Cloud distributor Pax8 has introduced an automation, orchestration, and lifecycle management solution for MSPs.
Called Pax8 Pro, the new offering streamlines common and otherwise manual tasks that sap operational efficiency, according to COO Michael Dehmlow.
“When a partner comes to our platform, primarily they’re doing a pretty straightforward task,” he says. “They’ve got a ticket from a client and they need to either add a license or they need to deactivate that user.”
Today, administrators must login to a cloud vendor’s management portal, add or delete a user, configure security settings, and then document all of that work in their PSA tool. Pax8 Pro, by contrast, lets technicians create or remove users without switching to a different interface and apply customer-specific security policies automatically. “Then we’re going to synchronize that activity back into your PSA tool,” Dehmlow says.
All of that saves partners time, notes Ryan Walsh, Pax8’s chief product officer and channel chief. “The other thing you’re doing is you’re standardizing your procedure and you’re securing in a consistent way,” he says, which enhances operational maturity, reduces administrative overhead, and accelerates growth. Provisioning and de-provisioning users manually is in fact one of the top barriers to growth reported by its partners, Pax8 says.
Included as well in in Pax8 Pro is a checklist feature that further promotes standardization by helping technicians confirm that they’ve performed essential onboarding and offboarding procedures like enabling multifactor authentication and provisioning or deprovisioning mailboxes. Users can customize those lists for each of their clients.
Reporting functionality in the new system lets users assess security health measures like how many users are employing MFA or have privileged access rights. A Microsoft Cloud Assessment tool, meanwhile, collects spending and utilization data that MSPs can use to help clients manage cloud expenses.
“By looking at all the licenses that you procure, and all the licenses you’ve assigned, and all the licenses Windows users have logged in, we’re going to help you identify license sprawl and manage that, so that you can right size that subscription and that fee for your customers,” Dehmlow says.
Pax8 Pro subscribers pay $250 a month for unlimited access to the system by all of their administrators.
Pax8’s core distribution platform has long exchanged billing data with PSA platforms automatically. Pax8 Pro’s ability to update contact records and service tickets, however, adds functionality not available previously to Pax8 partners. At present, the system integrates with ConnectWise Manage and Datto’s Autotask PSA. Connections to PSA systems from Kaseya, Syncro, Tigerpaw, and others are currently in development.
Pax8Pro’s Microsoft Cloud Assessment feature draws on a direct API connection to Microsoft’s cloud backend. Pax8 plans to forge similar ties with other platform operators in the future. “We already have early interest from vendors who want to be next,” Walsh says.
Additional plans for the product include enabling it to coordinate onboarding and offboarding processes across multiple cloud solutions that MSPs sell together, like Microsoft 365 and third-party security and data protection products.
“Pax8 Pro is based on a framework that’s very modular that’s going to allow us to extend vendor integrations and the capabilities of those vendor integrations indefinitely, so that we can really capture and deliver those partner needs as they progress through their SaaS journey,” Dehmlow says.