Sumeer Kher, Senior Director, Global Services, Ciena India

While describing his role as senior director, global services, at Ciena India, SumeerKher says, “I am part of Ciena’s services team with a primary focus on service delivery, customer satisfaction and growth of the Ciena services business in India.” In this role, it is also important to be customer focused and flexible and have the vision to think on behalf of the customer, adds Kher.

With a professional career spanning over 25 years in services and operations, Kher has worked for leading companies like Lu­ce­nt Technologies, Nortel, Oracle and Ciena, where he built and led multiple teams.

“With the advent of 5G, communication service providers (CSPs) have increased their focus on the edge of networks,” says Kher. CSPs are looking to converge their IP and optical layers to lower cost, achieve scale, and improve network sustainability while expanding their edge networks closer to end-users. This has led to an increased demand for IP-based access products. Talking about the immediate goal, Kher mentions that he is exploring avenues to automate the deployment process and help customers reduce deployment time and cost.

According to Kher, the recent shift to remote/hybrid work is driving cloud adoption, which, in turn, has led to a greater focus on the network edge. “Legacy networks are being modernised, becoming more automated and software based,” he notes. There has also been a major demand for data centre interconnect services owing to an increasing number of data centres.

Kher recalls his assignment at Nortel to set up a network operations centre for a wireless customer in Vietnam as the most memorable one. “This was the first network operations centre for a Nortel customer in Asia Pacific. It was also memorable as I was stationed for a long period of time outside of India and got to know the Vietnamese culture, tried to learn the language and enjoyed the local delicacies,” he reminisces.

An electronics and communication engineer from Banga­lore University, Kher also holds postgraduation certifications in project leadership from North Carolina State University and George Washington University. He believes honesty and discipline are his main strengths. “This has translated well as I transition into a manager, building and leading large talented teams,” he says. His primary management style is to be a visionary, where he sets the goals, persuades and motivates his team towards their attainment.

Kher describes himself as a hodophile. “I like to ride my mo­­­torcycle to the mighty Hi­ma­­­layas whenever I get time,” he says. His family comprises his wife and twin sons.