Dimension Data acquires Sydney managed IT security services firm Earthwave

10th May 2013. NTT subsidiary Dimension Data today announced that it is has fully acquired Earthwave Corporation Pty Limited (‘earthwave’), a privately owned Australian Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP). The value of the acquisition has not been disclosed but has been described as in the “tens of millions”.

The acquisition is in line with South African-based Dimension Data’s global expansion strategy where the company hopes to double in size over the next five years and lift revenues from $6 billion a year to $12bn with a mix of organic growth and a more aggressive acquisition policy. In 2010, the firm acquired cloud hosting services companies BlueFire and Netforce.

Separately, Dimension Data’s parent, NTT has been active in the local market stakes in Extend Technologies (51%, Sept 2009), Frontline Systems (70%, May 2011) and Innogence (100%, Dec 2012).

earthwave was founded in 2000 by Carlo Minassian and a number of former IBM and Cisco security specialists. earthwave is a privately held company located in Sydney, Australia, also maintaining operations in Melbourne and Canberra. earthwave is a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) that specialises in proactive network security management through a comprehensive and integrated set of offerings including two Sydney-based security operations centres (SOC),

In 2010, earthwave received a ‘Strong Positive’ – the highest possible rating – in Gartner’s MarketScope for Managed Security Services in the Asia/Pacific Region*, and has maintained this ranking for three consecutive years. earthwave offers a broad range of on-premise and cloud-based services, including: managed security services; in-the-cloud security services; secure internet gateway; cloud security; and professional security services. earthwave also specialises in secure operations centre enablement, from architecture, to best practice operational management and SOC augmentation services.

“Dimension Data’s acquisition of earthwave provides us with access to intellectual property, technology and processes that we can immediately apply to our services practice here in Australia, whilst further strengthening our global threat intelligence and security services,” said Rodd Cunico, CEO for Dimension Data Australia. “While organisations increasingly recognise outsourcing, cloud services and enterprise mobility as enablers for innovation and transformation, security concerns are one of the major inhibitors to the adoption of these services. At the same time, cyber threats from individuals through to state-sponsored groups continue to rise,” continued Mr Cunico.

“earthwave offers a set of complementary security services to Dimension Data – in fact, we have been working in partnership with earthwave for more than ten years, so this was a natural step for us to take,” said Neil Campbell, director of solutions, Dimension Data in Australia. “Where there is cross-over with Dimension Data’s existing security services, notably in both managed and professional services offerings, the acquisition will significantly strengthen our current security practice,” continued Mr Campbell.

Dimension Data has an established Security Solutions business with more than 15 years’ experience. Dimension Data’s security expertise covers managed services, consulting and professional services. With the earthwave acquisition, Dimension Data now has a team of 160 in its Australian Security Solutions business and over 500 globally.

“While Dimension Data’s focus is on organic growth, we always evaluate the option of ‘build versus buy’. Based on the demands of our clients, we had a clear requirement to extend our security capabilities. In the case of earthwave, the time and cost required for Dimension Data to achieve the security certifications required to extend the scope of our services made this acquisition a logical choice,” said Mr Cunico.

The earthwave SOC is certified to the levels of ISO/IEC 27001:2005 (data centre is 27001 certified), DSD Highly Protected Gateway, PCI DSS, Cisco MSCP and ASIO-T4. earthwave’s operational systems and processes adhere to Australian Government Information Security Manual, the standard which governs the security of government ICT systems (formerly known as ASCI 33) and is certified in ISO9001 Quality Management Systems.

With the acquisition, earthwave founder and CEO Carlo Minassian will become Dimension Data’s general manager for Managed Security Services, reporting to Darren O’Loughlin, general manager – Connectivity and Security Solutions practices. Mr Minassian will continue to have responsibility for earthwave, which will function as a separate business division of Dimension Data, maintaining its existing operations.

“Over more than a decade at earthwave, Carlo has built up a very professional and high quality services organisation, backed by best practice methodologies, industry-recognised certifications, systems and technologies. We look forward to the positive impact that Carlo and his team will bring to the Dimension Data business, both here in Australia and also globally,” said Mr Cunico. “It’s been a pleasure working with Dimension Data as a partner for over a decade, and I am looking forward to the next phase for me and my team as we become part of a global organisation,” said Mr Minassian. “The acquisition is a great opportunity to industrialise and globalise earthwave’s services, and it also opens up incredible career opportunities for earthwave’s staff, both here in Australia and internationally.”

The earthwave acquisition is one of a number of strategic acquisitions made by Dimension Data in the Australian region. With its earlier acquisitions of Bellerephon Group Pty Ltd, BlueFire and Netforce, Dimension Data has successfully incorporated the intellectual property developed by these Australian IT services companies into its business, both locally and internationally.

Information security is a high priority for the Dimension Data group. Dimension Data parent company NTT Corporation recently announced that it would establish a new R&D centre in San Mateo, California to accelerate the development and provision of highest-grade information security and cloud computing technologies.

“Incubating earthwave’s intellectual property here in Australia and developing new services for the global business is very exciting. There will also be an opportunity for us to collaborate with NTT’s new R&D facility in the US. However, Dimension Data’s priority during the acquisition process is to ensure that earthwave continues to provide services to its existing clients. We have taken that approach with similar acquisitions in the past – and it’s especially critical given the type of security services that earthwave delivers,” said Mr Cunico.

About Dimension Data.
Founded in 1983, Dimension Data plc is an ICT services and solutions provider that uses its technology expertise, global service delivery capability, and entrepreneurial spirit to accelerate the business ambitions of its clients. Dimension Data is a member of the NTT Group.

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