Équipe & Ciena: We're Fine
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