Ciena® Corporation (NASDAQ: CIEN), the network specialist, today announced the results of a Vanson Bourne survey indicating that almost four in ten (39%) Western European enterprises are unsatisfied with their current connectivity supplier – revealing an opportunity for service providers to address enterprise customer pain points by tailoring services. Nearly one-quarter of UK enterprises (23%) pointed to customer service as the main weakness of service providers, while French and German enterprises seemed more concerned about the slow speed of connection (19% and 21%, respectively). 

Key Facts:

  • Overall, almost four in ten surveyed enterprises fail to describe themselves as satisfied with the service quality and value of their WAN connectivity service, with similar results for French, German and UK enterprises specifically. Dutch enterprises are particularly discontent, with almost half describing themselves as less than satisfied (47%). These results imply that there is strong demand across all of these markets for service providers to improve business service offerings to better serve the evolving needs of enterprise customers.

  • Enterprises in particular sectors display even greater degrees of dissatisfaction with their current connectivity provider. In the utilities sector, more than four in ten surveyed companies (44%) described themselves as less than satisfied, followed closely by finance (43%) and the public sector (40%). When asked about the key weakness of connectivity suppliers, almost a quarter (23%) of companies in the financial sector cited the lack of tailored service level agreements, while the media & entertainment sector sees the low speed of connection as a weak point (27%), and utilities companies highlighted both the low speed of connection (18%) and low security standards (18%). The findings can be linked to the need for tailored vertical business services, expanding the emphasis from just the network to also include the specific requirements of the end customers.

  • The results also highlight the need for service providers to take regional differences into consideration when developing business services. When asked about the key challenge affecting WAN connectivity requirements and planning, about a quarter (24%) of British interviewees mentioned budget constraints. That seems less of a constraint in other European markets, with about a third (32%) of German companies highlighting security concerns and about a quarter (24%) of Dutch respondents citing higher expectations from corporate users.

  • Overall, the most important criterion for enterprises selecting a WAN connectivity provider are the security of data being transmitted (31%), bandwidth (22%) and price (16%). Data security during transfer is particularly important for French and German enterprises and the main selection criterion for 38% and 36% of enterprises, respectively. Even though bandwidth and security were also important criteria for Dutch enterprises, the findings showed that tailored service level agreements were a priority for one fifth (20%) of surveyed Dutch enterprises.

Executive Comment:

  • “The enterprise connectivity sector is often perceived as saturated, with little room for service providers to move from a price-based to a value-based competitive position. Given that a significant portion of European enterprises are discontent with their current connectivity services, there is an opportunity for innovative service providers to differentiate enterprise services - as long as they can effectively identify and address the requirements of specific business segments. This is where Ciena’s expertise comes in. We work closely with service providers to identify potential customer segments and design services that meet their unique business requirements.”
    -          Nick Walden, regional managing director, Northern Europe at Ciena

About the Survey:

  • The research project surveyed 400 senior IT decision makers, including an equal number of participants from the United Kingdom, Germany, France and The Netherlands. 
  • 46% of the companies surveyed have more than 3,000 employees, 44% have between 1,000 and 3,000 employees, and 10% between 500 and 1,000. 
  • The online survey was conducted by Vanson Bourne in December 2012. 

Supporting Resources:

About Ciena
Ciena is the network specialist. We collaborate with customers worldwide to unlock the strategic potential of their networks and fundamentally change the way they perform and compete. Ciena leverages its deep expertise in packet and optical networking and distributed software automation to deliver solutions in alignment with OPn, its approach for building open next-generation networks. We enable a high-scale, programmable infrastructure that can be controlled and adapted by network-level applications, and provide open interfaces to coordinate computing, storage and network resources in a unified, virtualized environment. We routinely post recent news, financial results and other important announcements and information about Ciena on our website. For more information, visit

Note to Ciena Investors
Forward-looking statements.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements based on current expectations, forecasts and assumptions that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements are based on information available to the Company as of the date hereof; and Ciena's actual results could differ materially from those stated or implied, due to risks and uncertainties associated with its business, which include the risk factors disclosed in its Report on Form 10-K, which Ciena filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on December 21, 2012. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding Ciena's expectations, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the future and can be identified by forward-looking words such as "anticipate," "believe," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "should," "will," and "would" or similar words. Ciena assumes no obligation to update the information included in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.