Infonetics unveils 'objective' optical vendor scorecard

Infonetics Research has released a new optical networking scorecard that the company says evaluates vendors entirely on criteria based on actual data and metrics, such as direct feedback from service providers, market share data, and publicly available financial data. This approach eliminates subjective scoring and ensures vendors are assessed accurately and fairly, the market research firm asserts.

Infonetics Research has released a new optical networking scorecard that the company says evaluates vendors entirely on criteria based on actual data and metrics, such as direct feedback from service providers, market share data, and publicly available financial data. This approach eliminates subjective scoring and ensures vendors are assessed accurately and fairly, the market research firm asserts.

"We wanted to create an objective measurement of the largest companies in the optical area that allows service providers to see the relative strengths and weaknesses of vendors," said Andrew Schmitt, principal analyst for optical at Infonetics Research. "Unlike other analyst ranking approaches, our scorecard takes an entirely quantitative approach that removes subjectivity and best reflects the opinion of service providers and the market."

The report answers such questions as: What are each vendor's strengths and weaknesses? Who are the top vendors by criteria (market share, R&D investment, service and support, etc.)? Who is the top scoring vendor overall?

With very high ratings for technology innovation, reliability, and service and support, Infinera Corp. (NASDAQ: INFN) received the highest overall score for optical transport equipment, says Infonetics.

Fujitsu finished just a hair behind Infinera thanks to solid scores across the board and its strong 2013 revenue growth and packet-optical sales to Tier 1 North American service providers

Cisco secured third place with consistent rankings across all criteria.

Viewed by many as the leader in the optical networking world, Ciena Corp. (NASDAQ: CIEN) ranked fourth in Infonetics' optical vendor scorecard, as its relatively high scores in categories like market share and momentum were offset by a low financial stability rating.

The largest supplier of optical hardware worldwide, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd., rounds out the top five, chalking up a perfect score for market share, but limited by a poor score for market share momentum.

Schmitt added, "Looking at the results, what really sets the vendors apart is financial stability and changes in market share as a result of some vendors capitalizing on the shift to optical transport networking (OTN) and coherent networking. Service provider feedback was also a key differentiator, particularly positive for Ciena, Fujitsu, and Infinera."

Infonetics' new Optical Network Hardware Vendor Scorecard profiles, analyzes, and ranks the 10 largest global vendors of optical transport equipment: Alcatel-Lucent, Ciena, Cisco, Coriant, ECI Telecom, Fujitsu, Huawei, Infinera, NEC, and ZTE. The matrix rankings are based on seven criteria including market share; market share momentum; financial stability; packet-optical intensity; technology innovation; product reliability; and service and support (based on 2013 optical equipment revenue).

For more information on high-speed transmission systems and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.

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