Pax8 unveils instructor-led course for newer MSPs

MSP Foundations is an eight-week long instructor-led course offered through Pax8 Academy, the first of multiple such courses which the cloud distributor plans to roll out this year.

Cloud distributor Pax8 has formally announced the availability of MSP Foundations, an eight-week long instructor-led course designed to teach newer and smaller MSPs the foundational principles for running a profitable MSP business.

Pax8 Academy has been in existence for about a year, and was initially launched as a video platform to provide partners with educational videos.

“We are now expanding the vision of Pax8 Academy to invest more in education and to empower our partners to do more,” said Craig Donovan, Pax8’s VP of Partner Services. “There are a lot of guides and videos, but they only take partners so far. MSP Foundations is our first instructor-led live course offered through Pax8 Academy to bring premium education to MSPs. It’s part of our overall vision to create this one-stop shop for partner education through Pax8 Academy in whatever form they want – self service, group courses, even one-on- one coaching.”

MSP Foundations has been running under the radar for about 10 months, providing baseline data on the success rate of early students.

“We have been running this for select groups of partners, and four classes have graduated,’ Donovan said. “We are working on our fifth class now.” Partners who have completed this course have averaged a 71% revenue increase in just six months.

Donovan indicated that MSP Foundations was designed to deal with a common problem in the channel.

“Many partners were able to start an MSP, but they weren’t making much profit because they lacked basic foundational skills,” he said. “Where we sit in the middle of the channel provides us with a knowledge base to draw on, and we pulled it altogether into the MSP Foundations course.

“Every week a partner in the course receives a 30-45 minute long video, with most of the video instructors being MSPs in our ecosystem,” Donovan explained. One teaches accounting. Another teaches how to develop a repeatable sales process and manage a pipeline. Our head of tech support has a video on delivering a services delivery organization. We send out the link to the video at the beginning of the week that will be the focus of the course that week. Then we have a live session in the middle of the week where the class talks about how they would apply the lessons in the video to their particular business.” The live class is led by a 20-year MSP veteran, and the classes are designed to elicit collaboration with MSP peers from different regions and verticals.

The class topics include: developing a clear vision and mission statement; making business decisions based on financials; accurately determining the business’s profitability; establishing a distinctive brand; optimizing service delivery for clients and employees; building a repeatable sales process; understanding the key drivers for growth in the modern workplace; and tracking success through key performance indicators.

MSP Foundations is designed for an owner-operator of a smaller MSP, typically one with five employees or less.

“The five-person shop is a guideline,” Donovan said. “It really depends on their individual level of business maturity. There are some two-person shops who have a strong sales background, or have figured out accounting. And once you have grown to hire more than five people, you likely have figured it out.”

MSP Foundations has a $450 course fee, which includes all materials. That covers one attendee from the company.

The plan is to have MSP Foundations be the first course in what will be a portfolio of instructor-led offerings.

“We are working on half a dozen different courses,” Donovan indicated. “One is for even newer MSPs, who are making their first foray into cloud services. There are more advanced courses, like one specifically on contracts. There is a security foundations course designed for the technical leader at an organization, and other more specific security courses, like how to stand up Windows Virtual Desktop, are also being developed. This is the first course of what will be an amazing catalogue.”