Dimension Data will be a monolithic company


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.

Team collaboration: Manelisa Mavuso, chief marketing executive, Andy Dikobo, executive: public sector and Reoagile Mokoka, marketing manager. (Photo courtesy of Dimension Data)
Team collaboration: Manelisa Mavuso, chief marketing executive, Andy Dikobo, executive: public sector and Reoagile Mokoka, marketing manager. (Photo courtesy of Dimension Data)

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,” Bodley says.

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 change.”

For more information, visit www.dimensiondata.com

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Shaazia Ebrahim
Guest Author

Related stories

Why AI needs a physical body to reach its full potential

Robots will have to learn from scratch, like babies, if they are to have a sense of self and proper social interactions

Cooper, the grocery assistant with AI, gives concierge service

The coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated that there is not a part of our lives that will not be affected by the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution.

Artificial intelligence is already responding to our needs

Engineering students are best prepared for the shift in gear, but they will need to learn to change lanes

Review, amend or create policy and legislation enabling the 4IR

Despite the success of Artificial Intelligence, it needs to be regulated for a number of reasons

We must equip graduates to excel in tasks that are beyond the scope of AI

With artificial intelligence taking over background tasks in the financial services sector, graduates need to be equipped with modern skills and mindsets to complement the machines and maximise benefits for consumers and the economy

South Africa must have a stake in artificial intelligence technology

The country needs an institute that will be a conduit for AI knowledge to industry, society and government

Subscribers only

Toxic power struggle hits public works

With infighting and allegations of corruption and poor planning, the department’s top management looks like a scene from ‘Survivor’

Free State branches gun for Ace

Parts of the provincial ANC will target their former premier, Magashule, and the Free State PEC in a rolling mass action campaign

More top stories

Entrepreneurs strike Covid gold

Some enterprising people found ways for their ventures to survive the strictest lockdown levels

Ithala backs its embattled chairperson

Roshan Morar is being investigated in connection with KwaZulu-Natal education department backpack sanitiser tender worth R4-million and a batch of face masks that vanished

Inside the illicit trade in West Africa’s oldest artworks

Nok terracottas are proof that an ancient civilisation once existed in Nigeria. Now they are at the centre of a multimillion-dollar, globe-spanning underground industry — and once again, Nigeria is losing out

Emery Mwazulu Diyabanza: Liberating Africa from land of liberté

The cultural and political activist is on a quest to bring looted treasures back home

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday