Beyond 2024 Day One – AI! Security! Robots!


Day one of Beyond 2024 is in the books — and it was everything we knew it would be! Here are some of the highlights:

Nick Heddy explains how community powers success

Newly announced Pax8 President Nick Heddy kicked off Day 1 of Beyond as he introduced the event by speaking about the unique power of a community that achieves success together. He highlighted explosive growth potential and emphasized the Pax8 commitment to MSPs through cutting-edge technology, like the new data-driven Pax8 Marketplace, and robust support around major initiatives, such as security and AI.

One key stat that Heddy shared was that the three-year financial benefit of being a Pax8 partner means a 29% jump in overall sales revenue. This real-world benefit was underscored by Jay McBain’s presentation situated in the middle of Heddy’s keynote where he shared the enormous potential for growth when it comes to both security and AI and how partners can take the lead in these sectors.

In the end, Heddy summarized the Pax8 approach with a single sentiment: “Your success is our success.”

Scott Chasin looks into the future

New Pax CEO, Scott Chasin, gave an electric keynote with a visionary look into the future. After taking attendees through his history and how he arrived at this role, he explained his approach to leadership: he seeks out future scenarios so he can ready the larger Pax8 partner community to take the lead and ultimately, win market share.

Chasin peered into his crystal ball and provided three sets of predictions for the near-term, the mid-term, and the long-term. A couple near-term examples were that AI will be an indelible component to every product MSPs sell and that we’re going to see the first billion-dollar revenue MSP within the next 24 months.

In the mid-term, MSPs will evolve from transactional resellers to true business advisors. Another prediction was that MSPs will form global collaboration networks, sharing resources, services, technology, and even clients. These networks will eventually give rise to true Partner-to-Partner marketplaces.

Finally, the long-term. As Chasin said, this is where Sci-Fi meets reality. He centered the idea of robotics in a humanoid, physical form as a massive market opportunity. For MSPs, from management to supporting the day-to-day as colleagues or “cobots,” robots as the future are more than a theory, but a near certainty. And building upon Heddy’s statement, Chasin concluded that “our future is your future.”

One Pax8 partner from Little Rock, Arkansas, Michael Sullivan from Sullivan Wright Technologies, shared that Chasin’s keynote was “A very exciting presentation. I’m excited for the future of AI and how it will progress and help us do our jobs better. I don’t think there’s ever going to be a point in time where someone like me in the MSP space is going to be less needed even if the robots can fix themselves.”

Microsoft announces new Pax8 program

Sharon Schoenborn, CVP of the Americas SMC at Microsoft, took the stage after both Heddy’s and Chasin’s keynotes and made the convincing case for Copilot as the AI tool of choice. In addition, she shared an exciting announcement: Pax8 and Microsoft have partnered to develop the “Security Center for Excellence.” This new program offers a core set of solution architects to help partners build their security practice. This program was built specifically with MSPs in mind to help you secure success.

SentinelOne announces their new product

Directly following Microsoft’s keynote, SentinelOne took the stage. In their hyper-relevant keynote, Michael Cremen, President and Chief Revenue Officer, and Dave Gold, Americas Field CTO, both shared their perspectives. They also revealed an exciting new product they’re bringing to market: Purple AI. They call this “the world’s most advanced AI-powered cybersecurity platform” and describe it as an advanced security analyst that partners can use to detect earlier, respond faster, and stay ahead of attacks.

After all, as Cremen quipped, “The way to fight machines is with machines.”

AI is top of mind for everyone

AI sessions abounded, including a panel discussion moderated by Pax8 Academy’s own Andy Readman and featuring Nathan Taylor of Sourcepass and Robin Harris, Senior Manager of Compliance and Audit at Pax8. The panel discussed the immediate and urgent need for a comprehensive understanding of AI governance and why cybersecurity learning around AI is so critical today. But they also discussed the enormous role AI will play in terms of growth because MSPs will be their end customers’ educators and consultants, and then will be able to offer the right tools through the Pax8 Marketplace. As Robin Harris said about this age of AI, “We’re all going to have to play being human very differently.”

Then, Pax8 CSO, Ryan Walsh, spoke to a standing-room only crowd about how to adopt and implement AI practically. He shared two studies that Pax8 undertook, one in partnership with Microsoft and Channelnomics regarding SMB buying behavior around AI and a second that surveyed partners and their sentiments regarding AI.

The potential for growth is plain: AI will contribute an astounding $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030 and 80% of businesses acknowledge that neglecting AI adoption could jeopardize their competitive standing.

So why aren’t some partners getting in the game? Walsh shared a compelling reason: use cases. In fact, 42% of partners surveyed shared that their customers are looking for relevant use cases that will convince them. To meet that need, Walsh provided some vital use case ideas for partners in the audience as well as valuable takeaways and next steps, like engaging with Pax8 Academy courses.

Erwin Visser, General Manager, Cloud Service Provider (CSP) Partner Channel, GPS America, Microsoft, provided another perspective on how to use AI in his session. He divulged insights into effective prompt engineering in Copilot, revealing that the best prompts contain four parts:

  1. Goal (What do you want from Copilot?)
  2. Context (Why do you need it and who is involved?)
  3. Source (Which information sources or samples should Copilot use?)
  4. Expectation (How should Copilot respond to best meet your expectations?)

The more you can optimize each of those four inputs, the more precise your outcome will be.

Security will be central to MSP success

David Powell, VP of Sales, was in rare form for his session, “Profitable Protection: How to Sell Security.” In it, he covered the minimum amount of safety we need to expect and execute on to ensure safety across our end customers. He focused on the need for cyber insurance and carefully explained what the minimum safety limit included, which was:

  • Advanced Threat Protection
  • MFA
  • EDR
  • Security Awareness Training
  • Segregated Backups

These five components, Powell explained, are the “safety belts and airbags” of any good business today.

Cybersecurity Throwdown

Hosted by Andrew Morgan, Founder, Right of Boom, John Strand, Owner, Black Hills Information Security, and Ryan O’Grady, Enterprise Solutions Architect, SentinelOne, the Cybersecurity Throwdown truly lived up to its name. Across the three sessions, attendees actively used real cybersecurity products to sniff out breaches within a fictional environment. In the end, one attendee claimed victory. Daniel Dunkijacobsnolten with Afineol IT Consulting scored the most points, winning a competition he didn’t even know was going to take place. “I came to learn about cybersecurity and actually didn’t know what the format was going to be,” Daniel said. “It was great getting a vendor hands-on with SentinelOne because I’d never used their products before.” Congrats, Daniel!

Gold Sponsor pitches

Our 25 Gold sponsors each took turns giving their best 30-second elevator pitches on why attendees should visit their booths at the vendor expo. Some rapped. Some danced. Some struggled with the time limit. And most were gently roasted by host Rob Rae. But all enjoyed their moment in the spotlight. So support each of them by visiting their booths before your time runs out!

Amy Van Dyken brought the house down

Six-time Olympic gold medalist Amy Van Dyken put an emotional exclamation point on the end of day one with the inspirational story of her life. Diagnosed with severe asthma and an allergy to chlorine at a young age, Amy fought through her physical limitations to eventually become the first American woman to win four gold medals in any Olympics. After experiencing a tragic ATV accident in 2014 that left her paraplegic, Amy once again tapped into her championship spirit to continue to choose to overcome her physical limitations every day. She encouraged the enrapt attendees to approach any life obstacle by her motto: “Who are you to tell me what I can and can’t do?”

A more inclusive community

“The amount of people that are here is actually what stood out to me. And it shows that the women in this space are going not going anywhere, that we’re stronger, that more of us are here. That was the coolest thing, just to look around and say, there are a bunch of me’s around. And that’s something I didn’t really know really existed until I came to a space like this.” said Naaila Hossain, CEO of Techcierge.

Exhibit hall buzz

All our incredible vendors brought the exhibit hall to life with their engaging and vibrant displays. Attendees enjoyed an array of refreshments as they made connections that are sure to drive the channel forward.

Why tell you about day one when we can show you? Enjoy!


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