Dimension Data Adds Cisco Support, Readies Direct Connection Service

Dimension Data is readying a new direct connection offering and is extending its Unified Communications services today with the support of Cisco Systems' Hosted Collaboration Suite.

Dimension Data's new direct connection service creates a private link between its public, hosted private and managed hosting services and its clients' corporate networks. Called Cloud Private Network Connection, the company said the service enables customers to use a physical or virtual port to connect to cloud services directly or privately using multiprotocol label switching services (MPLS) to speed up traffic flow. The company said it maintains high-speed cloud connectivity by avoiding the public Internet, establishing a dedicated network connection between a user's network and the cloud locations.

Dimension Data's Cloud Private Network Connection is part of its managed cloud infrastructure as an optional add-on service. The benefit, according to Dimension Data, is to increase throughput for a more "consistent network experience." The connection supports up to 1 Gbps for a direct connect option or speeds of 100 Mbps if leveraging the MPLS network of a provider, according to Dimension Data. More details about the service will be made available next week.

[Related: Dimension Data Revamps Cloud Approach, Hires Industry Vet To Connect The Dots ]

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The $5.8 billion global systems integrator is investing heavily in its cloud-based services as it competes head-on with Amazon Web Services, which supports private connectivity through its AWS Direct Connect service. Dimension Data is partnering with a comprehensive list of vendors, including Cisco Systems, to appeal to a broad range of clients. It laid out a strategy last year with the goal of tripling revenue over the next five years. Dimension Data Americas CEO Mark Slaga took the helm last year following the departure of Jere Brown, who retired in October after serving as chief executive for seven years.

"We're really invested big in the cloud," Slaga said about Dimension Data's cloud strategy in an interview with CRN at XChange 2014. "Now that’s basically what we're doing: doubling down."

Last month, the company hired 25-year industry veteran Tina Gravel as its first vice president and general manager of cloud services for the Americas. Gravel served previously as vice president of worldwide sales at Nirvanix and was vice president of global programs channels and alliances at Terremark. In an interview with CRN, Gravel said Dimension Data is working to connect its cloud services and products more thoroughly, as well as broaden its marketing and sales campaigns on its cloud offerings.

The company said Tuesday that it plans to deliver Cisco HCS-based services globally through its public, private and hybrid cloud services later this year. The applications can be supported in both dedicated and multi-tenant, usage-based environments. Dimension Data currently supports UC services for voice, pervasive video, contact center, instant messaging and presence. The goal is to deliver a consistent experience across devices from one mode of communications to the next, said Scott Cruikshank, director for converged communications at Dimension Data.

"A lot of customers are looking at various different cloud delivery models, and what we want to do is provide the flexibility so that every organization can feel comfortable in their decision-making process," Cruikshank told CRN.

Dimension Data is a Cisco Gold partner, supporting the deployment of cloud services across public and private cloud environments through its Managed Cloud Platform.

Associate Editor Sarah Kuranda contributed to this article.