The «new Ciena» six months on

Ron Kline/Ovum
01 Nov 2010

Ciena, having adopted a best-practices approach to its integration with MEN, has embraced Nortel’s tradition of providing an annual look behind the curtain.

Having just returned from this year’s pilgrimage, we can report that after only six months, Ciena is admirably far along with its efforts to integrate the best of its technology across its converged optical and Ethernet products.

The company is freshly armed with cash, and a glimpse into its future products and capabilities indicates Ciena will be on the leading edge in bringing next-generation packet/optical technology to market, which should improve its competitiveness in the market.

A lot has changed in a year. When we visited Ottawa last year, Nortel MEN was in chapter 11 bankruptcy; Ciena had not yet made its stalking horse bid; and the company was doing its best to stem the exodus of its valued customer base.

It’s only been six months since Ciena acquired Nortel’s MEN unit, but already Ciena is well along in its efforts to integrate control and management plane functions across its legacy Ciena and Nortel products.

In contrast, the last big merger of companies with ON products – Alcatel and Lucent in 2006 – did not go nearly as smoothly: the companies were much larger and more complex to integrate and had significantly more overlap in product lines. Ciena-Nortel is smaller and appears to be a quicker, cleaner integration.

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