Good Bye Dimension Data!

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After nearly 3,5 years I decided to leave Dimension Data. This was a quite hard decision and it took me many discussions with my family, long runs, a lot of music and some sleepless nights. But I made that decision and I can say with conviction: Good Bye Dimension Data, thanks for this fascinating journey!

Good Bye, as I learned a lot

When I started at Dimension Data in 2013 I had my first culture shock, a culture shock in a very positive manner. I was thrilled by the straightforward culture ignoring hierarchies, the speed of decision making and their execution as well as the absolute unconditionally client centricity.

I had the honour to actively contribute to the change, the transformation, of Dimension Data: from network-centric system integration towards modern service providing, ready for the digital transformation. This was not just about portfolio, but about people. Taking the people with us on that journey was one of the most exciting exercises, which was so much fun and where I learned a lot. Such as small things, small successes can have a big meaning. Or that big numbers and high ambitions can be realized if you don’t find excuses but find ways, jointly. Furthermore, the integration of a new company, the change process coming with that integration and the team-building has been a huge learning curve and a personal as well as job enrichment.

The modeling of a go-to-market-strategy and the consequent implementation of sales processes have challenged me personally, enhanced my skills and enriched experience. Small successes, throwbacks, bigger successes followed by the confirmation from many loyal customers and the overachievement of set targets have marked our joint successes.

I had the opportunity to get a deep insight into the work and thinking of a modern IT service provider: what is important, how is sales measured, which partners are selected and why, which KPI’s a measured and why, how to set up successful growth programs with partners, how to leverage a global organization, etc.

I do remember with pleasure various customer meetings, meetings with partners, key notes at events, press talks, internal meetings and meetings with my global colleagues. All of this has not only enriched my experience but it reminds me of many traveling days, good and sometime structured criticism and the power I took out of those meetings and feedbacks. Many thanks for this great experience!

Good Bye, as we had great successes

Successes result in strength. And we had a lot of great successes. I recall quite precisely the beginning of the Dimension Data Managed Cloud Platform, how we articulated requirements out of Germany and consequently claimed these requirements for our clients. How we won first customers and subsequently increased the number of customers. We have been able to achieve continuous growths in orders volume for our Managed Cloud Platform in Europe due to the great engagement and commitment of many, many colleagues – many thanks to all colleagues who contributed to this fantastic success!

We decided in early 2014 on a growth plan for our Datacenter Business and have been able to build up one of the biggest business units within Dimension Data. At the same time we have been able to win many new customers and hired a lot of new talented people for our business.

We underpinned our ambitious targets in Managed Services by winning some very big and meaningful outsourcing projects. With that, we have been able to win one of the biggest outsourcing projects for Dimension Data with the special characteristic implementing a hybrid IT architecture for that customer which is nearly 100%  cloud-based.

We established successfully a new business unit “End-User-Computing” and have been able to enhance the traditional Managed Services business by the use of platform and shared services for many of our customers.

We changed the way Dimension Data does marketing and communication towards a more storytelling type of marketing, providing more concrete examples for the digital transformation and how we mastered it together with our customers. We established social media as an additional channel together with our employees. We reshaped the market perception of Dimension Data – Dimension Data is today recognized as a thought leader in the digital transformation, ultimately supported by the Digital Leader Award which we organized in 2016 for the first time.

I want to express my sincere thanks to all customers and partners who put their trust in us.

Good Bye, as Dimension Data has tremendous potential

Dimension Data is a company, where not only customers but also employees are in the center of everything. This culture combined with the right strategy, accelerating the digital transformation with solutions for infrastructure, workspaces together with security services and own cloud platforms will continue to be successful. In addition the consequent enhancements of this strategy in the context of the NTT group sister companies represents a huge potential for the future.

Hence, Dimension Data is definitely an alternative for every vendor and every customer. I strongly believe that there is a very positive and bright future ahead of Dimension Data and I am proud having been a part of that journey for the last 3,5 years.

Good Bye, as the IT industry is a small world

How does that saying go? You at least met twice in the IT industry! This saying is not only true, but also the fact that Dimension Data is an ideal partner providing next generation IT solutions for every vendor or customer is a strong asset. Thus I believe that I will be meeting many colleagues again and staying connected with the Dimension Data family. I am really looking forward to this because where trust is present, working together truthfully is easy.

Good Bye, as I made new friends

Many people at Dimension Data are working with unparalleled passion, loyalty, with the right attitude, absolutely customer centric. That thrilled me right from the beginning. In this culture highly qualified people are achieving together “more”. I had several times the opportunity to experience very closely this overwhelming power of Dimension Data teams. I do recall very precisely many very intensive meetings, where we worked jointly not only hard, but had a lot of fun. And due to this fun we have been able to win amazing and important projects.

At the same time you are not only meeting colleagues but over time real friends. Many of those friendships I don’t want to miss anymore. With those friends I shared my decision in the very beginning and those conversations meant a lot to me, gave me strength but also reminded me that I will be leaving an amazing team. Thanks for the great teamwork, thanks for your trust!

Now I am about to transfer my activities, talking to customers and partners, having many discussions with colleagues. By doing this I find myself often still saying “we”. This is a good sign and demonstrates that I will miss those days and the people.

But I am looking forward to my new challenge. A challenge, that represents for me a next step in my professional career, which feels good and right. A challenge, that does mean change again. More details will be provided beginning of next year.

Until then I do wish everybody a wonderful, relaxing Christmas and a happy new year.

See you soon!

Andre Kiehne

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Author: Andre Kiehne

Director Solution Sales, Microsoft Germany GmbH

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