What It takes to be a Pax8 vendor

The Pax8 vendor selection and vetting process

A glimpse at what’s expected of Pax8 vendors before they launch.

As part of the Pax8 mission to be the world’s favorite marketplace for technology professionals to buy cloud products, we are very agile, yet meticulous, when it comes to choosing the vendors and solutions we offer. In fact, every Pax8 vendor undergoes a rigorous vetting process to ensure that we can provide partners with the world-class Pax8 experience they expect and deserve when buying that vendor.

In this article, we’ll explore not only how our team selects and vets new vendors, but also how we ensure our employees and partners have the proper resources and backing they need to be successful with every solution.

How We Pick Vendors

When it comes to how Pax8 vendors are discovered and selected, our vendor and product teams take a very hands-on approach. No vendor can just simply sign up and start selling with Pax8.

We listen to the channel.

First and foremost, we pay close attention to what our MSP partners and the IT channel are talking about. We also listen closely to our partner advisory council and peer groups to hear directly from them about the types of problems they face and the vendors or solutions that can help them. Our Vendor Acquisition team scours Reddit and other forums to learn what MSPs are discussing as well — whether that’s a specific vendor, product solution, or recurring topic of interest.

We keep an eye on where the MSP landscape is going and constantly read industry and channel reports that help us identify larger trends, which are often supported by what we hear from partners.

We look for the best — not the biggest.

We don’t get distracted by trying to bring on only the biggest vendors in the channel. Instead, we focus on the ones that best meet the needs of our partner base and share the Pax8 ethos. We recognize where we may have gaps in our offerings and look for the best vendor to fill them — even if they’re relatively unknown in the channel.

While the vendors with the lion’s share of the market may have more offerings, their size can hinder them in making quick innovations that also specifically benefit the Pax8 partner base. Additionally, some of the bigger vendors aren’t focused on empowering non-enterprise MSPs and their SMB clients. That’s why Pax8 also keeps an eye out for new, lesser-known vendors that are extremely specialized and cutting edge.

In everything we do at Pax8, we put our partners first. While there are a lot of factors taken into consideration when a new Pax8 vendor is chosen, three of the major things we look for include:

1. Vendor Readiness: Is the vendor ready to go into market? Does their solution integrate with the Pax8 Platform via APIs for automation and multitenancy to enable easy management and support? Some vendors haven’t worked with a distributor before, so they may not have these APIs available when they come to Pax8. That’s when our team can step in to consult with the vendor’s team to build any necessary integrations.

2. Product Gap: Does this vendor fill a gap, provide different benefits, or target different users than a vendor already in our catalog? We’re not looking to offer a bunch of competing products to our partners if there aren’t clear benefits and distinctions between them. That just makes it harder for partners to determine which solution is right for them and their clients. And, we may not offer all of a vendor’s solutions — just the ones that fill a gap or provide added value.

3. Partner Profitability: How is the solution billed and will partners get a healthy margin? Some vendors may have great products, but if they won’t bill the same way (usually monthly) as our partners, they must change their billing structure, or they don’t become a Pax8 vendor. Their pricing can’t be too high either, because many of our partners work with SMBs who have limited IT budgets, and they simply can’t afford them. And, of course, we want to make sure that partners will receive healthy margins on sold products to ensure their continued profitability and success.

Unlike other distributors that haphazardly sell any and every product on the market, Pax8 can say with extreme pride and confidence that we provide the best partner experience possible for each of the vendors we select to sell.

Let’s go ahead and get a glimpse into the pre-launch process.

Preparing for Launch — Just the Tip of the Iceberg

Once we’ve decided on a new vendor, that’s when the rubber really meets the road and several departments throughout Pax8 begin their due diligence to launch the vendor. The Pax8 team goes through more than 150 steps, working closely with the vendor to ensure everyone and everything is ready to hit the ground running on the day of launch.

Below are several key objectives that Pax8 and the new vendor must meet in order to launch.

Ensuring world-class support.

We pride ourselves on the fact that we provide 24/7 support and are our partners’ single point of contact when something goes wrong. We don’t read off scripts and we don’t just immediately escalate tickets to vendors. In fact, we resolve over 80% of all support requests in-house.

Pax8 vendors are required to provide our support engineers with live, in-depth technical training and demo environments so they can learn firsthand how to quickly resolve issues when they arise. The demo environment is especially crucial as it gives our engineers the freedom to test new features and independently troubleshoot.

Additionally, we expect our vendors to hold regular cadence calls that allow our teams to connect with each other to discuss recent issues and how they can be prevented or mitigated in the future. We develop a true relationship with our vendors, just like we develop relationships with all our partners. The rewards of that vendor relationship flow downstream when our engineers can rapidly solve an issue for a partner, saving them and their clients time, money, and stress. It’s for these reasons and more that Pax8 support is consistently considered world-class, with a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 75.

Educating cloud solution consultants.

Making sure the vendor helps set our support teams up for success is one thing, but they also have to make sure our solution consultants understand the features and functions of their product(s). When our team is knowledgeable about a vendor, they can quickly recognize when it may be the perfect solution to fill a gap in a partner’s tech stack, and they can pass that knowledge along to the partner to use when talking to their client. Essentially, we ensure that our people know what they’re talking about so you can confidently use the same information when speaking with your clients.

We require vendors to conduct live trainings with our team, and we provide them with a list of training resource requirements and templates to create trainings in our standardized Pax8 style. They are expected to provide resources such as a sales training deck, a sales playbook, and a knowledge assessment. By requiring the same general training resources and the use of Pax8 templates, we’re able to provide a level of quality control that ensures that each new vendor training is in a similar format, making it much easier to educate and train our employees.

Empowering partners with resources from day one.

We expect our vendors to share the Pax8 ethos of empowering MSPs and IT professionals to fill the gaps in their tech stack and achieve business success. Pax8 vendors are acutely aware that we have partners of all shapes and sizes —many of whom serve SMBs — so their bandwidth and ability to create marketable content is limited.

This is why we adamantly push new vendors to provide or create resources that our partners can use when talking with clients. We make it clear that any white-labeled resources or marketing materials that the vendor can provide will only help them, because our partners can utilize those resources to close more deals.

We Don’t Hoard Vendors. We Curate Them.

Pax8 is extremely selective of what vendors we bring on because we are all about quality over quantity. Our marketplace has been carefully and strategically curated to ensure we’re always providing the best partner experience. Wondering which vendors have made the cut to become part of the Pax8 ecosystem?

Explore the Pax8 Marketplace