Pax8, AWS sign distribution deal to bring AWS into Pax8 solutions

For the time being, the deal is only in North America and will not be expanded soon into the other big public clouds, even through Pax8 has a long-standing and close relationship with Microsoft.

Nikki Meyer, Vice President of Global Vendor Alliances at Pax8

Denver-based cloud distributor Pax8 has announced its first partnership with AWS. The new relationship will allow Pax8 to leverage the entire AWS portfolio of services and integrate them with the technologies of other vendors Pax8 sells to create broader solutions. For now, the deal applies only to the U.S. and Canada, so that Pax8 can focus in a specific geo in order to make sure that the partnership works well. They want to focus on making the AWS relationship work optimally. The AWS solutions will be widely available for Pax8 partners on May 18.

“We had had no formal relationship with AWS at all before this,” said Nikki Meyer, Vice President of Global Vendor Alliances at Pax8, who joined the distributor in January after a long tenure as part of Microsoft’s channel business. “Last year we acquired Wirehive, which had relationships with AWS, Azure and GCP, but they were just transacting as a reseller, and did not have a distribution relationship with AWS.”

AWS is a common place for strategic public cloud relationships to start, but Pax8 has had a deep long-term relationship with Microsoft, raising the question of why Pax8 chose AWS as their first partner in the space.

“Weve been listening to the channel and our customers about demand,” Meyer said. “There was strong demand for AWS in particular. In addition, because Pax focuses on the SMB space, AWS realized the value of partnering with us around this particular market, and we had been speaking with them about this for a period of time. So while AWS wanted to partner with us because we have been successful in the SMB, we heard from our partners that they wanted us to work with AWS.”

The partnership will provide Pax8 MSPs with access to both the Amazon EC2 and EC3 platforms, as well as over 250 solutions which amount to the whole of the AWS inventory.

“We will be able to offer all of the AWS services on our line card,” Meyer said.

Meyer said that Pax8 can save partners money on straight AWS services, but the greater value involves bundling them into broader Pax8 solutions.

“A recent Forrester Report found that over a three-year period, partners saw a 249% return on investment working with us,” she indicated. “We can save costs and bring out certain efficiencies. But the real value-add is no longer just the transaction for people buying AWS. It’s the solution they are looking for. Our solution designs will be flexible, depending on what the customer wants.”

Meyer expects results from the partnership will be good, because while AWS once made little provision for partner margins, its strategy has changed over the years.

“The channel focus AWS has now is fairly new, but I see the focus they have now on building a channel,” she said. “We have got a number of partners who have reached out to us to say they want to purchase through AWS, so I do see a good opportunity for uptake. We just need to make sure we can provide the same experience on AWS that we have with other vendors.”

For now, the partnership just covers the U.S. and Canada.

“The reason for this is to ensure that he experience we are giving our MSPs is consistent, so we are starting with a smaller group,” Meyer stated. “We fully anticipate extending that, but we want to get this right and listen to the channel as we do this.”

For the same reason, Pax8 will focus on the AWS relationship rather than seeking to create new ones with Azure and GCP.

“We want to make sure that the relationship with AWS provides the same level of quality to our MSPs as our other vendors, so we will focus on getting this right before we add any others,” Meyer noted.