After his abrupt disappearance from Datto last fall following its acquisition by Kaseya, Rob Rae turned up this week as Corporate Vice President of Community and Ecosystems at Pax8.
Last fall, rumours began to seep out following Datto’s acquisition by Kaseya that Rob Rae, Datto’s Senior Vice President of Business Development, had left the company, notwithstanding comments by Kaseya’s CEO that Rae planned to hang around. Until this week, all remained shrouded in mystery, when cloud distributor and marketplace Pax8 announced that Rae had gone there, as Corporate Vice President of Community and Ecosystems, in a new role created specifically for him. Rae will report to Nick Heddy, Pax8’s Chief Commerce Officer.
Rae’s last day at Kaseya was October 31 last fall.
“I had spent 9 and half years there, building and growing the business,” he said, “It was just time to go do something new.”
This Tuesday was his first day on the job at Pax8.
Rae noted that while no one had been told where he was going there, a lot of people guessed that it might be Pax8 because of the cultural fit.
“Pax8 also has a strong MSP-friendly organization, and some people put two and two together, although those rumours began to come out long before I started talking with Pax8,” Rae said.
The new role of Corporate Vice President of Community and Ecosystems is not a replacement position, but was created specifically for Rae.
“It’s a completely new role, but is similar to one in a lot of organizations,” he said. “I’ve been added into the Community and Ecosystems group.”
Many people’s impressions of this type of role is that it principally consists of meeting MSPs at public forums, pressing the flesh, and recruiting quality new partners.
“That’s not inaccurate and it is a lot of what I will be doing, but there’s more to it than that,” Rae said. “The trade show aspect is an important aspect of it. MSPs have tons of people vying for their attention. That goes beyond tradeshows to include podcasts and webinars.
“The other part of my job is advocating for the community,” Rae stated. “I report to the CRO, just as I did at Datto, but I don’t carry a number. Pax8 has this infrastructure set up, where the ecosystem incorporates the community as a whole, determines where the ball is going, and working with that is where my role is going to be. A lot of what Pax is doing is around education enrichment, determining what the pain points are and the best way that Pax8 can help MSPs deal with them. This is just an expansion on that in terms of what I will be doing. What’s critical in the MSP space is that relationship you build with your partners.
Rae’s first high profile role at Pax8 will be hosting the company’s inaugural Beyond 2023 conference in June, an event which, like many in the industry, had multiple COVID-related delays. He will also provide guidance and consultation to implement new programs that champion the IT channel market, and partner with the Channel team on industry events and community operations that enhance the partner experience globally.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be part of this organization,” Rae summed up. “It has done a great job of positioning itself and is known for its genuine love for its channel.”