Pax8 is strengthening its cloud services portfolio with three new partnerships it hopes will better enable its channel partners in the SMB community. The Lone Tree, Colo.-based company said it is also integrating Autotask professional services automation into its cloud management platform, the Pax8 Command Console, to help partners manage and build customers in a cost effective way from a single pane of glass.
Pax8's existing cloud, data management and collaboration services will include new offerings from vendors Ajubeo, SilverSky and Virsage.
"We built our cloud console so we could make it easier for our channel partners to order, manage and sell cloud services," said Ryan Walsh, vice president of partner solutions at Pax8. "[The vendors] are looking for Pax8 to become a more efficient mechanism for VARs and IT resellers that are smaller in nature, serving small and medium-sized businesses."
Currently, Pax8 targets seven different cloud technology areas including hosted communications, security, infrastructure, business productivity, mobility, data management and collaboration. With the new vendors, Pax8 is able to add more innovative cloud services to the mix, said Steve McCutcheon, chief marketing officer at Pax8.
"As far as what the vendors bring in to us, it's the technology that end users are looking for to change the way they are doing their IT strategy in the business, the early adopters of the SMB community," said McCutcheon.
Although the transition from software and hardware to cloud has brought with it many benefits, it has also been a threat to the channel by allowing customers to go directly to vendors, causing a "ripple of change" in the way companies do business, said McCutcheon.
"It feeds the belief that they should run their businesses all on their own, and some customers are certainly capable, but it's not a best practice for most," said McCutcheon. "A change in technology form factor shouldn't change a company's relationship with their trusted adviser," said McCutcheon.
Today, the problems that partners face is the cost of cloud as they add cloud vendors to their line card, said Ken Totura, chief channel officer at Pax8.
"Every time a partner signs as a reseller or MSP or agent with a new vendor, there is another vendor agreement, portal, billing experience, customer support requirement and on and on. [When] they add a new product to their line card or new vendor, they have this additional layer of complexity and process," said Totura. "In our opinion that is one of the challenges with the typical aggregator model; if you keep layering more and more vendors to partners without unifying, the efficiency of cloud goes away and now it's just more expensive."
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