8:20 AM New optical box? Or part man, part horse?

September 24, 2009

2 Min Read
Ciena's Centaur

8:20 AM -- Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) is one of the more interesting companies to watch at the moment.

First, someone lit a fire under its share price, which has gone up 66 percent in the past three months to close on Wednesday, September 23, at $16.21, giving the company a market capitalization of $1.48 billion.

Second, the vendor is never anything less than entertaining when it announces its financial updates, and is a contender to bid for Nortel Networks Ltd. 's Metro Ethernet networks (MEN), its optical division. (See Ciena: Ready to Pay for Nortel's MEN? and Ciena Offers Hope.)

Excited yet?

There's more.

Ciena is preparing a flurry of new product announcements. CEO Gary Smith told Light Reading a short while ago that the vendor is set to unveil a range of new optical, Ethernet, and software products in the coming months.

One of those is going to be the latest incarnation of the CoreDirector platform, a move that's been in the works for a while.

But Smith and his team are keen to stress this isn't just an upgrade -- it's the evolution of Ciena's portfolio that will see the emergence of a whole new family of packet/optical products. So the CEO doesn't want it called CoreDirector 2.

Oh dear... (See Ciena Preps 'CoreDirector 2'.)

So what is it called? It turns out the internal code name is "Centaur." And we like that. A bit of Greek mythology: It's fun, and educational. And makes us think what an amazing marketing coup it would be if Ciena unveiled a new product that was part man, part horse in front of analysts and the media. What a great picture opportunity!

There's no word on the timing of Ciena's announcements just yet, but we're guessing that when the new product family is rolled out, you won't see the name Centaur anywhere.

With any chance we'll find out more from the company at the upcoming ITU Telecom World 2009 event in Geneva. Ciena is one of the few significant equipment vendors setting up stalls on the show floor. Find out more about what's happening at that show at our ITU Telecom World 2009 microsite.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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