Mimecast South Africa has grown exponentially in 2008 – it bucked local and international trends with a 400% increase in revenue.

Garth Wittles, MS of Mimecast South Africa identifies two game-changing events: "We bundled bandwidth into the monthly subscription fee in July this year. This took out the only variable cost in our solution and subsequently the only significant obstacle for many decision makers.
"Now the price you see on the quote is the price you pay for the duration of the contract. No questions asked."
The second event was external to Mimecast: the threat of a recession. "The economic impact of the global downturn saw many IT managers looking for credible, cost saving alternatives to manage business critical functions such as e-mail.
"Mimecast Unified Email Management¹s (UEM) Software as a Service model offers companies value by removing the growing risks and complexities associated with email, while saving as much as 60% in ongoing costs," says Wittles.
Ferris Research¹s recent white paper, Email Archiving: On Premise versus SaaS (http://whitepapers.silicon.com/0,39024759,60487917p,00.htm) found that the cost of a SaaS email solution is consistently low when compared with on-premise solutions.
With SaaS, there is no need for large up-front expenditure on software licenses, storage, dedicated servers or back-up solutions for the archive. Additional cost savings are realised because there is no need to train IT staff and the costs for planning and implementation of the service are eradicated.
"Predictable, fixed costs are definitely the market need behind Mimecast SA¹s growth," says Wittles.
Major clients of over 1 000 users acquired in 2008 in South Africa include Alexander Forbes, Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality, JD Group, Goldfields, Hollard, Peermont Global, The Aveng Group and the CCMA. To date, the largest client for the global Mimecast operation sits in South Africa. Transnet has 16 000 users running off the Mimecast UEM offering.
But growth does not come without its challenges. "Quality sales people remain an endangered species," says Wittles. "We have some fantastic sales people and if I could clone them, then all my troubles would be over, but as I wait for technology to catch up with my needs, we will keep on searching for more of the right people."
Wittles is expecting another great year for Mimecast in 2009.  "The channel is a key focus for 2009, and by supporting their growth, we will naturally support our own.
"Another massive opportunity for Mimecast is sub-Saharan Africa.  We are seeing increasing sales in our neighbouring countries without pushing it, so with our channel strategy reaching out to these markets we will hopefully find a meaningful part of our growth coming from outside South Africa.
"More channel partners in more parts of the continent coupled with an increased effort in marketing means that more people will be talking about us and that can only be a good thing," Wittles says.