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Pax8 Partners, Get Ready to Sell Amazon Web Services to SMBs

Find out when you’ll be able to offer AWS’ EC2 and S3 services through the cloud marketplace distributor.

Kelly Teal

April 12, 2022

5 Min Read
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CHANNEL PARTNERS CONFERENCE & EXPO, LAS VEGAS — Pax8 (a signature MSP Summit sponsor) partners, take note. As more SMBs adopt cloud computing, the distributor is bulking up the offerings with the addition of one long-awaited, much-requested vendor: Amazon Web Services.

On May 18, Pax8 will make two primary AWS platforms – EC2 and S3 – available to its North America managed services partners, who target the SMB market. Pax8 partners and their customers have been asking the cloud marketplace provider to bring on AWS for a while now.

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Pax8’s Ryan Walsh

The AWS deal “checks so many boxes for us in terms of helping partners and SMBs take advantage of this massive cloud opportunity,” Pax8 COO Ryan Walsh told Channel Futures.

Jeremiah Jenson, global distribution leader at AWS, agreed.

“This gives us a faster avenue to reach more customers,” he said.

The first AWS products from Pax8 are two of Amazon’s most well-known: EC2 and S3. These, Walsh said, “are so foundational, we’re going to get that right and then we’ll evolve from there.”

EC2 refers to Elastic Compute Cloud. With EC2, Pax8 MSPs will get to choose the CPU, memory and storage for each workload. They also can take advantage of the associated 400Gbps Ethernet networking.

S3, meanwhile, stands for Simple Storage Service. It’s Amazon’s answer to scalability, data availability, security and performance for big data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning and high-performance computing applications.

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AWS’ Jeremiah Jenson

“Customers of all sizes, and in particular, SMBs, are asking for specialized partners that help them adopt the cloud at an accelerated pace,” Jenson told Channel Futures. “We just see such a large opportunity in SMB and are excited to partner with Pax8 due to their expertise with SMBs.”

SMB Cloud Demand Is Soaring

Consider Gartner’s forecast that 85% of organizations – including SMBs – will have a cloud-first technology strategy by 2025. Most SMBs will favor a multicloud approach and others will lean toward public cloud in general, according to the research firm. For Pax8, those projections point to cementing a relationship with AWS. Pax8 already teams with Microsoft Azure for various capabilities, including communications, applications and infrastructure. It does not yet work with Google Cloud (although a spokesperson says Pax8 would like to). Adding AWS represents quite a coup for Pax8.

“The benefit of this deal is ensuring we are able to provide the right solution to the customer through our MSPs,” Nikki Meyer, vice president of global vendor alliances at Pax8, told Channel Futures.

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Pax8’s Nikki Meyer

Indeed, joining forces with AWS has been on Pax8’s radar for a while. But negotiations and strategic planning take time, and require everyone on both sides to be ready, Walsh said. This year, at last, proved ideal, AWS’ Jenson added.

“It wasn’t so much about why we didn’t do this earlier,” Jenson said. “The timing was right because we were ready to accelerate our pace now. … We didn’t have the right go-to-market or right strategy. … And as we thought about the opportunity to move quickly in SMB, Pax8 was a logical choice.”

Plus, Walsh said, Pax8 partners were pushing for access to AWS services. That brought everything together for a 2022 Pax8-AWS launch.

Requirements for Pax8 Partners Selling AWS

As for how Pax8 MSPs will bring EC2 and S3 to market, there are some requirements. At the beginning of the partnership, Pax8 will have its AWS-certified team – comprising around eight people for now – supporting MSPs. However, Pax8 partners need to start thinking about earning their own AWS certifications. AWS will offer incentives to encourage that action, and Pax8 also will provide training and education.

“They can lean on us as they’re getting up and going, and then they can take that on,” Walsh said, referring to AWS certifications.

For MSPs concerned about the cost of that effort, Walsh exhorts partners to look at the bigger economic possibilities.

“The driver from my perspective is that when you commit to it and build a practice, you’re going to get your money’s worth,” he said. “It’s a long-term play. … We have a ‘teach to fish’ motion.”

Plus, Meyer added, customers are demanding proven expertise from their MSPs.

“For [partners] to be successful on transacting and delivering any cloud solution, they have to be certified,” she said.

As for when Pax8 might offer more AWS platforms? Give it some time.

“We’re really focused on impacting the North America market,” Jenson said. “As we demonstrate the success we expect … we’ll look to expand.”

Meyer agreed.

“We need to get this right in a mature market where Pax8 has been operating for the longest time,” she said. “Time and success within North America will determine how quickly we go into other markets.”

A big reason for that lies in Pax8’s focus on educating and enabling its MSPs, Walsh said.

“We’ve got to train up right, take it to the market right … and really get the recipe down,” he said.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Kelly Teal or connect with her on LinkedIn.

 

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About the Author(s)

Kelly Teal

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Kelly Teal has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and analyst, with longtime expertise in the indirect channel. She worked on the Channel Partners magazine staff for 11 years. Kelly now is principal of Kreativ Energy LLC.

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