The top 25 newsmakers of 2007: Number 4: Wendy Lucas

Published: December 21st, 2007

Prior to being appointed as area vice-president for Dimension Data Canada Inc. this past April, Wendy Lucas was the senior vice-president of sales and integrated solutions at the now defunct NexInnovations.

Lucas, who has been working in the industry for just over 20 years, was with NexInnovations for five years before joining the Dimension Data Canada team. The global IT services and solution provider, headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, currently has offices in more than 40 countries spanning across six continents and opened its Canadian office in Toronto this past spring.

“I was the first employee [hired for] Dimension Data [Canada],” Lucas said. “I knew of Dimension Data for several years and their investment in their employees and ensuring a high performance culture [was] extremely exciting [to me].”

The opening of the Toronto-based office was in response to the increasing global business demands and the quick adoption rates of advanced technologies such as unified communications (UC), wireless, routing and switching, and security within the North American landscape.

Since Dimension Data opened up its new office and established its presence here in Canada, Lucas says the year has been a great success with significant growth in all areas and market segments. Lucas says it’s a great way for Dimension Data to continue to grow within the Canadian space, especially when it comes to the UC market, because it’s a segment in which the company is primarily focused on. Lucas also says the UC space is a quickly growing market year over year and adds there are still lots of market opportunities and money to be made.

“It’s been a very exciting year,” she said. “We’ve been able to leverage our more than 9,000 employees and our customer base worldwide and we’ve been able to leverage our reputation right across the globe as Cisco’s largest global partner.”

Unified Communications

Lucas relates the company’s momentum mostly to its set of UC expertise. Dimension Data’s philosophy, she adds, is to make sure customers are able to use the solutions to help decrease costs while increasing their productivity.

Perhaps what may have led to the company’s rapid expansion and growth in Canada, Lucas says, is the fact the consumer market place is forcing the corporate world to quickly adopt this technology.

Some of Dimension Data’s UC solutions include, IP telephony, managed IP telephony, integrated collaboration solutions and IPAD.

Cisco Gold Certified

With these solutions and its almost two-decade-long partnership with Cisco, Dimension Data Canada was recently awarded Gold Certification status from Cisco in November.

“[This certification status] is a demonstration of the talent we’ve hired here at Dimension Data Canada,” Lucas explains. “In addition, it’s a validation of the expertise we have when it comes to our technology and solutions in the market.”

Since being named a Cisco Gold Certified Partner, Dimension Data Canada also now has access to additional resources from Cisco including Partner Access online (PAL), a real-time Cisco customer satisfaction tool that allows users to track trends and data, in addition to enabling partners to more efficiently attract and retain customers.

In order to reach Gold Certification status from Cisco, Dimension Data Canada had to either meet or exceed requirements set out by Cisco through various areas such as personnel, training, customer satisfaction and post-sales support services. Currently, there are Gold Certified Cisco partners in 27 countries around the world.

“This recognition was an excellent way of showing us that we’re moving along and are accelerating in this industry,” Lucas said. “Cisco has been a great supporter of us and we believe we’re the top partner in unified communications. Our plan has always been to leverage the expertise we have and to leverage our solutions,” she adds.

With the company’s partnership with Cisco, Lucas says Dimension Data Canada is focused more so on the Telepresence and Webex product side of things.

“The network today is intelligent and the network is becoming more strategic for our customers,” Lucas said. “We ensure our customers are working better together by putting the right solutions into their infrastructures in real-time.”

To help do this, Data Dimension Canada relies heavily on its partner community, Lucas adds.

“The channel is important to us because they are the ones who are helping us push this technology out to market,” she said.

Also important for the company are its customers, who Lucas says, are the primary centre of its attention.