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DiData Ventures With Rembrandt

[JOHANNESBERG, SOUTH AFRICA] - Dimension Data Holdings plc (DiData) announced on Monday a new joint venture with Venfin, Remgro, Medi-Clinic and the newly formed Distel group. This new venture will be known as Commsco.

Venfin and Remgro are the two companies the Rembrandt group was split into last September Venfin containing the group's New Economy interests, while Remgro represents the erstwhile group's Old Economy interests. Venfin's interests include stakes in Vodacom and e-tv, while Remgro has substantial tobacco, industrial and financial services interests including a 51% stake in the Medi-Clinic Corporation.

The venture hopes to consolidate Remgro and Venfins IT expenditure and align their IT strategies with the skills and expertise of DiData. The companies involved in the venture will have full access to DiData and Venfin technology offerings, including solutions in the cellular, satellite and mobile technology markets.

With DiData's global network already in place, those involved in CommsCo will be able to roll out their IT services and solutions internationally.

Allan Calwood, Group MD DiData Network Services South Africa, believes DiData's true value to the venture is its intelligent networks. "These include Customer Relationship Management systems with new multimedia contact centres, and linking the Groups to suppliers and customers via buy- and sell-side applications which will provide seamless integration to all users."

"We would then use our Global Online Services offerings to manage the new applications and infrastructure in realtime," he adds.

According to Frank Vivier, the CEO for the new Stellenbosch-based CommsCo, the company will develop its business model in South Africa and then roll it out worldwide.

In the Global marketplace, local giants diminish to the stature of not-so-big fish. As many business analysts have stressed, savvy strategic alliances are essential to the success of a company seeking international success.

With DiData's worldwide presence and the erstwhile Rembrandt groups business assets and cash (the Financial Mail reported Remgro's cash-pile in the region of R1,4 Billion in December last year), the two should be able to leverage off each other to keep ensure success in the global economy.