SaaS provider eyes NZ for growth
Manage Protect appoints its first distributor in New ZealandBy Vera Alves, Auckland | Monday, 04 March 2013
Online security SaaS provider Manage Protect says it is committed to increasing local partnerships in New Zealand. The first step towards that goal was the recent appointment of Steve West to the role of ANZ partner manager. Following that appointment, the company signed its first distribution deal in the country, with Soft Solutions now representing the company and carrying its entire product portfolio.
“Manage Protect is committed to increasing our local partnerships in New Zealand and we are now investing heavily in this growing market. New Zealand businesses are increasingly appreciating the value of a local NZ cloud mail and web security solution,” says Andrew Johnson, CEO of Manage Protect. “This is why Steve and Soft Solutions are now part of the Manage Protect community.”
West comes to Manage Protect from StorageCraft, where he spent three years as the company's ANZ channel sales manager. He's also held channel roles at Sophos and Intel and has worked for Trend Micro and Seagate.
“We feel privileged to have attracted someone of Steve’s calibre and experience in both security and the channel world,” says Johnson. “He is well known and highly regarded within our industry."
The company has done business in New Zealand before but had never had a distributor until signing on Soft Solutions. "They know the market and they have got the skills," explains West.
“We are genuinely excited about our new relationship with Manage Protect who, importantly, is a 100 percent channel-focused vendor. The range of best-of-breed NZ infrastructure mail and web-filtering services offers our partners whose customers are looking to simplify both security and archiving requirements outstanding opportunities,” says Chris Fitzgerald, Soft Solutions managing director. “And it doesn’t get easier for organisations of any size with no contract and low monthly billing, no hardware to purchase or maintain and no software to install or update. Manage Protect also offers a 14-day free trial period.”
According to West, Manage Protect's biggest differentiator is the fact that the company has a datacentre in New Zealand, which is attractive for customers who need the traffic to be local. He adds that the scalability of the product and the lack of contracts makes it an attractive deal for SMBs. "Everything is rebrandable, customers should never see our logo," he adds.
The NZ security cloud offering is completely modular, with an organisation only paying for the pieces they choose to use. Resellers can give their customers their own management portals or offer a management service. Additionally, Manage Protect utilises New Zealand based datacentres, making all traffic local.
The company says it will be focused on growing its New Zealand business over the coming months but, for now, West says a physical presence in the country is not necessary, as most of the business will be done through Soft Solutions. "We are 100 percent channel and have no intentions of doing any direct business," he adds.
The company offers unlimited training for partners (also provided through Soft Solutions) and partners get the solutions for free for their own internal use. "The MSPs need to test it themselves. They need to understand the technology," says West.
Manage Protect services include MPmail (email filtering and cleaning), MPweb (web filtering and security service), MPexchange (which works like Microsoft Exchange but without the need to manage a server), and MParchive (which stores all internal and external email with advanced archive search features).
According to Soft Solutions' product manager Jason Gass, this new deal represents an opportunity for Soft Solutions resellers to complement their existing offerings. Gass mentions that disaster recovery, in particular, has seen some growth in New Zealand, and that Manage Protect's solutions can help satisfy this requirement. "It's really about going back to partners now and showing that we have something that meets their needs," he says.
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