Dimension Data uses the power of technology to help organisations achieve great things in the digital era. As a member of the NTT Group, Dimension Data accelerates their clients’ ambitions through digital infrastructure, hybrid cloud, workspaces for tomorrow, and cybersecurity. With a turnover of USD 7.5 billion, offices in 58 countries, and 31,000 employees, Dimension Data has enjoyed strong growth but recognised strong market shifts. Today’s clients want service capabilities that are more relevant to the business problems they face every day. They’re seeking a new class of personalised service offerings focused on outcomes.
As organisations begin to re-focus their IT investments into digitalisation, Dimension Data required a new customer management platform which would completely reimagine its core support services to gain and retain clients and to streamline underlying operations and business processes.
The targets were ambitious: provide clients with a window into the health and performance of their technology from both a technical and business perspective, provide consistent and relevant data visualisations, simplify daily tasks, reduce user queries by 50%, increase client engagement by 150% and revenues by 300%.
In 2014, Dimension Data implemented a strategy to expand its service offerings for data centre technologies. Its core support and premium services are responsible for generating approximately USD 1 billion per annum in revenue. The data centre services market is a saturated one; Gartner forecasts growth from 2014-2019 of 2.2% CAGR. To gain market share, Dimension Data needed to radically differentiate itself to global competitors, including IBM, HP, Cisco, CSC, HCL, Amazon, Wipro, Rackspace, and Microsoft Azure.
“…To address this market shift, we need to modernise our service offers with value propositions and focus on driving technology adoption and consumption, together with analytics and insight capabilities that help clients to optimise their environments. Manage Centre is one of the core service design capabilities underpinning our next-generation of services, and with which we’re actively targeting this market opportunity. Now being deployed into our entire client base, with a capability roadmap to introduce enhanced capabilities to assist our clients optimise their IT operational environment, Manage Centre has rapidly become one of the fundamental toolsets within our services portfolio.”
John Andrews, Group Services Principal Product Portfolio Director,
Dimension Data was servicing its customer needs through 8 disparate systems, which created a challenging environment to effectively assess and manage the health of the client’s end-to-end IT business. To support the strategic objective to transform itself from a technology-centric to a client-centric service provider, a unified and seamless portal needed to deliver support and premium services in the data centre and be flexible enough to expand into premium, managed, and enterprise service offerings.
With the advent of cloud solutions and digitalisation, clients’ expectations are evolving: as organisations move from being technology managers to technology consumers, their focus has shifted to evaluating IT from a business perspective, to assess the status and health of their digital environment at any time – available at their fingertips. Are their business operations running optimally? Are they maximising revenue while minimising risk?
The portal needed to meet clients’ demands for higher value from their services, instead of a traditional ‘break-fix’ support. Clients’ clear need was to identify the business outcomes derived from their technology and the impact of the technology health on their business operations.
The design approach and subsequent success of the portal has generated a cultural shift within Dimension Data. It enabled an MVP launch within 12 weeks, versus traditional 9 months. Other development projects have adopted similar UX design methodologies.
As a traditional IT centric company, it was Dimension Data’s first attempt to follow a best practise User Experience design methodology and apply a more agile approach.
Prospect and global Dimension Data stakeholders co-created a vision and solution based on internal and external user research evidence. By establishing clear objectives and detailed business requirements, combined with the UX design methodology, Dimension Data was able to validate, build and launch a portal within only 12 weeks (versus existing average 9 months development cycles).
The process included:
8 separate management systems pulled into 1 consistent experience – the portal improves client loyalty by transforming and simplifying clients’ service experience.
Manage Centre was launched in April 2015 and has delivered on its initial objectives: It’s been deployed to all new data centre services clients globally with measurable success. Apart from a significant 307% growth in data services clients (exceeding targets of 150% by 157%) and a 515% growth in service revenue in 14 months (exceeding 350% target by 165% of growth in a saturated market) and a 579% increase in client online engagement, the design has also increased user adoption and a dramatic drop in user queries / incidents.
Additionally, the design has been flexible enough to be included in Dimension Data’s other support services, premium services, and managed services, which commenced deployment to clients in April 2016.
“Manage Centre was designed as a window into our clients’ technology environments. But it has equally become a window into the way we design, develop, and deliver services as a company. It has shifted our focus from technology-centric to client-centric design and has directly influenced the way we develop new services. We now see more relevant solutions being developed in a significantly reduced time to market as we apply our learnings from the Manage Centre project.”
Sean Greaves, Service Design Director, Manage Centre Portal