Telecom Lead India: Ciena’s technology investment has
given the company an impressive toolkit built to solve critical network
problems while allowing its customers to create new and differentiated services
to capture market share.
Ryan Perera, Country Head of India for Ciena’s
Global Field Organization, talks about Ciena’s R&D initiatives in India.
Ryan says Ciena has been investing significantly in
R&D in India, to the extent that today, many of the technologies that are
world-leading are, in fact made-in-India. Excerpts of the email interview:
What are your new focus areas on innovation?
Our R&D is targeted toward four major areas: 1)
coherent 40G/100G for applications such as metro, long-haul and submarine transport;
2) automated OTN switching combined with control plane software for resiliency
and faster provisioning (time-to-market) and software defined networking; 3)
Carrier Ethernet for mobile backhaul and business Ethernet services; and 4)
Software solutions for unified element and service management.
Innovation is taking a beating at several telecom vendors
due to financial pressure. What are your observations? How are you going to
improve R&D focus?
Ciena will continue to increase our R&D efforts in
Our India R&D facility has been conducting advanced
product development for storage extension, optical transport, multi-service
switching, access and network management for our customers worldwide.
What are your investment and expansion plans in global markets?
Ciena currently has presences in all of the key global
markets, including in North America, Latin America, Europe & the Middle
East, and Asia Pacific.
Expansion into specific regional markets will be driven
by appropriate business cases.
No other specific plans can be shared at this time.
What are Ciena’s strategies to address slowdown in the
Ciena continues to focus on innovative technologies that
help to reduce our customers’ total cost of network ownership.
Despite varying macro-economic conditions, we believe
customers continue to invest smartly in solutions that help them reduce their
costs. So, it’s not so much a matter of how much they’re spending, but what
they are spending it on.
What are the new marketing strategies?
One example would be our mobile website.
We recently updated our mobile website to support the
growing number of viewers coming in from mobile devices/smartphones. We added
more rich and interactive features such as video and click-to-call” buttons.
What are the new technologies in the pipeline?
We recently announced the next generation of our optical
control plane technology.
Our leadership in control plane technology stems from a
12 year history of innovation and live field deployments in some of the world’s
largest, most mission-critical and most performance-demanding networks,
representing thousands of nodes and hundreds of thousands of circuits. One
example is our work with Verizon.
One of the benefits of Ciena’s new OneConnect intelligent
optical control plane is the ability to enable auto-discovery, automated
provisioning and virtual point-and-click service creation, as well as automated
link restoration in milliseconds instead of seconds or minutes.
OneConnect has helped many of our customers’ networks survive
multiple simultaneous failures that most commonly occur during a time of
disaster. Some of our customers have publically announced that their
end-customer services remained intact despite disaster circumstances. Most
notably on Verizon has spoken about how on June 11, 2011 in the wake of the
Japan Earthquake many networks were down but Verizon’s services were not
affected. Their network restored automatically and stayed up and running with
zero human intervention.
Additionally, in some APAC countries is it not unheard of
to have 20 -30 fiber cuts a day. Under this type of infrastructure turmoil, our
control plane can automatically route around fiber cuts without affecting end
customer service, thereby providing service assurance and resiliency never seen
We have several customers leveraging our Control Plane
technology. Some of the customers include: Southern Cross, Verizon, AT&T,
C&W, Telmex, BT and Indiana Fiber Network.
Are you becoming more aggressive in emerging telecom
markets considering there is a slow growth in developed countries?
Only when it makes business sense, and not particularly
to offset slower growth in other countries.
We choose to enter new geographies based on a specific
set of criteria that maps to our long-term strategic growth plans.
Are there any India specific plans?
As an existing supplier to some of the largest operators
in India, we continue to be actively involved in the Indian market.
Expansion plans for India into untapped markets will be
driven by appropriate business cases.
In the recent months, Ciena’s competitions have launched
several new products. What are your plans to take on them?
Ciena’s technology investment has given the company an
impressive toolkit built to solve critical network problems while allowing our
customers to create new and differentiated services to capture market share.
In India specifically, we have a multi-pronged approach:
Over the years, we’ve built-up an impressive set of
customers in India, including Reliance.
Working closely with these customers, we’ve helped to
modernize their networks.
Based on these successes and having built a strong Ciena
team in India, we’ve been able to attract the attention of other customers, who
similarly are looking for an edge in their markets
Ciena has been investing significantly in R&D in
India, to the extent that today, many of the technologies that are
world-leading are, in fact made-in-India.