Dimension Data Highlights Expertise as Global Telepresence and Managed Video Services Provider

Brian Washburn
Brian Washburn

Summary Bullets:

  • Dimension Data draws on its global professional services and in-country staff to operate its own successful managed video services offer.
  • Dimension Data draws on its own tools, global video hardware support organization for rapid troubleshooting and resolution of customers’ issues.

Dimension Data is known for its global professional services and solutions building, outsourcing, network integration, hardware device installation and support. While it doesn’t have the name-brand recognition of the carrier-side global telepresence services providers, the company has been steadily building its Managed Services for Visual Communications base. The company now describes having 250 clients for its managed video services, representing 6,000 video endpoints and processing more than 20,000 calls per month, combining immersive and non-immersive endpoints.

Managed video services are a strong fit to Dimension Data’s existing business. These services augment Dimension Data’s global presence of offices and engineers certified to source, install, and support Cisco and Polycom telepresence/video hardware. To augment the services portion, the company acquired videoconferencing provider Mvision in 2010. It developed these managed services components, and added resources such as a $5 million multi-vendor lab facility for testing configurations and network stress; and built a sophisticated remote test and troubleshooting tool to generate dozens of possible alerts and identify hundreds of possible endpoint device alerts. Video concierge and help desk support round out the offer. The company can manage both dedicated bridging platforms and multi-tenant video services, front-ended by a scheduling tool controlled via web, Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes, or Android clients. The services’ bridging exchange platforms include Polycom RMX and Cisco MSE 8000. Dimension Data doesn’t operate its own global network, but it can either assemble a dedicated global video WAN for customers, or work within a provider’s existing WAN to reach a customer’s video endpoints.

As a telepresence provider, Dimension Data does not have the benefits of being a global network operator itself. But the company can claim an edge in delivering support because it has global supplier relationships, and certified engineers for dispatch across 51 countries inside its organization. Even the largest global telepresence competitors rely on third-party partners – prominently Dimension Data – for international hardware sourcing, installation and support. When providers have to coordinate across third-party partners, lead times for resolving hardware problems are likely to take longer.

On the other hand, despite Dimension Data’s role as a vital supplier and support for global telepresence competitors, the company has not been active in the global community of telepresence service providers. The company can bridge off-net video endpoints to its service, but it has not established federated agreements with other providers, and it has not joined the Open Visual Communications Consortium (OVCC). Despite its successes, which include some very large global enterprise brands, the company has been comparatively quiet from the excitement around rapid progress in the video space. But as with U.S. video provider AVI-SPL, Dimension Data represents an alternative source for enterprises considering managed video services, a different perspective from that of telepresence/managed video services offers from the major global networking providers, and from managed videoconferencing services specialists.

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