Global network specialist, Ciena grows consulting business with analytics-as-a-service, powered by Tableau Online


Improved relationships with client executives
AaaS offering grows consulting business
Fast, easy-to-access insights with Tableau Online

Ciena Corporation is a global manufacturer of communications network equipment and solutions. Its customers include large, global carriers like AT&T, CenturyLink, and Comcast. Ciena first adopted Tableau Desktop and Tableau Server internally as enterprise business intelligence solutions.

After success with the platform, the company created an analytics-as-a-service (AaaS) offering to customers, powered by Tableau Online. With Tableau Online, Ciena delivers market-differentiating analytics to customers, including insights about market trends, equipment needs, and market share. Instead of waiting up to a year for an executive engagement, sales teams now have direct communication with executives from top accounts.

Tableau Online completes the experience. We design our dashboards to help maximize the information they see and they draw their conclusions. And the mere fact that we can design something and have a seamless delivery mechanism—I think that's the real power for our clients.

AaaS offering wins over customers

Ciena adopted Tableau as its enterprise analytics platform across several departments. Business intelligence teams use Tableau to analyze orders, revenue statistics, regional statistics, maintenance contracts, and more. Hundreds of employees share results and collaborate using Tableau Server.

After solidifying internal analytics processes, Ciena leadership turned its attention to customer-facing analytics.

Previously, Ciena consultants would create manual reports for each customer. Simon Brueckheimer, Leader in the Field Analytics Office, remembers losing weekends developing and adapting spreadsheets for customers. VP of Global Accounts Keri Gilder recalls spending up to a year trying to get an executive engagement with a customer.

To respond to growing data demands, Ciena adopted Tableau Online as an AaaS offering to customers. With their own Tableau Online logins, Ciena’s customers rest assured that their data is secure, and Ciena can provide the right level of governance with a permissions model by site and project.

With Tableau Online, clients can dig into their individual dashboards to understand market trends, project service and equipment needs, and make strategic decisions about how to win the most market share.

“The analytics that we are using to provide effective consultancy are really winning people over among our clients,” explains Simon Brueckheimer.

The analytics that we are using to provide effective consultancy are really winning people over among our clients

Driving executive sales meetings with market-differentiating analytics

Today, Ciena consultants can identify meaningful trends, outliers, and dive into details like never before, giving Ciena a competitive advantage. Instead of long weekends spent in spreadsheets, consultants can now update data within a matter of minutes. And the sales team is already seeing results. Instead of calling upon clients, executives from client accounts often directly request meetings to discuss their data.

“We're enabling [Sales] to extract insights they would otherwise not be able to achieve,” explains Ian Harris, Senior Director. “It enables us to partner with their customers rather than just sell to them, and that's extremely valuable and extremely differentiating.”

With Tableau, “Customers look at their services and see what the go-to-market options are for them in order to be successful,” shares Keri Gilder, Vice President of Global Accounts.

“There's no question that the demands on our clients mean that they have to be a lot more agile. And by using Tableau, we can be a lot more agile, and I think that's to the benefit of both of us in partnership.”

We're enabling [sales teams] to extract insights they would otherwise not be able to achieve. It enables us to partner with their customers rather than just sell to them, and that's extremely valuable and extremely differentiating.

Fast, scalable AaaS offering with Tableau Online

Ciena chose Tableau Online to power its AaaS offering because of the flexibility it provided the company and its clients. As a fully hosted solution, Ciena can get quickly onboard customers as needed, reducing downtime and delivering insights as fast as possible.

“[Tableau Online] means that we can project those valuable data sets and analytics results out to our customers in real time. We can provide updates; we can help them add users; we can provide all of the dynamic usage capabilities that the cloud inherently provides,” says Simon. “The fact that we can design something and have a seamless delivery mechanism—I think that's the real power for our clients.”

Today, Ciena delivers reports to any customer, anywhere, confident that the data is secure as well as beautiful. No more spreadsheets, no more lost weekends.

“It's smart, it's clean, and the data is very fresh. There's no software installation, no consultant has to go to site. And intuitively, people understand it.”

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