Channel partner events, IT distribution, IT management, AI/ML

MSP Update: Pax8 Intros Next Gen Marketplace, ConnectWise CEO on Kaseya 365

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ConnectWise CEO Jason Magee delivers keynote at IT Nation Secure 2024
  • 5 Trends and Predictions for MSPs from Canalys’s Jay McBain
  • Pax8’s Next Gen Marketplace Puts MSPs in the Driver’s Seat
  • Pax8 Beyond: Milestones Reached as AI Takes Center Stage
  • CEO Magee Talks ConnectWise Exit, AI, Security and Competition

Every week MSSP Alert takes a deep dive into security news, but we know our MSP audience is always interested in broader news about other MSP issues, tools and advancements, too. With that in mind, each week we also offer this roundup of news from our affiliate site ChannelE2E which focuses on everything MSPs and the broader channel need to know about across AI, automation, IT management, MSP tools, and of course, cybersecurity.

This week we bring you extensive news from one of the biggest MSP events of the year, Pax8 Beyond. We’ve got a wrap of the broad strategy and the product announcements, plus the always insightful Predictions keynote from Canalys’s Jay McBain.

We’ve also got an in depth look at what’s ahead for another giant in the MSP ecosystem, ConnectWise. In an extensive and deep media Q&A at IT Nation Secure, CEO Jason Magee addressed all the key questions. Is ConnectWise for sale? What’s his assessment of the ScreenConnect crisis this year? And what does he think of the Kaseya 365 announcements offering a single license for key MSP components at a discount price? Read it all here and at ChannelE2E.

5 Trends and Predictions for MSPs from Canalys’s Jay McBain

One of the most interesting things about this week's Pax8 Beyond event, held in Denver, Colorado June 9-12, was that the event's growth has happened in tandem with much of the growth that's happened in the channel over the last five years. In simpler terms, as Jay McBain, chief analyst - channels, partnerships and ecosystems at analyst firm Canalys put it in this LinkedIn post, "Pax8 is leading an important intersection of [these] future [opportunities]."

In his keynote speech McBain outlined five trends that are shaping the future of the channel and how Pax8 is adapting to those trends as well as helping their MSPs and partners keep up.

Despite facing inflationary interest rates, financial issues, climate issues around the world energy crisis, two major conflicts going on in Europe and the Middle East and cybersecurity, McBain said, the overall world economy is growing at 2.9%. But for MSPs and the channel, it's double that -- over 6% growth.

"But that's why we're here. That's why we're in this room," McBain added. "For every dollar of hardware, for every dollar of software, [the channel] sells two dollars. Managed services is two-thirds of the entire spend. Most importantly, that part is growing faster. So for all the great vendors here selling hardware, software and other things, we're outgrowing the vendors that are here."

McBain added that the average customer has changed, too, to become a medium-sized or larger customer, and that the number of MSPs has also grown over the last 25 years.

Read the complete story, with all the trends and predictions, here.

Pax8’s Next Gen Marketplace Puts MSPs in the Driver’s Seat

At Pax8 Beyond this morning, chief product officer Libby McIlhany officially announced updates and enhancements to the Pax8 Marketplace, including a redesigned homepage, a new Solutions feature, multi-cart capabilities and an AI-powered Opportunity Explorer.

The redesigned homepage, McIlhany said, is the gateway to the Marketplace's new shopping experience. A new, more intuitive vendor solutions catalog with smart search, advanced sorting and more granular categorization makes it easier for partners to see and choose available solution options for their customers, she said.

Then, she showcased the new Solutions feature, which enables partners to see how various products can come together to address customers' needs.

"With this tool, you can become a solutions architect of a library tailored specifically by you for your customers," McIlhany said. "You can build a solution one time and sell it over and over. So, imagine you pinpoint the perfect products that align with your customers' needs, but they're from a bunch of different vendors. With the intuitive interface, Solutions simplifies configuration and you can drag and drop offerings into a stack and then present those to customers," she said. Partners can customize the targeting so it aligns with how partners already present products.

Read the complete story here.

Pax8 Beyond: Milestones Reached as AI Takes Center Stage

Pax8 President and Chief Commerce Officer Nick Heddy was warned last year at the inaugural Pax8 Beyond conference that anything he did would become a tradition. Well, he certainly took that to heart as he enthusiastically greeted the audience with, "Welcome to the [freaking] show!"

Rob Rae, Pax8's corporate VP of community and ecosystems kicked things off with a recap of how much the event has grown since last year -- this year, around 1,600 partners from 17 different countries are in attendance at the event, held June 9-11 in Denver, Colorado.

"My quota this year was 1,500, so I earned my bonus," Rae joked. He added that 350 of Pax8's employees and 130 vendor sponsors were also in attendance and teased a few upcoming product announcements before introducing Heddy.

Heddy walked through Pax8's history, starting with its original disruption of the cloud solutions space, its community building phase and its introduction last year of the Pax8 Marketplace. He mentioned that the Marketplace supports 138 million SMBs worldwide with 15 million users supporting 60+ million customers. That translates, he said, to one transaction every minute of every day.

Heddy hinted that updates to the Pax8 marketplace would be a "game-changer," and that the company was building a data-driven intelligence platform that would serve as "the marketplace of the future." He cited the company's Pax8 Academy, which provides support and enablement for MSPs, adding that for partners who gain skills and knowledge through the academy, their customers consume 2.5 times more cloud.

Read the complete story here.

CEO Magee Talks ConnectWise Exit, AI, Security and Competition

ConnectWise CEO Jason Magee addressed a media Q&A at IT Nation Secure 2024. Here are some of the topics he addressed that are covered below:

  • Private Equity, a New CFO, and Any Plans for a Sale
  • AI, ConnectWise Sidekick, the Microsoft Partnership and Copilot
  • On Microsoft – Is it a Partner, an Ally or a Competitor?
  • Kaseya 365, Discount Pricing and Whether it's Disruptive
  • The Importance of Cybersecurity for MSPs
  • The ScreenConnect Vulnerability and How ConnectWise Did

MSP tools platform vendor ConnectWise CEO Jason Magee recently celebrated his fifth anniversary leading the company. He stepped up to the top job in 2019 when ConnectWise was sold to private equity firm Thoma Bravo.

But Magee wasn’t a PE company insider installed at the top of ConnectWise to take it in a different direction. Not even close. As ChannelE2E reported at the time, Magee had already been running the company’s day-to-day operations for several years and was a natural successor to founder and owner Arnie Bellini who stepped away from the top job at the company after the sale.

Under Magee, ConnectWise has maintained its dedication to its MSP community through its events, the Evolve peer groups, its investment in Service Leadership, and more. It’s one of the aspects that distinguishes ConnectWise in the market of MSP tools providers.

Magee provided his perspective on ConnectWise, its strategy, the MSP market and more during a media Q&A at IT Nation Secure last week. We have excerpts of that interview here. But first some background.

There are three leaders in the MSP tools platform market – ConnectWise, Kaseya and N-able (in alphabetical order here). And there are plenty of growing challengers that offer the key tool sets MSPs need in their platforms – RMM (remote monitoring and management) and PSA (professional services automation) and increasingly, cybersecurity, specifically MDR and XDR.

Read the complete story here.

Jessica C. Davis

Jessica C. Davis is editorial director of CyberRisk Alliance’s channel brands, MSSP Alert, MSSP Alert Live, and ChannelE2E. She has spent a career as a journalist and editor covering the intersection of business and technology including chips, software, the cloud, AI, and cybersecurity. She previously served as editor in chief of Channel Insider and later of MSP Mentor where she was one of the original editors running the MSP 501.