STARTUPS TO WATCH: Magor Communications

Elizabeth
Elizabeth Howell
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Like a mouse among giants, Magor Communications is taking aim at the behemoths of Cisco and Polycom. The three-year-old Ottawa startup is, like its larger competitors, looking to change how videoconferencing is done.

Magor Communications' Ken Davison. (Photo by Mark Holleron)

“It’s very difficult to be successful in that way,” acknowledged Ken Davison, Magor’s vice-president of marketing.

“But we looked to the market and we found it was potentially a growth market … and we felt we could put technology together that could be disruptive.”

Magor has released several iterations of its trademarked HDWorkPlace systems. It’s a peer-to-peer communications system designed to quickly add and remove participants in high-definition video conferences.

The Terry Matthews-backed outfit grew out of Wesley Clover in 2008, and is now standing on its own with the backing of friends and family. It also has a host of bench strength on its team – Mitel chief financial officer Steve Spooner sits on the company’s board, as does Newbridge Networks co-founder Dan Rusheleau and Mr. Matthews. Mr. Rusheleau is also the company’s executive vice-president of product development.

The company has sales offices in London, Hong Kong, Toronto, New York, San Diego and Rio De Janeiro, and channel partners, its main form of sales.

It’s also got an original equipment manufacturer deal with Mitel, and a reseller agreement signed in April 2010 with Toronto’s Scalar Decisions, a data-centre automation company.

There will be more employees and more funding in the growing firm by year’s end, Mr. Davison predicted.

“We’re just about to roll out in the next few weeks some more channel partners that haven’t been announced yet,” he added.

No stranger to Ottawa himself – Mr. Davison was vice-president of Newbridge from 1996 until its acquisition by Alcatel-Lucent in 2000 – he said the team is committed to growing the company in Ottawa.

Coming out as a startup, certainly in Canada … in a lead technology? It is very difficult to be successful in that way. Vice-president of marketing Ken Davison

“A lot of us have got grey hair and been around the block,” he joked of Magor’s executive team. “We know what the game is, certainly, in Ottawa.

“You’ve got to not only demonstrate you’ve got good technology, but you’ve got to grow and commercialize in target markets in the U.S. and Europe. That’s the intent, and I’d like to think we’d be able to do that.”

Year founded: 2008

Local head count: 43

Funding to date: Undisclosed private placements, mainly friends and family rounds

Product: Videoconferencing software

Organizations: Mitel, Newbridge Networks, Magor Communications Alcatel-Lucent

Geographic location: Ottawa, Toronto, London Hong Kong New York San Diego Rio De Janeiro U.S. Europe

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  • Michael Miles
    January 26, 2011 - 04:22

    I've seen the product and it is the best in the market - good luck to Magor