In line with the ongoing convergence in the software applications space, Dimension Data in South Africa has consolidated its Microsoft Applications and SAP Application Development Practices into Britehouse Group (Britehouse), a new, black-empowered entity.
A black economic empowerment Consortium consisting of Convergence Partners (a company headed by Andile Ngcaba) and Safika Holdings (an empowerment investment holding company) will purchase an effective 30% stake in Britehouse. The remaining shareholding of Britehouse will be held by a wholly owned subsidiary of Dimension Data Holdings PLC (Dimension Data PLC).
Britehouse - which comprises a 57,6% stake in 3fifteen and 75% stake in Pebbletree Consulting - has a large concentration of SAP and Microsoft specialist skills. 3fifteen and Pebbletree Consulting were identified and incubated by Dimension Data's venture capital business, Protocol Venture Capital. The consolidation of these companies into a separate operating entity provides efficiencies, critical mass and autonomy.
3fifteen, a Microsoft Gold Partner, provides specialist Microsoft services including consulting, software application development and deployment. Earlier this year, the company was named as Microsoft's 2006 Customer Experience Partner of the Year.
Pebbletree Consulting, a SAP Africa Service Partner and an SAP Africa SME Business Partner, provides strategic business consulting services in respect of SAP software, empowering organisations to optimise business performance using SAP as a platform.
Both 3fifteen and Pebbletree will retain their current management structures, operating independence and identities.
Dimension Data South Africa's investment in Paracon Holdings has also been transferred to Britehouse. Paracon, a specialist IT contracting company, will provide the new entity with a flexible skills base to ensure an optimal structure.
"The creation of Britehouse provides a vehicle through which 3fifteen, Pebbletree and Paracon can readily join forces to exploit the developments in the convergence of the network and software applications arena," comments Andile Ngcaba, Chairman of Convergence Partners.
Jeremy Ord, Chairman of Dimension Data Holdings believes the establishment of Britehouse makes both business and operational sense.
"Dimension Data's core business is the provision and maintenance of the ICT infrastructure that supports the delivery of software applications to all parts of the enterprise. 3fifteen and Pebbletree excel in the area of software applications, which are network reliant, and thus a natural fit with Dimension Data's ICT infrastructure expertise," Ord says.
Paolo Masselli, MD of Pebbletree and 3fifteen MD, James Baber, say the establishment of Britehouse Group provides the critical mass and skills mix required to effectively handle large, complex, converged projects.
"SAP and Microsoft increasingly complement and enhance each other. Now that we have a formal structure in place that facilitates collaboration between Pebbletree and 3fifteen, we will be even better placed to provide clients with tailored solutions that meet their precise needs," they explain.
The consolidated carrying value of Britehouse is R98,9 million. The transaction is subject to various approvals including regulatory approvals.