CHANGING TRENDS NEW OPPORTUNITIES

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CHANGING TRENDS NEW OPPORTUNITIES Powered By Docstoc
					Dimension Data has always differentiated itself through its ability to identify and capitalise on market trends.
While innovation is

an afterthought. Today’s networks bear this legacy burden. But new pressures associated with convergence and web-services will bring today’s networks to a halt if the legacy, foundational

occurring in many segments of the IT industry, Dimension Data is concerned with innovative technologies and

CHANGING TRENDS: NEW OPPOR TUNITIES

network management and operational issues are not addressed. Dimension Data’s net-

trends within the IT infrastructure market segment. IT infrastructure encompasses the core IT building blocks of communication networks. We see several trends that the Group is well-positioned to capitalise on in the future within this segment; these are: I Innovation in the core network; I Development of the converged network; I Emergence of the converged client; and I Adoption of new sourcing strategies – multisourcing

work integration credibility and expertise positions us well to help our clients address these network management and operations issues. We can provide our clients a full outsource of network maintenance, monitoring and support. We help clients transform their end-to-end network performance by eliminating the latency and inefficiencies of multiple protocols across the network. We also re-architecture networks to support voice and wireless applications more effectively and seamlessly. Network operations and management gives Dimension Data a tremendous opportunity within our core business to provide strategic technology advice to our clients.

I N N O VAT I O N I N T H E C O R E N E T W O R K
Over the past 15 years, networks have been changing. Today, the convergence of voice and video onto the network and the integration of wireless technologies into the core network architecture creates exciting new capabilities, but also challenges, for our clients. The network needs to be ready to take advantage of these trends and support the related business opportunities. As multiple technologies consolidate onto the network, through trends like data centre consolidation, network traffic flow is impacted. Web-services and web-driven interfaces have created performance inefficiencies and latencies due to the introduction of additional network protocols like http and html. New applications – such as Skype – and other voice media have added real-time traffic onto networks that have been architected to manage primarily non real-time data. Additionally, wireless technologies are moving from being an add-on ‘blade in a box’ to being part of the core network architecture. During this time of rapid technological change, organisations have not had a management focus on documenting and managing their daily network operations. From change management to capacity management and planning, clear process definition around network operations has often been

DEVELOPMENT OF THE CONVERGED NETWORK
The Converged Network is the culmination of businesses’ drive for standardisation and several important networking technology shifts we’ve seen develop over the past 20 years. From the adoption of the IP as the standard language for networks, to the convergence of voice, video and data onto the network, to advances in wireless technologies, the Converged Network is fast becoming today’s IT platform for business. The Converged Network is a single, integrated network that enables ubiquitous, borderless communications. It has improved capabilities to prioritise and route traffic, and process information in a distributed way. Related security and storage technologies are converging into the network and increasingly these have become integral to the network’s core fabric. The Converged Network has unrivalled abilities to handle large volumes of complex, diverse information. As a platform, it offers the ability to manage any information, across any device, through any connection, to access any technology and to run any application. Dimension Data is ideally positioned to help clients evolve their network to a Converged Network. We use our knowledge of the network and network-reliant technologies to plan, build,

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support and manage Converged Networks. Dimension Data evolves client infrastructure to support existing and new technologies that are becoming embedded in the fabric of the network. We exploit the cost savings benefits and operational efficiency gains of standardisation by ensuring client applications and networks support IP. We use our knowledge and experience with maintaining and managing large scale, complex networks to ensure operational performance excellence.

at the time, place, and through the device most convenient for them. Our methodologies and intellectual property assist clients with these on-going operational needs in an automated, quick and cost effective manner.

ADOPTION OF NEW SOURCING S T R AT E G I E S – M U LT I S O U R C I N G
Traditionally, IT outsourcing and insourcing have been the two discrete approaches to meeting IT requirements. Both approaches have limitations and trade offs. Typically, neither approach measures its value to the business outcomes delivered. To address businesses’ unmet expectations of outsourcing and insourcing, a new approach called multisourcing has emerged, which provides businesses with sourcing flexibility while not compromising on service delivery. Multisourcing looks for the optimal blend of internal and external IT service providers to deliver business outcomes. It connects decisions about the IT sourcing strategy to the business strategy. Sourcing governance and management, service provider selection and service level management are all important aspects of multisourcing. Multisourcing requires increased trust and control, as well as a new perspective and level of partnership between businesses and IT service providers. With multisourcing, businesses share more information regarding the business strategy while IT service providers move to a business outcome, partnering model. An integrated team approach, with each party owning a vested interest in the business outcomes, is critical to success. To meet clients’ increasing requirements for IT sourcing flexibility, during FY2006 we expanded our services strategy. While our core focus continues to be on planning, building, supporting and managing IT infrastructure, we are also expanding our services to help clients improve their IT processes and operations and create incremental business innovation. For Dimension Data, supporting clients’ move toward multisourcing has the potential to build stronger, long standing client relationships. Dimension Data becomes more ingrained in a client’s business by working side-byside with a client to help them identify the best use of IT infrastructure technologies to meet their business goals.

EMERGENCE OF THE CONVERGED CLIENT
The Converged Client is emerging, against the backdrop of the improved speed, flexibility and access to business information enabled by the Converged Network. Mobile phones, PDAs, BlackBerries, laptops – no matter what the mobile device – increasingly employees are working from anywhere, at any time. Mobile employees are requiring and expecting instant access to every application that they would use at their office – from basic e-mail to sensitive client data housed in back office systems. It’s a trend that’s poised to gather momentum and become a feature of the modern workplace. IT departments will need to rapidly ready their IT infrastructure to support the Converged Client trend. As the needs and requirements of the highly mobile employee become mainstream, the IT department will have many challenges to face. Employees’ expectations for reliability and quality of communications via a mobile device will be large and based on employees’ experiences using their desktop PC. The IT infrastructure will need to be re-architected and optimised to support the standards that employees are accustomed to experiencing. Other key issues for IT include policy development, device and information security, usability, management and standards. In the near future, Converged Clients will outnumber desktop PCs and be far more complicated for IT to support. The Converged Client trend provides Dimension Data the opportunity to help organisations prepare their IT infrastructure for the multitude of devices accessing any application. In FY2006, Dimension Data increased its investments in specific skills and methodologies to better address the opportunities associated with the Converged Client. We are now able to dynamically and remotely patch, update and manage any converged client device running a Microsoft operating system. We also create and maintain a single current directory across all applications and devices, ensuring employees can communicate

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D I M E N S I O N D ATA A N N U A L R E P O R T 2 0 0 6

RISING FROM NAIROBI, KENYA
To take advantage of the large IT infrastructure growth opportunities in emerging Africa, Dimension Data established a presence in East Africa in March 2006 with the acquisition of a 51% shareholding in ICL East Africa. Kenya is the dominant economy in East Africa and Dimension Data’s headquarters are in Nairobi, with offices in Tanzania and Uganda. The uptake of mobile phones in Eastern Africa has been rapid and the entire region is now looking to further develop its communications infrastructure. Dimension Data’s expertise in both the service provider and public sectors positions the company to be an active participant in the development of the communications infrastructure that the region requires for continued economic growth.

Kenya now serves as our hub for Dimension Data in Eastern Africa.

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