TMCnet Feature
May 16, 2017

Network Infrastructure is Undergoing a 'Tectonic Shift': New CCO Explains How Coriant is Addressing This

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC

Network transformation is a major trend in tech today. Coriant (News - Alert) is helping enable network transformation.

The company has proven expertise in multi-layer packet optical and IP transport. And that experience is evident in both the people it has on staff and solutions it delivers.

Coriant recently added to its team by bringing aboard Homayoun Razavi, a 30-year veteran of the tech industry. His career includes executive positions at industry-leading companies such as BroadSoft (News - Alert) and Ditech, as well as experience with successful startups such as Ascend and Cascade Communications.

Cloud Computing magazine recently interviewed Razavi to learn more about him and his work at Coriant.

Tell us more about your career.

Razavi: I love working in dynamic and entrepreneurial environments, and my recent activities include roles as vice chairman at startups driving new innovation in technologies such as virtual reality and video streaming.  

When and why did you join Coriant?
Razavi: I began my role as chief customer officer at the beginning of April after looking for an opportunity where I could make a difference with my experience and commitment to customer-centric values.

In the past two years, under the leadership of CEO Shaygan Kheradpir, Coriant has built a best-in-class solutions portfolio that is truly optimized for the tectonic shift occurring in network infrastructure with the emergence of 5G, IoT, and hyperscale cloud transformation.

This convergence and Coriant's proven innovation were very compelling.

Who are Coriant's target customers?
: Coriant has an exceptionally strong base of customers worldwide, and this is one of the other reasons I'm so excited to take on this new role.

These customers include nine of the top 10 global tier 1 communications service providers, as well as leading Web-scale Internet operators,

Homayoun Razavi

cable/MSO operators, and large enterprises.

In my past roles I've worked closely with the executive leadership of many of Coriant's customers, including AT&T (News - Alert), Verizon, CenturyLink, Comcast, Orange, TIM, Telstra, China Unicom, Telecom Egypt, Telefónica, etc. And I believe there is significant potential to add value to their businesses with new innovations, including the Coriant Hyperscale Carrier Architecture.

What kind of challenges are those customers facing today?
: One of the biggest challenges is the volume and dynamics of today's network traffic, which has increasingly shifted to bandwidth-intensive and asymmetric data applications such as streaming video and cloud-based services. This has a profound effect on network architectures, which need to evolve to accommodate this exponential growth in data traffic without incurring continuous growth in their opex and capex.

It's not a new problem, but it's one that is intensifying as competition for high-speed services increases and Web-scale Internet operators redefine the competitive landscape.

At the same time, many of our customers continue to face the challenge of migrating legacy services under this pressure cooker.

How is Coriant addressing those challenges?
: These challenges impact networks from metro access to the long-haul optical core, and this is one of the advantages of the Coriant portfolio.

Investments in the past two years have significantly strengthened Coriant's end-to-end portfolio, which includes solutions based on cutting-edge technologies such as coherent optics, universal switching and transport, SDN automation, and silicon photonics.

The company's coherent optical transport technology was recently showcased in the first phase of AT&T's successful 400GbE service trial. This long-haul trial across the AT&T global backbone from New York to Washington represents an example of how we are helping operators cope with the challenges of bandwidth growth and faster video streaming.

Our recent alien wavelength demonstration at Telefónica Germany is another example of how we are helping operators enable simpler, more flexible, and cost-efficient networks optimized for next-generation services and applications.

What does Coriant see as the most important networking trends today?
: Without a doubt, OTT video and cloud computing are trends that are having a transformative effect on all customers and networks. When you add the bandwidth requirements of 5G, IoT, and virtual reality to this mix, you are talking about a disruptive model that is unprecedented in our industry.

These trends are driving innovation in a number of key technology areas, including purpose-built data center interconnect, open networking, and multi-layer SDN. When I talk with our customers, the sentiment is usually the same – it's a daunting but tremendously exciting time in the industry.

Coriant is involved in a Facebook (News - Alert) Voyager white box field trial with Telia Carrier. What does this activity say about the future of networking?
: The era of closed networks and vendor lock-in is over. The focus now is on openness and purpose-built innovation, and Facebook's Telecom Infra Project (TIP) is helping to accelerate the pace of innovation and transform the way infrastructure networks are built and deployed in an open ecosystem.

The emergence of packet switching/routing white boxes like Voyager unlocks the potential for more open, more programmable, and more cost-disruptive network architectures. And we are excited to be teaming with TIP to extend Coriant's LightIP networking software to Voyager.

How does Coriant's involvement in this trial tie in with your larger strategy?
: The trial with Facebook and Telia Carrier represents further evidence of Coriant's commitment to open networks. In addition to this field trial, in the past several months the company introduced purpose-built open line solutions, including the long-haul DCI-optimized 7300 Open Line System (OLS) and OLS capabilities on the company's industry-leading Groove G30 Network Disaggregation Platform. At OFC this year the Groove OLS solution was featured in an OLS interconnect demonstration with Dell EMC (News - Alert) and Inphi, and the feedback from customers was tremendous. 

What else is Coriant doing to differentiate itself in the crowded network infrastructure marketplace?

Razavi: Since I joined Coriant I've had the chance to meet with many customers, and the interest in our Hyperscale Carrier Architecture is impressive.

What differentiates this holistic approach to network infrastructure is that it brings together the best of telecom and the best of data center technologies and network design principles in a unified go-forward architecture. And it’s optimized for the key trends I mentioned, including 5G, IoT, Internet video, and virtual reality.

What's next for Coriant?
Razavi: In the coming months you'll see new and exciting customer and product announcements that reinforce the traction our solutions have gained in the market and showcase the purpose-built innovation that is driving value for our customers. 

The best of Coriant is yet to come!

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