May 4th – This morning, Ciena Corp. announced that they will be buying Cyan Inc. in a cash and stock transaction valuing the company at $400 million. As Cyan’s controlling shareholders with 40% of outstanding shares have agreed to the transaction, it is expected to close in Ciena’s 4th quarter.

The real pearl in Cyan is their SDN/NFV orchestration software, Blue Planet. Although many optical transport vendors have been talking about SDN, Cyan made an “all-in” bet with their Blue Planet. As I blogged earlier,, Cyan was really far ahead of the competitors. Evaluations at CenturyLink proved as much with their announcement to move ahead with Cyan,

Ciena has also shown a commitment to SDN with their own OPn network architecture. “Unlike the router establishment, we are not threatened by virtualization and openness,” Ciena CEO Gary Smith said on a call announcing the acquisition. “The network must become a software platform more capable of driving on-demand business models.”

Blue Planet will fit well with Ciena’s OM6500 to provide a comprehensive offering.

So why did Cyan shareholders sell now to Ciena now? Well Cyan is a $100 million dollar company, playing in a sandbox with the big boys. They are going to need more capital and sales resources than they could get on their own. This merger does look like win-win.

To see details on Ciena’s announcement, refer to:

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