Didata goes shopping in Silicon Valley - TechCentral

Didata goes shopping in Silicon Valley

Dimension Data CEO Brett Dawson

Dimension Data is diving head first into the cloud. The SA-headquartered company, which was acquired last year by Japan’s Nippon Telegraph & Telephone (NTT) Corp in a R24,4bn all-cash deal, has bought OpSource, an enterprise (large business-focused) cloud computing company based in Silicon Valley in the US.

The value of the deal has not been disclosed.

At the same time, Didata is establishing a centralised global cloud solutions business unit, which will report directly into Didata CEO Brett Dawson. OpSource will become part of this business unit.

OpSource employs 150 staff and is headquartered in Santa Clara, California, with operations in the US state of Virginia, and in the UK, Ireland and India. More than 600 enterprises, service providers and software-as-a-service independent software vendors use OpSource’s technology.

Dawson tells TechCentral that the investment is a continuation of Didata’s moves, started three years ago, into cloud computing, which is a significant trend in the global IT industry where companies tap public or private infrastructure for their computing needs in a way akin to how they buy access to utility services like electricity.

However, cloud computing, especially when offered on a global basis, is “extremely complex and difficult to manage”, Dawson says. OpSource has developed software that helps automate cloud computing at the management and operational layer. “It’s built its own intellectual property around how to do this orchestration and administration.”

OpSource operates seven data centres and Didata plans to use OpSource’s solutions at other facilities around the world, including at NTT data centres and its own facilities in SA operated by its division Internet Solutions.

Dawson says companies are demanding more flexible, services-centric IT sourcing options. He says Didata’s decision to focus more on cloud services is in line with its strategy to become a services-led business.

“Over the past few years, Dimension Data has been building cloud-related skills and capabilities in the areas of virtualisation, data centre and storage, managed services and hosting, and IT outsourcing — all critical to enabling cloud architectures for our clients.”

NTT, which had a 4% stake in OpSource, introduced Didata to the company, Dawson says. “It’s a huge vote of confidence from NTT to allow us to make this investment,” he says.

Other shareholders in OpSource included chip maker Intel and venture capital firm Crosslink Capital.  — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral

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