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Optical/IP

Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit

Earlier this month, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) quietly reshuffled its Optical Networking Group (ONG).

So far, the only outwardly noticeable effect of the reorganization is the fact that Cisco has said it will close its Hagersten, Sweden, photonics unit (see Cisco Intends to Close Swedish Plant). [Ed. note: For any Swedish officials reading this, the company said it "intends" to close these facilities, so as not to cross your labor laws.]

Cisco maintains that its product roadmap and technology vision remain the same. It also says no other jobs or facilities will be affected besides the 60-plus employees it intends to eliminate in Sweden.

Cisco's ONG realignment is mostly cosmetic. The company can't say specifically where it has changed or intensified spending, focus, or personnel.

"As Cisco pursues market-leading positions in the multi-service switching platform (MSSP) and metro segments of the optical networking market, we will continue to focus on increasing our market share within the available market," writes a Cisco spokeperson in an email exchange with Light Reading. Does that clear things up? Thought so.

Cisco's intentions regarding its Swedish plant "didn't come as a surprise," according to Anders Lundberg, CEO of Lumentis AB. "Cisco probably has some very good reasons to consolidate and bring their optical people and products together back in the States. From that point of view, I personally don't think that this has anything to do with Sweden as a location."

Internally, Cisco has moved some things around. Its optical group is now made up of three main areas, with each area head reporting to Jayshree Ullal, the senior VP of Cisco's ONG.

The first group, ONG operations, will be led by former Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. (FNC) executive Ron Martin, who joined Cisco in May 2002 (see Fujitsu's Martin Joins Cisco).

The company's ONG product area will be led by three executives. Tom Fallon will lead the ONS 15300 series products. The main product in this group is the 15327, a small Sonet add/drop multiplexer (ADM) that replaces the discontinued ONS 15303 and ONS 15304, according to Cisco's Website.

Massimo Prati is in charge of the ONS 15500 series metro DWDM boxes and its 15600 multiservice provisioning platforms. Gary Baldwin will assume control of Cisco's ONS 15400 series products, which include the ONS 15454 Sonet ADM.

Finally, the division's product planning and photonics areas will be headed by Rajiv Ramaswami, who joined Cisco in September 2002. He was formerly VP for systems architecture at Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT).

ONG was formerly split into four business units – Metropolitan, Optical Transport, Optical Management, and Photonics.

Cisco says it remains committed to ONG but won't say what its group or product revenues are, and it won't comment on how ONG performs financially, relative to the company's other product groups.

Cisco's overall headcount dropped to 35,566 in mid 2002, down about 10 percent from its year-ago total of 39,660.

— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading
www.lightreading.com Movers and shakers from more than 100 companies – including Cisco Systems – will be speaking at Lightspeed Europe. Check it out at Lightspeed Europe 02.

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MrLight 12/4/2012 | 9:10:26 PM
re: Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit Litewave when I said " Especially since look at what the remaining Monterrey team in.... has done in creating the 15600 out of the ashes of the 15900" I was being a bit too metaphorical.

When the 15900 was shut-down about 200 people from the 15900 teamed continued on to build the 15600 with of course the 15454 team.

As you said "It uses the same/similar architecture and operating software."

My source who wasn't from the 15900, said that one of the reasons the 15600 happened was that Cisco had 200 people freed up after the 15900 was shut-down. Whether they were "token members from the 15900 team" , or not, that was not my point. My point was at least some of the people from the Monterrey acquistion got a chance to contribute to a Cisco product.

MrLight ;-) Token member not!
Litewave 12/4/2012 | 9:13:10 PM
re: Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit Especially since look at what the remaining Monterrey team in.... has done in creating the 15600 out of the ashes of the 15900 ...

Complete BS.

The 15600 was built by the '454 team. It uses the same/similar architecture and operating software. Obviously there may be some token members from the 15900 team.

You've certainly got your facts wrong.
MrLight 12/4/2012 | 9:13:11 PM
re: Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit "Benson" in post 10, 16 and 19 of this thread shed some Cisco light on the Pirelli and Qeyton activity within Cisco.

Unfortunately I have heard from ex-Cisco people a slightly less positive take on the subject.

Para-phrased -

"The Pirelli 1580x is 5 years old and has little traction in North America so it is basically in sustaining mode."

"The Qeyton ONS 15201 and ONS 15252 boxes are being shelved."


However, I may have been misinformed. So I will park it for now and wait for time to tell what has or has not happened to Pirelli and Qeyton in Cisco proper.

Especially since look at what the remaining Monterrey team in "Oct.1.02 : Cisco's Fine Young Cannibal" http://www.lightreading.com/bo... has done in creating the 15600 out of the ashes of the 15900 , see "Apr.4.01:Cisco Kills Monterey Router" http://www.lightreading.com/do....

MrLight ;-)

P.S. See also:
"JULY 28,2000 : Cisco Puts New Spin on Pirelli" http://www.lightreading.com/do...
and
"MAY 02,2001 : Cisco Piles On the DWDM" re: Qeyton http://www.lightreading.com/do...
and
"NOV.07,2000 : Cisco Plods Toward Optical Portfolio" re: 1st customer for 15900 and 15200
http://www.lightreading.com/do...
Gandalf 12/4/2012 | 9:14:28 PM
re: Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit Wow. Ron went from COO of Fujitsu North America to running a support organization without direct product management or product development responsibilities at Cisco. Wonder if this is what he was led to believe his role would be when he joined Jayshree's Optical Group?
___________________________________________

And just what makes you believe he is capable of doing even that job? His only real assets were his RBOC contacts. Many of those are gone or not interested in buying anything. He is lucky to have landed this opportunity!
ntwkeng 12/4/2012 | 9:25:18 PM
re: Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit Exactly why I didn't bring up ChemE. :)
whyiswhy 12/4/2012 | 9:26:06 PM
re: Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit FYI: Jack Welch has a PhD in chemical engineering, and is a world class engineer, on top of being considered by many the worlds best CEO.

Actually, his expertise at running GE came from many years of designing and then running chemical production plants in his early career. Highly technical operations, working to obtain theoretical yields and profits. That means performance measured against absolutes, not relative metrics.

There is no substitute for the combination of technical expertise and business expertise. If you do not have it, you have to hire it. If you have to hire it, why the heck are you boss?

This is not to say anything regarding Jayshree, but I do detect the "hire it" pattern. In my experience, this is indicative of a political or bureaucratic organization, which explains why the performance curve peaked awhile back at Cisco.

-Why
PrivateCEO 12/4/2012 | 9:26:06 PM
re: Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit Wow. Ron went from COO of Fujitsu North America to running a support organization without direct product management or product development responsibilities at Cisco. Wonder if this is what he was led to believe his role would be when he joined Jayshree's Optical Group?

exciscoer 12/4/2012 | 9:26:08 PM
re: Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit I started for Pirelli Optical in 98 when TC Nie was the VP of Engineering.

Just in case Benson is listening, I am not mad or upset with Cisco. I feel very fortunate to have worked there. It's just that one of their core values was "open and honest communication". I don't think the way things have been reported with respect to Pirelli have been either.
Another fact:
1.) The GM of Pirelli had 7 or so direct reports who came with the Cisco acquisition. As of today, not one of those direct reports is now with Cisco.

My point being, the entire face of the acquisition has changed, not just a couple of people being shifted around.

zettabit 12/4/2012 | 9:26:10 PM
re: Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit exciscoer - you are a 4 year veteran of the Pirelli-Cisco optical team - wow! Most people never lasted longer than 2 years.

Were you there during the Mehmet Balos / Mike Cirella days in 1995-96?
exciscoer 12/4/2012 | 9:26:10 PM
re: Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit Benson:

The point is things did change, both internally and externally for Cisco's Optical group. I am not saying it wasn't justified from a business perspective, but then don't report that "people have just been shifted around".

Also, I did do my research prior to hitting the return button. I worked in that division (Pirelli and Cisco) for four (4) years.
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