Pictured above are the Ciena and Colt teams accepting their awards at GEN15. From left to right: Tom Burke (Colt), Matthias Hain (Colt), Recep Ozdag (Ciena), Nirav Modi (Ciena), Kevin Sheehan (Ciena), Paul Botwright (Colt), Kevin Wade (Ciena).


Kevin WadeKevin Wade is director of product marketing within Ciena’s Blue Planet division


The future of both Ciena and the networking industry was on display this week at the MEF’s GEN15 in Dallas, Texas. That future was the combination of Carrier Ethernet-based network services and virtualization technologies like SDN, NFV and LSO that are working to make those services more dynamic, more open, and more agile.  That’s the future the industry is moving to, and that’s the future Ciena is focused on, as evidenced by our new Blue Planet division and the integration work we are already doing with our award-winning Carrier Ethernet portfolio.

We’ve already covered the GEN15 hackathon and 100GE certification news earlier this week, but the good news continues from Dallas, where Ciena’s hard work and commitment to innovation in these areas were recognized on Tuesday evening at the MEF GEN15 event in Dallas, where Ciena took home several high-profile awards in the MEF’s Excellence Awards program. This program recognizes service, application, technology, and professional excellence and innovation in both the global Carrier Ethernet and emerging Third Network community, and award judges are considered the industry’s leading analysts covering the Carrier Ethernet, SDN/NFV, LSO and service provider markets.

Ciena took home awards in the two highest profile technology categories: Vendor of the Year and LSO Solution Provider of the Year for our comprehensive network virtualization and service orchestration platform Blue Planet.

"We are thrilled to be recognized for our contributions in the development of emerging Third Network services in not one, but three categories. Kudos to the entire team at Ciena, and thank you to the MEF." –Kevin Sheehan, VP Global Customer Operations, Blue Planet Division, Ciena

Vendor of the Year:

MEF Excellence Awards 2015Ciena’s packet, converged packet optical, and software products enable network providers as they deliver agility, scale, and orchestration to networks that have been historically static, closed and structured in silos. Our software advancements, which include the recently acquired and integrated Blue Planet division, bring unprecedented automation and programmability to the network.

We continue to evolve and innovate our broad portfolio of networking solutions in an effort to empower the globally connected economy—both for today and in the future.


LSO Solution Provider of the Year – Blue Planet:

Pictures from GEN15 promoBlue Planet simplifies the creation, automation, and delivery of services from end-to-end across physical and virtual domains, increasingly referred to as Lifecycle Service Orchestration or LSO. Our platform’s open and vendor-agnostic LSO capabilities give service providers more freedom to use the physical and virtual network components of their choice, allowing them to focus on delivering services instead of managing appliances.

We’ve had great success with leading carriers like CenturyLink on LSO deployments and want to share this award and recognition with them. Additionally, we want to congratulate our customer Colt for winning a number of awards, including the Service Provider Innovation of the Year Award. Ciena also partnered with Colt and our Blue Orbit partner Versa Networks in a multi-vendor NFV vCPE proof-of-concept at GEN15.


Distinguished Fellow – Raghu Ranganathan:

Raghu RanganathanBut the Ciena team still wasn’t done. On top of the Vendor of the Year and LSO Solution Provider of the Year awards, MEF recognized Ciena’s own Raghu Ranganathan with their Distinguished Fellow honor. Raghu is Director, MEF & Principal, Office of CTO at Ciena.

“I am very excited to receive this recognition and would like to thank Ciena for supporting my participation in MEF all these years,” Ranganathan said in response to his award, adding that “collaboration with peers across the industry is key and I look forward to more exciting progress towards realizing the Third Network vision.”


Kevin Sheehan, Vice President of Customer Operations for Ciena’s Blue Planet Division, had this to add:

“In addition to being recognized as Vendor of the Year and LSO Solution Provider of the Year, our own Raghu Ranganathan was named a Distinguished Fellow for his tireless efforts to develop solutions that give our service provider customers greater flexibility, agility, and control over their networks.”


These awards are confirmation for Ciena that the alignment of our strategy surrounding the integration of Blue Planet and the work we’ve done to make that transition seamless has been well worth it; and it’s obvious. It’s an added benefit to share our evening with other award winners and leading service providers from around the globe such as AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, TATA, Level 3, PLDT, Telstra, and many others.

As we help drive the industry’s shift to on-demand networking, expect to see even more industry-leading innovations from Ciena!