Dimension Data has placed its faith in a new branding and go-to-market framework, dubbed Application Networks. The concept is designed to present an overall picture of how customers, partners and staff will leverage connectivity between various silos of information residing in an enterprise.
In essence, the Application Networks story is the integrator's blueprint for how networks will evolve in the next few years. Dimension Data used its annual user conference at Coolum on Queensland's Sunshine Coast to launch the strategy. According to Gerard Florian, the company's chief technology officer, the message is a way of trying to present customers with a framework for moving forward.
The idea is fairly straightforward: instead of treating applications as standalone entities accessed by authorised users in a controlled fashion, a connectivity layer between all applications coupled with a presentation layer allows applications to be accessed by a wide variety of authorised users, regardless of the access point - be it a mobile user, an internal user, a business partner or a customer.
Florian claims that having a common connectivity and presentation layer reduces the overall management cost of maintaining each application and the network infrastructure separately. The concept is also geared towards allowing enterprises to roll out new network functionality, additional applications and interact with multiple parties in a more diverse and flexible fashion, without compromising on security.
The strategy hinges on three main customer concerns: the underlying network infrastructure, the way the information is presented to users, and the ongoing support and management of the environment.
Migrating to an Application Network can be a phased approach, Florian said, but initially involves a complete network audit and a review of an enterprise's telecommunications infrastructure.
Karen James, Dimension Data's operational services director, said the company has ramped up its support and managed services offerings to handle the support element of the Application Networks framework.
Dimension Data has been offering managed services for nearly seven years and has around 140 technical engineers dedicated to supporting customers' operational systems.
The move comes as Dimension Data endeavours to respond to customers' requests to address business process and management issues. While the company will not move into business process engineering, it recognises the need of most large enterprises to marry existing technology with business benefits.
Richard Noone travelled to Coolum as a guest of Dimension Data.