company’s products were soon distributed widely through its OEM partners, carriers and service providers, system integrators, and VARs.
In 2003 Mediatrix spun off M5T. Originally a software provider of SIP (Session Initiation Protocol (News - Alert)) software for developers of applications for real-time multimedia communications over IP (MMoIP), M5T has since evolved to offer complete embedded and mobile applications powered by M5T’s renowned SIP Client Engine for secure multimedia communication. They’ve built a framework allowing developers to design and build such products as softphones, IP phones, gateways, server components. Since 2006, M5T has been deeply involved in the mobility market with constant evolution into the world of Fixed-Mobile Convergence (News - Alert) (FMC) software and applications for mobile devices.”
“Mediatrix and M5T used to be two separate divisions of Media5 Corporation, but now we are all moving towards complete integration. There is now one company, Media5,” says Philippe Babin, General Manager of Media5 Corporation. “It’s a privately-owned company. All of the Media5, Mediatrix and M5T employees work together effectively with little or no redundancy in terms of positions. We’ve combined everything on the sales & marketing levels. On the R&D side, our engineers are working as a cohesive unit– with unparalleled knowledge of the marketplace, developing a broad combination of technologies.”
“Our main office is in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada, along with the development team,” says Babin. “We also have a sales and support office in Berlin, Germany, and sales offices in Dubai, UAE, and in Miami, Florida.”
“We started in the SMB market,” explains Babin. “At one point we entered the residential market, and enjoyed a bit of success, but it’s a tough, low-margin market so we decided to re-focus our energy on the enterprise world. Our experience in the residential segment did however help us learn how to deploy thousands of gateways, and we’ve re-used the technologies we developed and our know-how when we decided to service SMBs, and now we’re able to easily connect branches of an enterprise using some of the technology originally developed for the residential market. Our main focus continues to be the enterprise but also service providers. Service providers either deploy in residential or enterprise markets, but the providers deploying in both markets want to use the same infrastructure. When they deploy a system, they want to be able to reuse the investment they’ve made in residential so they can also economically bring it to bear in providing services to the enterprise world. Our equipment can serve whatever market the service provider needs, but we tend to focus on the enterprise side.”
“We take this all in stride because we’ve been in the VoIP business since 1997,” says Babin. “We had one of our edge device prototypes at the first of the SIP bakeoffs in 1999, and trying to make a call between two IP phones or send a VoIP call through two gateways was quite a challenge in those early days. Since then, the technology has standardized considerably.”
“Media5 is currently in our fifth generation of products,” says Babin. “Our products were used at the dawn of VoIP and in those days even some of our competitors fitted out their labs with our equipment. SIP as a protocol has evolved over the years, but as it moved forward we’ve been there every step of the way.”
“We have also focused in recent years on offering a variety of professional services. Developing, integrating and implementing various technologies into key solutions and applications can be a monumental undertaking. Often, this is a time-sensitive, mission-critical project that must work flawlessly,” explains Babin. “With so much at stake, it makes sense to rely on the expertise that Media5 Engineers provide. In general our engineering staff have more years of personal experience than some companies have years in business.”
Now, Make Way for the Boss
As part of the new focus of Media5, a number of number of new products are being introduced, the first being Media5Boss (Branch Office Secure Survivable), an advanced, all-in-one suite of cost-effective solutions designed to offer security and survivability in multi-site, branch office environments. The first product on board is the Media5Boss - Branch which enables both enterprises and service providers to connect branch or home offices to central data centers or to hosted service offerings.
“Media5 is always about change; we have been adding to our product portfolio by combining the expertise of our Mediatrix and M5T offerings, and these new solutions enable service providers and enterprises a way to achieve really differentiated products adapted to their unique needs. We can do this by offering a portfolio where you can buy component modules or gateways, or solutions that can be integrated into other systems, as well as all-in-one solutions like the Media5Boss - Branch” explains Babin.
The Media5Boss - Branch combines VoIP gateway technology with a SIP Proxy, encryption for security, as well as a firewall, VPN functionality and a LAN router in a solution optimized for branch office applications. It specifically supports real-time communication scenarios such as VoIP as it consolidates an organization’s branch office IT infrastructure, all while maintaining a high Quality of Service (QoS) and security. By acting as a Session Border Controller and branch gateway for voice scenarios, real-time traffic flows can be regulated in and out of the branch office through firewalls and forms of NAT (Network Address Translation). Call admission control and Secure Real-Time Protocol (SRTP) termination supporting encryption, message authentication and integrity are also supported. Connectivity is no problem for the Media5Boss - Branch either, since it comes with a wide range of voice interfaces, including analog FXS, ISDN BRI, or T1/E1 PRI interfaces, making it capable of supporting all kinds of enterprise voice applications, hosted applications, or for connecting to a service provider’s broadband access offering.
In the case of Internet outages or interruptions, Media5Boss - Branch survivability capability allows branch offices to maintain phone service through an integrated SIP Proxy. It also features a redundancy solution permitting a second Media5Boss - Branch to run in Hot-Failover mode for high availability scenarios.
Best of all, the Media5Boss - Branch solution needs minimal configuration. This encompassing set of impressive features should make the Media5Boss - Branch a terrific single box branch connectivity solution for both VoIP Enterprise and VoIP Centrex scenarios.
“In the near future Media 5 will offer the Media5Boss - FMC (Fixed Mobile Convergence) solution targeting that specific, more mobile market segment,” says Babin, “Any way you look at it, we can cater to the specific needs of a company with multiple branch offices and we can ensure ease of deployment.”
The Media5Boss - FMC is a powerful all-in-one Fixed Mobile Convergence solution combining the technologies of the M5T MC Client and the Comdasys FMC Controller, with a variety of popular dual mode handsets, allowing users to freely roam between WiFi (News - Alert) (enterprise/residential/public) and cellular networks. It is intuitive to use and provides a homogeneous interface for IM (instant messaging), contacts, presence, and more unified communications features.
All telephony features implemented in Media5Boss - FMC can be adapted through an already implemented macro mechanism. It can then be extended to really fit the customer’s IP-PBX telephony features implemented behaviour.
“We have even implemented the Media5Boss - FMC here at Media5 and have seen a definite increase in the productivity of our workforce,” says Babin. “By offering a one number and one voicemail solution we can easily reach our staff wherever they are in the world.”
“Interestingly, our most successful sales area so far has been Europe,” muses Babin. “However, the North American market is quickly catching up, and we are very excited because all indications are that the SMB market hasn’t really been fully tackled yet in this area of the world. When you read market studies from companies such as the August 2008 report from Infonetics, you can see that North American SMBs had a slower rate of VoIP adoption, but are now recognizing the advantages of VoIP.”
“The merging of the Mediatrix and M5T brands and the introduction of Media5Boss under the Media5 banner will effectively build and broaden our product portfolio, further enhance our global position in the service provider and enterprise markets and we believe create value for our customers.
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