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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.


333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
United States


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April 3, 2017 |

Pax8 Engaged in Partner Recruitment Push

The software-as-a-service distributor is staffing up and rolling out new resources in support of a channel-growing campaign that’s showing signs of early momentum.

Cloud software distributor Pax8 Inc. has made a strategic pivot towards reseller recruitment and enablement that’s showing early signs of success.

The Greenwood Village, Colo.-based company, which had roughly 1,100 partners as of last month, has been adding new ones at an average rate of 50 per month. The pace may be accelerating too: The company was on track to bring more than 125 fresh recruits onboard in March as of last week.

“We’re really hitting a good stride,” says Ryan Walsh, Pax8’s senior vice president of partner relations, adding that the company hopes to have 2,000 partners by the end of the year.

Pax8 is a boutique supplier of hosted products and solutions to the SMB channel that competes head-to-head with significantly larger distributors such as Ingram Micro Inc., of Irvine, Calif., and Tech Data Corp., of Clearwater, Fla. Unlike those companies, which emphasize the wide range of vendors and products in their catalog, Pax8 focuses on a short list of what it considers best-of-breed solutions in key market categories.

Building out that roster of strategic vendors, along with the backend infrastructure to sell and support their offerings, has been Pax8’s top priority since its founding in 2012. While those processes continue—Kirkland, Wash.-based BitTitan Inc.’s MigrationWiz data migration solution, for example, joined Pax8 line card in February—the company believes its solution catalog is sufficiently complete to make expanding its partner base priority number one.

Being easy for resellers to work with is the strategic foundation underlying that push. Pax8’s provisioning and billing systems have been integrated with the ConnectWise Manage PSA solution, from Tampa, Fla.-based ConnectWise Inc., since last November, for example. More recently, the company introduced a self-serve marketing platform. Stocked with customizable collateral pieces and automated email campaigns, the new offering is designed to provide assistance with a critical business function most channel pros find challenging.

“Marketing, I think, is one of the biggest gaps for a lot of service providers,” says Don Jeter, Pax8’s director of channel marketing. “They don’t have the time, they don’t have the budget, the resources, to effectively market themselves, and that’s hindering growth.”

Pax8 couples automation and do-it-yourself resources in areas like marketing with a high-touch approach to other topics, like sales and service. The distributor engages in pre- and post-sales activities, including live product demos, directly alongside its resellers. According to Jeter, such hands-on assistance is equally available to everyone in Pax8’s channel.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a one-man shop or a 100-man shop, we’re going to give you the same level of service,” he says. “We’ve scaled to make sure we can do that.”

Indeed, Pax8 has been staffing up recently. In addition to doubling its sales team, the distributor has recently hired a new vice president of service operations and named Jennifer Bodell, formerly of Draper, Utah-based BDR vendor StorageCraft Technology Corp., its director of emerging channel.

Walsh cites Pax8’s recent emphasis on solutions rather than stand-alone products as another key factor in the momentum behind its recruitment efforts. The company has been steadily rolling out pre-packaged service bundles that combine Microsoft’s Office 365 collaboration suite with security software from Mountain View, Calif.-based Symantec Corp., for instance, or infrastructure-as-a-service resources from ProfitBricks Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., with unified threat management products from U.K.-based security vendor Sophos Ltd.

“I see strong signs of that resonating,” Walsh says, noting that channel pros increasingly want to sell complete answers to business problems, rather than individual applications.

“These MSPs are having business solution conversations, not product conversations,” he says.

According to Jeter, helping partners address evolving needs like that is but one way Pax8 seeks to lure partners away from bigger, name-brand distributors whose heritage is shipping traditional, 3-dimensional hardware and software products.

“They’re still giving margin to distribution even though distribution isn’t really providing a service at this point,” he says of resellers. “We think that this is a space that’s just ripe for disruption.”

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