In January, local cloud management solutions provider and Microsoft partner SixPivot, took on former Dimension Data workplace and customer experience practice lead Frederique Dennison as its new general manager.
The move has seen SixPivot founder and CEO Faith Rees pass the responsibility of running the company on a day-to-day basis to Dennison, whose most recent role prior to joining the Microsoft partner was intelligent workplace lead for NTT.
The Dimension Data brand, under which Dennison served for the better part of four years, was finally retired in 2019 as part of a broader move by NTT, its parent company, to roll several of its subsidiaries into a single tech powerhouse trading under the NTT brand.
Prior to Dimension Data, Dennison was COO for CloudFirst, a role she came to after nearly 12 years with Microsoft, with her final posting at the software vendor being that of partner business manager for Queensland.
Her years within Microsoft’s ranks have positioned her well to take SixPivot’s ongoing relationship with the vendor by the horns and strengthen it even further, a factor that encouraged Rees to tap her for the role in the first place.
According to Rees, this is one of the key elements of the company’s future growth under its new GM.
“We're a gold partner across three competencies,” Rees told ARN. “So we've done well to do that as an early-stage partner. With Frederique now, I think it's the time to really take that particular partnership to the next level.
“And I think Frederique is really the right person to do that, given her background in Microsoft, her global contacts, and also her relationship at NTT as well. All of that is around timing and being set up to enable us to have that growth,” she said.
For Rees, Dennison’s appointment has been a long time coming — at least two or three years in the making — and the move itself was the right time to kick-start SixPivot’s future growth under new leadership with a different set of capabilities and strengths than that of the company’s founder.
“They often talk about founders knowing where their skills gaps are and working out when is the right time to bring in the right people,” Rees said. “So it's absolutely right timing to do that; Frederique has those skills and they're very complimentary to mine as well.
“For me, [Dennison] is a safe pair of hands. We've worked together for a long period of time, and there is a great cultural fit. And now, we can really leverage and expand on the Microsoft relationship in particular,” Rees said.
Perhaps most importantly — for Rees, at least — having Dennison in the driving frees the co-founder up to focus on her other start-up, Cloud Ctrl, which provides a service that cloud service providers and managed service providers can use to monitor and manage services for multi-tenanted and reseller environments from the likes of Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform.
Indeed, Rees is hoping to use her newfound freedom to put a fresh focus on Cloud Ctrl, with expectations of growing the business as the year wears on, COVID-19 notwithstanding.
With Rees set to attend more fully to Cloud Ctrl and other as-yet-unnamed projects this year and Dennison in the SixPivot driver’s seat, the company is looking towards a new chapter that, if everything goes well, will come with more headcount, more capacity and a greater capability to take on new work.
"Right now, we are dealing with extraordinary circumstances,” Dennison said, referring to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, “but to date, we've seen very consistent growth over the last couple of months.”
If SixPivot could reach a size of perhaps 30 high calibre consultants in the next year or so, that would be a win in Dennison’s books, but she doesn’t want to try and grow the company too quickly just for the sake of it; it needs a measured approach.
“We're currently growing by about 50 per cent year-on-year, and that will continue,” Dennison said. “But our growth is contained in that we don't want to quadruple the business in six months. We need to continue to be very, very well and have the right team in place.”