Ciena (Nasdaq: CIEN) has decided to expand its global channel reach into the service provider, utilities, financial firms and other vertical by expanding and enhancing its BizConnect partner program.
Among the many enhancements included in the program are new partner designations (solution provider, Managed service provider, technology alliance and strategic alliance) in addition to the expansion of tools to improve a channel partners' market position, including marketing programs, technology certifications, and product and industry knowledge resources.
Already serving over 200 partners, Ciena's BizConnect program has seen consistent annual revenue growth since it was launched in 2006. One of the latest contributors of growth to the program in 2010, especially in Asia Pacific and Latin America, has been its acquisition of Nortel's Metro Ethernet Network (MEN) business. Interestingly, the MEN business was a major contributor to an uptick in the vendor's Q4 2010 revenue report.
To date, about one-third of Ciena's partners are Managed Service Provider partners and two-thirds are Solution Provider partners. By adding the Technology Alliance and Strategic Alliance designations, which combine their own products with that of other software vendors and service providers, Ciena believes it will be able to create more holistic solutions for the vertical market segments it targets.
Deirdre Wassell, director of solutions and technical marketing at EMC, said that by becoming part of Ciena's BizConnect program, the two companies were able to jointly address the "significant storage, virtualization and connectivity opportunities arising from the growth of cloud infrastructure, data centers and intelligent networks within the enterprise."
With much of the telecom equipment market consolidated down to a handful of a few major players, vendors like Ciena are posing themselves as more of a solutions provider that wants to help customers solve problems that are affecting their day-to-day business activities.
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