Dimension Data and Cisco have announced an expansion of their 23-year relationship with plans to accelerate and streamline hybrid cloud adoption globally. Cisco will use Dimension Data’s Managed Cloud Platform and SaaS solutions to deliver a suite of mid-market centric cloud services to its customers and resellers. Dimension Data and Cisco will partner to deliver an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) solution that will be packaged with Cisco technology and software as a service (SaaS) applications, including Microsoft SQL Server and SharePoint.

The Cisco validated and branded solutions will be sold by Cisco and through its channel partner community.

Dimension Data’s global cloud service is available via 10 Managed Cloud Platforms around the world, with plans to expand to 13 locations by September 2014. As a Cisco Intercloud partner, Dimension Data will evolve its Managed Cloud Platform to embrace Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) and Intercloud Fabric — the building blocks of the Cisco Cloud architecture.

In March this year, Cisco announced plans to build the world’s largest global Intercloud together with its partners to address customer requirements for a globally distributed, highly secure cloud platform capable of meeting the robust demands of the Internet of Everything. Designed for high-value application workloads, with real-time analytics and “near infinite” scalability, Cisco’s open Intercloud allows local hosting options that enable data sovereignty.

Cisco will initially package Cisco Intercloud Fabric, Cisco UCS Director and Dimension Data’s public IaaS into two different hybrid cloud solutions, giving customers different starting points on the journey to hybrid cloud depending on the current state of their IT environment. The two hybrid cloud solutions are expected to be available globally from Cisco within 90 days, with additional solutions available in the coming months.

Cisco and Dimension Data will also collaborate to accelerate the availability of Cisco Cloud services for smaller service providers across emerging markets. This initiative will build on Dimension Data’s proven OneCloud Partner Programme to deliver the technology platform, channel enablement and operational services required to accelerate time to market and revenue opportunities for service providers.

Brett Dawson, CEO of Dimension Data, comments: “Over our 23 year relationship with Cisco, we have had many successes in the marketplace together and cloud is no exception. Dimension Data is proud to be the first global Intercloud partner.

“We have been providing cloud services for many years and have developed a robust global cloud service – available across all continents. We are extremely excited to support Cisco and its partners in accelerating the market’s move to cloud services.”

Rob Lloyd, president: development and sales at Cisco, adds: “Cloud is the latest frontier for innovation and growth in our remarkable 23-year journey with Dimension Data. Our customers are struggling to navigate the world of many clouds. We are excited to have Dimension Data bring the reach of their global cloud capabilities to our Intercloud ecosystem.

“By harnessing the unique capabilities of Application Centric Infrastructure and Intercloud Fabric, Cisco and Dimension Data will help our customers unlock the potential of the hybrid cloud — enabling the right cloud for the right workload, while creating strategic advantages for rapid innovation, and ultimately, business growth.”

In related news, Dimension Data has been awarded the Cisco Masters Unified Communication certification – the only South African company to hold this prestigious status. The recognition demonstrates the highest level of expertise with Cisco Voice and Unified Communications solutions.

Certification followed a stringent auditing process which looked into: master-level sales, technical, and services capabilities, the number of Cisco Certified Interwork Experts (CCIE) and Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) certified engineers, customer references documenting Cisco-prescribed design and deployment capabilities; and evidence that Dimension Data MEA has the infrastructure to support a full menu of Lifecycle Services offerings and capabilities.

Jay Reddy, Dimension Data executive for communications, says: “We are proud that Cisco has recognised us for the hard work, experience and advanced industry certifications of our team. We have enjoyed a long-term relationship with Cisco and it forms a vast part of our service offering to our clients, enabling them to connect with their stakeholders, with the required information anywhere, anytime, on any device.

“To be the only company in South Africa to hold this status is a true testament to our teams skills and expertise and separates us from the competition.”

Kevin Hardy, Cisco South Africa sales director, adds: “We have enjoyed many years working with Dimension Data, and the Master Unified Communications Specialisation demonstrates its master-level of expertise of our Voice and Unified Communications solutions.

“We are delighted to have Dimension Data as one of our partners and being able to participate in the Cisco channel incentive programmes which strengthens its ability to capture market opportunities, add value to client business and increase sales.”