Dimension Data, integrator to cloud service providers

Almost two-thirds of the global systems integrator's cloud-related projects support software companies seeking to offer cloud applications or service providers managing public cloud infrastructure.

Worldwide systems integrator Dimension Data (DiData) holds a somewhat unique status among the various IT services and consulting companies focused on cloud infrastructure: Not only does it provide public and private cloud deployments for larger enterprise companies, it also collaborates closely with service providers providing software as a service (SaaS) or other cloud offerings.

That capability comes courtesy of DiData's 2011 acquisitions of OpSource and BlueFire, which provided the foundation for the company's cloud business unit, said Keao Caindec, chief marketing oifficer of Global Cloud Solutions for DiData. Prior to assuming that title, Caindec was senior vice president and chief marketing officer for OpSource.

The Dimension Data OneCloud Partner Program is designed to help businesses and service providers integrate and assemble the infrastructure, billing systems, legal framework, and other processes needed to get a cloud service up and running — all within 12 to 16 weeks, Caindec said. One of the companies that turned to DiData for a solution is AlertBoot, which offers a cloud-based mobile device management service.

Technically speaking, Caindec said one thing that differentiates DiData's cloud approach is that it is network-centric versus server-centric, which makes sense given the company's legacy as one of Cisco's top network integration partners. "We have partnered with Cisco to make the networking switching and security behind this easier to deploy," he said.

That same architecture sits behind both DiData's private and public cloud services, making it easier for the integrator to build links between the two. 

One of DiData's commercial cloud clients is New Zealand Biotechnology company LanzaTech, which is using a private cloud platform developed on Microsoft Azure to manage sensitive research and operational information. 

Typically speaking, the integrator's customers are looking to the public cloud for speed of deployment, but gravitating to the private cloud to move specific applications into a more managed, dedicated infrastructure. "The great thing about the cloud is that it is all about automation," Caindec said.

If you're concerned about credentials, DiData is one of the largest resellers of the Vblock converged infrastructure technology from VCE, the alliance formed by Cisco and EMC, along with investments by VMware and Intel. And the company also boasts substantial technical skills surrounding Office 365 (it was granted Microsoft Cloud Accelerate Partner status back in 2010, early in the program).  

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