Making longstanding partnerships
- 27 October, 2009 16:41
Dimension Data is very proud of its Channel Choice Reseller trophy from this year’s ARN awards and has placed it prominently at its NSW headquarters.
“At Dimension Data, we like the recognition of awards and we have them all on level 6, which is our presentation and meeting room floor,” Dimension Data national sales director, Christopher Long, said. “It is extra special and we proudly display it to vendors, clients and anyone that comes into our office.”
To Long, one of the reasons why his company took home Channel Choice Reseller was its longstanding partnerships within the channel.
“We are a big organisation and across all our focus areas we have strong relationships with lots of vendors. We are not only well represented but represented with serious relationships,” he said. “We also only pick a few vendors in each space. That way, we are not trying to be everything to everybody and really have a deep knowledge of the solutions we are putting together for customers.”
Dimension Data’s lineage stretches back to South Africa, where the company was founded in 1983. It would be another 13 years before the integrator journeyed down under and established a presence through its Com Tech acquisition.
Despite being a global conglomerate spanning 47 countries, Dimension Data remains grounded when dealing with rivals, Long said.
“I’ve only been with the company for seven months but I feel in the short time I have been here that there is a mutual respect we treat everybody we deal with,” Long said. “This applies to vendors, distributors and even our competition because one day we’re competing against one another, and the next we could be working together.”
Although Dimension Data could be seen as more fortunate than its peers that struggled through the global financial crisis, Long said the integrator’s success was not based on luck.
“As the economic crisis took hold, some of the smaller players in the market were struggling so over the last 12 months, we expanded our reach and worked with more people in the channel than we have worked with before,” he said. “There was a famous golfer who was told one day he was very lucky, to which the golfer replied ‘The more I practice, the luckier I get’.
“Well-run businesses will do will in good times and tough times and this is a very well-run business. I don’t think we got lucky as this is a company with good foundations.”
It was this solid foundation that enticed Long to join Dimension Data after being approached by the integrator’s NSW state manager, Pete Murray.
“I had worked with Pete in 2001 and he spoke highly of the company, telling me how strong it is and the great work culture there,” he said. “I had known of Com Tech and Dimension Data in the industry and he gave me a call to tell me there was an opportunity to for a sales director.
“I met the members of the executive committee and I really found them to be a collection of very smart, committed and personable people so I thought the company is strong and well-placed in the market.”
Long also pointed to Dimension Data’s corporate responsibility program as an important part of its company culture. Called Heads, Hearts and Hands, it supports a number of charities including the Starlight Children’s Foundation.
“This is reflective of the culture of this organisation that we have this program and we like to help,” he said.
Long was pleased to see the channel vote for a company he holds in such high regard.
“Channel Choice means being recognised by your peer and that is very special to us,” he said. “If customers are looking for somebody that is a top performer, I would think this award lends to influencing that decision.
“There were many good companies that won awards and I’m glad Dimension Data was one of them.”