Équipe & Ciena: We're Fine

Core switch maker Équipe Communications Corp. and its reseller, Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN), haven't split up, the couple told Light Reading today. But they are seeing other people.

Word that there was some kind of row between the two companies first came from the publication Mass High Tech, which considers itself "The Journal of New England Technology." The publication reported that Ciena had "dropped" the reseller, support, and service agreement it had with Équipe.

Équipe, however, denies that anything has dropped, fallen, or otherwise ended between it and its reseller. "The story is inaccurate, in our view" says Bob Sullebarger, VP of marketing at Équipe.

Ciena concurs that there isn't a rift between it and Équipe. However, it nearly broke its hand patting Équipe on the back. "We still think [Équipe] has a strong team, a real product, and some real opportunities," says Ciena spokesman Aaron Graham. "Their segment of the market just isn't our primary focus right now."

Both Ciena and Équipe say that the original agreement between the two was a non-binding, non-exclusive, easy-going kind of deal, man. I mean, like, you know. C'mon.

"It does not obligate them to push our product, nor does it obligate us to sell through them exclusively," Sullebarger says.

This kind of chatter isn't surprising, given how turbulent a place Ciena is at these days (see Headcount: Play Merger Mania). The company still holds a stake in Équipe and says its reseller arrangements with Laurel Networks Inc. and Luminous Networks Inc. are progressing well (see Ciena: Half Full or Half Empty?).

Équipe, which fancies itself a competitor to the Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA) 8800 series products and Juniper Networks Inc.'s (Nasdaq: JNPR) new M320, says its future is not so bad (see Tellabs Sharpens Its Edge and Juniper Hatches the M320). "It's pretty clear there's a market there, and we're going after it," Sullebarger adds.

Still there's an air of mystery around how well Équipe is really doing. Sullebarger won't comment on how much funding the company has left, and he won't talk about what its fundraising plans are at the moment. Équipe has raised $103 million since 1999, but the 62-person company's most recent funding round of $40 million came 23 months ago.

— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

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diag_eng 12/5/2012 | 2:25:33 AM
re: Équipe & Ciena: We're Fine $40M 23 months ago. 62 people. That would be an approximate burn rate of $1.25M/month (conservative).

23 X 1.25 = 28.75M
40M-28.75M = 11.25M
11.25M/1.25M = 9 Months left

Best estimate would be 9 months left. Reality is more like 4 months.

Too bad. There was/is some good people there.

RoutedWorld 12/5/2012 | 2:25:26 AM
re: Équipe & Ciena: We're Fine
> Too bad. There was/is some good people there.

"Good"? No way. I know a couple of the lead guy's like Joe and Chris and I'd never say they were good. Extremely talented and honest sure, but definetly not good :)

Hang in there.

right_leading 12/5/2012 | 2:24:58 AM
re: Équipe & Ciena: We're Fine
Oh, man, give it a rest.
roguewave 12/5/2012 | 2:24:42 AM
re: Équipe & Ciena: We're Fine From inside sources (admittedly awhile ago) The end of Feb board meeting is the big one.

No traction = Shutdown.

A mad scramble is on to find new money, from what I have heard this money is so tainted it's not worth taking.

And it is a good team (and was a great team).

They did everything right. This was a company killed by it's BOD, It's mid life change of course that Rainville tried to execute (and BOD killed) was the right plan.

seen_the_light 12/5/2012 | 2:24:23 AM
re: Équipe & Ciena: We're Fine
Wavesmith killed it. Plain and simple.
realdeal 12/5/2012 | 2:24:20 AM
re: Équipe & Ciena: We're Fine Back in the day I had a pretty hot girlfriend- at least my friends thought she was pretty hot. Then we broke up and my friends felt so bad for me and sought to console me. Then I showed up with a model as my date and my friends soon realized that it was me who dumped the hot chick for the hotter chick.

Things are not always what they seem.
roguewave 12/5/2012 | 2:24:12 AM
re: Équipe & Ciena: We're Fine The post about the girlfriends was great. Not true, but still great.

Equipe was doing a core box and an edge box, and the BOD made them stop the edge. If they had an edge box the odds are good they might have some of the deals that Wavesmith got.

and I stand by my statement that there are only a few weeks left on the clock

zillionaire 12/5/2012 | 2:24:11 AM
re: Équipe & Ciena: We're Fine stick a fork in them....they are done
yomamma 12/5/2012 | 2:24:02 AM
re: Équipe & Ciena: We're Fine
are you implying that equipecom has a special show wife hiding in the closet?

UncleLeo 12/5/2012 | 2:23:55 AM
re: Équipe & Ciena: We're Fine
i heard http://www.jnphillips.com has an interest!
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