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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.

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.
ntwkeng 12/4/2012 | 9:26:16 PM
re: Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit This is a sad state of affairs. Since when does it take a Photonics Engineering background to effectively run a business. A GM role at Cisco is analogous to being your own CEO for your own business.

Lets take Jack Welch. Arguably a very good CEO. Did he know how to design a jet engine? Did he invent the lightbulb? How about powerplants, think Jack knew how to clean a turbine? Doubtful.

But he did know how to run a business, at scale, and make people work effectively and cohesively together towards a common goal. A good CEO knows how to set a vision, take input, and make hard decisions around personnel and financials.

Just because Jayshree Ullal did not come from an optical engineering background in no way disqualifies her from being able to effectively run a business. She has proven time and again that she can VERY effectively run a business. Look at the run-rate of Cisco's Catalyst LAN Switching business she grew. Arguably 50% of the companies revenue.

zhadum 12/4/2012 | 9:26:17 PM
re: Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit benson:

thanks for your insights - you seem to be very knowledgeable about the happenings.

z
benson 12/4/2012 | 9:26:19 PM
re: Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit Fiber_r_us;

Calm down!

To response to your further question: please note that the Qeyton product is NOT being cancelled: just the engineering center is being closed. In fact, it seems that the engineering for this product will be shifted to.....Milan.

In response to zhadum, I would guess that there are about 200 people in the Milan center, but I don't know the exact number.

Benson
fiber_r_us 12/4/2012 | 9:26:20 PM
re: Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit Benson said:

>I think it would be wise that some folks do a
>minimum of research before they his the send
> button:

>1)Fiber_r_us: does this answer your question?

> <link cisco's="" page="" product="" to="">

No, this doesn't answer my question! Cisco still has their Qeyton product there as well. Having a web page that describes the product obviously doesn't mean sh*t in terms of whether the product is going to be axed or not.
zhadum 12/4/2012 | 9:26:20 PM
re: Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit so, how many people still remain in milan?
benson 12/4/2012 | 9:26:21 PM
re: Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit Folks;

I think it would be wise that some folks do a minimum of research before they his the send button:

1)Fiber_r_us: does this answer your question?

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/pro...

2) Ex-ciscoer. Obviously you are upset with Cisco, but you are not reporting accurately either:

"1.) The group in Milan is no longer a business unit, it got demoted to a "technology center". What about the 10 or so people in Milan who lost their jobs in the product management area?"

This has happened in all the engineering centers (Richardson, Ottawa, petaluma, etc.). They are no longer aligned with a BU, they are technology centers. One doesn't need PM in technology centers.


"2.) What about all the people in Milan that were part of manufacturing that got released? This group did the Pilot production."

As you probably know, this function was sold to Celestica in Vimercate, which is the industry trend everywhere. The fact of this action does not indicate a reduction in the support for the DWDM group in Milan. On the contrary, it is an act of survival in this brutal market.

Sure there has been change, but what would you want Cisco and other companies to do in this radically altered world? Just stand still and bleed money? At least they have maintained their commitment to the business they bought from Pirelli, despite all the changes.

Benson
exciscoer 12/4/2012 | 9:26:22 PM
re: Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit "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"

What a bunch of crap.
I guess the following facts didn't get reported:
1.) The group in Milan is no longer a business unit, it got demoted to a "technology center". What about the 10 or so people in Milan who lost their jobs in the product management area?
2.) What about all the people in Milan that were part of manufacturing that got released? This group did the Pilot production.
3.) The GM of the PBU Milan group has been moved to EMEA sales.
4.) What about all the TAS (talent assessment) actions, that in reality layed off a number of people in the Richardson, Texas office?

My estimate would be BEFORE the Stockholm office closing, the ex-Pirelli group had lost at a minumum of 100 people.

fiber_r_us 12/4/2012 | 9:26:24 PM
re: Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit If the 15808 is still going strong, why doesn't Cisco mention it in thier optical group press releases? Also, last time I talked to a VP of sales in Cisco, he thought the 15808 was already canceled! Another senior sales guy didn't know the product even existed! Doesn't give a customer a "warm fuzzy" that this product is going to stick around.
belas_knap 12/4/2012 | 9:26:29 PM
re: Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit The article is essentially correct but unclear in terms of organiastion & products. A better view of the re-organisation would be that product development fall under 3 areas: DWDM, MSSP/SONET and Optical Ethernet. All the products still exist, as do the roadmaps, including the 15800 (former Pirelli) products. Martin & Ramaswami support the business across all three of 3 product development areas.
red1969 12/4/2012 | 9:26:30 PM
re: Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit Not true, just look at how well both John Roth and Rich McGinn did. =)
capolite 12/4/2012 | 9:26:31 PM
re: Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit Expertise in Optical Networking is not a qualification. Jayshree can negotiate the political jungle, suck up and present the face that Cisco management wants. There are no other qualifications for the job.
benson 12/4/2012 | 9:26:32 PM
re: Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit To all the Cisco-haters;

dwdmguy is right. My company supplies optical components to both the 15800 (original Pirelli system) as well as the 15808. Both systems are still selling, albeit at a slow rate, given the market.

The group in Milan is now serving as a type of optical technology center for the entire ONG of Cisco. In other words, they are not just developing the LH DWDM system any more. They're hatching something new, but I can't say. Stay tuned.

Benson
fiber_r_us 12/4/2012 | 9:26:38 PM
re: Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit How can cisco pick up companies for "pennies on the dollar"? All of the people would be long gone and the product wouldn't be worth anything. Are there any examples of a company picking up a failed system company startup and selling thier product? I can't think of any.
dwdmguy 12/4/2012 | 9:26:39 PM
re: Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit For all the Cisco haters in the world:

Pirelli gear has not been "flushed" or EoL'd.
The 15808 is less than 1 year old and continues to be Cisco's entry into the battered LH DWDM market.
Cisco continues to sell channels on the older 15800/01 "Pirelli WaveMux" just like Ciena sells channels on the CoreStream.

Hell, Cisco even has >30 customers for their LH DWDM. How many does Ciena have lilgatsby?

The group in Milan is very much alive

Cisco will stay in the LH market in order to complete their "end-to-end" network portfolio in combining optical, IP, ATM, and SAN. It must cost them very little to keep the 1580x alive if all they are selling is channel adds and a new link every now and again.

For all of you Xtera, Celion, Ceyba, Innovance guys hoping and praying that Cisco picks you to be their next LH acquistion, keep praying because if they do buy you it will be for pennies on the dollar after you are out of cash.

Jayshree seems to have her act together with the hirings of Ron Martin and Rajiv Ramaswami. She can let those 2 guys run the shop. And yes, both of these men do know what they are doing.
AAL5 12/4/2012 | 9:26:40 PM
re: Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit fiber_r_us,

Do not be surprised. Bobby uses a 'shotgun' approach to being critical of other companies/people/products. He blasts such a wide area with his negative comments occasionally some of them hit.

Its purely by chance though, as Booby is not in any way rational.

AAL5
BobbyMax 12/4/2012 | 9:26:41 PM
re: Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit Cisco's choice of personnel is simply amazing and it does not fit any known business model. For example, Jayshree Ullal has no expertise in optical networking and yet she has been appointed to head the Optical Network Group. These actions do not inspire the confidence of people/organizations doing business with Cisco.
fiber_r_us 12/4/2012 | 9:26:41 PM
re: Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit Gasp! I find myself agreeing with Bobby when it comes to Jayshree... she doesn't have a clue!
zhadum 12/4/2012 | 9:26:43 PM
re: Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit how many people at the pirelli unit ? anybody know.
lilgatsby 12/4/2012 | 9:26:44 PM
re: Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit zettabit -

It was my understanding that CSCO flushed this product around a year ago. I had heard the product line was flawed in more ways than a simple lack of marketing effort. Perhaps my second-hand information can be confirmed or disputed by someone?

lg
zhadum 12/4/2012 | 9:26:44 PM
re: Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit I read five names, but three heads are supposed to report to Ullal. Martin is one, Ramaswami another. Who heads up the product group ?

LR: clarifications ?

Good question about Pirelli - if you "intend to close" Swedish operations, the Italians should not be far behind.

Z.
zettabit 12/4/2012 | 9:26:45 PM
re: Cisco 'Realigns' Optical Unit What is surprising in the LR story is that there appears to be no mention of the long-haul DWDM products that Cisco acquired a few years ago? The key products from that part of the Cisco ONG family were the 15800-series long-haul DWDM systems, that still are on the Cisco web site.

LightReading - can you follow-up with Cisco on this and provide a follow-up that clarifies their plans for (1) this aspect of the market, and (2) specifically what is happening to these products, and that part of the ONG group whose engineering team is still primarily in Milan.

To any Cisco ONG employees - can you shed some insight on whether this product line is still being supported, or othyerwise axed.

Given that Cisco was never successful in converting the chaotic and market-lagging Pirelli LH business into a catogory leader, and also given where the long-haul market is right now, it would not be surprising to see this part of the portfolio being either dropped or capped in terms of investment.

Certainly this is a big missing piece of any re-organization of Cisco's ONG.
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