Pax8’s new offering – which they believe will provide MSPs saving that it warrants being Pax8’s first paid product for their partners – makes particular use of enhancements in Microsoft’s security technology.
Today, cloud distributor Pax8, is launching their first-ever paid product for MSP partners with Pax8 Pro. The new offering automates and modernizes business operations, to let partners monitor and manage their entire client ecosystem and activities within the Pax8 Platform in a way that reduces error and saves techs’ time.
“Pax8 Pro addresses a number of items partners have already brought up with us around what has prevented them from adopting new cloud solutions and growing their business, particularly technical learning and time for new projects” said Michael Dehmlow, Chief Operating Officer at Pax8. “This has been in development for over a year, doing two releases a week, and we have been reconciling that with the most successful partners.” More than 50 partners participated in the pre-launch process.
Pax8 Pro addresses these partner issues by providing partners with an automated SaaS management solution which eliminates manual tasks and provides visibility into client workflows.
“The user management creates users inside the Pax8 platform in the vendor portal, and in the PSA tool,” Dehmlow said. “It syncs users to the PSA tools as contacts. It also follows best practices Microsoft recommends when you adopt a new user, and there is a check list for that.”
Pax8 Pro also provides automated license assignment.
“We can identify licenses that aren’t associated with a user or are with an inactive user,” Dehmlow indicated. “We also look for a big security threat vector – users no longer with company but have access to that. We look at it holistically across all customers, for licenses assigned and users who haven’t logged in. Our holistic management approach then identifies these gaps and fixes them with a single button.”
“There are other tools that assign licenses, but this goes much deeper than user license assignments,” said Ryan Walsh, Chief Channel Officer at Pax8. “When we started this, there were questions about what we were doing. We weren’t just being a PSA tool. Microsoft has done something very progressive in their security reporting with gap analysis, which identifies at risk users, and provides visibility across all customers. We are using their API access to go deeper in their settings way beyond user assignment. We provisioned and pulled through an API, but here we help them manage at a new level. Michael’s team calls this SaaS lifecycle management. It’s not just PSA management.”
Walsh said that Pax8’s ability to leverage Microsoft’s work translates into better security for MSPs through Pax8 Pro.
“The cool thing about this, is that by Microsoft going deeper in these areas, we get to put it to use through our platform,” he noted. “Before, an MSP would start in the PSA tool, pick up a ticket, go to Pax 8, order some licenses, set them up and then check if they have things like MFA. It involved manual work and across multiple portals – and if you miss one thing it’s a security gap.”
“It’s a powerful prospecting tool as well,” Dehmlow pointed out. “We generate a report for the prospect to show what licenses aren’t being consumed, and how much money the customer can save. The MSP can take that cost management conversation to them and have a security conversation as well.”
Walsh also said that this kind of automation will be expanded in the future, and that it is easier for Pax8 than others who might try to do the same thing because of Pax8’s position in the supply chain, and their vendor relationships.
“There are products downstream from us that don’t do what we do,” he stated. “It’s the hard part, at the top of the hill, but once you deal with provisioning and billing you can go deeper into the managing. If you are down the hill you have to wait. Provisioning also requires a relationship with the vendor. That’s why this is a door opener and a game changer. We started with Microsoft, but we will keep going with other vendors. It’s part of the landscape in terms of how you do things in an automated way.”
While Pax8 has provided tools to MSP partners in the past for free, as a core benefit, the company believes the advantages of Pax8 Pro warrant charging MSPs for its use.
“This is our first paid product, and we are going to market at $250 per partner,” Dehmlow said. “We are looking to generate immediate ROI. The cost is equivalent to 30 mailbox changes per month. Ten hours of labour spent on mailbox changes, equals $240 a month. In addition, it also helps MSPs acquire new customers through that prospecting tool. It reduces the risk of human error by providing checklists. This helps partners achieve operational maturity. The most successful partners say standardization is a reason for their success. This helps them get a leg up on that journey.
“This is all about automating and standardization, not a lot of one-offs with manual steps you can miss,” Walsh said.