A New Data-Driven Marketplace and Other Takeaways from Pax8 Beyond 2023
In the first event of its kind for cloud marketplace providers Pax8, Pax8 Beyond 2023 was a 3-day event which took place in Denver, Colorado in the US.
As a follow-up to that event, Pax8 EMEA held a virtual roundtable for guests and members of the press.
The purpose was to present the future vision of the cloud marketplace, including key takeaways from Pax8 Beyond 2023.
There was also a chance to hear from one of Pax8’s EMEA partners who had been at the event, and a live Q&A from the roundtable virtual attendees about what they’d seen.
The Opening Presentation: The Journey So Far
Phylip Morgan, CRO of Pax8 EMEA began the virtual session with a recap of Pax8’s journey so far.
Phylip described Pax8’s journey in three stages:
When they began in 2012, Pax8 were never aiming to be your typical vendor, distributor or value-added reseller (VAR).
They came to the market to deliver something new. Looking to provide a better model of distribution than hardware and software in a box, and fix some of the problems MSPs were facing.
Pax8 realised early on that tech people just want to fix stuff, and that sales and marketing are not their superpower.
It’s through the events that Pax8 hold for the community, they’re able to help MSPs grow their business, manage risk and operate efficiently.
The events that Pax8 hold include:
Launch Briefing – a 90-minute presentation for potential new partners
Mission Briefing – a full day of learning about how Pax8 can help you grow your business
Bootcamps – two-day technical deep dive workshops to help implement effective cloud solutions
Cybersecurity Masterclasses – a full day of learning to help you and your clients navigate the complexities of cybersecurity
Bringing it up to where we are today. Pax8 revealed their concept for an evolved federated marketplace at Pax8 Beyond 2023, and shared it with us in the EMEA for our reaction.
A new marketplace built around two pillars: Innovation and Community.
The marketplace, as it is today, is just a series of product catalogues. However, it’s no longer fit for purpose.
The New Pax8 Marketplace
When it came to reinventing the cloud marketplace, there was a lot to consider to bring the concept up to date.
The new solution needed to be a comprehensive ecosystem that was about creating value, with data-driven insights.
A platform that is solution-focused and at the heart of your business.
A marketplace with powerful search & filtering, product recommendations, seamless bundling offering cloud, hardware and professional services under one platform.
All of this is built around data. The new Pax8 marketplace, from October 2023, will allow customers to sync their data through the RMM and PSA into the platform to power a more insightful partner experience. Once connected, the platform will offer a number of unique benefits.
This will give the partner a category view of their customers, seeing how many are buying cybersecurity solutions relative to the market. Identifying product gaps, with a comprehensive filter and search.
You can see the security posture of each of your customers and expose any gaps there, within a simple interface and using CIS controls. Allowing you to mitigate risks, and see the AI-driven product recommendations for you to put to your clients.
This area allows you to configure solutions to fit the needs of your clients.
It reverses the product catalogue model by putting this together at the end.
Here you can configure your SaaS, your services and hardware using intuitive, fully-customizable solutions. Allowing you to build a quotation using a purpose-built integrated quoting system that can be exported in multiple formats.
There is also a customer storefront, which is a white-labelled, configurable self-service portal for partners to pass onto their customers.
Here they can manage their subscriptions, make payments and accept quotes.
Pax8 Beyond 2023 Partner Q+A with Scott Riley, Founder of Cloud Nexus
Daniel Skipp: Scott, how did you find Pax8 Beyond 2023?
Scott Riley: It was very representative of the attitude that Pax8 puts out there. The event’s main purpose was to drive community, and that was shown in the quality of the speakers, and the whole organisation of the event.
Daniel: How did the event, and all you saw there, help differentiate Pax8 from the competition?
Scott: The event itself was aimed at you and your MSP – how to grow it and be successful. There were no product pitches, and the quality of presentations left me spoilt for choice as to which sessions I wanted to attend. The new marketplace is going to allow us as MSPs to see what we sell our clients, and where the gaps are, and compare that to others and what they have or are missing. I am also excited about the opportunities the customer storefront will bring.
DS: Would you recommend signing up for Pax8 Beyond in 2024 and have you signed up yourself?
SR: Yes, I have already signed up. It is a big commitment in terms of time and money, but I have worked out how much what I’ve learned is going to save me, and it’s more than paid for itself. As well as the value from the speakers, you get the opportunity to talk to other MSPs, which I did, and in one case, it resulted in another saving for my business.
Keynote: Pax8 Beyond 2023 – The Future of the Pax8 Marketplace
Harald Nuij, CEO of Pax8 EMEA shared that it was his first time at an in-person conference for some time when he went to Pax8 Beyond 2023.
In attendance, there were over 1100 MSPs, 1800 visitors and 86 vendors.
His five key takeaways from the 3-day event were:
- The new marketplace is purpose-built for partners to grow their business, gain efficiency and reduce risk based on their data
- Cloud solutions are gaining further momentum – as-a-service and recurring revenue continuing to grow in popularity
- Good is never good enough in cybersecurity – invest big or look for partners to help
- The Pax8 Academy fuels growth for MSPs – helping MSPs to propel their business
- Dynamics is a massive opportunity for MSPs – business applications are an untapped market
Virtual Audience Q&A
Now it was time for members of the audience to ask their questions about what they’d seen and heard in the presentations.
Richard Tubb asked: Which RMM and PSA tools will the marketplace by integrating with in the first instance, when it’s rolled out in October?
Phylip Morgan answered: Currently we integrate with 5 of the big ones. Connectwise, Autotask, Syncro, Repairshopr and one other that isn’t coming to mind right now. There will be a challenge to lift other tools onto the platform after the rollout of the new marketplace. Plus, we’ll also expect some kickback from PSA providers that don’t want integration as well.
Richard followed up with: The kind of progressive MSPs that would be attracted to this new marketplace are probably using up and coming PSA tool providers that aren’t included in your integrations, so it’s probably worth speaking to them as they’re going to be the sort of customers you may want to tap into.
Phylip responded with: It would be great to have your insight on that, we’re definitely aiming to be MSP-first and look at what’s being used by the lower end of the spectrum too.
Question from anonymous: How can we make sure that partners are trained to use the platform?
Phylip answered: We will be using our community events to train our partners and help them get started. However, we’ve designed the platform to be very contemporary in look and feel, with some guidance on the platform itself, so we don’t envisage there will be a need for any formal training.
Ian Luckett made the observation that the platform looks very intuitive and easy to use, and he’s already hearing good things about Pax8 from MSPs, so it’s great to see the direction in which the marketplace seems to be heading. Younger MSPs are going to be looking at different tools and they want a fluid user experience.
Phylip: First of all, we’re setting it up so that you’re only sharing what you want to share, in line with GDPR compliance.
Mostyn Thomas: We’re using the industry standard method of encryption and upload. A great deal of care has gone into the integration with PSA and RMM tools. It’s why it’s taken a long time to get where we are now. After the GDPR compliance checks are in place, there will be configuration help as well, to ensure there’s no vulnerabilities there.
We’re also continuing to educate our partners at our community events as well, to protect their businesses and their client’s businesses.
Stephen McCormick asked: In terms of the customer storefront, how much control do MSP partners have in terms of what customers can see, or select for themselves on there? MSPs often want to consult with their customers first as to what’s best for them before they agree buy.
Phylip answered: One of the considerations for building the platform was to direct the conversations to the right solutions for the partner. We don’t want them to land in a 36,000-line catalogue of options. The same is true for customers who have varying compliance needs. They don’t want to see products that are not in line with what they need. Therefor to do this, we let the MSP partner control which products are suitable for their client so they only see compatible products in the storefront.
You can also add hardware SKUs from other providers into the storefront, so this is available for customers to order, although it’s not from Pax8 directly.
Pax8 Beyond 2024?
Marie Coniston asked: Can you share details of Beyond 2024?
John Griffiths answered: We don’t have the date for next year at the moment, but given that 400 partners signed up at the event, despite not knowing the date, speaks volumes.
Richard Tubb asked: Is there going to be a payment processor as part of the customer storefront? And will Pax8 be helping MSPs get paid upfront?
Phylip: The market needs to evolve to move more towards a bill in advance model. Currently 80% are still billing in arrears for software and services. Although hardware has shifted, thanks in part, to the Amazon model. There’s also extends to professional services and biz apps like Microsoft Dynamics as well.
Pax8 Beyond 2023 Virtual Roundtable: In Conclusion
The virtual roundtable event was a great way to round up the key takeaways from the event for members of the EMEA media. As well as showcase the amazing new marketplace coming out in Autumn.
It’s an exciting shift away from the product catalogue marketplace to a data-driven security-conscious and community-focused platform. And it’s designed to help MSPs improve their efficiency and grow their business.
Are you excited about this new direction for Pax8’s marketplace? Will the customer portal help you to sell the products your customers really need? Please let us know in the comments.
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