NTT appoints new leader for global push

Japanese technology and communications giant NTT has taken the next steps towards making its mark on the global stage. 

Jason Goodall, the current head of the Dimension Data network services business acquired by NTT back in 2010, is in line to take charge of a new international operating company that will be launched in July 2019.

The division, which was first mooted back in August, will see NTT create a single NTT Inc unit that will incorporate Dimension Data, NTT Communications, NTT Security, the NTTi3 innovation labs and NTT Data. Within this, the first four operations will be integrated and separated into two new companies – global business and Japan domestic. 

It is important to note that NTT Data – which incorporates the Dell Services business acquired in 2016 and the Germany-centric SAP business intelligence operation that it bought outright in 2014, will retain its own management and governance structure for “the time being”.

NTT Data already ranks as one of the world’s ten largest IT services suppliers. PAC places it in ninth place, just behind Capgemini and a shade ahead of Atos based on the last full-year numbers. It will be interesting to see if further integration takes place between NTT Data and the rest of the NTT Inc business going forwards, but you can see why NTT would want to keep a degree of separation

There is a long but often troubled history of telecoms companies expanding into IT services. BT, for example, continues to count the cost of being saddled with a large legacy infrastructure outsourcing business, while AT&T, Deutsche Telekom and KPN have either struggled to make a consistent success of their IT ventures or have got out of the game altogether. 

But at a time of increasing convergence – particularly in areas such as IoT, edge analytics and collaboration platforms – it is easy to see why NTT has decided to bring its communications, security and network integration capabilities under the same roof.  The company talked up future opportunities in areas such as smart agriculture and smart manufacturing as part of its mid-term strategy announcement this week.

It will require work to make its different operations more than the sum of their parts, and there are lessons that can be learned from one of its domestic peers. Fujitsu has long wrestled with the challenge of stitching together its various international operations and taking a truly global approach to its portfolio and customer engagement. But with international leadership, and an existing global footprint through the Dimension Data business, the new-look NTT Inc has a good platform on which to build.