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First Distribution takes Citrix CSP into Africa

First Distribution (FD), the leading pan-African distributor for Cybersecurity, Datacentre, Enterprise, Networking and Cloud solutions, has expanded its Citrix footprint beyond South Africa with its appointment as a Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) distribution partner for Africa.

“Organisations around the world are changing the way they do business,” says Chris Richardson, General Manager: Cloud and Hosting at FD. “Citrix offers a vast array of collaborative workloads to easily and efficiently assist companies with work from home (WFH), mobile working or hybrid environments.

“Citrix builds the secure, unified digital workspace technology that helps organisations unlock human potential and deliver a consistent workspace experience wherever work needs to get done,” he adds. “With Citrix, users get a seamless work experience and IT has a unified platform to secure, manage, and monitor diverse technologies in complex cloud environments.”

Citrix CSP partners are not only able to help their customers adapt to the new working environment, but they can also help them to drive up productivity and ensure business continuity.

Partners can also offer customers additional value by providing real-time analytics and proactive incident prevention.

As a CSP partner, resellers have access to a portfolio of subscription-based technologies including desktop-as-a-service (DaaS), application hosting, mobility solutions and file share and synch.

They can offer customers Citrix Workspace, Citrix Endpoint Management and Citrix Content Collaboration, delivered on the cloud with Citrix App Delivery and Security.

There are many benefits of being a CSP partner, including the ability to grow the business quickly and strategically with flexible pay-as-you-go licensing and no up-front license fee commitments.

CSP partners can also scale with low risk by using the range of cloud-based services leveraging validated Citrix Reference Architectures.

The extension of the Citrix CSP distribution into Africa is particularly relevant now, says Richardson. “Because Africa is lagging in vaccination opportunities, lockdowns and other pandemic responses can be expected to affect the continent for a long while still.

“So the ability for organisations to let employees work remotely, and manage that securely, is going to be critical for their continued success.”

Citrix now offers more diverse and flexible workload offerings with its acquisition of Wrike.

Citrix Wrike aims to remove the complexity of today’s hybrid and distributed work environments so employees and organisations can perform at their best. By bringing together the power of Citrix’s unified workspace infrastructure and Wrike’s collaborative work management platform, organisations can enable employees to focus on the work that matters and accelerate business results.

“Thanks to the pandemic, the pace of the digital transformation has accelerated,” says Richardson. “McKinsey reports that companies moved up the digitisation of their customer and supply-chain interactions and their internal operations by three to four years, and the share of digital or digitally enabled products in their portfolios by seven years.

“This rapid change has introduced its own challenges: employees are now dealing with complex, distributed work environments as well as a heterogeneous array of applications, communication channels and devices – and this could get in the way of productive work.”

Citrix Wrike enables a simplified, secure digital workplace that enables organisations to transition to “anywhere working” by keeping employees engaged and productive, no matter where they are. It offers automated, intelligent workflows that are fully customisable and scalable. “We are the one platform where everyone can truly work as one,” says Richardson.

First Distribution has been the leading value-add distributor and visionary in the IT service and product provisioning South African market for over 30 years. It is also a market pioneer and leader in the provision of cloud services with its License Central and First for Cloud offerings.

To help its partners to navigate and grow in the cloud environment, First Distribution has built a business transformation program called the Cloud Catalyst program.

“Cloud Catalyst is designed to not only help our partners to become cloud service providers but also to help them understand how to engage at an end-user level in a consultative manner,” says Richardson “You could say that this is the mechanics behind delivering a cloud business.

“In the Cloud Catalyst program we take partners from being a traditional ICT reseller, focussed on supply and demand, to a consultant of IT services in a consumption model,” he adds.

FD works with partners right from the start of the journey by helping them to align their internal processes and budgets to ensure they are ready to present the market with their cloud brand.

“The program continues to helping the partner build out a solution to create a custom offering,” explains Richardson. “An example that is relevant in the current environment could be helping a partner to build out their own home office in a box using Citrix CSP.”

“Our channel partners are of utmost importance to us, and we are thrilled to develop this strong partnership further, and therefore increase the reach of our distribution channel throughout Africa,” said Matthew McKay, Regional Director for Sub Saharan Africa at Citrix. “We are a cloud-first business and in its new role as a CSP distributor, First Distribution will be even better placed to support our customers in their cloud transformations in the rest of Africa. We work closely with our partners to build managed services, and ensure that our customers have a complete solution to meet their hybrid working needs, from secure, consistent access, to enhanced collaboration with Wrike.”

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