In September last year, we sat down with some of our attendees at Submarine Networks World 2015 to get their take on the current state of the subsea world, and the future they envision for the business. This interview is part of the e-book series “Subsea Soundbites” which can be downloaded here. In this post, we interview Anup Changaroth, Director of Portfolio Marketing at Ciena Ltd.
What can the industry expect from Ciena in the coming year?
We’ve been consistently announcing new technology every year, and have been recognized by the market as an innovation leader. In fact we’ve been consistently seen as an innovation leader for a number of years now, so it’s part of our DNA to invent new technology and bring it to market, and really commercialize it.
So we’ve been doing that for a few years now. On average I’d say every year we’ve launched at least a new product every quarter. Some of it applies to the subsea space, some of it does not. But by and large there’s a number of new products that we’ve launched every year and we’ve been doing that for a number of years now.
How have you found the event so far, (and if you’ve been here before) and what are your thoughts on the event?
I think this is our 12th year participating. We’ve been the primary sponsor for a number of years, and it’s exciting to see the growth in the number of people attending, and the discussions that are happening are on a much more mature level than just technology. I think we’ve also seen an increase in the uptake and attendance. We also have a number of meetings that are running parallel to the conference so overall, we are quite happy with the turnout.
Give us 3 words or phrases to describe the current state of the industry
‘Exciting‘, ‘there is a paradigm shift happening’ and ‘explosive‘. There’s been no slowdown in consumption of capacity, with new kinds of apps that are driving demand for capacity. So it’s absolutely an exciting time to be in, and there’s clearly a shift from just providing bandwidth to providing value, and so there’s a closer tie-in to the kinds of demands from the customers in terms of end user requirements, versus just pure capacity.
What are some considerations when it comes to building cables today versus before?
I think ultimately, commercials is still the key driver. Having the right business case, the right tech solutions that have the longest life span; having a supplier that is able to grow with your demands and the changes that the industry is saying. I think those continue to be the primary drivers and ultimately we have to make the technology value really represent what the customer is trying to do in the marketplace, and most customers are trying to find a niche area where they can make a difference and we are helping them to make that difference.
What are tomorrow’s consumers expecting? How will this impact the way Internet capacity is being consumed?
The expectations of cheaper faster better is consistent. If there’s one constant it’s that expectation from the customers. What we need to do is to stay ahead of that “cheaper faster better” curve is with technology innovation and really trying to help customers with not just the technology and commercials, but adding value so that they can generate new types of solutions in the marketplace and they can differentiate themselves. The paradigm shift to software is one of those areas where we expect to help customers differentiate themselves from each other.
What are some of the foreseeable bottlenecks in the subsea value chain?
The shift that we’re seeing in who is driving consumption in capacity. For example if you think about even just 3-4 years ago consumption was driven around carriers wholesaling capacity from each other, and servicing enterprise demand. Increasingly the shift, the growth is coming from Internet content providers – Google, Facebook. How long are we expecting to see that before the next wave hits, I don’t know, but clearly the shift is starting to happen. The ICPs are driving a lot of the consumption, and that is changing the dynamics of consumption, because some of them are looking to build themselves as opposed to buying or leasing capacity. So that co-opetition that is happening in the marketplace not just between the carriers themselves but also between the content providers, how that is going to evolve over time I think is very exciting. Ultimately I think we will see both winners and losers in the market with that shift. It’s how rapidly the losers adapt and change the business model so that they can counter some of that shifts in the market, that’s what’s going to be exciting.
Are our current networks prepared for the predicted surge in consumption, where are the gaps?
I think it’s a matter of constant education. Usually it takes a good 6 to 9 months before people appreciate new technology, so it doesn’t mean as soon as you launch new technology you’ll get everyone buying. It takes a while to educate them, but what we’ve seen is compared to maybe even just 5 years ago, people in the submarine space are coming up to speed with (new) technology much faster than they were 5 years ago.
It’s similar across the board in other markets too but I think the recognition that the submarine market and the technology innovation in the market is coming faster, the cycle is a lot shorter, there’s a clear recognition for that and customers are thirsty for learning new stuff all the time (to improve their networks), and so our submarine teams are on the road all the time educating customers so there’s no shortage of demand.
About Ciena Ltd
Ciena Corporation is the network specialist, providing submarine solutions designed to meet the complex networking needs of today’s and tomorrow’s competitive international submarine network operator environments. Leveraging the focused innovation behind our coherent transmission and switching technologies, Ciena’s solutions revive cable operators’ submarine assets with more bandwidth, higher-availability services and differentiated customer-focused offerings. Our 40G/100G transport technology facilitates a higher revenue stream from existing cables and breathes new life into cables that are nearing the end of their economic lifecycle. And, our state-of-the-art switching technology improvesservice availability with advanced protection and restoration technology to increase the value of services and lower maintenance costs.
Catch more of such discussions at Submarine Networks 2016, which takes place 17 – 19 October in Singapore.
Enjoy an early bird discount when you book your place today!