Dimension Data on Monday went live with a managed services offering for visual communications, part of what the global integrator giant sees as a rich opportunity for the channel in helping customers maximize their investment in video systems.
Dimension Data's Visual Communications solutions portfolio already includes everything from consulting services to deployment, integration, maintenance and other managed services. Specific to video, Dimension will now offer video help desk assistance, point-to-point videoconferencing and video conference bridging.
The $4.7 billion integrator is targeting what Scott Cruikshank, its director of converged communications, called "the golden two minutes" -- i.e. the time spent getting a meeting started where a video system's ease-of-use is often put to the test. According to Dimension Data's customer research, about two-thirds of U.S. companies are choosing to manage their video systems on-premise, but nearly half of those companies don't have strategic plans in place to drive adoption by employees.
"What we're seeing is the maturity of the user around video. There's workforce agility and productivity gains they're getting out of it," said Scott Cruikshank, director of converged communications at Dimension Data. "But the ROI is predicated upon usage and adoption. The technology has caught up with what the users are looking for, which is making sure the end user can easily get it up and running."
Dimension Data developed the offering following its September 2010 acquisition of Mvision, a U.K.-based video conferencing integrator and managed services provider. Some of the strongest opportunity in the video space for the channel, Cruikshank said, is in managed video services and also video infrastructure integration, or enabling disparate video systems to connect to one another easily.
"Video is the next voice but it's not going to be there until we can have real any-to-any at any time," he said. "That means getting my Skype to talk to my Cisco easily."
Dimension Data, which was itself acquired by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone in 2010, has made several key acquisitions in recent years. The most recent was cloud and managed hosting provider OpSource, snapped up by Dimension Data this summer.