News of the launch of GFI MAX in July and the announcement that we have acquired Katharion have generated a huge amount of interest among the Channel and in the media.

To cite a few examples, we have had over 1,000 partners attend our GFI MAX introductory webinars and partner sponsored events and the number of registrations to try out the software on a trial basis has rocketed. We have also featured in the leading Channel publications and scores of websites carried our press releases.

I feel this interest goes beyond pure curiosity but reflects the Channel’s genuine need for solutions that give Partners what they are looking for – complementary solutions that enable them to sell more and provide value added to their clients.

With GFI MAX we are offering the channel a fantastic opportunity to become managed service providers using a product that recently won the Business Solutions Magazine’s Best Channel Product 2009 Award. Recognized by the Channel as one of the best products on the market, this award validates our position when we say that GFI MAX is the best monitoring solution on the market, with the best reporting and the best value for the Channel.

I cannot but stress on the importance of value. A survey we carried out in June clearly showed that MSPs still find it hard to show customers value from managed services contracts. With GFI MAX, however, we have shown that an easy, affordable solution exists that can help MSPs to take better care of their clients at less cost.

With Katharion, we will be able to increase our solutions portfolio and to strengthen our commitment to our Channel partners worldwide. The Katharion solution, which we will be launching later this quarter, is another solution for the Channel to sell to both their existing customer base and new customers. Now they will be in a position to offer a hosted email filtering, anti-spam and anti-virus service.

Katharion now puts us in a position to give customers and the Channel the option to sell a hosted solution and a bevy of edge services that will only help them to improve sales, margins and profits. Ultimately, the Channel’s success is our success.

Our message is simple: We want to give our partners and clients the ability to maximize the strengths of both online and on-premise solutions. We are confident that our Hybrid approach (nearly all of our products will be available online or on-premise) is the best one for small and medium-sized businesses.

By combining our hybrid approach with a range of ‘edge services’ – aimed at providing defence-in-depth, business continuity and redundancy – we are giving the best possible solutions and infrastructure to partners and our customers. The hybrid approach will help them to improve the way they do business and the security of their network at minimal cost to them or the next for expensive changes to their set-up.

Overall, these acquisitions will allow GFI to continue developing its solutions portfolio and our ability to be an infrastructure provider for the small and medium-size business.

As I have had occasion to say over the past few weeks, these acquisitions are but the first step of our journey to provide the Channel and our customer install base with the option to choose between on-premise and on-line products or a combination of both.

Technology gives choice and I believe we, as vendors for small and medium sized businesses, should not restrict them into choosing either way. Giving them a hybrid delivery model, not only ensures that we are listening to and giving SMBs what they need but it also gives us a much wider market in which to grow and do business.

Our approach to managed services and Cloud computing is a work in progress and we are looking at new technologies and other companies that can help us offer our current on-premise solutions in the Cloud while contributing further to our growth and revenue.

This is an exciting phase in GFI’s history, so stay tuned for more developments in the coming weeks.