Ciena Corp. sets up federal shop

Communications network company Ciena Corp. has launched a subsidiary dedicated to selling to the federal market, the company said today.

Ciena Government Solutions Inc. encompasses a portion of the company's engineering, support and professional-service resources. It will be dedicated to designing, deploying and supporting advanced network solutions for government customers.

The company has hired Rob Rice as the new subsidiary's vice president and managing director. He will help expand Ciena's existing business with the Defense Department and civilian agencies, as well as state and local governments.

Previously, Rice, who has more than 25 years of experience in the technology industry and federal marketplace, worked for 3Com Corp. as vice president of federal sales. He also has worked for Cisco Systems Inc., where he helped create the company's federal operations program, as well as for IBM Corp., Lucent Technologies Inc., Juniper Networks Inc. and Symbol Technologies Inc.

Ciena has formed a government advisory board of senior-level executives and former government officials to advise the company about solutions and services for the government market. Members include Kenneth Minihan, a retired Air Force Lt. Gen. and former director of the National Security Agency's Central Security Service; Arthur Money, former assistant secretary of defense for command, control, communications and intelligence and a former Defense Department chief information officer; and Larry Spilman, former chief operating officer and vice president of AT&T Corp.'s federal division.

The federal government is a key customer segment for Ciena. The company is currently helping to deploy the Global Information Grid-Bandwidth Expansion project for the Defense Information Systems Agency.

Ciena's other federal clients include the Agriculture, Energy, Homeland Security, Treasury and Veterans Affairs departments, the intelligence community and the National Institutes of Health.

Based in Linthicum, Md., Ciena provides network systems, software and services for telecommunications companies, cable firms, governments and corporations. The company employs about 1,600 people worldwide and had 2004 revenue of $299 million.

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