Dimension Data's CEO Outlines '08 Opportunities


By any measure, Dimension Data has had a very good year. The solution provider (30th on the VARBusiness 500) had good financial news this year, and saw revenue increase more than 15 percent, to $3.8 billion. Jere Brown, CEO of Dimension Data Americas, recently told ChannelWeb his plans for the future of Dimension Data, what technologies look hot, and how the VAR has successfully evolved from a traditional plan, build, and support model to one tat is more innovative and responsive to customers' needs.

What new technologies are especially appealing to your customers, and how will you implement these new solutions?

Unified communications (UC) continues to be a strong area for us. Dimension Data hears the need for integration of Cisco and Microsoft technologies around UC echoed time and time again in our meetings with clients. Dimension Data's unified communications offering, which we call Integrated Collaboration (IC), does just that. By integrating Cisco and Microsoft technologies, Dimension Data's IC solution makes it possible for clients to collaborate instantly in rich and powerful ways with more secure instant messaging and integrated voice, video and data, which are incorporated as part of core productivity applications.

 

In addition, we're seeing clients look to consolidation including 'going green' initiatives and virtualization. In fact, the desire to 'go green' is also echoed repeatedly across many of our lines of business, including Data Center and Storage, Convergence and Contact Center.

 

So whether its data center, contact center, security, Microsoft solutions or converged communications and networking, we've built comprehensive lines of business and technology solutions to meet client needs.

Your annual results were very impressive. To what do you owe your success?

 

The employees of Dimension Data Americas have contributed greatly to our success, and we continue to implement new employee programs to recognize their accomplishments and offer opportunities for ongoing learning and development. As a result, we were awarded the Helios HR Apollo Award for our unmatched employee growth and development programs.

 

As a result of their hard work, we are experiencing strong services growth in both managed and professional services, meeting client needs for a full lifecycle of IT services that help IT management deliver better business values. We also generated operational efficiencies this year that are delivering strong bottom line results. Additionally, we are seeing significant growth outside of the U.S., and we're taking advantage of the growth within our multinational customer base. Our growth among multinational companies in Canada and Brazil has also been strong and has contributed to our growth in the Americas.

 

Has the financial sector's woes affected your business at all?

 

We are, of course, concerned about the financial services sector, and we're mindful of market conditions. However, we have a very diverse cross section of clients -- across many industries -- and we also conduct a considerable amount of business outside of the U.S. We're also cautious in our business plans, manage our expenditures carefully, and are keeping a watchful eye on the pipeline. So at this time, we believe our prudence and our ability to quickly respond to changing market conditions is serving us well.

 

Next: Leveraging Americas Organization