First Distribution is a value-added distributor of leading global brands, providing complex ICT solutions to the Enterprise and SME markets. We have based the First Distribution model on delivering solutions through trusted, established resellers. Our client base has been built up through a history of consistent trustworthy service and nurturing resellers as business partners.
We, as First Distribution, are committed to our business partners, whose success we view as our own. Great effort is made to have a keen understanding of our resellers’ needs, enabling First Distribution to bring maximum value to our partners. First Distribution prides itself on its ability to service market leading brands in the enterprise IT market. We have been mandated by some of the largest and most successful IT brands globally, to distribute their products and services.
Our product focus is on our portfolio of leading global brands extending across multiple categories within the greater IT industry, as represented by our Stack. These include Client Computing, Hosted Solutions, Security, Software, Virtualisation, Storage, Servers, Networking and our very own cloud services brokerage, First for Cloud.
Our motto is “Helping Our Customers Help Their Customers” and we continually strive towards this goal by building close and trusted relationships with our business partners through our highly skilled personnel.
First Distribution’s vision is to be recognised as the first choice value-added distributor of leading global brands, providing complex ICT solutions to the Enterprise and SME markets. Our focus is around Datacentre, Virtualisation, Hosted Applications and Cloud Based Services, as well as Database, Middleware, Security and Network Infrastructure – all backed up by unparalleled expertise.
First Distribution has various core values at its heart, which govern the way employees treat their work, relationships with clients, and their attitudes toward each other. These are:
We stand accountable for the consequences of our actions, both positive and negative.
We are determined to give of our best in our jobs and work towards making First Distribution, our clients and our vendors, a success at all times.
We strive to work productively and in cooperation with each other, fostering a healthy atmosphere of mutual support, and in turn, allowing everyone to achieve their own work-related goals.
We are respectful towards each other in our words and our actions.
We are consistently honest and truthful in our dealings with each other, with our clients and with our vendors.
Where we feel free to enjoy our jobs, be creative and to enrich the working atmosphere within First Distribution.
Debbie Abrahall – Managing Director
Managing Director of First Distribution, Debbie Abrahall has spent her career with the First Technology Group and has worked her way up through the company to her current position. Debbie joined Joffe and Associates in the Gauteng office at the age of 20, after which Joffe and Associates subsequently became Microdata, which was then bought by Epsidon Technology, and later renamed First Technology Holdings. Apart from a six month break in service with Panasonic Systems, Debbie has been with the company for 21 years and in her current role for the past 15 years.
Under her leadership, First Distribution has grown to be one of the leading value added distributors in South Africa with a first rate staff complement and senior management team, who have worked for Debbie cumulatively in excess of 50 years.
Tony Abrahall – Director
Tony Abrahall joined First Distribution in April 2008. After an aggressive acquisition drive to bring new vendors into First Distribution’s portfolio, the business was restructured to become more solutions-focused and Tony was appointed General Manager for Integrated Technology Solutions, responsible for Business Development and Sales.
Tony has a long career in the IT industry, and has made his mark in companies ranging from Lotus to IBM, where he achieved phenomenal success in leading and closing multi-million rand deals, penetrating new retail accounts and developing a strategic partner network for IBM’s Retail and Software businesses. Tony was on several occasions the recipient of the prestigious IBM EMEA Leadership Award, as well as the IBM EMEA General Manager’s Award for Excellence, Top Salesman Award and was selected to attend IBM’s Top Achiever Club on numerous occasions.
Jason Sharp – General Manager: Cloud & Hosting Solutions
Jason qualified as an actuary in 2003. Jason was previously the manager responsible for international product development at Discovery Life playing a key role in the launch of what is now Vitality UK. Jason left Discovery to start and run the Paramount Life Group of companies.
As Paramount Group CEO Jason led the group in its focus on the provision of retirement income insurance solutions and related technology to the financial services industry. Jason is an expert in the conceptualisation, development and implementation of technology solutions. Jason drove Paramount’s focus on product differentiation via patented design innovations and structured marketing.
This was augmented by the development of an extensive distribution channel that included some of South Africa’s largest financial services providers. In July 2017 Guardrisk and MMI assumed control of Paramount allowing Jason the opportunity to join the First Technology Group in an Executive role.
Yuraisha Mari – General Manager: Africa
Yuraisha started her career in the Legal industry and is an admitted attorney. She joined the First Technology Group 6 years ago as Legal Director where she was responsible for Legal, Contract negotiation, B-BBEE, Legal, Risk and Compliance, SHEQ, Government Tenders as well as the Security. Yuraisha has since taken a very active role in First Distribution’s Africa business particularly around the complexities of trading in Africa – more specifically where negotiation and credit risk are two critical elements of most deals.
The excitement of selling into Africa has seen Yuraisha take on a permanent role of heading up the Africa Team where she will now take full responsibility for managing our growth into the region across SADC, IOI, French West Africa, West Africa and East Africa with more territories to follow as we continue our growth into Africa.
Malcolm Stewart – General Manager: Datacentre Solutions
Malcolm has spent his career in the ICT industry in various Marketing, Sales, Sales Management and Channel Management roles. Starting out in 1997, he worked for the local Hyperion (Oracle) distributor, and over the years he has held positions with various vendors, including Cognos, IBM & SAP. Prior to Joining FD, Malcolm ran the sales team for a software reseller and consulting firm focused on IBM, Oracle, Microsoft and a few other niche technologies. Having worked extensively with many resellers and vendors, he brings a wealth of experience to our business. Malcolm joined First Distribution as a Strategic Partner Executive in November 2016 and in June 2017 was promoted to General Manager of our Datacentre Business.
He also holds the position of Regional Executive for Gauteng.
Brad Stein – General Manager: Networking & Security
Brad started his career in IT over 10 years ago, when he joined Phoenix distribution as a Call centre agent.
Through dedication and a true drive for business, he worked his way up from Call centre to account manager – and later – sales manager within the same company. In 2016, he joined First Distribution as the company was undergoing a change in structure – a process in which he added great value and played a significant part. Brad has recently been appointed Head of the Networking & Security division at First Distribution.
First Distribution is a registered company within FTG.
In order to play a primary role in South Africa’s economy, FTG has constructed a BEE strategy that is extensive in its sustainable business development, while encouraging a positive influence over the PDI community. The primary objective is to achieve an employment profile within FTG that is a reflection of South Africa’s demographic ratio.
FTG is a level 1, AAA-rated BEE contributor.
Fully empowered in terms of Draft ICT Charter
Fully empowered in terms of Financial Services Charter
Committed to continual
FTG strategy is to train PDIs from the bottom, creating a solid foundation of professionalism and proficiency. The group has initiated programmes to develop internal skills. All technical staff are A+ certified, and candidates with greater potential are then moved towards an MCSE certification. FTG objective is to have all technical staff reflect the demographic percentages of South Africa. Currently 49% of FTG technical staff are classified PDI.
FTG also runs countrywide mentorship programmes on an individual level. These candidates interface with learning centres where they foster relationships with students.
Management development programmes are also implicated on a management level to curb the significant skills shortages. These programmes were specifically geared at FTG requirements for the industry.
FTG realises the role it has to play within the community. With our focus primarily on individual upliftment, we create the opportunity for people to take up a positive role within the community.
Programmes we have participated in to-date have included:
Group Partnering with BEE Organisations
FTG seeks out partnerships with specialised Black Empowerment companies that offer customers a comprehensive IT service. In the area of non-core business we have an objective of 75 % BEE companies being suppliers to the group, and we currently estimate our success in this endeavour at 63%.
FTG has undergone a number of audits from customers and government to confirm our BEE status, and all have been successful. Government has included FTG on the RT222, RT100 and Seat Management Services.
FTG has also been nominated by Impumelelo as one of the ‘Top 300 Empowerment Companies’ in the country. The IDC, Metrorail, the DTI and the Department of Agriculture all sponsor Impumelelo.
Because FTG strategies revolve around initiatives concerning people, community, business and legal areas, we implement a structured programme ensuring success in our various areas of commitment.
First Distribution is a multi-award winning distributor and has been highly recognised within the South African technology industry.
Over the years First Distribution has received the following vendor awards:
EMC Distributor of the Year
Huawei Best Distributor for the Mid Market
IBM Top Achiever
IBM Top SA Distributor
IBM Advanced Business Partner
IBM Top Distributor
IBM Top Software Distributor
IBM Top System x Distributor
IBM Global Technology Services
IBM Role Model Leadership
IBM Top STG Distributor
IBM Top RSS Distributor
IBM Top Storage Distributor
IBM Recognition of Enterprise Storage Skills
IBM Best Business Development in Middle East & Africa
IBM Choice Award for Growth and Transformation in Middle East & Africa
Microsoft MEA SPLAR Award for Fastest YOY Reach Growth
Microsoft SPLAR Award for Excellence in Execution
Microsoft Cloud Solution Reseller (CSR) SPLA Distributor
Veeam Top Distributor EMEA
VMware Top Distributor
VMware VSPP Aggregator of the Year