Dimension Data has appointed former Gartner analyst, Dr Wissam Raffoul, to head up its consulting services practice.
Raffoul was previously the vice-president of Gartner Consulting Asia-Pacific, joining the analyst group after its acquisition of Meta Group in April 2005. Gartner closed down its Asia-Pacific consulting practice in May.
In his new role, he is tasked with aligning DiData's consulting practice across all lines of business. He will also take on an advisory role with clients looking for answers on strategic sourcing, quality of service and maximum staff value.
While the integrator had a strong heritage in technology consulting, there were three other important professional services areas that needed to be addressed in order to optimise IT: processes, people and organisational structure, Raffoul said.
"There is a market need and interest for professional consulting: more CIOs are under tremendous pressure to innovate in IT - whether it's to improve performance or reduce costs. They need to turn their organisation into an agile operation and become proactive, rather than reactive. To get there, they need to access external professional skills," he said. "This is creating a great opportunity for us.
"The aim is to grow consulting in those three other areas and extend DiData's consulting practice. Rather than have a small team of 20-30 people, I'll be working with DiData's 500 technical staff as a virtual team to establish clear methodologies and mechanisms to develop resources."
Raffoul said methodologies could include things like how to optimise IT profit, or how to implement a centre of excellence instead of a traditional IT organisation.
He has been involved in professional services for more than 10 years, and has authored several research publications on service delivery processes, IT outsourcing and governance. Prior to Meta, Raffoul was managing consultant for HP and headed up its IT Services Management practice locally.