Dimension Data Unified Communications Services: An End-to-End Journey

Dimension Data Unified Communications Services: An End-to-End Journey

By Jim Burton October 24, 2014 Leave a Comment
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Dimension Data Unified Communications Services: An End-to-End Journey by Jim Burton

In this Industry Buzz podcast, the UCStrategies team welcomes Jaskarn Randhawa, Services Practice Manager – Converged Communications, Dimension Data, to the call. Jim Burton is the moderator, and is joined by Marty Parker, Don Van Doren, Roberta J. Fox, Dr. Joseph Williams, Art Rosenberg, Phil Edholm, and Steve Leaden.

Unified Communications Strategies

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Transcript for Dimension Data Unified Communications Services: An End-to-End Journey

Jim Burton: Welcome to UCStrategies Industry Buzz. This is Jim Burton. I'm joined today by the UCStrategies experts as usual, but we have a special guest, Jaskarn Randhawa from Dimension Data. Typically, we start off with a dialogue, but Marty has been working with Dimension Data. He's done a white paper. He's done an article. He's been following for a long time. So Marty, let me turn this over to you. Give us a little quick background about your thoughts about Dimension Data.

Marty Parker: Hi Jim, yes. I'm very pleased to be making some comments here about Dimension Data's work in unified communication and collaboration. As I posted previously, for example back in 2012, they've been helping the industry move forward for some time with their unified communications adoption methods and outlined what their view of best practices even before 2012. That's helped to move the industry along. They've also chosen to be a certified leader with the two leading vendors both Cisco and Microsoft, and they have practices and hosting offers and so forth in both of those zones. So, they really can give the customer a full range of choices, both IP-PBX centric model that Cisco provides, and the document centric, I'll call it project collaboration model centered around email and documents that Microsoft offers.  

So we've got two choices, and they can adapt them to the various workflows within the business because many of our clients, as Don know, here at Unicomm Consulting, many of them are using both Cisco and Microsoft, overlapping because of the different work profiles, the usage profiles, within those businesses.

Now, the other thing that I would say is that I'm pleased Dimension Data is in the game because they bring an IT perspective to this. In a post that I made here about "How to Carve a PBX," in a post July 2nd on Information Week called “Goodbye PBX, Hello IT Architecture,” I see that just exactly what happened to the mainframe computers has happened now in communications. There's no reason to be buying vertically integrated silos of technology anymore, but rather you can buy the best product at each of the layers, from gateways to servers to operating systems to application software to user devices to user experience application software.

You can get the best at each layer in order to create the best user experience and the best business processes within a company. So, because Dimension Data understands that, they take the IT and the ITIL view of this, and I believe – well, I know from interviewing them – that that's the basis for their managed service. So, I think that they're helping the industry move forward, as I've said. I think that they're also helping it move forward in the right direction, which is basically to take the infrastructure of communications and merge it with the infrastructure of all of the other information technologies in the business, allowing communication to be an application that can be integrated to optimize business processes. Thanks, Jim. Back to you.

Jim Burton: Thanks Marty. Well Jas, it seems like Marty has opened up this dialogue for what I know that Dimension Data has called, "unified communications services, an end-to-end journey." So, maybe you could spend a few minutes explaining that to us. Talk about your discovery phase, and your planning and building phases, and walk us through your process.

Jaskan Randhawa: Alright. Thanks Jim, so as you've touched upon, in our engagement with our clients, the typical landscape is that we have a three-tiered approach in terms of what our clients are looking to get out of any engagement with Dimension Data. The first, as you touched upon, is the discovery phase. So, this is really around the journey on which our clients are about to embark on, or are already midway through in terms of where they are in terms of their UC strategy.

We've got two specific forms of clients with whom we typically interact. We've got a client who's going into the IT world of UC very new. They've had no exposure to it whatsoever, and they want to understand how they get from where they are to where they need to be.

The second client is a client that's already deployed some form of UC, but they need to understand better how they can maximize their return on investment and more importantly, how they can use UC to drive the key business element of what they're driving within their enterprise. So, how does UC justify the means to the end? How do they enable that enterprise to be more productive? And how does it reduce the cost of ownership whilst increasing profitability as we go along?

Typically, the way that we do this is that we engage in a discovery phase. Discovery can happen through a variety of things. It can be a consulting engagement where we sit down with a client and start to discovery their end-to-end environment, we can supplement that with some assessment-based criteria where we ask a range of questions. That enables us to draw a picture in terms of where the client currently is in terms of their UC strategy and where they need to be over a longer period of time. The discovery phase is key because what that enables us to capture is the business requirements for what a client wants the UC solution to do.

The second component of this is the plan and the deploy. So now that we've done the discovery, we understand where the client is in terms of their short-term and their longer-term aspirations of where they want to be, how do we start to plan and build this? Typically the cost structure of what clients are looking for is centralized architectures, geographically distributed, and interconnected across the globe. So your typical enterprise in most scenarios will have a variety of satellite sites. It will have some core main sites. Essentially what they're looking for is an interconnection of that entire UC environment. What we look to do is to use best practice. We've deployed over 3.5 million phones globally. We've built up a lot of intellectual property within the business, within our delivery organization. Effectively, what we do is that we sanitize and we standardize that best practice.

So, we take parts of what we know work. We dismantle other parts that we know that don't work so well, and we centralize all documentation, workflow processes, around how we plan that solution to how we deploy it. So, planning could include things like your low-level network designs. It could include capturing business requirements, and then translating those requirements into technical schematics such as system architecture or your bill of materials. And then, the third component is the deploying and the end-user training and the user-acceptance testing component.

So, we bring all of that together. We refer to it as our unified communications implementation methodology. Essentially what that does is capture all of our best practices through a form of documents and workflows in terms of how to best deploy that UC architecture that meets our client's business requirements.

The third component and the last component around this, but by no means not important, is the management component. What we see is that this is almost like an afterthought. Now that I've got my UC solution, I know where I am, I know where I want to be, I've got it deployed, and I've got access to my UC features and functions, how am I actually going to manage this thing in life? One of the biggest challenges with UC is lifecycle management. How do I remain current? How do I ensure that my users remain productive and that I'm able to roll out new UC services as and when I need them? This is where we use a suite of managed services to complement a specific set of UC products. What that managed services enables the client to do is not focus on the day-to-day management of that architecture. It almost takes the headache away from them.

They're not worried about how they're going to do patching; how they're going to do upgrades. They're not worried about whether things are going to go down, or about whether they're going to be proactively notified, because what they essentially do is outsource that to an incumbent, which in this case is Dimension Data. We take away the headache of that day-to-day management, enabling the client to focus on their core-value proposition in terms of what they're selling to their end clients. That's the key crux of it. The managed-service overlay component is key because it will help the client to drive a reduction in total cost of ownership, and that will enable them to realize a return on investment that they've made in the UC architecture, make sure that it stays current, and make sure that it stays meeting the users' needs over a prolonged period of time.

Typically the two elements of managed services, if you broke them down into two silos, you would have what was called service assurance, and service fulfillment. The service assurance is the day-to-day stuff, so monitoring of the environment, handling of incidents, doing day-to-day MACD’s in terms of moves, adds, changes, deletes. And then we have the second part which is the more complex side of managed services, which is the fulfillment side. The fulfillment side is more based on change management, reintegrating to a client's back-end processes to ensure that the UC system is completely integrated at all levels, and ensuring that there's no human latency that exists with any business process and so forth. So, it's really around the more complex, higher-value-add services around the service fulfillment area.

So, those are the key three core things that we envision that a client really needs to focus on their journey from initial conception all the way through to deploy and managing in life. Where we see these three things coming together is that our clients want to have a seamless journey from the impact or the disruption that they're seeing from cloud. So typically, your standard client model was a lot of service-based within an on-premise deployment that housed a multitude of UC solutions. What we're seeing now is that clients are starting to take a stepping stone into what we call, "hybrid cloud." So, some elements remain on premise, and some elements being outsourced into the cloud. That's in preparation for the big step, which is pure public utility whereby clients essentially not any longer buying any infrastructure or services, but buying an outcome.

So, they're coming to us and saying that we don't want to buy service; we don't want to buy licenses, etc. What we want to buy is a voice service for 500 users, a messaging service for 300 users. That essentially is to what we're subscribing. You're giving us a high availability SLA, and we don't really care how you do the infrastructure management. We don't really care about the upgrades. We don't really care about the MACD’s and so forth. What we're essentially buying is an outcome. The combination of the kind of planning, the discovery, and the ongoing managed services enables a client to accelerate and to help facilitate that journey from on-premise to hybrid to full public utility.

Jim Burton: Well, that's quite a bit, but we also know that Dimension Data is a very large company worldwide with a lot of implementation, so thank you for that great piece of background.

Don Van Doren, I thought it would be appropriate for you to jump in. I know that you and Marty have both been working with Dimension Data over quite a number of years, and thought that you might have some perspective and some questions.

Don Von Doren: Thanks Jim very, much. I really appreciate the opportunity to be here. It's nice to hear that succinct statement of the journey that you plan for your customers. I think that it's a wonderful story. One of the things that Marty and I find frequently is that the real value that comes out of unified communications deployment is when you can integrate these solutions into business processes, and directly into the business application. I was really delighted to hear you talk about how that's part of your managed service capabilities that you're doing. That you're really going in and looking for ways for that kind of integration to optimize the way that the whole systems work is really a core part of what you're doing.

Frankly, one of the things that Marty and I have found is that Dimension Data is one of those companies that really does a wonderful job with this in part because they have such a wonderful understanding of the IT side of the business. We think that that's a really important component of this. It's something that I think is going to be crucial for all companies going forward. I think that really to get the value out of unified communications deployment, to really find those returns, it's really crucial to be able to integrate the communication solutions into those processes. So, congratulations on the way that you guys are doing that. I think that it's a wonderful way forward and certainly is going to be fruitful for not only you, but a lot of other companies adopting that approach. Thanks, and back to you Jim.

Jim Burton: Okay, great. Thanks a lot Don. Roberta. I know that you've got a couple of questions for Jas.

Roberta J. Fox:   Yeah, I do. Thank you very much guys. Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to work with Dimension Data, but I have heard good things. Our challenge at Fox Group is that we're very involved in vendor selection. So, I have two questions that I thought I'd share that come up very often that are becoming more and more important, in the criteria, that I'd like to ask you, Jas.

So, the first one, and believe it or not it's coming up higher in the rankings of decisions factors, just a little inside hint there, is what technologies does your firm itself use to work internally with the customers and various vendors with whom you have to work in order to successfully deploy these solutions to be successful, from a long-term perspective for both technology people and human perspective?

Jaskan Randhawa: It's a great question. I think that the first thing is that we're very much firm advocates of drinking our own champagne. So in terms of the technology that we use, we advocate for technology, part of the technologies that we sell to our clients. That's a mix – a hybrid environment. We use Cisco, we use Microsoft, and we're using elements of that to facilitate different things within our organization that drive the best value, so elements for call control, for messaging, for IM and presence, everything that makes a globally dispersed kind of business very effective, so, the technology element is, we use a whole array of different technologies. The reason that we do that is because it enables us to drive certain benefits and gains in terms of what we want to achieve and being a global business, so cost control and the fact that we're all very highly mobile in terms of how we work, and we need to remain connected with one another. We work in globally distributed teams, and hence we use a mixture of these technologies: SIP trunking, call control, messaging, contact center and so forth within our own enterprise to enable us to drive that productivity.

Roberta J. Fox:   And that includes various types of UC apps?

Jaskan Randhawa: It does indeed.

Roberta J. Fox: Okay, and then my last question: I was really impressed about your comment about processes and methods. What I'd be interested to learn here is how do you guys actually hire, manage, and coordinate the diverse combination of Dimension Data IT, telecom, and network people to make sure that you've got the human pool to help your clients be successful again from a technology and business, and Jas, whether your clients are National, North-American, or International, because it is a people-based business needed to make this technology all work together.

Jaskan Randhawa: Let me answer the second part of that first. We've got a global footprint second to none in terms of our capability at a country level. We've also got a very extensive preferred partner network, but I think that the breadth in that is exactly what you've touched upon. Our power is through our people. The knowledge that our people have, the intellectual property that they address is what makes Dimension Data what it is. Globally over 45 countries or so in terms of direct presence. That enables us to go and kind of get touch points where some of our other competitors aren't directly able to play.

So, that's the global footprint element. In terms of our recruitment process, and certainly around delivery, we've got a very stringent process in terms of that we look for the industry best. The key thing to go with that is that is if you look at our retention metrics, the folks who have been working over the many years that have got by have been here for the long term. So, they've kind of grown Dimension Data on the journey we've taken. Their experience has grown. What we do is that we use the more senior people in our business, the folks who have been out there in the front line to help recruit for us to ensure that: a) we recruit the correct profile of person, who can continue to add into the kind of pool of experience that we've had, and b) is around retention.

You've got to get folks, especially delivery folks, the projects on which to work. You've got to keep them excited about the projects that they’re working on. Because of the ranges of products on which we work, delivery kind of experience or deliver expectation is very high. We tend to keep our folks very engaged in terms of different projects. That's what helps us to not only recruit the best candidates, but also to retain them, which is equally important.

Roberta J. Fox:   Great! That sounds good.  Jim, back over to you. Thanks, Jas.

Jim Burton: Thank you, Roberta. Joseph Williams, I know that with your experience at Microsoft, you had a lot of interaction with Dimension Data. I'm sure that you've got some questions and comments for us.

Joseph Williams: I do indeed, thanks. Dimension Data's preferred partner network is pretty well understood. I think that it's well established. I believe that you're in over a hundred countries, but what's relatively new is the one-cloud partner program. I wonder if you could talk about that and about how that relates to unified communication.

Jaskan Randhawa: The one-cloud partnership is an interesting engagement that we've recently taken on with Cisco. This is the ability to manage the data centers around the cloud that's a management component of those data centers around the world.

Joseph Williams: Is there a unified communications play for Dimension Data in that relationship?

Jaskan Randhawa: I envisage there will be an opportunity and a vision for us in that model because effectively what that is is the management of the architecture. Numerous datacenters around the world are able to validate the UC workloads. I think that it's a huge opportunity for us. Taking to market the fact that clients want to buy this outcome, they don't want to have CapEx ownership of any assets on their balance sheet, so how can they leverage that one-cloud vision that encompasses the bandwidth, the bundled management and the actual UC workload. So, I think it's an exciting time for us. We're growing internally ourselves. We've got a tried-and-tested cloud business that continues to be ranked as high performing. I think that this one-cloud vision is an exciting addition to that, and will help to extend our portfolio certainly for clients who are looking for a cloud-centric model where they want to kind of ramp on and make use of UC services and functions.

Joseph Williams: So, in effect, it's a way for your channel to get involved in not just a UC play, but in a cloud play in conjunction with one of your strategic partners, Cisco, in order to deliver really very strong offerings to their customers, is that correct?

Jaskan Randhawa: It is. We played to our hand, which is that we're very strong in the services domain. I mean, Dimension Data is a services business – our products are our services. We don't physically build anything in terms of servers or phones, etc. Where we add the value is the management of those domains, and in driving the full value out of those domains in terms of what our clients are looking to achieve. So, I think that it's dare I say a marriage made in heaven as such, if that sounds too coy… But I think that what we're paying to is both Cisco and Dimension Data playing to their strongest hand in terms of what they bring to the table in that engagement. You know that Cisco has the technology. They bring the concept, and Dimension Data supplements that with the services overlay around the management, the operation, the design, implementation and so forth.

Joseph Williams: So a particularly good customer of that service could be a service provider looking to extend their own capabilities using your knowledge and the infrastructure of the one-cloud?

Jaskan Randhawa: Yes. That could be one of many scenarios, yes.

Joseph Williams: Okay, thank you very much. Jim, back to you.

Jim Burton: Great! Thanks Joseph. Art, I think that it's time for you to jump in with some questions that I know that you've got to have.

Art Rosenberg:  Yes, thank you. What I want to look at, and I'd like some comments on is where you see what I call mobile customer services, which as soon as you say mobility, UC comes into play, but I'm thinking about self-service applications that have click-to-contact and can use immediate connectivity real time with WebRTC, for example. But the bottom line is designing those applications, those online applications, that can be used by an enterprise for their customers for self services, but also allow the flexibility of click for assistance in the customer's choice of mode the way that they want. I see that that's the way things are going. So, if you'd like to comment on how you're focusing on requirements, as you mentioned earlier that deal with this domain of customer services, but in particular what's coming now is mobile customer services.

Jaskan Randhawa: That's very important to us, and we're seeing more and more of this within the market. It's kind of accelerating from our clients, certainly around the mobile domain. So, the proliferation of mobile devices is huge – there are mobile phones, there are smart devices, there are tablets and so forth. What we're seeing within the UC domain is that UC can now easily be deployed onto those devices. So typically a phone was just used for maybe exchanging texts and making phone calls. The fact is that now UC services can actually run on these devices. It's very beneficial to the people who are highly mobile in terms of what they do. You can run presence clients. You can write click-to-call, right-to-call, and so forth. It's all available on your peripheral device. Where we're investing our time is really around what we call, "enterprise mobility," and we've devised discovery phase around that, which is our enterprise mobility development model. Following on from that, we've also got a communication lifecycle approach, which addresses things like career management. We're focusing on elements like mobile-device management, machine-to-machine, and so forth.

So, it's a key focus area for us. We've built up some. It's based in the U.S. that we're kind of increasing the scope for that addresses that whole mobility play within the unified communications domain because once again, the end user is kind of centric to everything. That mobile device is almost overtaking the physical hard-wired device that you get on a desk. In some cases, we look at enterprises that have a strategy where they want to eradicate all of their desk phones and move to purely based tablet devices.

What we also see [with] our clients now is that more and more people are using iPads and other devices to kind exchange emails to run IM and presence sessions and so forth, whereas, they're not really using traditional PC or laptops or desktops. So, it's a hugely significant play for us. We've got a tried-and-tested business that does a lot of the carrier management, the end-to-end, the MDM today, and we've also got a discovery piece that does the assessment around how a client, where a client is in that mobile strategy, and where they want to be once again, over a three-year, four-year, or five-year period.

Art Rosenberg:  The second question is regarding how the implementation is done. That is, that people don't want to own hardware. They don't even want to own software. That's why they're moving everything to the cloud. BYOD is another issue because users whether inside or outside of the organization, customers, they want to bring their own device with their own mobile-operating system and so on, so this is a challenge in making everything readily available anywhere, anytime, anyhow. I just wondered about your view, moving things to the cloud rather than storing things. Minimal storage on the device itself because that becomes a security problem.

Jaskan Randhawa: So, within our division and within our communications business unit value proposition, we combined that cloud entity with our communication lifecycle management business. So, we've put it in the area of the cloud because we understand the uniqueness of that joint relationship. That's where we're operating elements like the device management, so wiping phones if they were ever lost, downloading kind of profiles onto that device and so forth. The challenge the enterprise will have is how do they make that secure? Within our proposition, we offer a variety of things around how we ensure that that device be it any device owned by the user or owned by the enterprise, how do we make it secure, so that they can converse with the other employees or their external clients, and continue to drive that value.

Art Rosenberg:  Do you include dual persona capabilities, sandboxing, the business versus the personal needs?

Jaskan Randhawa: We do indeed. That's all captured as part of our assessment/discovery phase.

Art Rosenberg:  Good. Thank you very much.

Jim Burton: Thank you, Art. Phil Edholm, I'm sure that you have a couple of questions for Jas.

Phil Edholm: Yeah, just one quick question was the concept and context is great. But relative to UC adoption, I mean obviously, you operate both in the traditional telephony domain as well as in the UC domain. We hear different things from the market. For example, last year there was quite a bit of comment back from the channels that there was pushback about the ROI and return and value of UC. It was interesting the report that was done this year around adoption. Thirty percent who responded to a UC survey said that they were not adopting UC. I'm curious. If you look at your base, the customer with whom you're talking, what do you see the adoption transition, what do you see the pushback? And are there things that actually help to drive that adoption, and get UC over the hurdle of being one of the chosen investments in a given year? That seems to be one of the big problems is that UC has to compete for the discretionary spend dollars that 5% to 10% of the IT budget where telephony was just utility. You had to have it, therefore the budget was allocated automatically. And so, the real question is how do you see that changing going forward? Is it an issue, and how are you resolving it?

Jaskan Randhawa: Yes, I think that are two key components that come out of this. Moving from a traditional telecoms pro telephony architecture into this brave new world of UC where everything is IT based, and so forth. That's the first element. A lot of our clients want to make that step. The majority of clients that we see are ready to make that step into IP. Some of them are still retaining some of their old legacy TDM elements, this concept of sweating the assets. What we do see is a strategy to migrate at some stage eventually purely all off from that TDM domain into the IP domain. So, that's the first part, which is the fear of the unknown.

The second part is what I call going with a safer pair of hands. The reason that the majority of clients do go for us is because we do have the tried and tested experience of migrating, well a) integrating legacy domains into the new role if that's what they want, and b) taking them purely from the legacy domain into this brave new world that is UC. So, that comes with the years of call control about the intellectual property that we've built up with the number of systems, phones, and networks that we've set up, so they're really looking for that safe pair of hands, and being this concept of a trusted advisor that will get them to the outcome that they're looking to achieve.

There's another component to this. If you looked at the market three years ago, UC was very hard to understand. It was very hard to deploy. It was predominately just call control. I think that the vendors have actually changed their approaches because virtualization has come about. You no longer need to buy five different servers to run three different UC workloads. You can condense them all onto one architecture.

The second key change is licensing. I think that vendors have moved to make their licensing model a lot easier and simpler for our clients to understand. So, it enables them to consume the UC service more easily. They buy one license that gives them access to a complete suite of UC products. So, that's come about within the market as well.

Jim Burton: Thank you. Well, great! Steve Leaden, do you have any questions for Jas?

Steve Leaden: Sure. Thanks for coming, Jas. I appreciate all of your time here with us and your insights. So, I was over to London not too long ago actually at a trade show doing a talk. It was very interesting the feedback that I got. I wanted your input here. I've noticed that the folks who were from multiple European countries and cities at this London tradeshow were very anxious to hear about unified communications in the U.S. because their belief is that we're quite a bit ahead of the curve at least from their viewpoint and from what they're implementing. So, knowing that you're an international company, and that you've done large to very large scale deployments internationally, what are you seeing in the space, and what are your insight to that topic?

Jaskan Randhawa: I think that you're right. We see North America as the early adopter market. It's typically the market that is the first to take on any new technology and kind of these concepts around moving from on-prem to cloud. So I concur with that kind of that statement that that's were we predominately see initial traction. Following on from that I would say that Europe is probably the next region. After that, it's most likely MEA, and then after that it would Australia and Asia. That's not to say that there isn't a big market in Australia and Asia. What I'm really going on is in terms of client uptake. The target profile of our clients in Europe, North America and Australia, they're more active in terms of onboarding the UC solution. Whereas, it's a bit more of a cautious approach as you move further eastward. So, that's where we're getting the most traction at present in terms of market penetration.

Steve Leaden: Excellent. And then, another thought is I've noticed through some review here behind the scenes that your whole company is built around practices centered around ITIL, and they're best practices and around knowing that to Don's point a little bit earlier that you're a very data centric company as well. Maybe you can also speak to some of your NOC services as well as your ITIL practices around delivery of UC?

Jaskan Randhawa: Yeah, I mean, look, ITIL is one of these things either you love or you hate, is my experience, as you go through it in the industry, but it's very important because our clients now understand ITIL. All of our managed services are compliant with ITIL Version 3.0 onwards, and they always have been in terms of backward ITIL compatibility as well. What we've done is that we've taken that footprint of ITIL, and we've indoctrinated it into our global network operations centers. So, we've got five main hubs in each main region, and then what we've got is centers of excellence, etc., that feed off of that centralized NOC infrastructure. We use a variety of OSS/DSS tooling. We couple that with people, and then we couple that into an ITIL process across the board via service strategy design, operation, continual service improvement, and so forth.

Steve Leaden: Excellent. And then lastly, what we've been seeing in the U.S. here, especially when it comes to the end-user community, they're very excited about Microsoft Lync as a perspective solution for their unified communications and even for their legacy telepathy infrastructure. And yet, the big difference that I've seen amongst the providers is that some of the VARs out there are in that kind of early-adopter stage where they've been Microsoft certified forever, and learning the best practices around unified communications and having an infrastructure around professional services. Maybe you can speak briefly to how you differentiate yourselves as a Microsoft Lync practitioner and some of the best practices that you bring relative to that.

Jaskan Randhawa: We come from it as the position of an integrator. Our core aim is to integrate that to meet a business requirement for, or a business outcome that our client is looking to achieve, because the product is the product, a Lync from incumbent A, or whether you buy from incumbent B, the product is going to be exactly the same. What we've got to ensure is that we tailor it, and we configure it in such a way that that meets the business requirement and that the client is looking for and that it's integrated seamlessly into their back end infrastructure. So, that's our differentiator. It comes back to those three elements. We initially discover. We then plan and implement how we're going to kind of deploy that solution, and then how we help the client to understand that now you've got this, you've really got to kind of think about how you're going to manage it in life because you will have to think about core elements around how you remain current and how you do various of these ITIL type service operation perspectives and such.

Steve Leaden: Excellent Jas. I appreciate all of your input and your thoughts. Your comments there are very inspirational. Back to you, Jim.

Jim Burton: Great! Thanks Steve. Jas I have one question for you, and it gets around the size of customer that you have. I mean, being a worldwide company working with big global companies for sure. Where is your sweet spot, and what is your range of how small of a company is Dimension Data prepared to assist with?

Jaskan Randhawa: I'd say that 70% to 80% of the clients with whom we deal are like these multinational, geographically dispersed. They're from corporate midmarket up to large enterprise. So, that could be anywhere from 2,500 users up towards 100,000+ users. But, then in some markets, if you look at MEA, Middle East and Africa, what you'll find there is that there is a very strong market for small to medium enterprise. So everything up to 100 extensions. There is a play in that market. There is a vendor play because typically you used to have those small end switches. There was a requirement to provide managed services, maybe not as complex as what you would provide in the corporate midmarket to large enterprise domain. But, nonetheless, there are managed service delivery requirements that our clients do have. So, I'd say for me from a personal perspective, the sweet spot is always going to be your corporate midmarket up to your large enterprise.

Jim Burton: That's very helpful. I actually had no idea that you work in the smaller line size, but in many respects that makes a heck of a lot of sense. The fact that you've made this into a science, so-to-speak, in how you approach a client and work with them and solve their problems and deliver their solutions, taking that model, (there’s) no reason why it shouldn't work on a smaller customer.

Well, I want to thank you for your time today. This has been very enjoyable, and very enlightening, and very helpful I think to not only the UCStrategies Experts who were on the call, but more importantly to the people who will be listening to this podcast. Again, thank you Jas. I appreciate your time today.

Jaskan Randhawa: It's been a pleasure. It's been great having been afforded the opportunity to talk to you folks.

 

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