Light Reading

Leading Lights Finalists 2014: Company of the Year (Public)

Ray Le Maistre

To excel is hard enough in the telecom sector, but to do so under the constant scrutiny of investors and financial analysts is even harder, which is why winning the Company of the Year (Public) award is so tough. The stars must be aligned.

This category is about identifying the listed companies that stand out from the crowd, develop and communicate a strategy that benefits customers, partners, employees and investors alike, and then acts on that strategy. That's a tough set of criteria.

We announced the identities of the shortlisted companies earlier: Keep in mind that the time period covered by this year's awards submissions was April 1, 2013, to March 31, 2014, so anything that happened since was not taken into consideration in the judging process. (See Leading Lights 2014: The Finalists.)

Now here's why those five firms that made the Company of the Year (Public) shortlist were chosen (in alphabetical order).

Ciena Corp.
For quite some time, Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) CEO Gary Smith had been asking for patience from the markets, saying that Ciena was well placed to benefit from the expected demand for next-generation transport infrastructure that was anticipated.

The past year will have seen Smith feeling happy with his past predictions, and quite confident too that Ciena, with its OPn architecture, is indeed well placed for what's to come next.

OPn, which comprises converged packet-optical systems, packet networking, and software, "facilitates the migration to open and programmable network architectures," notes the company, and "guides Ciena's product strategy, development and advocacy to customers and the market."

That's also linked, of course, to the broader industry developments around SDN, which is also one of the catalysts for Ciena's partnership with mobile broadband and managed services market leader Ericsson, announced earlier this year.

Ciena is confident that its revenues and margins will improve in the coming year as it expects to increase its market share and grow faster than the overall market.

And in the year under scrutiny in these awards, Ciena's share price reflected its overall trajectory, increasing from $16.01 at the end of March 2013 to $22.74 at the end of March this year.

Infinera Corp.
Increasing demand for transport network solutions is also good news for Infinera Corp. (Nasdaq: INFN), which has been making positive headway in the 100G long-haul market with its flagship DTN-X platform -- so much so that it could claim market leadership status, if certain criteria are applied.

What's clear, though, is that the company has shifted up a gear, and the reputation it has built for delivering reliable optical transport systems that are easy and quick to deploy, and then just as quick to put into commercial action, is paying off.

That doesn't mean Infinera gets everything its own way. It had long been tipped to make a breakthrough at Verizon, but lost out in the final reckoning. What's key, though, is that while Verizon would have been a landmark customer, Infinera's business has not suffered as a result of that isolated setback. It has more than 40 customers for the DTN-X and boasts a broad customer portfolio, both geographically and by sector -- it has "15 Tier 1 customers, 4 of the top 5 cable operators, and 3 of the top 4 Internet Content Providers" on its books, it says in its submission.

The company's revenues are on the rise, expectations in the market are positive for further growth, and the company saw its stock head in the right direction during the "Leading Lights year," advancing by about 28% year-on-year to end March 2013 at $8.95.

Mavenir Systems Inc.
Mobile data service platform specialist Mavenir Systems Inc. qualified for this category courtesy of its IPO in November 2013. The company is pitching its cloud-based mOne Convergence Platform to mobile operators looking to enhance their services portfolio with applications such as VoLTE, and at the end of 2013 mOne was deployed at three of the top five US mobile operators and nine of the top 20 globally. One of those deployments is at MetroPCS, which in 2012 launched the first commercially available VoLTE service using Mavenir's platform.

In the past year, the company has been adding to its virtual capabilities with a string of launches, including a virtualized SBC and evolved packet core (EPC).

The company is growing its revenues impressively -- its revenues for the first quarter of 2014 were up by 28% year-on-year to $28.7 million -- and its share price rose from its IPO price of $10.00 to hit $17.90 at the end of March.

Redknee Inc.
Canadian BSS specialist Redknee Inc. (Toronto/London AIM: RKN) isn't the company it used to be. For years it was a telecom software minnow, winning business and keeping afloat, but never likely to trouble the big guns.

Now that's changed. Following the acquisition of NSN's BSS business, Redknee has transformed itself from a company with annual revenues of about $60 million into a telecom software and services firm with more than 200 customers and annualized revenues of almost $300 million. And its ambitious CEO Lucas Skoczkowski has his eyes on making Redknee a $1 billion-per-year turnover company.

Its share price has reflected its enhanced status and prospects, growing 78% year-on-year to $5.52 at the end of March this year.

tw telecom inc.
One of the success stories of the North American data services sector, tw telecom inc. (Nasdaq: TWTC) has grown in recent years to become one of the most valuable, and sought-after, properties in the Ethernet services market. That much was proven when Level 3 announced its planned $5.7 billion acquisition of the operator on June 16.

Beyond that high-profile move, tw telecom usually makes the headlines for the right reasons, whether for being an outstanding employer, delivering enviable customer service, or launching innovative services such as Alerts Driven Dynamic Capacity.

The operator has grown its top-line revenues for the past nine years, reporting sales of $1.56 billion in 2013, and from early April 2013 to the close of March 2014 the company's stock appreciated by more than 21% March 28, 2013 to $30.59. Now, of course, the Level 3 deal has driven it much closer to the $40 mark.

The Leading Lights winners and 2014 Hall of Fame inductees will be unveiled at the Leading Lights awards dinner, to be held the evening of Tuesday, June 17 at Chicago's Adler Planetarium. (For more details, see Bumper Year for the Leading Lights Awards.)

Stick around on Wednesday for the second day of Light Reading's Big Telecom Event, taking place at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers on June 17-18. (Details and the agenda are on our show site, Big Telecom Event.)

— Ray Le Maistre, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
From The Founder
The comms industry is rallying to the cause of open, independent interoperability testing.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Interviews
BT Updates on Plans

10|2|15   |   03:16   |   (1) comment

Peter Bell, CIO at Openreach, the access network division at UK incumbent BT, provides an update on the operator's trials and how Openreach is planning to deploy the broadband technology in its street cabinets.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Sonus Shakes Up SD-WAN

10|2|15   |   7:22   |   (0) comments

Sonus CTO Kevin Riley sat down with Light Reading to discuss the trajectory of the company, its SDN ambitions and why Sonus is taking a market-disruptive approve to SD-WAN.
LRTV Interviews
CityFibre's Gigabit Vision

10|1|15   |   03:18   |   (1) comment

Mark Collins, director of Strategy & Public Affairs at competitive UK city network operator CityFibre, talks about his company's plans to help build Gigabit Cities.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Automate, Scale & Create With Juniper's vCPE Solution

10|1|15   |   6:34   |   (0) comments

Join Kireeti Kompella, Juniper Networks CTO, and Steve Saunders, Light Reading Founder and CEO, as they discuss Juniper Networks' approach to NFV showcased with a turnkey vCPE solution, which demonstrates how service providers can use automation to rapidly deploy services.
LRTV Interviews
Gigabit Europe: Day 1 Takeaways

9|29|15   |   05:47   |   (5) comments

Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre and Iain Morris sup a beer and discuss some of the key takeaways from the first day of Gigabit Europe 2015.
LRTV Interviews
Gigabit in Europe

9|29|15   |   04:24   |   (0) comments

At the Gigabit Europe 2015 event in Munich, Heavy Reading's Graham Finnie talks about the availability of gigabit broadband in Europe.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
AT&T's Band of Women

9|28|15   |   4:36   |   (0) comments

Brooks McCorcle, the president of AT&T's partner solutions divisions and a mathematician by trade, shares stats on AT&T's diversity and advice on how to create your own band of women at work.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Metaswitch's New CEO Martin Lund Discusses His Role

9|25|15   |   11:36   |   (0) comments

Technology industry veteran Martin Lund joins Metaswitch Networks this week as the company's new CEO. In this interview, Lund discusses his new role and the industry's progress with Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders. Lund believes that the industry disruption caused by SDN and NFV is creating opportunities for companies like Metaswitch – network software providers ...
It's All About That App

9|23|15   |   02:15   |   (2) comments

The long-range goal of service providers is to deliver app-specific network performance and that is showing up in technical developments today.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Verizon's Healthy Approach to WiC

9|22|15   |   2:30   |   (2) comments

If you think there are too few women in comms, you should see the healthcare industry. Nancy Green, Verizon's healthcare global lead, shares ideas on what we can do about it.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
UBBF 2015 Highlights

9|22|15   |     |   (0) comments

Drilling down deeper into the transformation process will provide network operators with a practical look at building new businesses around a digital virtualized network architecture, and lay out some of the transition steps required, particularly in the struggle to enable more dynamic and focused enterprise network services.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
ActiveVideo's Cloud Virtualization Technology

9|22|15   |   7:23   |   (0) comments

ActiveVideo's CMO, Murali Nemani, discusses how virtualized CPE functions can deliver applications from the cloud to various devices at home.
Upcoming Live Events
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Communication service providers realize that an ICT transformation is critical to their long-term survival, but most haven't yet committed to making it happen.
Hot Topics
Are Sports Next for Netflix?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/28/2015
Google Gives Huawei a US Device Boost
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/29/2015
Following the Bouncing Capex Ball
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/29/2015
Verizon's Go90 Is Live – Will Anyone Watch?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 10/1/2015
Good News for NFV Interoperability
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 9/29/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
With so many new and exciting communications technologies now under development, it's easy to get caught up in the industry's escalating hype cycle. That's why the ...
Last week saw a big day in the 15-year history of Light Reading when Editor-in-Chief Ray Le Maistre and I were invited to interview the Deputy Chairman and Rotating ...
Cats with Phones
Hold My Calls, Indefinitely Click Here