Change is Good: How Ciena Services is evolving with the market to best meet customer needs
As the head of our Global Services business, one of the key aspects of my job is to immerse myself in the challenges that our customers face every day. Service providers, networking companies, and large enterprises operate under some of the most challenging conditions in business today. And as infrastructure experts in these companies, you’re under relentless pressure to deliver more and better services, more bandwidth, and faster data speeds, while operating your networks continuously at peak performance.
You come to Ciena for infrastructure because we’re the industry leader in networking and network transformation technologies. We understand the market and work closely with customers to make sure we create a two-way dialogue and fully understand your needs.
Here's how these conversations have guided changes that optimize your experience as Ciena customers and your success with Ciena technologies – innovating new ways of working together and modernizing our Services model to maximize our ability to focus more directly on your individual business and operational requirements.
Customers today want a frictionless experience, whether they’re using a smartphone, business solution, or contacting customer support. This is also true for Ciena Services customers. You want to conduct your projects with less effort, on your own timelines, with support that is specific to your company and circumstances. You want partners who know you well enough to understand, anticipate, and proactively address your challenges. You also want access to transparent project information in real-time, so you can track orders and equipment delivery dates, check the status of support tickets, or see when an upgrade will be complete.
Working closely together is an essential ingredient in the frictionless concept. We’ve learned through experience with some of our biggest and most leading-edge customers how to structure close, dedicated relationships so we can work in lockstep with one another and even get ahead of the curve on the most ambitious projects.
This means you always have the same team showing up for you. The Ciena team develops an intimate understanding of your organization, systems, and workflows, and you develop a similar understanding of our workflows and how we schedule maintenance. This closeness calls for more openness about our respective organizations and processes and engenders trust, which can stimulate more creative and proactive solutions and deliver faster and better results. Ciena thus becomes your go-to vendor and your trusted partner as well.
A dedicated and highly trained team
To better address evolving customer needs, Ciena’s Services model designates leadership and advocates to work closely with you at or near your locations for the duration of your projects. They will be joined by the operational teams—as many as you need, with the skills you require—who work with you on a day-to-day basis. We’ve also modernized the MyCiena portal to streamline and automate your access to project information.
Based on what we’ve learned from our customers, we’ve also invested in skills to ensure our teams deliver the customer experience you are looking for. We’ve emphasized project management training and now have an extensive staff of certified Project Management Professionals (PMPs). Their availability in your localities and involvement in your projects improves all steps in a product life cycle, from the kick-off call to service launch and revenue generation, including updates and other activities required during commercial operations.
Our technical professionals, as well, have undergone extensive training to address skills gaps and increase skill levels. They also receive training in parallel with new products in development, so they are fully ready to support you with new releases. Additionally, they receive training in methods and behaviors for engaging with customers to ensure you have a frictionless experience if you call for support. Our teams want to excel in these skills and compete internally for distinction in training and service readiness. Their motivation continuously advances their skills.
Digitized, automated customer experience
Because customers must have information available at their fingertips when they want it, Ciena ramped up its investment in the MyCiena portal. We’ve used this support to update its features and functionality based on what we’ve learned from our biggest customers about how they work, access, and manage information within their own systems.
The portal has a new user interface that serves up the most critical information you need automatically in an easy-to-read format, and a new dashboard offering one-click access to real-time information about your orders or projects. You can also use the dashboard to manage SLAs and even link SLAs to project deadlines or service tickets. The information is accurate and available without human interaction. Additional 24/7 support is there for you if you need it.
In my engagements with customers, I can see that they are already becoming more engaged with our modernized Services approach. We’ve seen that the combination of modernized services, teams, tools, and close relationships is engendering trust and ensuring we are accountable to you on a personal basis. Customers are also responding and affirming the benefits of the approach.