Dimension Data Cloud Chief: Cloud Platform Providers Must Fight Fraud, Cybercrime

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CRN: The 2013 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report came out and one of its findings was that attackers are using stolen credentials in most cases to conduct their attacks. Do you support two-factor authentication?
JR: We are working on rolling it out globally. We are looking at it as a global PCI DSS offering with two-factor authentication. It's a login plus a phone verification methodology that we are putting in place. Stolen credentials and hacking, in general, through some other methods or stolen credentials is typically what we see from these end users. You can sign up for access to a platform with a stolen credit card, and it only costs a buck to get a stolen card. It's a pretty easy model to consume services for cybercriminal activity and not have to pay for it.

CRN: Dimension Data acquired OpSource in 2011 and you've been working on integration over the last two years. Is it almost complete?
JR: The integration is going extremely well and the enablement that Dimension Data has given us to expand our platform globally has been a huge win for the company. We're close to having the legacy OpSource brand removed. It's taken a lot of work. There's a lot of revenue associated with the brand and we wanted to make sure that we protected that revenue as we move into the Dimension Data brand. We expect to have that finalized in the next two to three months.

CRN: OpSource roots are in the United States and under Dimension Data you are doing a lot of expansion.
JR: It was great timing. The reality is we had built a very good business here in the United States and we knew we had to get into the rest of the world. We knew it was expensive to do that. It takes a lot of dollars for the capital investment. We also had a situation where we really didn't have enterprise relationships in the remainder of the rest of the world. It's a huge cost to build those. Dimension Data brought all that to the table. We went from two locations in the U.S. and a U.S.-based salesforce and everybody knew who we were as a company, especially in the software space, but outside of that they didn't know who we were. We're now in seven locations and also get this global enterprise salesforce, so it's been fantastic.

CRN: Global expansion brings challenges in terms of availability. Speak to the 100 percent uptime rate you have here in the United States. Is it being extended globally?
JR: As we have expanded globally we're doing some things differently as we move into some of these emerging markets. Some of the markets are newer and they're just being established and built. Because of that there is some immaturity in those markets that we've had to address. So 100 percent [availability] absolutely in the U.S. and some other markets we've moved to 99.99 percent. That is really just directly related to facility uptime as well as some of the network concerns that we have. It's really more of networking concerns than anything else. We do see this network disruption in emerging markets. When that network disruption takes place in that market, the systems and the data that is in there is not disrupted, just the ability to get to it. From a risk perspective, the data is fine and the other global locations are fine. I'm not trivializing it. We have all these global locations that are intermeshed now. It's important to our customers to be up all the time, but those are things that our customers can work around and we help our customers in delivering to new markets where they may experience some downtime based on network inefficiencies in that market.

CRN: How do you see the market for Infrastructure-as-a Service and managed services changing over the next five years?
JR: This is an emerging market and everybody wants to be in it. There are a lot of companies that may be identified because they offered some virtualization. At the end of the day, virtualization is not cloud. Cloud is pay-as-you-go; it's automated, it's orchestrated and it's consumption-based, it's not just virtual server. I think you'll find that a lot of companies are going to be long-term players and some of them are going to be ripe for acquisition. I think some of these guys will get snapped up or go away, because it is a very intensive business when it comes to cash.


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