Ciena doesn't limit itself to just one color of the spectrum. The company makes transport and switching equipment that increases the capacity of long-distance fiber-optic networks by transmitting multiple light signals simultaneously over the same circuit. It also sells optical transport systems for metro and enterprise wide-area networks, as well as broadband access products that enable communications companies to deliver Internet protocol (IP) services, such as VoIP, IP video, and DSL. Ciena serves telecommunications service providers, cable companies, large enterprises, and government entities.
Ciena's converged packet optical products represent more than half of its total revenue each year thanks to its top products 6500 Packet-Optical Platform, the 4200 Advanced Services Platform, the 6100 Multiservice Optical Platform, the 5100/5200 Advanced Services Platform, and Common Photonic Layer products. This segment includes products used by network operators to increase network capacity and the speed of high-bandwidth services.
The software and services segment, about 20% of sales, offers maintenance support, installation, deployment, and consulting services. Software and services includes Ciena One, the On-Center Network & Service Management Suite, and the OMEA and Preside platforms.
Optical transport products, 10% of revenue, is supported by demand for 5430 Reconfigurable Switching Systems and the CoreDirector Multiservice Optical Switches. This segment includes products that create automated optical infrastructures that support enterprise and consumer-oriented network services.
Packet networking solutions, another 10% of sales, supplies the 3000 and 5000 families of service delivery switches, service aggregation switches, and legacy metro Ethernet and broadband products. Products in this segment support wireless backhaul infrastructures and business data services.
Ciena has operations in North America, the Caribbean and Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia/Pacific. Most of its sales, however, come from the US.
It doesn't build its own products but uses contract manufacturers with plants located in Canada, Mexico, Thailand, and the US.
Sales and Marketing
The company counts more than 1,000 customers such as AT&T and Comcast in the US and Orange (France), Telefonica (Spain), and Vodafone (UK) overseas. It uses a direct sales force as well as resellers.
Ciena has enjoyed substantial revenue growth over the last four years. Overall sales increased 13% in 2013 to a record $2 billion -- quite a jump from the $650 million it made in 2009. Only its optical transport segment experienced a sales slump. Still, the company has been unprofitable for the past five years due to high cost of sales and operating expenses, but it trimmed its 2013 losses to -$85 million, down from -$144 million in 2012.
Holding some 1,400 US patents and more than 400 foreign patents, Ciena is focusing product development in all its segments on new demand for converged optical Ethernet networking products and services that support mobile devices, video applications, and cloud and virtual computing.
The company looks to expand in Brazil, India, Japan, the Middle East, and Russia, and in customer markets that include enterprises, wireless operators, cable operators, submarine network operators, Internet content providers, cloud infrastructure providers, research and education organizations, and governments.