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Pax8 Bridges Partner Line To RingCentral

Andrew Pryfogle, chief market development officer at Pax8, said UCaaS providers have found a ‘greenfield’ in MSPs with a growth opportunity that is compounded by integrations with collaboration tools.

Known best as a cloud-native delivery platform, Pax8 is stepping out of its comfort zone by providing a UCaaS offering to its partners after getting squeezed between MSPs demanding it, and vendors struggling to break into the MSP market.

“We had a partner advisory council a year ago and UCaaS was the No. 1 thing partner said they wanted to start getting into and didn‘t feel like they had good options,” Nick Heddy, Pax8’s chief revenue officer, told CRN when discussing the distributor’s new agreement with RingCentral. “There’s a convergence of products and a convergence of partner types. And so as everything is becoming cloud and easier to consume and RingCentral UCaaS is starting to be consumed the same way as an entitlement of Microsoft 365, MSP should be capitalizing on this.”

RingCentral delivers a core Unified Communications-as-a-Service cloud solutions that pushes collaboration and better efficiency -- offering team messaging, videoconferencing and enterprise phone system capabilities in one solution, Pax8 said.

Andrew Pryfogle, chief market development officer at Pax8, told CRN that UCaaS vendors have found a “greenfield” in MSPs with a growth opportunity that is compounded by integrations with collaboration tools.

Over the last few months, Microsoft Teams has grown by huge margins with daily users surging from about 30 million to 75 million, and daily Teams minutes growing from about 900 million to 4.1 billion, according to numbers released at Microsoft Inspire last week.

Pryfogle said RingCentral offers a Cloud PBX for Microsoft Teams integration that includes call controls, interactive voice response, call handling, call queues and offers an open platform with access to RingCentral’s robust library of other integrations.

“This will represent brand new growth opportunity for them,” he told CRN. “There‘s only so many agents out there that they can recruit or educate or motivate to go sell RingCentral. There’s a ceiling on that, and so what we’ve done is we’ve opened up a brand new market for them to sell through a brand new channel, and that’s really attractive.”

Dan Johnson, CEO of machineLOGIC, an MSP based outside of Denver, Colo., is a Pax8 partner who provides UCaaS. He told CRN some solution providers look at offering UCaaS purely from a defensive point of view -- selling the phone services in order to keep rival tech companies from upselling their customers.

Johnson said that misses the opportunity. There are customers who just need a distributed cloud-based phone system, while others simply want a conferencing solution like Zoom or Teams.

“But then there‘s a third piece in there which is true collaboration, kind of the difference between Zoom and Microsoft Teams,” Johnson said. “Zoom is a great conferencing platform. Microsoft has the conferencing, plus it has pretty in-depth, collaboration. So there’s an opportunity for that MSP to speak with their clients, sit down, map out a strategy and determine, ‘Are you a UCaaS-heavy, traditional voice heavy client? Are you mostly looking for conferences solution? Or are you looking to make some digital transformation and do true collaboration online?’ All three of those avenues represent opportunity for that MSP, and a solution for that customer and I think that’s the overriding opportunity for everybody there.”

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