Managing your network operations can be complex, costly, and time-consuming, but what if there was a better way? Phil Corey, Senior Director of Services Product Line Management at Ciena explains.

In my role leading Ciena’s Services Product Line Management, I talk with customers like you nearly every day. One thing I hear consistently―and increasingly―is your need to shed costs from operating your network. But it’s more than just removing costs; it’s removing costs while also enhancing service delivery while also maintaining network availability and reducing operational risk. In other words, do more with less. That’s a big ask. And the fact that everyone seems to share this challenge doesn’t make it any less a conundrum for you.

While network cost reduction can cover vast territory, I would like to focus your attention on one specific approach to rapidly addressing your challenges while delivering measurable results: Managed operations.

Network ops can be complex and costly, but it doesn’t need to be

You know that managing your own network ops is complex. It’s also time-consuming and involves considerable OpEx and CapEx―generally with no offsetting revenue generation. Setting up a NOC to monitor and manage network infrastructure performance requires enormous up-front capital expense, plus significant and ongoing operational cost to staff and maintain it. Even integrating an NMS can be expensive and complicated. Likewise, for handling replacement spares, you incur high CapEx to acquire the warehousing, inventory, and management software, with commensurate OpEx to manage the inventory and install the replacements. Finally, finding the people with the deep experience to assure your network is always at optimal performance is a never-ending challenge, and keeping them on staff is expensive.

While your experience may differ, my observation is that, in most cases, all of this distracts from addressing strategic, mission-critical objectives. In other words, it’s a headache.

What if there were a better way? What if you could solve at least part of this conundrum by teaming with a trusted ally to share the responsibility and cost of managing your network operations?

There is, and you can.

Ciena can carry the load for you by flexibly combining specific Services and capabilities:

Unleashing the power of managed operations for network cost reduction

Let’s take a look at these individually:

Resident Engineer is a dedicated onsite or remote Ciena expert who is embedded with your day-to-day team. Because your Res Eng knows your organization from the inside, they see how Ciena fits into your broader network and network strategy. They help maintain high availability through proactively identifying and diagnosing issues, clearing alarms, and expediting troubleshooting. But they also advocate for you strategically by providing guidance on hardware and software configurations, feature activations, and software upgrades while providing up-to-the-minute knowledge transfer for your other staff. They deliver all this without the expense and hassle of training and carrying them on your books. And since they are contracted for only six or twelve months at a time, you’re not locked into the perpetual engagement of regular staff.

Managed NOC is a multi-vendor service to monitor and manage your (or your customer’s) network (devices and virtual machines), and respond to incidents that inevitably arise to prevent service disruption. It’s global, geo-diverse, AI-optimized, and secure. Critically, because we’re set up for Ciena and third-party equipment, we can manage part of your network or all of it, from core to edge, and specific use cases between. We have the expertise, the certified global facilities, and best practices already in place. While the primary aim of Managed NOC is maximizing network availability, just as clearly, Managed NOC eliminates the CapEx of setting up your own NOC, reduces the associated OpEx, and mitigates risk.

Managed Spares provides our AI-optimized inventory logistics and global network of hundreds of warehouses to ship replacement spares to you at a moment’s notice rather than handling it yourself. Because we distribute the load of acquiring and maintaining the inventory, facilities, and staffing and managing the logistics across our global customer base, we’re able to do it for about a third less than DIY―faster, with less risk, and no headaches. Engineering Dispatch sends a Ciena expert to your facility to install those spares or to perform onsite troubleshooting and maintenance. You gain our expertise without carrying a full-time staff position for periodic work. With both Managed Spares and Engineering Dispatch, you lower both OPEX and CAPEX while staying focused on your core business.

Hosted Navigator Service is a premium, cloud-based deployment option for Ciena’s Navigator Network Control Suite (NCS) for customers who want full control of their networks but not the overhead of deploying and managing the servers and software. This service is deployed by Ciena in the cloud and securely managed and maintained by our experts in a dedicated, hosted infrastructure based on your network requirements. You gain insight and control of your network but without the challenge of supplying and managing that IT infrastructure.

Ciena Services as your trusted ally

Transferring the operational and financial load of managing your network operations by leveraging our Services and capabilities (Resident Engineer, Managed NOC, Managed Spares and Engineering Dispatch, Navigator Hosted Service) delivers meaningful and measurable results to your business. In combination, these help secure high network availability, alleviate operational risk, and lower overall costs. As it turns out, ‘more with less’ is doable after all.