Dimension Data Expands Cloud Ecosystem With SaaS Solution Suite


Dimension Data has made another step toward what it calls a "full lifecycle of IT solutions" by adding a software-as-a-service solution suite to its growing cloud business, the company announced this week.

The SaaS solutions suite includes managed hosting, public and private cloud infrastructure-as-a-service, and application and technical operations. The suite allows partners to speed up migrations to the cloud and simplify management and operations after the fact. The switch to SaaS will also help independent software vendors (ISVs) make a smoother adjustment and jump onboard the growing trend toward a pay-per-use model from a perpetual license, Dimension Data said.

The move shows Dimension Data is really focusing on SaaS as a key market going forward, said Kaeo Caindec, chief marketing officer of Dimension Data's cloud solutions business unit. The SaaS market will make up 40 percent of overall cloud revenue, which Caindec said Dimension Data wants its partners to be able to grab a hold of.

[Related: Dimension Data Parent Company NTT Fuels US Cloud Offensive With Two Acquisitions]

"The big benefit to our channel partners is really now being able to leverage this globally and serve larger global clients," Caindec told CRN. He said the offering will allow ISVs to take advantage of Dimension Data's large market and scale their business globally.

The product is targeted at two types of partners, Caindec said. First, it would benefit a company that knows it needs to get into SaaS but doesn't quite know where to start. Second, it appeals to already established SaaS companies that deal mostly with SMBs but are looking for the scalability to break into the enterprise space.

Caindec said the SaaS solutions will operate in the Dimension Data cloud ecosystem and will serve the clients directly, though channel partners can also pick up the services themselves.

"We're about to help them build their business and allow them to focus on developing their software capabilities and not worry about the operations," Caindec said. "We have several companies that provide consulting services that are part of our ecosystem, that are part of our channel."

Sudarshan Ranganath, vice president of product management for Dimension Data partner Ellucian, said that his company is looking forward in particular to the opportunities for global growth with the SaaS suite. Global scalability is especially important to Fairfax, Va.-based Ellucian, which is the largest provider of software solutions to global higher education.

"Some of the things that really stood out was their global footprint ... and a high level of commitment to expanding that footprint," Ranganath told CRN.

Going forward, Ranganath said that he hopes Dimension Data continues to expand and develop its cloud offerings, not just in SaaS. Though, he said SaaS is becoming increasingly important as more and more applications move to SaaS.

"For them to evolve on how they support those applications and partners like us [that] are transitioning ... would be very critical," Ranganath said.

Going forward, Caindec said that the step into SaaS shows Dimension Data's continued commitment to the cloud and to helping push forward into SaaS on a global basis.

PUBLISHED NOV. 20, 2013

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