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December 29, 2010

South Africa Draws Managed Services Providers

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

There are a number of benefits to moving to a managed services platform, including access to expanded features and lower total cost of operation. Benefits such as these are attracting companies from all over the world and, according to a MSP Mentor piece, managed services are gaining ground all around Europe and Australia, while also pushing into Africa.

Managed services providers (MSPs) are targeting Africa as a prime location and are moving in with their latest and greatest to be the dominant players in this market. ConnectWise (News - Alert) is one player that has already launched a cloud on Africa soil, and others, such as Kaseya, are busy working closely with MSPs already in South Africa.

ConnectWise, a professional services automation software provider, is now operating clouds in North America, Europe, Australia and Africa. The company estimates that one-third of its 45,000 individual users are now running in the cloud, while the other two-thirds run the ConnectWise solutions on-premise. In both scenarios, the clients are leveraging the power of managed services to benefit their business.

To the benefit of its managed services clients, ConnectWise offers a “have it your way” on-premises and cloud approach. CEO Arnie Bellini noted that ConnectWise launched the strategy to build localized clouds on individual continents as a way to avoid latency and regional compliance issues. ConnectWise services are tracked by MSPs and VARs through the Transparency Status Dashboard.

Another managed services provider focused on global expansion is Autotask. This provider takes a pure SaaS (News - Alert) strategy to market and its platform is available worldwide. The company has multiple data centers in the United States and Europe, with more planned and budgeted for in 2011. Autotask relies on Akamai (News - Alert) Web acceleration to drive managed services performance for its clients.

The opportunities in South Africa appear to be increasing, especially in the managed services space. ConnectWise specifically targeted Africa as a primary managed services opportunity. Kaseya (News - Alert) is also gaining momentum in this space. With so much excitement mounting in this region, additional players are bound to bring interesting competition, which will be good for the market and customers.

Autotask also expects to continue its global push. CEO Mark Cattini announced recently that international opportunities will be the key area of focus for 2011. This focus on moving around the world could signify that the managed services market in North America has matured and European expansion will continue to be slow. Australia appears to remain an attractive market and given the attention South Africa is getting in this space, expect to see much more action in the coming year.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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