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Ciena: Differentiate backhaul through customer service

With Ethernet services becoming ubiquitous, mobile backhaul service providers need to differentiate themselves through customer experience, according to Ciena Corp.

The network company recently introduced new packet networking software that Ciena says will reduce installation and provisioning time by as much as 75%, and a new cloud-based portal designed to provide better transparency into whether service level agreements (SLAs) are being met.

“It makes the service really easily visible to the carrier and to the service provider, where you can … see in a real-time basis what customer is getting, what kind of performance,” said Mike Adams, Ciena’s vice president of product and technical marketing. This way, Adams said, both the end customer and the service provider get “complete transparency” as to whether performance metrics are being met. He added that an increasing number of Ciena’s service provider customers are seeking that level of transparency.

“It’s very important going forward. More of our customers are asking for this, because more of their customers are putting it in RFPs,” said Adams.

Ciena is aiming its new software capabilities at network operators and carrier managed service providers who maintain Ethernet services including mobile backhaul, business services and cloud applications. The new features were added to its Service-Aware Operating System (SAOS) and its OneControl Unified Management Systems.

“Metro access and aggregation networks continue to be built out at a furious pace to accommodate the increasing amount of bandwidth required by mobile backhaul, business services and cloud applications,” said Michael Howard, co-founder and principal analyst for carrier networks at Infonetics Research. “Whether this infrastructure is built out using IP/MPLS or Ethernet is an open question. Operators are looking for the lowest TCO (total cost of ownership), which includes the greatest ease of operation and fastest speed of deployment. Ciena’s approach to automation and rapid turn-up of services certainly focuses on what providers are looking for to help enable them to gain footprint and competitive advantage.”

“Ethernet services are mature and ubiquitous, so providers must find new, innovative ways to differentiate and improve the customer experience faster than the competition,” said Steve Alexander, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Ciena. “Our SAOS and OneControl software enhancements and cloud-based portal combined with our consultative partner approach, augment our strategic focus to provide customers with a network designed to significantly improve the customer experience.”

Ciena also hosted a webcast yesterday from its booth at the SCTE Cable-Tec event in Orlando on its new packet networking capabilities.


Kelly Hill
Kelly Hill
Kelly reports on network test and measurement, as well as the use of big data and analytics. She first covered the wireless industry for RCR Wireless News in 2005, focusing on carriers and mobile virtual network operators, then took a few years’ hiatus and returned to RCR Wireless News to write about heterogeneous networks and network infrastructure. Kelly is an Ohio native with a masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on science writing and multimedia. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian and The Canton Repository. Follow her on Twitter: @khillrcr

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