City of Johannesburg gets a helping hand from Dimension Data

Change of outsourcer gives City steady performance improvement and innovation options

July 27, 2010

Change of outsourcer gives City steady performance improvement and innovation options

Dimension Data, the US$4 billion specialist IT services and solution provider, used its holistic systems integrator skills, technology assets, and experience to seamlessly migrate the City of Johannesburg’s (COJ’s) ICT outsourcing contract to its own platform in only one month.

“The process would normally have taken six months, but we understood the City’s need for a flexible approach to the resolution of some significant service delivery and supplier problems at the time,” says Dimension Data chief operations officer, Alpheus Mangale. “So, we drew on our ICT all-rounder skills as a systems integrator to tackle all the elements of the migration – including more than 50 sub-contractors – coherently.

“It helped, of course, that our own infrastructure, including our data centre, is so robust and cutting edge that it could take the extra demands represented by the City in its stride especially during the SAP ERP Solution implementation. Not having to build anything special to accommodate the City helped cut down the time needed to stabilise their environment.”

City of Johannesburg Acting Chief Information Officer, Abraham Mahlangu, says: “The City’s priority throughout the changeover has been to guarantee business continuity. Dimension Data had the human and technology capacity and experience to provide that but we’ve also been interested to see that they viewed the daunting complexity and urgency of the task as an opportunity rather than a challenge – including providing job security for some 120 employees of the previous incumbent by taking them over.”

In the eleven months since taking on the outsourcing contract, Dimension Data has created continuous business performance improvements for the City – with the service desk call answer rate of 12 seconds easily exceeding the industry average of 36 seconds identified by Gartner in the helpdesk benchmark statistics report, and the call drop rate of 0.2% coming in well below the Gartner average of 4.5%.

Overall performance on severity 1 service level agreements has gone from the previous  77% to 94% and on severity 2 from 85% to 100%.

“Apart from ensuring business continuity, these levels of service also translate into a significant improvement in customer care,” Mahlangu says.

In addition, migration of the City’s operations onto the Dimension Data platform has enabled consolidation and integration of services, eliminating duplication and increasing efficiencies – and positioning the City to do more with less infrastructure and fewer technology components.

And, use of Dimension Data’s next generation platform enabled on time and on budget roll-out of the billing application from SAP, taking the strain off the City’s heavily loaded SAP servers and enabling tighter integration among the City’s SAP applications.

“The SAP billing application enables us to collect revenue faster and more efficiently,” Mahlangu says, “However, having it run on the Dimension Data platform, which enables integration with our other SAP systems, also helps gear the City for a single view of its residents and gets us closer to the point at which citizens will have a single point of entry to the City’s services.”

Mangale says that, having bedded the City down into a stable, business as usual environment, Dimension Data can now begin to offer recommendations on how the City can more fully exploit technology to drive further savings, efficiencies, and service delivery innovations, “The City now has access to the kind of technology and skills that will enable it to move beyond using technology to do better what it has always done to being a pro-active enabler of business and lifestyle innovation for its residents.”