Dimension Data Buys Cloud Video Managed Services Company


Dimension Data continued its aggressive march to double its sales to $12 billion over the next four years with the acquisition of Teliris, a privately owned cloud video managed services business, for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition is the second in the past 20 days for the South Africa-based $6 billion solution provider, which significantly expanded its presence into the U.S. market with the April 23 acquisition of $471 million solution provider Nexus for an undisclosed amount.

Thirteen-year-old Teliris is widely recognized as one of the first companies to deliver cloud-based managed telepresence services with its immersive telepresence/videoconferencing services.

Dimension Data was not available for immediate comment on the acquisition.

[Related: Dimension Data Buys Nexus]

Steve Nola, CEO of Dimension Data's IT as a Service business unit, said in a prepared statement that the deal enables Dimension Data to "accelerate the development of a true videoconferencing as a service offering to the market."

The acquisition is a reaffirmation of the importance of video as a fundamental technology to transform businesses in the 21st century digital landscape, said Brian Kinne, a telepresence pioneer and one of the early employees at Teliris. Kinne is now chief technology officer and vice president of digital media at MCPc, the $262 million Cleveland-based national solution provider ranked No. 89 on CRN's Solution Provider 500.

"This signals the shift taking place in the industry with video as an application that sits on the IT infrastructure rather than an isolated product set," said Kinne, who was instrumental in establishing the world's first telepresence company, TeleSuite, in 1995. "The AV market is changing and customers are looking for companies like MCPc to lead the way to video. It's all about building the bridge between the transient experience of texting to the intimate experience of video everywhere, making video the cellphone of the 21st century."

To that end, MCPc has made video managed services one of the centerpieces of its Anyplace Workspace, which is aimed at giving customers the ability to work from anywhere on any device with its unique IT and video architecture. Among the video managed services that MCPc has established as a centerpiece of the company's IT arsenal: a suite of on-demand videoconferencing services and a specialized offering for vertical markets including health care, finance, education, legal and general businesses.

Kinne said that Teliris historically has been a company with a significant presence in Europe and it was unclear what impact the deal would have in the U.S. market, even though Teliris is based in New York. "This signals a strong push into Asia and more competition in North America with what MCPc has already been doing with video managed services," said Kinne.

Dimension Data, for its part, said Teliris will retain its brand for the foreseeable future and will continue to offer the services it does today, supporting "its current managed services clients using its own proprietary technologies and cloud platform."

Kinne credited MCPc Chairman and CEO Mike Trebilcock for his vision in making video managed services one of the solution provider's foundations. "This deal reaffirms Mike's vision that the video industry is an IT-driven business and that is MCPc's wheelhouse," he said.

Teliris CEO Jeff Tench said in a prepared statement that the company was looking to join forces with what he called a leader in the "video and managed services space." One source, who did not want to be identified, said Teliris had been for sale for some time.

With the acquisition, Dimension Data is calling itself the "world's largest video integrator by revenue and endpoints." Through what it calls its managed services for visual communications operations it claims to manage more than 20,000 calls per month for 430 clients across 5,600 Cisco and Polycom endpoints.

PUBLISHED MAY 12, 2014