NTT Holdings (hereafter NTT) is in the process of merging a number of subsidiaries into the new NTT Ltd division. This results in the integration of NTT Communications, Dimension Data and NTT Security, plus enhanced collaborations with, for example, NTT Data. This makes the fragmented organisation a lot clearer. The fact is, however, that bringing these parties together is a process that takes time, as NTT Ltd. involves 28 brands . We visited the originally Japanese telecom company to find out how it is coping with this great transition phase.
The official launch of NTT Ltd. took place in July 2019, but the decision to set up a new department has of course been going on behind the scenes for some time. Anyone who actively follows the Japanese parent company knows that it will take about ten years to expand its activities outside its own market. Organic growth should create more business by opening new locations and expanding existing activities. However, the acquisition strategy is much more aggressive, with Dimension Data as a great confirmation of the company’s global activities.
The chosen path has actually made NTT a much broader organization. By merging 28 brands into a new department, there is a service provider that can support a variety of IT issues: from consultancy to managed services and from data to security. It was no longer clear to the outside world and with that the customer which daughter did what. Hence a new department where you can knock on the door to solve several IT issues immediately.
The association that has to provide clarity
This will give the fragmented organisation much more structure. Within the new NTT Ltd. group there are three players who already have a reputation in our region. Dimension Data is the party that can best be described as a system integrator and managed services provider, at NTT Security you can go for almost all security issues and NTT Communications specializes more in networks. Other players who will be flying the NTT flag are usually smaller, like WhiteHat Security and DPA.
For the total picture, it might have been more logical if NTT Data had also been officially included in NTT Ltd. NTT Data has a lot of knowledge in house to set up an infrastructure to get more value out of data. When this knowledge is combined with the other NTT Ltd. specialisations, an even broader service provider is created. There is only one obstacle that stands in the way of integrating the brand into the new department: the right of ownership. NTT does not fully own NTT Data. As a result, for the time being, it will continue to exist as a separate organization, with which NTT Ltd. does work very closely.
There are even more brands that do not get any hard integration as is the case with Dimension Data, for example, but with which there will be enhanced cooperation. Some examples are procurement specialist NTT Global Sourcing, NTT Communications Japan and investment department NTT Venture Capital. Between the lines, however, the board of directors is of the opinion that this may change in the long run, since a more uniform approach with a single entity makes sense.
A process that takes time
This makes NTT Ltd. a design process that is in full development. The official kick-off for the new flag was given a while back, and since then, customers have been given an explanation of the process that is going on and what the advantages of a broader service provider are. After all, companies that did business with Dimension Data and NTT Security, for example, can expect some change. The reactions of customers to this move are usually good, if we believe NTT.
With all the changes NTT Ltd. brings about, the company speaks of “the biggest technological integration of 2019”. It makes sense to look at it from a purely technological perspective. The separate brands use their own IT systems and have developed certain tools for customers, just to mention some of the technological aspects that are now suddenly a challenge. Are you going to bring these kinds of components together, are you going to drop certain technologies and what are you going to continue with separately? NTT Ltd. is now experiencing these kinds of integration issues itself.
On the other hand, the new flag also brings together brands, each with their own culture. The company itself indicates that 40,000 employees, 11 billion dollars (about 10 billion euros) and 70 countries come together. Such figures are the representation of European influences but also include African, American and Asian influences. Although the brands have been working together within NTT for some time now, they are already more or less accustomed to the culture. However, NTT Ltd. has made them much more dependent on each other, which requires some more habituation of them.
Providing answers to more questions
In the end, the whole integration process involves all kinds of challenges, but the reality is that NTT Ltd. did not manifest out of thin air in July. The process of setting up a new department had already been going on for some time. As a result, there is already an organisation that customers can rely on. They might notice something about an intensive merger of big brands, but the better delivery of services is already possible at the same time.
As far as we are concerned, NTT has made a wise choice with the launch of NTT Ltd. They are now a service provider that can help with many IT issues of enterprise organisations. And that is what several organisations are looking for today.