Ciena Corporation: Seamless delivery in minutes with Tableau Online


From governments to corporations to your personal mobile phone provider—where fast, reliable communications is needed, there’s a network involved. And when thousands of customer organizations located all over the world want to make the most of their network investments—hardware, software, or services—they turn to Ciena, the network specialist.

Ciena had the networking technology and data analytics expertise it needed to deliver powerful insights. But manually creating both standard and bespoke reports that could be easily and securely accessed on demand by customers located on almost every continent was a challenge. And the demand kept growing. Simon Brueckheimer, Leader in the Field Analytics Office, remembers losing weekends developing spreadsheets for customers. VP of Global Accounts, Keri Gilder recalls spending up to a year trying to get an executive engagement with a customer.

Ciena turned to Tableau Online. Today, Ciena consultants can identify meaningful trends, outliers, and dive into details like never before. Executives are calling upon them—requesting meetings to discuss their data. Today, Ciena can deliver reports to any customer, anywhere, confident that the data is secure as well as beautiful. No more spreadsheets, no more lost weekends.


Ian Harris, Senior Director: The key advantage of an online capability is everybody knows how to use it already. So if you can present seemingly complex algorithmic output in a way that everybody understands how to use, it's eminently consumable.

Keri Gilder, VP of Global Accounts: Ciena's a network specialist and we provide optical and Ethernet and now virtual service capability in most of the markets in the world. In each of those markets, we're either number one or number two. Tableau and the Ciena analytics engine and service allows our customers to look at their services and see what the go-to-market options are for them in order to be successful.

Ian: A crucial element of our business is helping our customers drive their business. The analytics tools we've built enable them to understand their market, and best project services and that valuable equipment into places where they're going to win most market share.

Keri: The cloud approach and the visuals enable them to literally see the business outcome that we can provide and that in and of itself just creates the ability for them to consume the data.

Ian: The online addition to Tableau means that we can project those valuable data sets and the results of that analytics 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.

Simon Brueckheimer, Leader, Field Analytics Office: The analytics that we are using to provide effective consultancy is really winning people over among our clients and saying, "we'd really like to be able to use your analytics as a service." So it serves two purposes now. It still feeds our consultancy, but we also provide it as a service in its own right.

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.

Simon: Tableau Online completes the experience. And we design our dashboards to help maximize the information they see and 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.. Previously, what we had to do was develop a spreadsheet and perform the analytics within that and that could mean that a slight change, my weekend was gone. With Tableau, it means that as part of the development process, we can turn that around in a matter of minutes.

Ian: It really underpins that approach we have to the market, partnering with our customers to help them drive their business. We're enabling them to extract insights they would otherwise not be able to achieve.

Simon: It's smart, it's clean, it's very fresh. There's no software installation, no consultant has to go to site. And intuitively, people understand it.

Keri: Where it used to take us, for example, a year to get an executive engagement with a customer, they're now wanting us to meet with them, you know, in the next month, in the next three months, and it's all behind the insights that we're able to provide with Tableau. They can go into their next business discussion, their budget meeting, and have the right data in order to make very big business decisions.

Ian: It enables us to partner with their customers rather than just sell to them, and that's extremely valuable and extremely differentiating.

Simon: 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. I wouldn't want to go back to a life without Tableau. I think the struggle of using spreadsheets and other analytical tools, I mean, too many weekends have been lost in that process.

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