Jason Goodall, Group CEO
Traditionally, managed network service providers created a core architecture known as “hub and spoke” to facilitate communications between various branches of an organization and their respective data centers, over a managed network with a centralized firewall. To facilitate mobile workers, enterprises had to find an alternative connectivity method such as VPN; and to accommodate overseas employees, they stitched together multiple Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) providers for creating a global network—an expensive undertaking. Clearly, this type of legacy wide-area network (WAN) isn’t equipped to support today’s cloud-based businesses, hybrid IT environments, and mobile users who need remote network access. Unlike before, when network traffic went to the data center, enterprises have altered their traffic patterns by channeling data streams directly to the cloud. This drastic shift to the cloud has also broken the old networking security model, giving rise to vulnerabilities.
Today, enterprises need a cloud-native managed network services provider that is capable of establishing a private global network comprising of numerous points of presence—where data centers and mobile users can connect seamlessly. Modern day organizations need direct access to a network that is equally capable of peering with public clouds and SaaS applications and fully integrated with best-in-class security, firewall, and IDS/IPS tools. To gain access to such a robust network, enterprises, regardless of size or nature of the business, mustn’t look any further than Dimension Data. Through a globally-standardized managed services platform developed in alignment with ITIL standards to support agile and scalable digital infrastructures, the South African-headquartered company ensures its clients enjoy consistent service availability across legacy and programmable (SDN) infrastructure—from the core to the edge of the network. Dimension Data’s approach to managed network services stems from its proven track record of managing and integrating multi-vendor solutions by bringing together its cross-technology portfolio of managed services, delivered through a single scalable and secure platform.
"Technological transformation journey isn't possible without people. Take your people along with you on the journey"
Dimension Data’s Managed Services Platform, designed to enhance a client’s hybrid IT environment through improved agility, scalability, and availability, offers real-time insights into network performance and availability, and analytical reporting to over 13 million users across the globe. With built-in automations to drive operational efficiencies, the platform empowers enterprises to maximize the capability of their networking environment. Dimension Data’s Global Centers of Excellence leverage best-of-breed management tools and zero-touch operational automation, to support full lifecycle service delivery and proactive network management. The award-winning Manage Center portal provides a comprehensive view of an IT estate’s performance, remotely, on any platform. Most essentially, the platform liberates IT and operations teams, allowing them to focus on strategic and value-add tasks such as maximizing cost efficiencies, exploring emerging technologies, and improving customer experience.
Dimension Data's approach to managed network services stems from its proven track record of managing and integrating multi-vendor solutions by bringing together its cross-technology portfolio of managed services, delivered through a single scalable and secure platform
Earlier this year, Dimension Data announced the launch of its next-generation global managed services to help clients simplify the management and operation of their technology. Dimension Data’s global managed services and the delivery platform has re-engineered the end-to-end client journey, radically simplifying IT operations management and eliminating the pressure of day-to-day operations, while also allowing clients to take advantage of Dimension Data’s relationship with other NTT companies and best-of-breed solution providers.
Managed Services to Fulfill Technological Gaps
As evidenced by ALMA—a scientific data production company— the core reason for hiring a managed network services provider such as Dimension Data has seen a paradigm shift in recent years. Previously, organizations sought the services of managed network services to reduce overheads, achieve revenue benefits, and increase agility. However, with businesses increasingly dependent on complex networking technology to support both internal and external processes, they out-task key functions due to a lack of in-house expertise. “We chose Dimension Data because our main core business is not IT, its scientific data production. We are a small IT team and we need support from a company that has all the expertise that we don’t have. Dimension Data provides us with all the expertise we don’t have—and we don’t need to have,” says Christian Saldias, IT Manager at ALMA. Unlike most managed network services firms that offer merely networking expertise, the breadth of Dimension Data’s services capabilities extends the scope of service management beyond the network to include managed security, data center, collaboration, and customer experience.
Just like ALMA, scores of enterprises are choosing Dimension Data—the USD 8B global technology integrator and managed service provider—as their network partner. Most recently, Dimension Data aligned itself with one of the world’s most iconic luxury goods conglomerates, taking over the day-to-day management of all their network and connected devices. As part of the project, Dimension Data’s managed network services facilitated the implementation of a central management system of all connected devices across the brand’s stores, distribution centers, workshops, and global offices. The outcome? A holistic view of the client’s network, security, and voice gateway is now available across all its stores across the world.
In the aftermath of the platform implementation, the luxury goods brand’s global network operations migrated to Singapore. Post-migration, the client has significantly improved operational efficiency by freeing up manpower resources, lowering IT costs, and enhancing store productivity with better manageability and reduced device downtime. More crucially, the client is able to provide a better in-store experience to its customers, including reservation of products via online catalogs and faster payment transactions via mobile devices.
Despite managing over 9,000 IP networks across the globe, Team Dimension Data doesn’t believe in taking shortcuts.
It’s why the services offered by Dimension Data are built around a client’s specific needs and their industry-determined governance protocols and practices. While maintaining the highest levels of vendor certification, Dimension Data’s networking experts provide engineering and operational expertise to clients in 46 different countries. From a technological standpoint, Dimension Data partners with global tier-one networking vendors at API level including Cisco, Juniper, HP, Riverbed, F5, Infoblox, Cisco Meraki, and HP Aruba.
Leadership that Inspires Digital Transformation
It’s rather difficult to underline Dimension Data’s success without recognizing the contributions of its leader, Jason Goodall, who has served as Group Chief Executive Officer since 2016. According to Goodall, organizations must follow six key principles before undertaking their digital transformation journey. “First of all, don’t have a Plan B. There shouldn’t be any debates within an organization around the necessity to transform. In order to be successful, it’s not about ‘do we need to transform, but how do we transform.’ That’s the first key thing for all executives to recognize,” he says.
Goodall believes that the second key principle is for an organization to create its North Star. “Starting with the CEO, all the way to the executive team, you need to know exactly what you’re aiming for. Once the CEO understands that it becomes his or her onus to drive that vision passionately. My third key principle is to prioritize your North Star. It’s important to prioritize on few initiatives and not lose focus,” adds Goodall before proceeding to his final three principles.
“Number 4 is the toughest, and I like to call it ‘Perform While You Transform.’ It’s never easy to try and change a mainstream business midflight. However, you can’t stop a business while you transform. So, it’s critical to continue to deliver profitability, while also transforming your business for the future. My fifth key principle is Personal Transformation. For an organization to transform, people within the organization need to transform as well,” stresses Goodall.
And finally, Goodall believes that people drive digital transformation and not technology. “Technological transformation journey isn’t possible without people. Take your people along with you on the journey. It is important that people believe they have a part to play in the transformation,” concludes Goodall.
With over 28,000 employees spread across 47 countries, Dimension Data has successfully mitigated complexities for a ton of high-profile clients. Besides enabling the world’s first cloud-enabled G20 Leaders’ Summit in Brisbane, Australia, Dimension Data developed an ICT strategy, architecture, and technology roadmap for the World Wide Fund (WWF), in 2017.
The Road Ahead
In the coming years, Dimension Data, a proud member of the NTT Group, will continue to design, optimize, and manage today’s evolving technology environments. Dimension Data will play a critical role in facilitating Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise’s (ALE) Vision 2020 Strategic Plan which entails the global telecommunications giant’s transition to an agile, scalable, and efficient digital infrastructure. As part of the project, Dimension Data will create an additional 300 percent bandwidth availability in ALE’s network, helping ALE adopt a seamless and multi-tenant Cloud environment to support its evolving business. Dimension Data will provide managed software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) services, including the hardware, licenses, technical team of professionals, and managed services. The global control system will be centrally deployed on the Dimension Data Cloud platform, which leverages a Global Delivery Centre to procure, deploy and manage the SD-WAN-based WAN infrastructure.