Dimension Data Perspectives – Allez Allez Allez
If you’ve ever watched the Tour de France, you’ve heard the spectators yell to the riders, “Allez allez allez,” which essentially means, “Go go go!” Dimension Data is on the move, and the Tour de France is a big part of this, as you’ll see.
At Dimension Data’s analyst conference in Prague (note to vendors and others: analysts love interesting destinations!), we heard about the current state of the company and its recent growth, as well as some future plans. We got to spend time with the executives, including CEO Brett Dawson, while overlooking the Charles Bridge and the Prague Castle.
As Dawson explained, two years ago the company began preparing for the dramatic changes in the industry, notably social mobile, and big data. Dimension Data launched a two-prong game plan: continue to drive profitable growth in their existing business, while also making internal changes to drive transformational experiences. Dawson noted that the company wants to be aggressive and “must move boldly to seize our unfair share of the market.” Dimension Data certainly has been seizing its share of the market, as its revenues have increased 48% over the last two years, its IT outsourcing business was up 62%, and ITaaS increased by 50%. In addition, the company was very proud of being a top employer and getting the distinction of being the only IT player that is certified in global excellence in employee conditions.
Through both organic growth and acquisitions, the company has made significant progress in various geographies and markets. For example, the NextiraOne acquisition provided growth in the Czech Republic, Poland, and other areas in Eastern Europe, as well as growth in the mid market. In addition, the Nexus acquisition gave the company more of a presence in the southwest and western regions of the U.S.
Like every other company in the UCC space, Dimension Data has been focusing on the cloud. According to CTO Etienne Reinecke, Dimension Data is creating platforms that can be leveraged by customers, while providing more offers at the solution level. They are investing at the solutions level to mask the complexity of the cloud, while enabling clients to innovate. He added that the company will continue to invest in automation, leveraging scale and time to market in their traditional SI model.
The company repeatedly stressed its focus on outcomes, noting that CIOs need to start shifting their thinking to outcomes and what the business needs. Outcomes include operational and financial outcomes, as well as the shift to “as a service,” which are very different conversations for customers. As it focuses on outcomes, Dimension Data has to take on a new level of risk by moving to outcome-based SLAs instead of response-based SLAs such as mean time to resolve, for example.
Throughout the conference, rather than focusing on their solution and service offerings, Dimension Data executives from various regions around the world provided the analysts with a number of customer case study examples, including Airbus, Feld Entertainment (Ringling Brothers, Disney on Ice, etc.), Unilever, and several others. The proof is in the pudding, and Dimension Data demonstrated their capabilities and competencies through customer examples.
As a systems integrator, Dimension Data is very strong technically, focusing on Cisco, Microsoft Skype for Business, Avaya, Genesys, Alcatel-Lucent, Polycom, Aruba, and many other vendors. However, the company acknowledges that its name and brand recognition isn’t as high as it would like it to be. To that end, the company entered into a technology partnership with Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), which owns the Tour de France cycling race. As part of the five-year deal, Dimension Data becomes the Official Technology Partner of A.S.O. for cycling events. Emphasizing that this isn’t a sponsorship, but rather a technology partnership, Dimension Data will be highlighting its data analytics capabilities by delivering data from a variety of sensors and video inputs collected during the race to providing information and insights to viewers around the world. The Dimension Data brand will be highlighted to over three billion viewers of the Tour de France, as Dimension Data enhances the viewing experience.
Change is on the way. As COO Jason Goodall noted, “In order for our customers to achieve business value, we have to transform the way we operate. We're very serious about this transformation, including ITaaS, data centers, centralized delivery models, etc.” The investment from NTT gives Dimension Data the money and resources to do the transformation, as evidenced by the $750 billion spent on acquisitions.
One of the biggest changes will include a new platform for managed services that will “deliver outcomes.” This platform can help set the company apart from some of its competitors that don’t offer this level of services. As both an outsourcer and managed service provider, Dimension Data can help businesses move to the cloud, especially as large enterprises want a combination of premises, cloud, hybrid, and managed services.
Dimension Data is definitely on the move. It’ll be interesting to see how the company enhances the viewer experience at the upcoming Tour de France. For both the Tour riders, and for Dimension Data – allez, allez, allez!