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Pax8 Hires ConnectWise, Evo Security Alum to Drive Cybersecurity Sales

Channel vet Dave Powell brings experience as an MSP and security software exec to Pax8.

Jeff O'Heir

April 11, 2023

3 Min Read
Businessman selecting a new hire from a group
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Pax8 has hired channel veteran David Powell, a former MSP and software security exec, to head up its cybersecurity sales and growth strategies for SMB and mid-enterprise MSPs. This is the second high-profile hire for Pax8 in the last two months.

Powell’s primary job as vice president of sales strategy is twofold. He’ll consult and train MSPs on how to better protect their own businesses from breaches and help them sell cybersecurity solutions to their customers. The problem, Powell said, is that customers think the managed antivirus, VPN, firewall and other common security solutions their MSPs manage are enough. They often don’t understand the need for more advanced protection like cybersecurity and are reluctant to pay it.

Here’s our list of channel people on the move in March.

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Pax8’s David Powell

“Once you get your house in order, once you improve your cybersecurity maturity, then you need to take that into your customer base,” said Powell, who most recently worked as chief revenue officer at Evo Security and as senior vice president of sales at ConnectWise. “That’s the motion that most MSPs kind of struggle with. No one wants to go sell and charge their people more. No one wants to have that awkward conversation. It really is this education-based sale. It’s not one size fits all. Everyone has different levels of risk.”

The Right Products and Services Lead to Higher Cybersecurity Sales

Powell will also manage and build Pax8’s portfolio of cloud-based cybersecurity products and services. He’ll spend time with MSPs to help them choose which of those best fits their business model.

“We can give MSPs this big old box of Legos, which is fine if they’re equipped to figure out what to build. Or we can show them the plans for different things that they can build with the services that we have as it relates to the other products we add,” he said. “The market is continually evolving. There’s new software coming online all the time. We will be bringing on additional vendors to meet those threat vectors.”

Powell will split his time working with smaller MSPs and focusing on the larger ones created through mergers and acquisitions. Those new, larger MSPs might need a more tailored approach to building their cybersecurity offerings, Powell said, as well as something he calls “license rationalization.” That essentially means managing the different software licensing contracts and pricing that disparate companies bring under one roof after they’ve been acquired.

“There’s a way for us to help these big MSPs that are growing through acquisition,” Powell said. “We can rationalize their software stack into a thing that makes sense and is a lot more easily digestible.”

New Duo Will Communicate Pax8’s Full Portfolio to MSPs

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Pax8’s Rob Rae

Powell will work closely with Rob Rae, whom Pax8 hired as its corporate vice president of community and ecosystems in February. Rae most recently worked as senior vice president of business development at Datto. The two executives are highly visible, constantly visiting with MSPs and attending conferences, where they’re often top-billed speakers. While communicating Pax8’s big picture to MSPs, Rae will help them better understand how the cybersecurity solutions Powell manages fits within their and their customers’ businesses.

“Rob has the credibility of being around the community and really putting the community first. He built one of the most beloved brands at Datto,” Powell said. “I think my secret sauce is that I’ve sat in the MSP seat and I’ve done their thing. I can be the internal advocate for them because I’ve been in key leadership positions at a large MSP and at a roll-up where we’ve put several MSPs together. I’ve been the customer (Pax8) is trying to sell to.”

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Jeff O’Heir or connect with him on LinkedIn.

 

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About the Author(s)

Jeff O'Heir

Jeff O’Heir is a journalist and editor who has spent much of his career covering the business leaders, issues and trends that define the IT and consumer technology channels. His work in print, online and on stage has showcased, educated and connected small and large solution providers, MSPs, channel pros and vendors. During his career, Jeff has also covered engineering technologies and breakthroughs, crime, politics, food and the arts.

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