If you haven’t noticed, 2017 is a pretty big year for Ciena. In addition to opening our new R&D center in Ottawa, rolling out new offerings and announcing new partnerships, this November officially marks our 25th year doing business.

25 years is a long time. For anything. In fact, it’s over 9,100 days (who do you know today that you knew 9,000 days ago?).

As part of our yearlong celebration of this incredible milestone, a few of our oldest friends (they’re customers too) sent over their best wishes for our big day. We decided to share a few of their kind words as a virtual “birthday card” below. We would never have arrived at the place we are today without the support and partnership of all of our customers throughout the last 25 years. This celebration is as much about you as it is us. So, from all of us at Ciena, thank you. And here’s to the next 9,000 days.

Glenn Wellbrock quote, Verizon 
“As an industry leader, Verizon looks to collaborate with organizations with the same drive, innovative thinking and focus on quality that we have. We recently expanded our work with Ciena with our announcement that they would be one of two vendors supporting our next-generation metro 100G rollout in the U.S. We applaud the innovative technologies Ciena has introduced in the last 25 years and look forward to seeing what we can build together in the next 25.”

- Glenn Wellbrock, Director of Optical Transport Network Architecture, Design & Planning, Verizon

Dean Veverka quote, Southern Cross 
“Given its continued passion to create the highest quality solutions, it is no surprise that Ciena has been a part of many industry-firsts over the past quarter of a century. In our own quest to innovate and meet growing customer demand, it seemed natural for Southern Cross to partner with Ciena. Together we have hit many milestones - from upgrading our submarine network to 40Gbps, 100Gbps and 200Gbps technology to our first entrance into the SDN area. In fact, our recent announcement of Gigaflex Elastic bandwidth-on-demand capability is supported by Ciena’s Blue Planet V-WAN. Finding a good partner is not easy, and we are happy to have found a great one in Ciena.”

- Dean Veverka, Director Networks & Vice President Operations, Southern Cross

Carl Grivner quote, Colt “Connecting the world has changed a great deal in the 25 years since Colt emerged as a disruptor in the market. Today, we are a proud leader in enabling our customer’s digital transformations through agile, high-bandwidth connectivity across the globe. Working with the most innovative partners to maintain a technological edge in high-bandwidth connectivity and a best in class customer experience is critical to our strategy. Ciena is one of the strategic partners Colt relies on to enable our customers to connect them with their critical cloud ecosystems in a secure, reliable manner. By working with innovators like Ciena, Colt is able to meet not only the ever-increasing demand for more bandwidth but also introduce entirely new consumption models such as on-demand connectivity.”

- Carl Grivner, Chief Executive Officer, Colt

Howard Pfeffer quote, Internet2“Collaboration enables innovation. What seemed impossible 25 years ago, is now a reality because of the vision and work of the people and organizations in the research and education community. When we were looking to create America’s first 100G national research and education network years ago, Ciena rolled up its sleeves from the start, and continued all the way through to the launch of our production network, bringing many valuable insights along the way. We applaud them for the spirit of collaboration, innovation and partnership that they have shown over many years, and we look forward to continuing to connect and enable the research and education community.”

- Howard Pfeffer, President & CEO, Internet2

Jose Paulo Linne quote, BRFibra“Ciena has become more than a solution provider for BRFibra. In addition to their optical portfolio enhancing and supporting the growth of our network, they have achieved the status of a strategic partner to us. We have worked side by side, understanding the challenges we face in the Brazilian market and Ciena has collaborated closely with us in developing strategies to overcome these obstacles. We congratulate Ciena for achieving such a significant milestone of 25 years of operation.”

- Jose Paulo Linné, Chief Executive Officer, BRFibra Telecommunications

Michael Howard quote, IHS MarkitCongratulations to Ciena for 25 successful years. Gary Smith is now the industry’s longest-running successful CEO, who’s guided Ciena through many industry changes, with major acquisitions all along the way. These include most recently Nortel, delivering 100G+ technology and customers to Ciena’s portfolio, and Cyan, enabling Ciena to become a major player in service provider transformation of automation and on-demand services underpinned by SDN/NFV.”

- Michael Howard, Senior Research Director & Advisor, IHS Markit

Want to “sign” our virtual birthday card and leave a note for us? Please do so in the comments below.