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Dimension Data Unveils 'Buy to Grow' Strategy

Robert Clark
News Analysis
Robert Clark
7/10/2014
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Dimension Data is on a mission -- to grow as fast as it can in the Asia-Pacific market through acquisitions.

In particular, the international IT and managed services specialist is looking to buy data center services firms, or anything that involves managed services into the data center, according to Bill Padfield, CEO of the company's Asia-Pacific unit.

Acquired by NTT Group (NYSE: NTT) three years ago, Dimension Data now accounts for almost half of the US$12 billion in group revenue outside Japan. "We have been challenged to double the size of that business by 2018," explains Padfield.

Data center services is the fastest-growing segment. "We really regard ourselves as an early entrant into the virtualized cloud-ready centers," Padfield says.

The company offers managed cloud services in major locations such as Tokyo, Singapore, and Hong Kong, with the plan to merge them eventually into a single cloud exchange.

Padfield says that, at one level, the Dimension Data cloud competes against big operators such as Amazon Web Services Inc. and Microsoft's Azure in the public cloud, but he argues his platform is "enterprise grade." The same architecture is deployed for private cloud and hosted solutions and is also offered as a white label service to Asian operators such as Hutchison Global Communications Ltd. (HGC) , Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) , and PT Indosat Tbk .

The next stage is the deployment of a voice (or VaaS) platform based on Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) technology, that will support a managed voice service for businesses and call centers.

Padfield says the company has seen a sharp increase in enterprise cloud takeup across Asia during the past 18 months. But like everyone else in the Asian cloud business, the lack of consistent regulations is a frustration. Each market has its own rules on security, privacy and compliance, especially in sensitive areas such as financial services and healthcare.

That's a real problem when the data owner, the server hosting the data, the application owner, and the end-user may all be in different countries. "Whose environment is that under? What records have to be kept on shore? What have to be kept offshore? The rulebook is being rewritten almost daily," says the DiData executive.

On the plus side, he thinks there's greater confidence in cloud security, and this is one of the reasons for the faster take-up. "Two years ago the conversation was all about security. Now it comes up a little bit, but is in no way front and center. People know how it works. In a lot of cases they're actually arguing for third parties to manage their security." (See Verizon: Cloud Security Is Often an Excuse to Avoid Change and Is the Cloud Eating the World?)

— Robert Clark, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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DOShea
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DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
7/10/2014 | 12:46:11 PM
Enterprise grade
With the enterprise claims, sounds more like they are trying to step in and compete with the data center-minded telcos, rather than Amazon.
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