McAfee South Africa has announced the appointment of its distributor First Distribution as its first local managed service provider (MSP) programme distributor. 
The MSP service is McAfee’s cloud-based security offering designed to make installing and managing a company’s information security services simpler and more cost effective.
Managed services offer the end-user a simpler method for acquiring, using and managing its software than the licensing model. The service is paid for as an operational expense on a pay-as-you-go basis, making it simpler and more cost effective to add or remove users and manage the software.
“First Distribution will now be an aggregator of McAfee’s cloud-based applications, licensing its channel partners to sell its security solutions to their client base,” says Craig Hockley, regional director for McAfee South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.
“First Distribution is perfectly aligned to offer this service as it has developed a professional managed service offering for other vendors over the past few years. The simplicity of centralised security management allows for remote administration of McAfee software and SaaS solutions which meet the needs of SMBs who often have limited resources.
“First Distribution has not only developed the infrastructure for offering managed services, but has a professional partner base experienced in offering software as a service.”
Not only do cloud services make it simpler to manage usage of the applications, but they also make managing software easier. The customer does not have to worry about patching the systems or installing security upgrades as the MSP handles all management functionality. The users simply login and use their systems, safe in the knowledge that they are always on the latest, updated version of their software.
“First Distribution is the leading distributor of MSP offerings in South Africa with more than six years of experience dealing with these programmes,” says Tony Abrahall, GM of First Distribution.
“We have more than 270 active accredited MSP resellers and currently distribute and aggregate on behalf of seven vendors, including VMware (VSPP) and Microsoft (SPLA Programme), of which we are the only distributors in Africa. McAfee will be the eighth MSP programme we will add to our portfolio of world-class vendors.”
“We are seeing tremendous growth in the managed service market fuelled by customer demand for reduced IT complexity and lower cost,” says Gavin Struthers, senior vice-president of worldwide channels at McAfee.
“McAfee has been in the managed services business for more than a decade. Our new MSP programme provides partners access to the industry’s broadest portfolio of cloud-based and on-premise managed security services via a globally consistent and scalable program.”
The McAfee Managed Service Provider Programme offers protection for endpoints, servers/networks, virtual environments and mobile devices, in addition to the industry’s broadest security SaaS portfolio, which can all be managed centrally through either McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator or the McAfee SaaS management console.
First Distribution has built up an experienced division and account managers supporting its MSP programs, as well as a back-office team for order processing and invoicing with multiple backup personnel to ensure orders are processed and invoiced accurately every month. It also provides training sessions to partners to educate them on licensing requirements and compliancy.
The company also runs audits for partners when requested by either the partner or vendor.
“This deal will accelerate First Distribution’s leadership position in the MSP segment by allowing us to provide our partners with a range of offerings from a single distributor that addresses all requirements that our MSPs have,” adds Abrahall.
Both companies agree that demand for managed services is on the increase and this appointment provides more choice to First Distribution’s partners and their customers in terms of cloud-based offerings. First Distribution’s appointment will assist McAfee in reducing time-to-market through an already established base of partners that understand MSP and cloud, as well as McAfee’s products.