RealTime IT News

Ciena Hones Fed Focus

Ciena announced today that it has formed a new subsidiary dedicated to selling networking equipment and services to government agencies.

The Linthicum, Md., company will consolidate a portion of the company's engineering, support and professional services staff in an entity called Ciena Government Solutions Inc. (CGSI).

"We don't break out revenue numbers by customer segment, but government is a revenue driver for our business," Nicole Anderson, a Ciena spokeswoman, told

Ciena has hired Rob Rice, as vice president and managing director of the CGSI. Rice was most recently vice president of federal sales for 3Com and previously worked for Cisco , IBM and Lucent .

The number of employees devoted to CGSI was not immediately available. Many of the positions will be sales and customer support, since many of the research and development jobs will be done at the corporate level.

Ciena already has a number of significant government customers. It's one of several vendors that was chosen for the Department of Defense's Global Information Grid Bandwidth Expansion (GigBe) initiative.

GigBe will establish an optical network providing high-speed Internet protocol services to 100 facilities in the United States, the Pacific and Europe. GigBe will operate at 10 gigabits per second, supporting voice, data, video and transport services.

It will require large orders for core and edge routers, multi-service provisioning platforms, optical transport systems and optical digital cross-connects.

In addition to GigBe, Ciena is seeing continued demand from the Department of Energy and the research and education markets, Anderson said. The company believes demand for storage and business recovery services will lead to increased business for CGSI.