Ciena Launches New Services Play

Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog -
Rich Tehrani
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Ciena Launches New Services Play

Ciena has some exciting news when it comes to the world of service provider networks. We know the company as an equipment provider which has had years in the business but now they have branched out from not only upgrading networks but businesses. Chuck Kaplan VP Industry Marketing (pictured above) spent some time with me at Mobile World Congress 2013 explaining how his company has spent years helping customers not just spend money on their solutions but make it as well through a new consulting initiative.

The first step in the process is to redefine carrier services for a new world where data usage has tremendous spikes which are caused by things like cloud service utilization. They started down this path by helping a European provider by writing a 125 page SLA and from there they made it generic allowing it to apply to other carriers as well.

The company then started assisting its customer in selling to vertical markets like healthcare, wholesale and financial. They handle sales training which includes teaching the sales team about the specific vocabulary for each market.

The final piece is geoanalytics or identifying customers near a fiber plant. They refer to this concept as a profitability mapping and when you consider building a mile of fiber can take six months and cost $100k, finding customers who can be quickly served makes a lot of economic sense (so does the term they chose to describe it.) Of course this doesn't preclude the customer from serving a cluster of new customers who can be easily served with a wireless solution which connects to nearby fiber.

Kaplan tells me the company's differentiator in this new market is a solid handle on selling to verticals and helping carriers offer new cloud services. Moreover Ciena touts its aggregate experience in helping carriers throughout the world - something which gives them unique perspective on helping new carrier customers.

For now the company has focused on fixed-line carriers but may expand to wireless over time.

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