Along similar lines, I don't believe that Ciena's management has received the credit it rightfully deserves for having navigated this tough carrier spending environment as well as it has, especially since carriers account for more than 30% of the company's revenue. Profitability has also begun to trend in the right direction, with gross margins advancing roughly 3% year over year. More impressive, however, was the 14% jump in operating income, which demolished Street estimates by 60%. What this tells me is that management has shifted its focus towards returning value to shareholders. What's more, given that Ciena has secured product wins from the likes of Comcast ( CMCSA) and CenturyLink ( CTL), the company is also gaining market share in some very important categories. It's evident that companies are looking for ways to differentiate themselves by delivering more value-added services to their clients. Follow @saintssense This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.