Ciena’s work with Zayo serves as an ideal model for providers looking to extend their networks and plan for the future.

I’m Geoff Robinson, Sales Engineer at Ciena, and I’m responsible for making sure Zayo gets the most out of current tech and looking ahead to maximise the value of any future investments.

Zayo’s focus is primarily in three customer areas: financial services, enterprise organisations, and content providers like Facebook, Google, and Amazon. And the long-term plan is to extend its network across Europe to grow its customer base in these sectors. That’s why my counterparts at Zayo and I are working closely together to fine tune a strategic growth plan.

Conversations that lead to business cases

When Zayo outlines potential customer futures or their expansion plans across new markets or regions, my team and assess what technology will meet these goals and specify the relevant infrastructure—along with management features to ensure maximum efficiency and operability. Then, we provide a quote to produce the necessary business case.

For flexibility, quotes usually include options, so Zayo can select just the features they need at the time or opt to build in scalability to expand services over time. This enables Zayo to make capital outlay and implementation costs much more digestible for themselves and their customers.

It pays to be ahead of what’s next

Zayo recognises the rising demand for scalable network bandwidth, and the need to be able to pivot in line with changing business needs. To help them respond to these demands, we have helped switch Zayo from a fixed to a flex grid over the past year, giving them scalable bandwidth services of up to 400G. Zayo thus  became one of the first service providers in Europe to take a flex network to market. By adopting and deploying our 400G technology now, Zayo can easily spin up services to meet the demand of existing customers and even attract new ones.

Thinking differently, delivering value

Today, financial services organisations, large enterprises, broadcasters, and content providers demand faster, higher-capacity services, and the minimum capacity they’re looking for is 10G—with many now looking ahead to 100G.

Zayo is already expanding its optical Layer 1 network in long-haul and metro locations across German-speaking countries, the Nordics, Italy, and Spain. And we’re helping Zayo look to the future with a scalable approach that enables them to bring new locations online faster and more cost effectively.

Speed isn’t the only feature that matters. Five-nines network availability is expected as standard. But what really sets Ciena apart is the ease with which we will soon be able to provision services. While it’s complex now, it will soon be simpler with a ‘point and click’ solution right across the network. So when Zayo customers demand specific new routes, these can easily be dragged into a different region—and our tools can handle the necessary recalculation—saving a lot of time and highlighting any potential frequency conflicts. All in all, a very powerful capability.

From feedback loop to future-proofed

Our relationship with Zayo is a mutually beneficial one. Zayo relies on our knowledge, input, and guidance on how to use technology to open up new markets.

What we develop helps Zayo take new services to market, and their input helps us improve our products.

Our development team is constantly working on what the market is likely to want in the future and we regularly meet with Zayo to get direct feedback on how to improve the functionality of our products. This is a win-win. Zayo gets the extra features they’re looking for, and Ciena can build them into our portfolio and use them for other customer types.

During our weekly meeting cadence with Zayo’s architecture team, we go through the technology roadmap, and the feedback they give us helps us shorten our development cycles. And by looking three to five years ahead, Zayo maintains its position as a market leader across Europe.

When your customers start thinking about their private network builds, it pays to engage us early in the process. And when you need advice on how the latest technology can support your business transformation goals, our sales engineers are here for you—to support you with your growth plans.