Why critical IT competence needs to come from the top of the stack
As digital transformation evolves into ‘transformation 2.0’, organisations are under growing pressure to keep pace with changes in the technologies and skills needed to stay ahead in business. They need to look to the ‘top of the partner stack’ for consulting and technical expertise, say long-term partners Infinetix and Dell Technologies, whose 15-year collaboration is helping South African businesses adapt to change.
Dell-Infinetix partnership a win for customers
Infinetix, one of a very select group of Dell Direct Platinum partners in South Africa, says the company was built around the Dell brand from the outset.
David Musikanth, Director at Infinetix, says: “Fifteen years ago, it was a no-brainer. Dell is a trusted multinational organisation, with incredible quality products, outstanding service and the pricing is competitive. All the boxes were ticked. The partnership has strengthened year on year and we have accelerated our investment into in-house skills development to support this in recent years. It hasn’t been a short process to work up our partner status with Dell.”
Bennie Du Plessis, Regional Sales Manager at Dell Technologies, explains: “Not all organisations understand the significance of the partner tiers we offer. Achieving top-tier status takes investment, skill and a great deal of effort behind the scenes. It demands respect in the market and gives those partners who have earned it the right to have further conversations with customers.”
Doug Woolley, General Manager at Dell Technologies South Africa, notes that skilled partners are critical for helping South African businesses adapt to a fast-changing environment. “We see the pace of change picking up, with a massive focus on areas such as AI and machine learning and the management of big data. The complexity of those solutions is massive. If organisations don’t comprehend those technologies and how to extract value from them, their chances of being in business in a few years are slim,” he says. “The world is moving through trend cycles faster than we have ever seen before, and it has become very difficult for organisations to stay up to date with the skillsets they need.”
Woolley notes that time is of the essence: “Companies must move very quickly – they must rethink the business and be digitally ready in two to three years.” Illustrating how fast change is occurring, Woolley says: “We launched our AI servers three months ago, and the demand is already huge. That’s how quickly the dial has moved. Uptake of our APEX as-a-Service hyperconverged storage and data protection solutions, launched in South Africa a month ago, is off the rails.”
He adds that APEX addresses South African business needs: “It’s where the economy is. It resonates commercially and it’s a good business tool for scalability and flexibility. The right partner makes all the difference in the management, hosting and securing of the infrastructure to deliver real value.”
Woolley says Dell is focusing on key trends, including multicloud, 5G, security and resilience, and AI and ML. “We have launched and are launching products and commercial models to address changing trends,” he says.
“Partners with the right skillsets will be able to navigate customers through the massive changes in how organisations must operate, the technologies they need and ways to monetise new opportunities. The right partners can basically help keep them in business. When we have trusted partners who are skilled and committed, it gives us comfort that they have all the IP needed to create a competitive advantage for the customer. Infinetix ably articulates the Dell value proposition – in risk mitigation, saving money or even making money,” Woolley says.
Infinetix positions for growth
Infinetix Director Dion Visagie says: “Our strategy is unapologetically closely aligned to Dell’s. We have five core focus areas – multicloud, security and resilience, the modern workplace, applications and data – including AI and managed services. Our relationships with vendors are essential to help us build solutions that work, integrate and scale, have longevity and add value for customers. It is often underestimated how important the overall solution combination is. For example, when I sell a solution comprising a Dell server, storage with VMware and Microsoft, I know it will integrate and update seamlessly and work for years.”
The partnership has underpinned Infinetix’s accelerating growth. Visagie says: “Building on our expert skills base, our short-term objective is aggressive geographic expansion within South Africa. In the longer term, we want to take our services base to customers outside of our borders. Thanks to our managed service structures, we will be able to scale to address customer needs internationally in future.”