In IHS Markit’s annual Optical Equipment Vendor Leadership Survey of service providers, they seek to answer the critical question - what does the customer think? The results of their efforts are unique insights into service provider perceptions and preferences for optical equipment vendors.

We are happy to share that Ciena – and our Blue Planet division – has once again been named a leader in multiple categories. When asked in an open-ended question to name the top three overall optical transmission and switching vendors, 75% of respondents named Ciena – placing us firmly in the #1 spot.

Below is a snapshot of the survey results and some of the more focused topics.  We’ve also worked with IHS Markit to offer a free excerpt of the full report where you can see additional results and insights.

Optical Network Automation

As networks become larger and more complex, network automation has grown in importance for service providers. As evidence of this, IHS Markit introduced a new category this year – top vendors for optical network automation. The report stated that Ciena’s Blue Planet software portfolio, combined with enhancements to our product portfolio down to the coherent DSP level, have paid off: almost half of respondents perceive Ciena as the top vendor for optical network automation.

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Next-Generation ROADM and Line Systems

Emerging applications and technologies like 5G, augmented reality and virtual reality are driving the evolution of ROADM infrastructure. In this year’s survey, Ciena topped the list with 59% of respondents, ranking the company as the leader in ROADM solutions. IHS+Markit_Next+Gen+Roadm+and+Line+Systems

Optical Network Selection Criteria

In an effort to address the key buying criteria that impact vendors’ choices, the annual report also identifies leaders in different categories, including product reliability, technology innovation, management software and others. Respondents identified product reliability as the top optical equipment vendor selection criterion in 2019, and Ciena came out on top as the vendor in this category. Forty-two percent of respondents consider the company a leader in this area.

On the criterion of technology innovation, where 55% of respondents ranked Ciena highly, Heidi Adams highlighted why this category is so important for optical networks. She said “In optical infrastructure, especially for longer reach applications, every extra dB of margin that can be squeezed out of the network can mean higher network utilization, lower cost in line system equipment for amplifiers and/or repeaters, additional revenue, or a longer lifespan for the network.” Ciena will continue to invest in R&D to ensure our products deliver the advanced technology our customers require.

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If you are interested in seeing more about how Ciena performed in these categories and others, as well as additional insights IHS Markit gathered – download this free excerpt.