US-headquartered distributor Pax8 is expanding into Australia and New Zealand to capitalise on a mature managed services provider market and offer its partner enablement platform.
The company last week officially unveiled its new Asia leadership team with SVP Chris Sharp at the helm, together with vice president of business development James Bergl and vice president of sales Tracy Lacewell. Pax8 will initially commence operations in ANZ and expand further into the region.
Speaking to CRN, Bergl said despite Pax8 only launching last week, the company has since signed up some 100 managed services providers across ANZ to use the partner enablement platform.
“There’s a lot of pent up demand [for the platform] with the number of MSPs already signed up, and a lot of the conversations in the community are saying people are very excited that [Pax8] is here,” Bergl said.
The platform looks to streamline an MSP’s procurement, management and billing of SaaS applications, and also integrates with core MSP ticketing and billing systems to help reduce costs.
Bergl said Pax8 offers to help save MSPs costs and hours with the platform by avoiding revenue leakages associated with misconfigured systems, and at the same time provide enablement services.
The services include helping partners’ go-to-market, add to their service catalogue, marketing and sales, and help them adjust their service offerings to become more competitive and maintain a profitable margin.
“We work with a partner and say, ‘What’s your end goal?’, ‘Do you have an exit strategy?’, ‘How do we optimise your business from a profit-loss/EBITDA/balance sheet perspective so you can get the best return once that exit date comes?’,” Bergl said.
“It’s a really consultative discussion and conversation and we’re not just flipping licences — we’re business partners that are focused on helping them to transform [MSP] businesses.”
Bergl added that Pax8 will be looking to compete with other cloud-based distributors, but also with the more traditional distributors like Ingram Micro and Dicker Data. He said the company would be poised to disrupt that market thanks to the integrations into systems that MSPs use.
“If you look at distribution today, it is a broken, archaic and traditional business model that comes from shifting boxes that require warehouses and ERP systems, and the technology they use to deliver cloud solutions has been layered on top of old infrastructure,” Bergl said.
“Efficiently integrating with PSA tools, MSP tools, provisioning licences and sending easy to understand bills may sound straightforward but is really difficult to do when your business model isn’t designed from the ground up with that in mind.”
The company will also look to increase its headcount locally as it starts its building phase in the region, which involves building the go-to-market strategy, the partner base and vendor catalogue. Some roles will include back office positions like technical support, success, finance, accounting, legal and more.
“We’re looking to attract talent and become an employer of choice, and we’ve got the intention of delivering benefits and a working environment that is superior to our competition so we become attractive to work for and to work with,” Bergl added.
Pax8 launched with Acronis, Check Point (email security), Bitdefender, CyberCNS, Dropsuite, Proofpoint and SentinelOne as its vendor partners, and will also look to bring in five to six more vendors within the next two quarters.
Bergl said like Pax8’s other markets in North America and Europe, the ANZ market has also been underserved by their distributors from both a platform and support perspective, and that local MSPs have been “extremely receptive” with the company’s launch, citing website traffic, intent and sign-ups to-date.
“There’s a lot more knowledge and awareness of Pax8 than I thought there would be, especially when compared to when Datto launched in ANZ in 2015, which had very little awareness at all,” Bergl said. Bergl helped launch Datto to the ANZ region, and has led its local operations until 2021.
“Today, there's a lot more partners that are familiar with [Pax8] that come through the channel events that they've perhaps been to with some of their other vendors, where they would go to events and Pax8 would always be there.”