Ciena is a high-tech giant that keeps some of your favorite websites and cellular companies up and running. This telecom software developer also builds the equipment that helps Amazon, Facebook and many others run our modern world. Their Director of Human Resources Operations, Dana Ashby, tells us, “In a nutshell, we are the backend equipment that runs your iPhone.”
With clients like Verizon, British Telecom and AT&T, Ciena has 5,800 full-time employees and 2,100 contingent workers in 38 countries. The majority of their 500-700 annual hires are PhDs, highly-skilled engineers and industry experts from around the globe.
Their high-tech clientele demand Ciena conduct stringent background checks before anyone is allowed to work on their equipment or even on their property. “It really forced our hand to go to the global level with our background checks,” says Ashby.
Another mandatory condition was all of Ciena’s vendors must have a SOC 1 or SOC 2 Certification where applicable. Service Organization Control (SOC) reports confirm a company follows explicit requirements to protect the integrity and confidentiality of the data in their care. When it comes to background screening, a SOC 2 shows a company is protecting all personally identifiable information like Social Security Numbers, dates of birth, etc. Ciena’s internal auditors realized their background screener did not have the necessary certifications. A change had to happen, and had to happen quickly. “We wanted to make sure the employee data, without question, was going to be protected,” says Ashby. “You see in the news everyday some kind of data breach, so that is just something that is very important that we protect for our employees.”
In addition to information security, the Ciena team had several things on the wish list for a new partner. That list included an integration with their HCM, Workday, as well as better customer support.
The fact that I’m having one-on-one calls with your CIO, and he is attending meetings, and we were welcomed on-site to do an audit, shows the level of collaboration. I really think it puts you guys above and beyond.Dana Ashby
Director of Human Resources Operations
The thing that makes this case study so compelling is that Ciena had been with EBI in the past. When EBI made the short list in the latest RFP process, Ashby says she was thrilled to find out her old account representative was not only still there, but remembered her! She also tells us that she thought the level of involvement and collaboration that EBI’s leadership team exhibited during the RFP process was fantastic.
When looking at screening partners, Ciena could only search out those with a SOC 2 report. In addition to the SOC 2, they were pleased with EBI’s dedication to maintaining ISO Certifications for Information Security and Quality Management. Ciena even went as far as to do an on-site audit of EBI’s security. "The fact that I’m having one-on-one calls with your CIO, and he is attending meetings, and we were welcomed on-site to do an audit, shows the level of collaboration. I really think it puts you guys above and beyond."
In addition to the information security piece, Ciena chose EBI because of the integration with their HCM partner, Workday. That integration has made noticeable changes in Ciena’s onboarding process. “Our HRC team literally only has to hit a submit button,” says Ashby. “They don’t have to log into another system, and they don’t have to create an order, and they don’t have to input the individual’s name, they didn’t have to input the individual’s email address. All that stuff over time adds up. It was overall a much smoother process for them, and it really reduced the processing time.”
Our account rep is fantastic. He is absolutely fantastic... His support has been fantastic.Dana Ashby
Director of Human Resources Operations
The Results and Benefits
According to Ms. Ashby, the best part about working with EBI is the personal relationships. First and foremost, it has been her long-term connection with her account representative. “Our account rep is fantastic. He is absolutely fantastic. He’s responded to me while on vacation or when he’s been traveling. I’ll literally get an email back in no time saying he’s resolved whatever issue I had! His support has been fantastic.”
The close relationships also extend to the customer service team. Ashby says she monitors all communications between her staff and EBI. “If they ever have a question, I notice they get responses on their tickets literally within 15 to 30 minutes! Our HR team does nothing but sing praises about how improved the EBI platform is, how improved the turnaround time is, how improved the support is.”