Channel programs News

Pax8 Seals AWS Distribution Deal: ‘Its Time Has Come’

C.J. Fairfield

‘Its time has come,’ says Ryan Walsh, Pax8 chief operating officer. ‘As we’re expanding the marketplace offerings you just couldn’t go very far without partners asking for Amazon and their AWS services, so clearly there was a demand out there.”


Denver-based distributor Pax8 said Tuesday that it signed a deal with No. 1 cloud provider Amazon Web Services (AWS) that will enable MSPs to offer broader public cloud applications as the market shifts away from reseller transactions.

AWS will be available for Pax8 partners on May 18.

“Its time has come,” Ryan Walsh, Pax8 chief operation officer, told CRN. “As we’re expanding the marketplace offerings you just couldn’t go very far without partners asking for Amazon and their AWS services, so clearly there was a demand out there.”

He said there’s a lot of interest in AWS services and multi-cloud opportunities, so it was the perfect time to take advantages of what AWS has to offer.

The AWS offerings will allow MSPs to build public cloud applications with increased flexibility, scalability, and reliability. Popular products in the AWS stack of consumption-based solutions will be available for Pax8 partners. For MSPs shifting workloads into the public cloud, spinning up VirtualBox’s (VMs) for clients or refactoring applications for cloud deployment, Pax8 will offer an AWS-certified team of experts to help partners with their projects.

[Related: Pax8 Secures $185M Funding Round, Says More Acquisitions On The Horizon]

“Here at AWS we always started with a customer,” Jeremiah Jenson, global leader of distribution at AWS, told CRN. “What we found is customers of all sizes, particularly in the SMB space that Pax8 serves, they’re looking for specialized partners to help them adopt AWS at an accelerated pace. They don‘t want a one-size-fits-all partner, they want high-quality partners that know their business, understand their industry, understand their go to market and understand their strategies. We found that Pax8 had the opportunity to impact those customers at a faster rate.”

Pax8 will offer more than 250 AWS solutions including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3).

Nikki Meyer, vice president of global vendor alliances at Pax8, said that partners aren’t going to come to Pax8 and say, “We want AWS.”

“It’s around us being able to help them build offers around particular solutions, and then particular solutions within a particular vertical,” she told CRN. “There’s different demands that are required there. Through technical resources and support that we‘ll be able to offer, to enablement that we’re driving, we are really helping the MSP drive that solution.”

According to a Gartner report, 85 percent of organizations will be cloud-first by 2025. Walsh said the growth opportunity for MSPs is the broader shift in the market that’s moving away from just a resell transaction. The key, he said, is enablement and activation which represents a direct opportunity for channel partners who are being forced to focus on the value add.

“But what‘s driving that and how can a channel partner advise and help that customer steer into that opportunity and what they’re looking form,” Walsh said. “What we‘re really seeing just blow up is it’s an outcome orientation to what these customers want. How do you help me operate faster? How do you help me secure? How do you help me adapt and pivot when I need to? You’ve got to have AWS in a product mix in a discussion like that.”

He said one of the things that Pax8 sees as a driver is the recognition and opportunity around legacy systems that need to be updated.

“If [partners] were on prem, I think more and more customers, especially with the backdrop of the pandemic, are recognizing that in so many cases those legacy systems weren‘t good enough, fast enough, could scale enough to help them be responsive. If they had not moved to the cloud, they were reminded of not doing that and the inflexibility that was associated with some of those on prem technologies.”

The AWS auto scaling capability allows partners to be so much more responsive, he said.

“If something were to happen, like the pandemic did, when you immediately had to go and support an online presence, you have a solution that can help you do that,” he said. “If you had a legacy tool you probably couldn‘t and I think that’s behind that driver, and it represents an opportunity.” 

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CJ Fairfield

CJ Fairfield is an associate editor at CRN covering solution providers, MSPs and distributors. Prior to joining CRN, she worked at daily newspapers, including The Press of Atlantic City in New Jersey and The Frederick News-Post in Maryland. She can be reached at

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