Pax8 expands endpoint protection portfolio with new Bitdefender partnership

While BitDefender’s software is highly rated and already popular among MSPs, a big attraction for Pax8 is BitDefender’s ability to layer complementary services in their console with only the single agent.

Ryan Walsh, chief channel officer at Pax8

Cloud distributor Pax8 has entered into a new relationship with BitDefender, the Romanian-headquartered endpoint security vendor. It will see Bitdefender Cloud Security for Managed Service Providers made available to Pax8 partners through North America.

BitDefender is already one of the two most popular endpoint security protection products in the MSP community, with Webroot being the other. Webroot is already on Pax8’s line card, together with Sentinel One and Symantec [which is now part of Broadcom].

“Backup is our deepest area but endpoint security is close,” said Ryan Walsh, chief channel officer at Pax8. Unlike broadline distributors, Pax8 works with a smaller number of vendors in each area, and tries to emphasize a differentiated play for each, that MSPs can use to put together balanced customer solution stacks using Pax8’s automated Pax8 Stax Business Intelligence Tool.

“SentinelOne is a next generation endpoint vendor, so is often used in combination with the others, but each flavour of the other ones fits some needs better than others,” Walsh said. “We rarely add a product just like another one.”

Walsh said the decision to add BitDefender was motivated by multiple factors. One, which is generally a key factor in adding new vendors, was requests from MSPs. The other however, is that the way Bitdefender Cloud Security for MSPs is designed is highly synergistic with Pax8’s own design principles.

“They have a value proposition that is very consistent with ours,” Walsh said. “MSPs told us that they have a very robust product in a single console, GravityZone, which works with one consolidated agent. Typically, there is an issue of agent proliferation when multiple products are involved. BitDefender’s  offering has a list of core services that you can add on top – Email security, Security for Exchange, Patch Management, Full Disk Encryption, Security for Virtual Servers, Advanced Threat Security, and EDR [Endpoint Detection and Response]. All of this is available from them through the GravityZone console with a single agent. That complements our own focus on enabling partners who want to take security from vendor A and vendor B and use them to build their own core stack. Adding the ability to do it from a single console with a single agent is a powerful play. We didn’t have anything like that.”

Walsh said that added capability is helpful to MSPs, who understand that things which improve integration are essential in a rapidly changing security market.

“MSPs are getting used to the fact that security is a very dynamic space,” he said. “They can’t rest comfortably knowing the stack is complete. The way that BitDefender enables additional layers of endpoint and AV protection to be layered in makes this a very advanced security play.”

Bitdefender has also scored well in analyst and tester reports. They were named a leader in Cloud Workload Security in the 2019 Q4 Forrester Wave, and won AV-Comparatives’ Product of the Year award last year for the fourth time, with more wins than any other vendor in the past ten years.

Walsh also noted that some factors from BitDefender’s end also helped to get the deal done.

“They were getting partners asking them to get on the Pax8 line card,” he said. “They also have some new leadership over there. Jason Eberhardt, BitDefender’s vice president of Cloud and MSP, came to BitDefender from Symantec in 2019, and he had some exposure to working with us.”

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