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Test & Measurement

Quirky QoVox Vaunts VOIP Testers

Boston-based Datameg Corp. (OTC BB: DTMG), an outfit run by a former Tekelec Inc. (Nasdaq: TKLC) VP, Rex Hester, is changing the name of its North Electric Company subsidiary to QoVox Corp. in a move toward boosting its profile in the emerging VOIP testing/QOS market (see Datameg Launches QoVox).

And it sounds like a boost in profile is desperately needed. “We’ve never heard of them at all, in any of their incarnations, and we’ve never seen them in any kind of a competitive situation,” says Brix Networks Inc. marketing director John Ricciardone.

The history of QoVox and its parent is interesting, to say the least. Datameg began life in 1999 after swapping stock with a publicly traded shell company and taking over the ticker symbol.

From the beginning, Datameg has been a company in search of a product and an identity. It first acquired the broadband technology of Florida-based CASCommunications in 2001, but it has since "halted development of its devices… due to a lack of sufficient capital," according to Datameg's SEC filings. The subsidiary remains inactive today.

Also in 2001, Datameg acquired North Electric, which eventually built the NAS (Network Assurance System) 6131, the VOIP test and measurement gear that will be QoVox's primary product. Datameg and QoVox have only eleven employees today but intend to do some hiring this year.

So far, the QoVox gear has had some traction in at least one network trial. The company has placed three of its flagship NAS 6131 solutions into Time Warner Cable networks and is waiting to see if follow-on sales develop. Datameg claims it has a similar relationship with a Tier 1 phone company, but it wouldn't divulge the name.

Other than that, Datameg and QoVox have little visibility in IP testing and measurement circles and the company hasn't booked any revenues to speak of. Between January 1999 and March 2005, the company has a combined net loss of $28.6 million, or 21 cents a share. Though the company has shipped more than $430,000 in evaluation products, it has only converted about $87,000 to invoiced shipments, according to its SEC filings.

But QoVox does have a couple of executives with some telecom background cheering it on. Its founder is Rex Hester, who started Protocol Technologies, a voice signaling company that was bought by Tekelec for $3.5 million in cash in 1988.

On the QoVox board sits 20-year telecom vet Bill Mortimer (see Datameg Adds to Board). Mortimer was general manager of Agilent Technologies Inc.'s (NYSE: A) VOIP monitoring and management division where he brought in a number of marquee telecom accounts.

Hester says QoVox was founded on the notion that today’s telephone calls must jump through more network gateways -- VOIP and PSTN -- than ever before to get to their destination. At each one of those gateways, he says, presents another possibility that the quality of the call can be degraded.

Hester says that call degradation often comes in what he calls “soft faults,” or network problems with no clear cause that can last two minutes or two hours, then self-correct.

“Service providers are spending a lot of money on chasing soft faults; they’re starting to cause a lot of trouble,” Hester says. “There are getting to be a lot of trouble tickets opened, but they never find the cause for them.”

QoVox’s NAS 6131 device aims to address "soft faults" by sitting at various points in a VOIP network and sending voice files across different network routes every few mintues. When the file reaches its destination, another device analyzes it, looking for delay, jitter, packet loss, and other problems.

The new company will compete with such names as Empirix Inc., Brix Networks, and Agilent.

In the near term, QoVox intends to sell its gear to telecom operators, cable operators, and ISPs, either directly or through a network of systems integrators, incumbent equipment manufacturers, and network management service providers.

Hester says the company has been working for several months on a partnership with “one of the largest switch equipment vendors in the world.” But, again, there's no name behind the claim.

— Mark Sullivan, Reporter, Light Reading

voyce_overipee 12/5/2012 | 3:06:04 AM
re: Quirky QoVox Vaunts VOIP Testers You've got to be kidding me. We need another voip test vendor like we need another media gateway company... not. How does anyone justify a business model with all the competition? Unless their product is 1/10 or less the price of the big dogs, they're in big trouble. And even then they're in trouble, because you just don't sell enough of them to make it up in volume.
bryedge 12/5/2012 | 3:06:03 AM
re: Quirky QoVox Vaunts VOIP Testers Obviously, you live in a "medieval" state of mind.

You come off sounding like those that said, " if God had intended me to fly, He would have given me wings".

To put it simply, you don't know shit from shine, and Hester needs to put a sock in his mouth.
optical_man 12/5/2012 | 3:06:02 AM
re: Quirky QoVox Vaunts VOIP Testers Something smells fishy here.
The previous poster (the CEO it appears) has a Q0V0X exhaust hose up his nostril.

Something about this company smells to high heaven.
Time will tell.
voyce_overipee 12/5/2012 | 3:06:01 AM
re: Quirky QoVox Vaunts VOIP Testers Obviously, you live in a "medieval" state of mind. You come off sounding like those that said, " if God had intended me to fly, He would have given me wings". To put it simply, you don't know shit from shine, and Hester needs to put a sock in his mouth.

Wow, those are some sound logical arguments.
I didn't say we don't need voip test vendors - I said we don't need more. And I don't mean it's bad for the industry or competition, but that it doesn't make business sense. There isn't room for that many, and the others have incumbency, so to get in you have to drop your price a lot, and that just makes it worse because the volume isn't good enough to compensate for lower margins. I'm sorry if business sense is "medieval" to you.
bryedge 12/5/2012 | 3:00:13 AM
re: Quirky QoVox Vaunts VOIP Testers Yes, you did say we didn't need another test vendor.

Do you know what QoVox's business model is? Probably not.
Do you know who the competition is? Maybe.
The 300-pound gorilla is Agilent, a division of Hewlett-Packard.
Most people find it very interesting that Bill Mortimer, now QoVox'x General Manager, was formerly the division manager for Agilent, and later a consultant for Empirix.
No, we don't need more of the same in testing vendors, we need one with active testing, fault isolation, and unique proprietary technology that offers unique services for its customers.

QoVox.

Business sense? Anyone overlooking unique technology and choosing to stay in their same rut, has no business sense, imo. "Incumbency" means nothing when new technology is introduced, as does the price of the old tech.

bryedge 12/5/2012 | 3:00:13 AM
re: Quirky QoVox Vaunts VOIP Testers Smells fishy based on what facts?

No, I do not work for QoVox, but I am a stockholder of Datameg. I also know that this rag of newsite did a lousy job of reporting. They call and virtually threatened the Company, by saying that they had an article coming out about QoVox and was giving the Company a chance to rebutt.

Where did they get ANY information about the Company? THEY HAD NONE!

Instead of doing a quality job of reporting, when the General Manager of QoVox could not be reached, Light Reading did not try to schedule another date, they ambushed an employee, who obviously used very poor judgement in conducting an interview he was not qualified to conduct.

Anyone that would claim this article as due diligence and then base their opinion based on ANY message board post is really rank, imo.
optical_man 12/5/2012 | 3:00:12 AM
re: Quirky QoVox Vaunts VOIP Testers Smells fishy because when you go to their site and look for Management, or "Team" you see this:

"QoVox has assembled a management team with extensive communications industry knowledge and experience in developing communications network monitoring and fault isolation systems.
The team is comprised of senior executives, managers and directors who are experienced in all aspects of a telecommunications network monitoring systems development and implementation and have lead the introduction of industry-leading network technology solutions."

Come out, come out, where ever you are. We won't bite. Why are you hiding?

Secondly, quoting from LR's article:
"The history of QoVox and its parent is interesting, to say the least. Datameg began life in 1999 after swapping stock with a publicly traded shell company and taking over the ticker symbol. "

LR's article goes on to discuss some shuffling of walnut shells at this company. "now you see the ball...shuffle.....now you don't!"
I lost 2 dollars on a NYC street to that con a few years ago... :-)


Third, they bury the link to Datameg pretty well. If you didn't know they were publicly traded, you'd never guess it from their website.
No Datameg Earnings Report conference call links, 'no nuthin' with regards to SEC regs.

Lastly, if they are an "emerging communications company" why don't they have an HR department, or any listings for Employment? How emerging can they be?

Might not be fishy, but I'm personally not buying into this company's story.

optical_man 12/5/2012 | 3:00:12 AM
re: Quirky QoVox Vaunts VOIP Testers I googled quvox and got this from http://www.quvox.com

"Welcome to QuVox. This was originally a wireless game site that went under when they found out qu vox was offensive to their french target audience. Roughly translated in french, quvox means butt noise. Not good if your trying to sell wireless games. "


bryedge 12/5/2012 | 2:54:46 AM
re: Quirky QoVox Vaunts VOIP Testers The correct spelling is Q O V O X.

I hope I typed that slow enough so you were able to read it, LOLLOL.

Try http://www.qovox.com

It has nothing to do with the disinformation posted in previous posts.

"The QoVox Network Performance Suite is designed to increase the performance and substantially reduce the cost of mission-critical networks owned and operated by service providers.

The QoVox solution performs routine and consistent voice quality and availability sampling by seamlessly interacting with a variety of voice network interfaces present in disparate voice networks of today and tomorrow. QoVox supports up to four types of test interfaces to keep costs down with maximum flexibility, and can be placed at switch sites, gateway sites or customer locations. Platform test interfaces include SS7 trunks, CAS trunks, PRI ISDN, POTS lines, SIP telephones and IP data circuits. "


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