Photo: Dimension Data
Dimension Data believes in transformation and reinvention. As part of the NTT Group, which is one of the world’s largest telecommunications service providers, Dimension Data has learned how to grow its business at the speed of technology. The solution provider now employs more than 29,000 people in 49 countries, and has its eye on expanding even further with the growth of the IoT ecosystem.
A big part of its success is its laser-sharp focus on the importance—and value—of moving, storing and processing data for its clients. “Data is the digital currency for the digital economy,” says Larry Van Deusen, group practice director for wired, wireless and IoT for Dimension Data. In a recent interview with IoT Solution Provider, he notes how the exponential growth in IT and the disruption caused by IoT technology has created new opportunities for Dimension Data, as it can fill the void in skills and understanding of IoT.
“There’s a skills gap between what the client needs to transform its business from a digital perspective, to what [skills] they have in house. They need service providers like Dimension Data to develop those skills and leverage the technology needed for their transformation,” explains Van Deusen.
One area that is often lacking in companies today is knowledge of how to use the data created by IoT devices. Dimension Data looks at IoT through the lens of being a theme, rather than an actual product or technology that it sells. “The explosion of IoT devices has launched the need for connectivity and data. Without connectivity, without the data to analyze and provide the information back, clients can’t make any type of change-through to transformation,” says Van Deusen.
IoT crosses all bounds of infrastructure, including the network, data and security. Dimension Data has focused its business on providing expertise in all parts of the digital infrastructure: analytics, platforms, cybersecurity, hybrid IT and networking capabilities. In doing so, it has changed the way it operates the business and the services that it offers to clients. It now provides transformation consulting, project and program management, and architecture consulting services, all of which may include IoT technology rollouts.
Winning Stage One in IoT
To be a solution provider in the IoT market, Dimension Data started by leveraging the things it has already been successful at doing, and then adapted them to the IoT model.
“We were already offering IoT services, but we just didn’t call them that,” says Van Deusen. For example, the company provides collaboration tools in healthcare. It first looked at the competency it had in healthcare, and asked, “How do we take that and align it to providing analytics? And how can we develop our mobility practices around healthcare applications?”
Van Deusen adds that after identifying IoT hotspots, it determines whether it should build, buy or partner. “That’s the IoT ecosystem play. We have to understand what the value propositions are, and determine the demarcation between what we do as a systems integrator and the role of other vendors and partners in the ecosystem.”
Photo: Dimension Data
One strategy for Dimension Data is to look at areas where it sees potential gaps—and less competition. The company knows quite well how to compete, as it has developed technology that can track all the location and positioning data of the 200-plus riders in the Tour de France and analyze all that collected data in less than a second. The platform can determine the position of every single rider in the race, and via a mobile app, racing fans can know at any given time how a rider is performing. To provide these real-time results, Dimension Data gathers more than 60 million data points through the course of the Tour.
“We started a sports practice and helped transform that particular technology event, the Tour de France. And we’re building off that expertise,” Van Deusen adds.
Climb to the Top in IoT
In addition to sports data, Dimension Data also sees healthcare IoT development as a huge opportunity for solution providers, along with several other key vertical markets, including education, financial services and retail.
To learn more from Dimension Data experts about the role of IoT solutions in healthcare, attend our upcoming virtual event, IoT Connex, on Wednesday, October 18. Register now for this free half-day event hosted by the parent company of CRN and sponsored by Intel. Join industry analysts, technologists, innovators and business leaders to learn about IoT integration, opportunities, partnerships, platforms and more.