Time to Pull Back the Curtain

Dimension Data and Proxicom are set to reveal a combined business strategy.

Dimension Data will kick off a road show next week to discuss how its recent acquisition of Proxicom fits into its strategy going forward.

A group of nine executives, seven from Dimension Data, and two from Proxicom, will make pit stops in New York, Boston and London, where they will meet with Wall Street analysts and industry media to unfurl future plans.

Jeremy Ord, executive chairman and CEO, will kick off the briefings. Dimension Data executives Richard Came, group marketing and strategy director, and Ettienne Reinecke, group technology officer, and Proxicom CEO Raul Fernandez are expected to make presentations.

As much as the briefings are an important venue to explain the Proxicom acquisition, they give the little-known Dimension Data a pedestal to tell its story. The South Africa-based network-integration firm, which has flown under the radar in the United States, made its presence evident last month when it derailed Compaq Computer Corp.s proposed acquisition of Proxicom.

Compaq refused to raise its $276 million offer, after Dimension Data offered a cool $378 million in cash for Proxicom.

There is no doubt that the Proxicom deal puts the $1.9 billion company on the map. While its six previous acquisitions of smaller network-integration firms over the past 18 months allowed it to create a foothold in the U.S. market, according to Dimension Datas Came, the Proxicom deal is the engine the company was looking for.

"The process started two years ago. Proxicom was an obvious choice. At the time it was unaffordable, but it was desirable," says Came.

Proxicom gives Dimension Data an anchor e-commerce firm for its global e-commerce business, complementing its network-infrastructure services.

Came notes that Proxicoms "strong methodology" is central to folding it into Dimension Datas business. "We see a pretty clear picture that the end objective is to be the first of the new generation of integration companies that has both the network-integration and application-integration skills," he says.

The go-to-market strategy is to create a single sales force by developing a sales approach that embraces both elements of the network infrastructure and applications, Came says. On the branding side, the company expects to leverage as much as it can off of Proxicoms name. The initial plan is to use a co-branding strategy.

Dimension Data executives do not expect to acquire any more e-business integrators in the near future. Proxicom would call that shot if a need arises. Meanwhile, plans to acquire at least two West Coast-based network-services firms are in place.

Dimension Data and Proxicom executives have already sold their vision to Proxicom employees. The tough part will be selling it to Wall Street.