In a move that’s bound to disrupt South Africa’s tech
industry, Dimension Data has announced that it will be bringing all its
sub-brands together under one company. The information technology services
giant announced on March 10 that all of the company’s subsidiaries will be
retiring from a federated structure into a monolithic brand.
The decision was made in the best interest of the company’s
clients, staff, and the company and society at large, Dimension Data chief
executive Grant Bodley says. It also comes in understanding and anticipation of
where the market is going, and to ensure that the company is optimally
positioned to maximise upon it.
At the heart of the decision lies client-centricity. “We’re
changing a lot of our strategy, but our focus is always ensuring that we have
an outside-in approach or a client-first type of approach and lens,” Bodley
says. “Client-centricity is about selling clients a product that is in their
best interest to achieve their outcomes.”
Dimension Data’s track record shows that it has always been
able to anticipate the market. Emerging trends point at a convergence of
technology. Riding the wave of this emerging trend requires all the component
parts of the company’s various offerings.
“We’ve got a really exciting new go-to market value
proposition. But that value proposition is only relevant and valuable to
clients when it is operationalised,” Bodley says. The restructure is about
aligning the company’s go-to market strategy and go-to market junction versus
its old operating model.
Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, the company operates on
every inhabited continent. Dimension Data focuses on services including IT
consulting, technical and support services and managed services.
The company was fully acquired by Japanese
telecommunications corporation Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) in 2010. In
July 2019 all Dimension Data operations, excluding those in the Middle East and
Africa, became part of NTT Ltd. AlwaysOn, e2y Commerce, Internet Solutions,
Nexus IS, and SQL Services are some of Dimension Data’s current subsidiaries.
Bodley says the restructure also has to do with correcting
the overlapping solutions and products of their different brands. Creating a
single company means eliminating competition between the subsidiaries and
instead allows for collaboration.
The restructuring means that the company’s executive
structure will require a different makeup. From April 1, Dimension Data will
start reporting and measuring according to this new operating model. By July
the company hopes to have been through the majority of the restructuring or reorganisation,
and then look to have retired the old brand by around October.
Clients of Dimension Data have expressed the desire for a
single mother-company as subsidiaries can get confusing. By giving the clients
what they want, the company hopes to create an improved, efficient service
experience. It also simplifies the escalation processes, giving clients a
consistent experience, with one website and one call centre, which will improve
the company’s delivery capability.
Besides clients, this move is also expected to benefit the
company itself. “We’ll have more capacity of our best people: the real
technical architects, the real whiz kids of Dimension Data. Instead of
competing, they will be united together in a big pool of people capable of
working with our clients,” Bodley says.
The restructure will also allow the company to identify
where the excess capacity or non value adding assets are within the business,
so it can offload them in some shape or form.
The chief executive reiterates that Dimension Data is a
people company, so it cares about how its employees feel and work. The company
wants to help employees unleash their mass potential in a collective community under
one name, helping to ensure that it provides the outcomes that its clients seek.
Top management has talked about leveraging the best of
Dimension Data, bringing all of its various cultures and traits together from
its subsidiaries as one. Technology is about people making the technology work,
Bodley says. “Despite leveraging Artificial Intelligence, robotics and other
forms of new technologies, at the heart and core, you need human capital to
make it all work together.”
In December, Dimension Data also achieved 51% black ownership recognition status, which has improved the company’s BBBEE score from level 4 to level 2 for 2019.
The company’s BEE rating also puts Dimension Data in a prime
position to work with the government; it has been significantly absent in the
noise around state capture and corruption. But besides that, Bodley says the
company believes technology has a massive ability to unlock potential and help
the government overcome some of the challenges it faces regarding education,
healthcare, unemployment and sanitation.
With it’s client-first approach, Dimension Data is looking
to becoming the leading ICT company in the market, and the employer of choice
for young and up-and-coming talent.
“We want to be the most referred to company in Africa. It’s
not about being the biggest or the best. The most referred means people are
seeing value in some shape or form and so they’re happy to recommend you,”
The company empathises with its employers’ anxiety in the
restructuring of its brand. However, Bodley said this move will allow for their
roles and traits to be better harnessed for a collective purpose.
“We’re very excited,” Bodley says. “Of course there’s
anxiety, there’s nervousness whenever you go through change. We need to
continually evolve to take advantage when opportunity presents itself. I’m very
optimistic about it. I believe we’ve got an incredible brand, knowledge and
data. It is the longest-standing ICT brand on the continent and South Africa.”
In anticipation of the change, Dimension Data goes back to
Charles Darwin’s quote: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives,
nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to
For more information, visit www.dimensiondata.com