IHS Markit Optical Equipment Vendor Leadership Service Provider Survey ExcerptsIHS Markit recently published its annual Optical Equipment Vendor Leadership Survey of Service Providers, providing unique insights into service provider perceptions and preferences for optical equipment vendors.

Each year, a collection of service provider decision-makers from around the world is surveyed for their opinions on the industry’s optical equipment vendors (like Ciena).  For this year’s survey, 50% of respondents were from EMEA, followed by 25% from North America, 21% from Asia Pacific, and 4% from CALA. Combined, these operators controlled 32% of the world’s 2016 telecom capex.

In this year’s survey, as in years past, Ciena came out as a leader across multiple categories, including Top Optical Transmission and Switching Equipment Vendor.  Below is a snapshot of the survey results.  We’ve also worked with IHS Markit to offer a free excerpt of the full report.

Top 3 optical transmission and switching equipment vendors

At the broadest level of the survey, IHS Markit polled respondents to name the top 3 overall optical transmission and switching vendors in the industry.  This was an open-ended and unaided question.  Ciena was easily the top vendor, listed by 68% of those surveyed. No other vendor made it to the 50% mark (see chart above).  This marks the second year in a row that Ciena easily bested the field for top vendor.

From there, the survey dove deeper into specific segments of the optical market.  This included the red-hot market for Data Center Interconnect (DCI), a segment that now represents 19% of overall WDM equipment sales according to the latest IHS Markit data. Here again, Ciena was the top named vendor, cited by 39% of respondents in the unaided list.

Another hot market covered by the survey was Transport SDN.  Barely a blip on the industry’s radar just a few years ago, software-defined networking (SDN) is now at a point where trials and early deployments are in the works, and this includes at the optical transport layer (witness our Liquid Spectrum launch last year).  Ciena took the top spot in this segment with 46% of respondents citing us as a leader.

Of course, leadership in these hot and growing market segments implies leadership in technology innovation, and this was clearly illustrated in the survey results.  Ciena ranked #1 in both Technology Innovation and in R&D investment, clearly separating us from the pack of other vendors (see chart below).

Vendor Leadership: Technology Innovation and R&D

But what good is all this innovation and technology if you can’t count on the products and solutions that they are built on?  That brings us to the part of the survey that generates the biggest smiles on the Ciena team and with our customers.  In this year’s survey, Ciena came out on top as the vendor perceived to have the highest reliability, with 37% of respondents considering us a leader in this area – significantly ahead of the pack and double the response rate of almost all other vendors in the survey.

Want to see more of the survey results? We’ve worked with IHS Markit to offer a free excerpt of the full report.