History and Milestones
Founded 28 years ago in 1983 in South Africa, Dimension Data today operates in 51 countries in five regions – Middle East & Africa, Europe, Asia Pacific, Australia and the Americas. Our growth has been driven by our clients’ need to operate efficiently in an environment where collaborative partnerships and the intelligent network have emerged as the two most important business enablers.
Our heritage in networking and deep understanding of network-related technologies differentiate us from our competitors. The Group’s focus has evolved to adapting the design, management and development of business technology to be a better servant to the greater business and use it as a tool to drive innovation, enable market leadership and help companies operate tighter, better, more cost-effectively and competitively.
Our vision is to be world leaders in the provision and management of specialist IT infrastructure solutions that help our clients achieve their business goals. Who we are today is the result of where we have come from and our business experiences along the way. You will gain greater insight into our business and growth from this snapshot of our history and milestones.
In the 28 years since it was founded by a small circle of people, Dimension Data has evolved from a local company into a world-class organisation that employs over 14.000 talented individuals who deliver advanced solutions to premium clients across the globe.
The first decade
In 1983, with a simple vision of ‘wanting to do great things’, three young, ambitious South African men left the comfort of salaried jobs to start their own business. This was the start of the Dimension Data story. The first decade of the company’s history (1983 – 1994) was characterised by strong domestic growth as Dimension Data became a home-grown success story in the South African and African markets. Dimension Data established a formidable reputation as an industry leader in network technology.
• Dimension Data founded.
• Jeremy Ord appointed Chairman.
• Listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange at 150 cents a share and raised R7.5 million.
• Dimension Data Botswana founded.
• Dimension Data South Africa becomes a Cisco Gold Partner, one of the first six outside the US.
• Chernikeeff (later became Dimension Data UK) also named a Cisco Gold Partner.
• Dimension Data expands into Software and Services sectors.
Focus on expansion in Asia Pacific region
In the period 1995 to1997, 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 cutting-edge solutions which enable our clients to achieve their business goals.
• Acquisition of 25% of Internet Solutions.
• Acquisition of 45% of Com Tech Australia, in line with international expansion strategy.
• Acquisition of 77% of a UK company, The Merchants Group.
• Increased shareholding in Com Tech (Australia) from 45% to a majority 65%.
• Acquisition of Datacraft Limited (Australia).
• Acquisition of 51% in Singapore-listed Datacraft Asia via the purchase of Datacraft Limited
• Acquisition of a majority shareholding in Internet Solutions by Dimension Data South Africa.
• Dimension Data Interactive formed as part of the development of the Group's client management focus.
Global expansion strategy focuses on Northern Hemisphere
Pursuing an aggressive global expansion strategy, in the years 1998 to 2000 Dimension Data focused its attention on expansion into the Northern Hemisphere. The Group secured a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange, and key acquisitions gave us a foothold in new markets in Europe, North America and the UK.
Dimension Data establishes new telecommunications company with the acquisition of Plessey –
a joint venture with WorldWide African Investment Holdings Ltd.
• Acquisition of TCO, a Microsoft-focused IT outsourcing company.
• Acquisition of 85.7% of GK Communications Ltd., a UK voice and data integration company.
• Acquisition of 49.9% of Chernikeeff Networks Ltd, a UK network integrator.
• Acquisition of the European networking businesses of Comparex Holdings for ZAR8.1-billion, making Dimension Data the world's largest independent networking services company at the time.
• Acquisition of 70% of RE/COM Group, an independent network integration company based in New Jersey, for US$40-million.
• Dimension Data wins seven out of 30 awards at the 1999 First National Bank Most Admired IT Company Awards for leadership in service and innovation. (Africa).
• Dimension Data lists on the London Stock Exchange.
• Acquisition by Dimension Data Switzerland of Netpartner AG, a Zurich-based network integration company.
• Acquisition of TimeBridge Technologies Inc, a Maryland-based network services and e-Business solutions provider for US$135-million.
• Acquisition of Data Comm Systems Inc., a US network integration company.
• Acquisition of Integrated Systems Group, a New York-based network integration company for US$70-million.
• Acquisition of the outstanding 50.01% of UK-based Chernikeeff for GBP200-million.
• Acquisition of the outstanding 24% interest in Dimension Data's Australian subsidiary, Com Tech Communications (Pty) Ltd. for US$146-million.
• Dimension Data becomes one of the first network and e-business services organisations to achieve Cisco Gold Partner Certifications on five continents.
• Dimension Data launches its unique and globally standardised Managed Services offerings, using its proprietary Global Services Operating Architecture (GSOA), providing client with 24x7 remote network monitoring and maintenance services.
Group weathers IT industry slump of early 2000s
In the years 2001 to 2008, Dimension Data drew on its diversity and resources to weather the IT industry slump of the early 2000s. Our financial results of the previous five years indicate a strong, sustainable upward trend in growth and profits as we focus on executing our vision to become world leaders in the provision and management of specialist IT infrastructure solutions. Although global markets are in an uncertain economic phase, Dimension Data is well positioned to gain greater market share with our unique outcomes-focused vision, and disciplined execution of our overall business strategy.
• Acquisition of Planet CTI SA, a Brussels-based computer telephony integration company.
• Acquisition of 100% of In Time Netbuilding BV, a network and voice integration company headquartered in Amsterdam.
• Acquisition of Matrix Networking Group, a network integration company based in Charlotte, North Carolina.
• Acquisition of Premier Systems Integrators, a systems integration firm based in Charlotte, North Carolina.
• Revenues exceed US$2 billion.
• Jeremy Ord appointed Group Executive Chairman.
• Brett Dawson appointed Group CEO.
• David Sherriffs appointed Group CFO
• Black Economic Empowerment consortium makes a 25.01% equity purchase in Dimension Data South Africa.
• Merchants is finalist is seven categories at 2004 European Call Centre Awards, including Best Call Centre Advisor, best Call Centre Professional, Best Outsource Relationship, and Best Call Centre People Manager of the Year.
• Management Today names Dimension Data one of the Top 200 Companies in the UK.
• Dimension Data South Africa increases shareholding in Internet Solutions to 80%.
• Dimension Data amalgamates UK and Continental Europe to form one region known as Dimension Data Europe.
• Dimension Data named Cisco Global Partner of the Year.
• Dimension Data Nigeria launched through the acquisition of a 51% shareholding in ROE.
• Dimension Data signs first contract in Middle-East (Saudi Arabia).
• Dimension Data holds 540 Microsoft certifications across some 210 technical employees.
• Dimension Data wins 80 industry and partner Awards.
• Dimension Data South Africa acquires the remaining 20% interest of Internet Solutions.
• Dimension Data South Africa increases shareholding in Plessey (Proprietary) Limited to 100%
• Dimension Data East Africa launched through the acquisition of a 51% shareholding in ICL Holdings from Sameer Africa.
• Dimension Data Namibia launched through a 51% shareholding acquisition in ICT Holdings from Ohlthaver and List Group.
• Dimension Data in Botswana signs Citizenship Empowerment Partnership with Principal Investments who acquire a 49% stake in Dimension Data Botswana.
• Dimension Data is named Cisco Global IPC Partner of the Year.
• Dimension Data has more than 1,100 Microsoft certifications, including 450 Microsoft-certified Engineers (MCSE).
• Acquisition of a controlling shareholding in Datacraft Brazil and renames the company Dimension Data Brazil.
• Dimension Data’s presence in the Western Hemisphere is now known as Dimension Data in the Americas.
• Dimension Data opens representative offices in Canada and Mexico.
• Dimension Data opens representative offices in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, expanding its operations to form the Middle East & Africa region.
• Dimension Data opens an office in the Czech Republic, and sells its Sweden operation.
• Dimension Data in Australia wins the BRW Best Professional Services Firm of the Year Award.
• Dimension Data in Australia wins Best IT Services Firm of the Year Award.
• Dimension Data wins the Cisco Partner of the Year Award for the second time.
• Dimension Data Middle East & Africa named Top ICT Company in Africa.
• Revenues exceed US$4.5-billion.
• Dimension Data celebrates its landmark 25th anniversary in February.
• Dimension Data acquires remaining 44.9% stake in Datacraft-Asia and becomes sole shareholder of Datacraft Asia Ltd.
• Dimension Data officially launches its United Arab Emirates operation.
• Dimension Data is positioned as a Challenger in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Managed and Professional Network Service Providers.
• Dimension Data has won eight Microsoft Global Partner of the Year Awards over the past four years – unequalled by any of Microsoft’s 400,000 partners worldwide.
• Dimension Data confirms its commitment to global environmental sustainability by joining the Green Grid, releasing an Environmental Policy Statement, and submitting its first report to the International Carbon Disclosure Project.
• Allan Cawood, CEO, Middle East & Africa, named as the Top ICT Businessman in Africa at the African ICT Achievers Awards.
• Dimension Data Middle East & Africa is among four finalists shortlisted in the Metropolitan/Oliver Awards for Top ICT Empowered Companies in South Africa, and rated as the Top Empowered ICT in South Africa by Impumelelo Awards.
• Dimension Data is a Cisco Gold Partner in 29 countries.
• Dimension Data wins 20 awards including three global awards, at the Cisco Partner Summit.
• Dimension Data wins two Microsoft Global Partner Awards: Global Partner of the Year in Information Worker Systems and Office Deployment Partner of the Year; and Global Partner of the Year in Infrastructure Solutions, Systems Management Partner of the Year.
• Dimension Data named McAfee Global Partner of the Year.
Profitable Growth strategy pays dividends, we accelerate our Services journey
The ongoing progress of Dimension Data’s Profitable Growth strategy which was first introduced in 2005 is paying dividends. In the 2009 financial year, the Group produced robust results which resulted in improved returns and strong growth in profitability. In addition, significant progress was achieved in accelerating our Services journey.
• Revenues exceed US$4-billion.
• BusinessWeek (US) names Dimension Data on its Info Tech 100 List.
• Acquisition of Teksys, a UK Microsoft infrastructure and licensing services company.
• Dimension Data sells 49% of its Tanzanian operation to WiA Company Ltd, a wholly owned Tanzanian ICT operation. The new entity trades as Dimension Data Tanzania.
• Dimension Data launches Dimension Data Angola.
• Dimension Data acquires a stake in a Morocco company called Telcom. The new entity trades as Dimension Data Morocco.
• Dimension Data is commended by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), for its approach to climate change disclosure.
• Dimension Data named Cisco IronPort’s First Global Systems Integrator.
• Dimension Data signs MoU with Tata Communications to collaborate on Telepresence.
• Dimension Data receives 55 industry and partner awards.
• Dimension Data scoops 19 Cisco Partner Summit Global and Theatre awards including global awards for Technology Excellence Partner of the Year, European Markets Partner of the Year, and Asia Pacific Partner of the Year (Datacraft-Asia).
• Dimension Data wins three Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference Awards.
• Dimension Data becomes the first Global Microsoft Services Ready Partner.
• Hong Kong operation becomes Microsoft Service Ready Partner for Unified Communications.
• Dimension Data has deployed a record 1,600,000 IP telephony handsets for clients around the world.
• Dimension Data signs Global Gold Partner Agreement with Check Point.
• Dimension Data has 75-100 Consulting employees; 311 ITIL certifications; 300 CCIEs; and 450 MCSEs with over 1 400 Microsoft certifications, and 70% of Dimension Data employees speak more than one language.
• Dimension Data has built over 7,800 IP networks and manages over US$12.5 billion of network infrastructure globally.
• Dimension Data manages 5,000 security clients and over 10,000 security deployed solutions globally.
• Dimension Data has planned, built and manages 8,000 servers and 1.5PB of storage, and performs more than one million backup jobs every year.
• Dimension Data facilitates over 6 billion client conversations in contact centres around the world.
• Dimension Data supports and manages over US$12.5-billion of equipment across the globe 24x7x365.
• Dimension Data becomes one of four organisations worldwide to achieve Cisco Global Certification.
• Dimension Data acquires a majority stake in Magenta, a Chile-based systems integrator and renames the company Dimension Data Chile.
• Gartner recognises Dimension Data in the Challengers Quadrant for Communications Outsourcing and Professional Services Magic Quadrant, Worldwide.
• Dimension Data and Invoice Insight sign industry first TEM partnership.
• Dimension Data achieves Microsoft Direct Large Account Reseller status in Hong Kong.
• Dimension Data wins the most (32) awards at the annual Cisco Partner Summit.
• Dimension Data is a Cisco Gold Partner in 32 countries.
• Dimension Data is a Microsoft Gold Partner in 21 countries.
• Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (“NTT”), one of the largest global telecommunications service providers and Dimension Data reach agreement on the terms of a cash offer to be made by NTT for the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Dimension Data for approximately GBP 2.1 billion.
• Dimension Data refreshes our corporate brand identity to better reflect our role in providing consistent end-to-end services across multiple geographies and multiple technologies.
• Datacraft, Dimension Data’s Asian subsidiary, rebrands to Dimension Data.
• For the first time, Gartner positions Dimension Data in the Leaders Quadrant of their Communications Outsourcing and Professional Services (COPS) Worldwide report.
• Dimension Data acquires Integral Axon, a New Zealand based IT services company.
• Dimension Data acquires Silicon Valley based OpSource, and establishes our Cloud Solutions Business Unit.
• Dimension Data Australia acquires the local distribution arm of Simms International.
• Dimension Data wins 32 awards at the annual Cisco Partner Summit.
• Rodd Cunico replaces Steve Nola as CEO, Dimension Data Australia. Steve Nola takes on the role as CEO for the Cloud Solutions Business Unit.
Dimension Data accelerates as a services-led business
In 2011, Dimension Data refreshed our brand to reflect the improvements we have made in the consistency of our global client experience. Our focus on our clients has resulted in our success as a services-led business, for the first time being positioned in the Leaders quadrant of Gartner’s Communications Outsourcing and Professional Services Magic Quadrant and returning steady financial results in a still unstable economy.
• Dimension Data acquires US-based Xigo, a leading provider of Telecom Expense Management services.
• Dimension Data launches its Cloud services in February 2012, and its OneCloud Partner Programme in July 2012.
• Dimension Data scoops two global awards and 14 regional awards at the Cisco Partner Summit.
• Allan Cawood steps aside as CEO, Dimension Data Middle East & Africa, and Derek Wilcocks takes over the role.
• Dimension Data announced the R1.26 billion payout of its seven year transformation transaction through the Dimension Data Community Development Trust.
• In October 2012, OpSource and BlueFire rebrand to Dimension Data.
• Also in October, Dimension Data is positioned in the Leaders quadrant of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service
Click here for a full list of Dimension Data awards and certifications