January 5, 2021
Pax8, of course, offers MSPs, VARs, agents and other middlemen access to services and platforms including Datto, Acronis, Zoom and RingCentral through its cloud marketplace. It is also tightly aligned with Microsoft. Wirehive, meanwhile, provides cloud hosting and consulting; it is based in the U.K., and teams with Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services.
Robert Belgrave, CEO of Wirehive (and soon-to-be CEO of Pax8 UK), told Channel Futures the pairing makes perfect sense.
Wirehive’s Robert Belgrave
“There is nothing in the U.K. market right now that offers what Pax8 has,” he said. “I think the disruption these guys have achieved in the U.S. is pretty clear and the U.K. market desperately needs that.”
The benefits go both ways, said Nick Heddy, Pax8’s chief revenue officer.
“Wirehive absolutely has the best reputation,” he said. “They understand this business; their customers and partners are very happy.”
Plus, Heddy added, the Pax8 and Wirehive cultures fit — a critical consideration given that many companies merge with little regard for how people will work together.
Pax8’s Nick Heddy
“In our first meeting, Robert had a Chewbacca hat on,” Heddy said. “It was May the Fourth. We knew our cultures were aligned immediately.”
The ‘Customer of 2030’ Has Arrived a Decade Early
The timing of the Pax8-Wirehive deal probably could not be better. As 2021 kicks off, organizations continue to support the remote work forced by COVID-19. They also are moving away from on-premises IT architecture. That means they need partners’ help with cloud services purchasing and management, as well as ongoing digital transformation. Together, Pax8 and Wirehive meet those needs.
“The customer of 2030 arrived in 2020 as a result of COVID-19,” Belgrave said. “Expectations have changed. Workforces have changed. There’s unbelievable acceleration toward cloud-based services and remote work.”
Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.
As that takes place, organizations are more willing to make aggressive technology changes, he said.
“They’re being disrupted anyway, so they think, ‘we might as well go all-in and make a big transition,’” Belgrave said.
Bringing together Pax8 and Wirehive facilitates all of that change, and in different ways.
“When we looked at what Pax8 and Wirehive have, there was not a lot of overlap in the Venn diagram,” Belgrave said. “We bolt on really nicely.”
John Street, Pax8 CEO, made a similar observation.
Pax8’s John Street
“The acquisition will enable both organizations to unlock new ways to automate cloud orchestration and optimization and expand our ability to simplify cloud strategies for IT professionals,” he said in a prepared statement.
One-Stop Partner Shop
For channel partners, that all translates into using a one-stop shop.
“Partners in the U.K. with customers who have locations in North America can now purchase from a single source,” Heddy said.
The same goes for partners in the United States with customers in Europe, he said. And that does not just mean obtaining cloud platforms for end users — it includes professional services for partners. MSPs who may lack deep skill in apps and workflows can call on Pax8 for assistance.
“We have a team that can do that, help you transform your customers,” Heddy said.
Both Pax8 and Wirehive partners will now get that expertise, he noted.
Belgrave agreed. Partners, he said, “have confidence that they can lean on Pax8 globally now.”
To that point, there’s another advantage inherent in that across-the-pond access. Because it’s in the U.K., Wirehive adheres to stringent GDPR compliance requirements. Partners don’t have to fret whether they are in line with those government regulations.
The Time Is Now
Again, the Pax8-Wirehive marriage comes at an opportune moment for the channel. Forrester predicts the public cloud infrastructure market will hit $120 billion this year. That’s up from the research firm’s previous projections of $113.2 billion. On top of that, a recent Accenture survey found that 76% of CEOs say their business models will look unrecognizable within the next five years. Their IT environments will serve as the agents of most of that change. Cloud vendors are responding, and Pax8 and Wirehive are no exceptions.
Forrester’s Jay McBain
“The channel software industry is rapidly building out ecosystem functionality and acquiring key assets as these companies look to emerge from the ‘decade of the channel ecosystem’ as winners,” said Jay McBain, principal analyst at research firm Forrester.
Pax8 did not say how much it’s paying for Wirehive. On Jan. 15, look for an announcement from Pax8 declaring the debut of Pax8 UK with Belgrave at the helm. Furthermore, the cloud distributor will say which vendors it will go to market with in Europe. When that all goes live, partners will have the ability to fully work with Wirehive through Pax8.
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