Henry Fernandes has an extensive technology and software development background. He’s written his Master's thesis on quality of service over packet-based networks and has previously founded his own telecommunications company. As he focused on analyzing Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services in 2008, he saw that customers and service providers were struggling with the quality of their calls and it was difficult to address the issues. Seeing the lack of entry-level solutions for VoIP problems, Fernandes started VoIP Spear.
VoIP Spear is software that monitors the ongoing quality of your internet connection. Originally intended to evaluate your connection to identify issues with dropped VoIP calls, the software can identify general issues with your internet connection through continuous monitoring and reporting, and it will send an alert if there is a problem causing poor quality connections.
“Quality is measured via the Mean Opinion Score (MOS) on a range of 1 to 5—1 being bad and 5 being perfect,” shares Fernandes. “VoIP Spear takes this constantly monitored data and converts it into a MOS score to help users understand when their calls or internet are dropping.”
The system is easy to manage and assesses your VoIP quality performance using network characteristics such as jitter, packet loss, and latency. Because internet quality issues often occur intermittently, it can be difficult to receive support from service providers or IT teams. Since VoIP Spear monitors quality and connectivity 24/7, patterns can be recognized, and these reports can be shared with service providers if troubleshooting is required.
As more people have been working from home in the COVID environment, connectivity has become increasingly important, so Fernandes has also developed a hardware device that monitors internet quality called a Sentry. The Sentries also monitor packet loss, jitter, and latency, but measures that on internet connections rather than monitoring individual phone calls.
“The Sentry is small and installed by plugging it into your internet connection and power using the provided cables,” says Fernandes. “It gets inside of the local area network (LAN) to test and identify problems, which can produce even more reliable results under a wider range of conditions than the all-software solution.”
Fernandes created VoIP Spear and the Sentries under his company, Toepoke Software, Inc., which was acquired by Westbridge Capital Ltd. in summer 2020. “The acquisition brought together two complementary companies,” Fernandes shares. “I thrive in technical environments, whereas Westbridge Capital has helped take VoIP Spear to the next level with their diverse skills in marketing and sales. I've been able to connect with more individuals across North America.”
Fernandes graduated from the University of Saskatchewan and Toepoke Software is the second company he has founded in the province. He's interested in building relationships with other innovators that can benefit from his monitoring tools and has long-standing connections to the development community in the province.
While VoIP Spear and the Sentry can test around the world and have servers located in North America, South America, Europe, and the Asia/Pacific region, Fernandes is excited to be operating and growing his company here in Saskatchewan. “It doesn’t matter where you are, but there’s no need to move away and do this elsewhere,” he says. “All of the facilities available in our province have been a great support.”
Founder: Henry Fernandes
Incorporation Date: 2008