Ciena Opens Channel Program to Hardware, Software Vendors

Optical gear-maker Ciena Corp. said on Monday it has expanded its BizConnect global partner program to include hardware vendors, independent software vendors and service providers.

The changes give Ciena more ways to reach potential customers, such as utilities, financial services firms and other vertical markets, the company said. They also differentiate Ciena in the channel by moving past the typical metrics of total number of partners to a more meaningful view of cultivating and supporting an active, engaged and committed community of partners that is dedicated to delivering market-leading converged optical and Ethernet solutions to their customers,” said Theresa Caragol, vice president of global alliances and partners at Ciena.

About one-third of the companys partners are VARs, system integrators, consultants and distributors.

Ciena started BizConnect in 2006 and has since ramped up the program with the acquisition of Nortel Networks Metro Ethernet Networks unit. That deal not only bulked up Cienas product line, but also added a significant number of partners in Asia Pacific and Latin America, Ciena said. So far Ciena boasts more than 200 partners worldwide. Its channel program includes features such as lead-generation campaigns, co-branded events and seminars, and pre- and post-sales support.

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