Business Management

Globetrotting Dimension Data takes new paths to services success

The once cosy world of IT outsourcing has been shaken up in the last 15 years by the rise of the offshoring movement, spearheaded by India. But the US services giants responded by growing their labour pools globally and building through acquisition. In this rather beige world, Dimension Data is an exotic player and representative of the way that globalisation is changing the world.

Dimension Data, or DiData to use the common abbreviation, is headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa and ultimately owned by NTT, the Japanese telecoms giant.

Calvin Goom, UK managing director, says this was part of the appeal that spurred NTT to buy the company for $3.2bn in 2010. Rather than treat the world as one place with scarcely differentiated approaches for each region, Dimension Data operates on the ‘GOLD’ principle of ‘global orchestration, local delivery’.

“One of the reasons [for success] was our multicultural strength and that comes from organic growth on a localised business model,” says Goom when I meet him for brunch in the City of London. “Each of our countries is a profit centre. We’re different because we’re more agile. We’re a $7bn biz in 59 countries but because of that local model we have the agility to execute for our clients.”

It’s not just cosmetic, either. Dimension Data outperforms in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America emerging markets and often uses sub-brands that mean more to those regions and countries, rather than pinning on the big corporate badge and arrogantly assuming that it will summon loyalty. Indeed, NTT president Satoshi Miura noted the strength of Dimension Data and other brands compared to NTT when he signed off the acquisition.

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Martin Veitch

Martin Veitch is Contributing Editor for IDG Connect

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