History and Milestones

​Since its inception over 30 years ago, Dimension Data has established itself as a world leader in ICT services, employing over 31,000 talented individuals. Our history is peppered with milestones, awards and achievements − testament to our continued technological leadership in a  complex and dynamic industry.

Over a period of three decades, Dimension Data has grown from its humble South African roots to become a global company of over USD 7.5 billion and a wholly owned subsidiary of the NTT Group.  Our story began in 1983 when a group of young, ambitious South Africans joined forces to establish Dimension Data with a simple vision of 'wanting to do great things'.

The first decade
The first decade of the company's history was characterised by strong domestic growth as Dimension Data became a home-grown success story in the South African and African markets. Dimension Data quickly established a formidable reputation as an industry leader in network technology.

In 1987 Jeremy Ord was appointed Chairman, and Dimension Data listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange at 150 cents a share and raised ZAR 7.5 million.

In 1994 Dimension Data South Africa became a Cisco Gold Partner, one of the first six outside the US.  This marked the beginning of a long and mutually beneficially partnership between the two organisations. At this time, Dimension Data also began a journey of expansion into the software and services sectors.

The second decade
From 1995 to 1997 Dimension Data cast its net outside the African continent and focused on expansion in the Asia Pacific region. Our technologies continued to evolve to provide solutions which enabled our clients to achieve their business goals.  Pursuing an aggressive global expansion strategy, between 1998 and 2000 Dimension Data focused its attention on expansion into the northern hemisphere.

In 2000 the Group secured a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange.  Key acquisitions gave us a foothold in new markets in Europe, North America and the UK.  We also launched our globally standardised managed services offerings, using our proprietary Global Services Operating Architecture, providing clients with 24x7 remote network monitoring and maintenance services.

In the early 2000s, Dimension Data drew on its diversity and resources to weather the IT industry slump. Growth rates were good and turnover increased on a year-on-year basis after 2003.

The third decade
In 2004 Jeremy Ord was appointed Group Executive Chairman, Brett Dawson took on the role of Group CEO and David Sherriffs was appointed Group CFO. A Black Economic Empowerment consortium made a 25.01% equity purchase in Dimension Data South Africa.

The milestones reached by Dimension Data in the years 2007–2009 indicate a period of expansion, and the consolidation of its international presence across several geographies.

The ongoing progress of our 'Profitable Growth' strategy, first introduced in 2005, was also paying handsome dividends. In the 2009 financial year, Dimension Data produced robust results and showed strong growth in profitability, comfortably exceeding the USD 4 billion mark for the second year in a row. This year also saw us being commended by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) for our approach to climate change disclosure.

Events in 2010 were dominated by Dimension Data's acquisition by NTT Group, one of the largest telecommunications service providers – and organisations – in the world.

In 2011 Dimension Data refreshed its brand to reflect the improvements made in the consistency of its global client experience. We were positioned as a Leader in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Communications Outsourcing and Professional Services for the first time. We also acquired OpSource – a US-based, enterprise cloud company – and established our Cloud Solutions Business Unit.

Our growing strength in the cloud services market was recognised in 2012 when we were positioned in the Leaders quadrant of Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service. The year 2012 also saw the announcement of a ZAR 1.26 billion payout of our seven-year transformation transaction.

2013 kicked off on a high note with Dimension Data being named as a Leader in both Verdantix's Green Quadrant for Sustainable Technology Solutions and Gartner's 2013 Magic Quadrant for Managed Hosting, North America.

2014 was a year of expansion for Dimension Data as the Group announced it would double revenues to USD 12 billion by 2018, through a blend of acquisitions and organic growth. We started this transformational journey by acquiring NextiraOne in Europe, Nexus in the US, and Oakton in Australia in 2014, as well as expanding our Application Services business in the Middle East & Africa region.

In 2015, Dimension Data become the Official Technology Partner for ASO, and in July, we delivered real-time analytics on the riders of the Tour de France for the first time in the history of professional cycling. We were also certified as one of the top five employers in the world for our outstanding employee offerings.

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