On Location at Pax8 Beyond with Chief Strategy Officer, Ryan Walsh

In episode 21 of “Inside Dynamics Communities,” Ryan Gonzales, Senior Sales Director, Dynamics Communities and Summit NA, and Pam Misialek, Community Director, Dynamics Communities and Summit NA, host Ryan Walsh, Channel Chief, Chief Strategy Officer, Pax8, who discusses the brand and its involvement with its partners ecosystem, and artificial intelligence (AI).

This episode is sponsored by Summit North America, the largest independent gathering of the Microsoft Business Applications ecosystem, taking place Oct. 15-20, 2023, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Register today to connect with thousands of users across the Microsoft business applications ecosystem at the for user, by user event.


00:19 — Pam and Ryan recently had the opportunity to attend Pax8 Beyond, the annual conference held by Pax8. In this episode, Pam interviews the company’s Chief Strategy Officer Ryan Walsh to learn about the company, its partners ecosystem, and the recent announcements made at the event.

01:43 — During its early stages, Pax8 only sold to small and mid-sized businesses. However, it quickly realized those customers “don’t have in-house IT” to buy the products Pax8 offers. As the company began to grow, it started selling to partners. Along the way, Pax8 partners suggested the company “get into the catalog of cloud distributors.” The company did just that, and used Ingram Micro to assist them in this journey. The company began to focus on delivering “cloud-based technologies to a channel community that needs to help implement that solution to a customer,” explains Walsh.

04:10 — At its core, Pax8 is trying to help deliver cloud-based products — like Dynamics 365 — to an end customer as “fast and easy as possible.” As such, the company began to be considered a “cloud distributor.” Although, Walsh notes the ways that the prevalence of online marketplaces has changed the dialogue. It’s a broader, different category, he explains, but Pax8 is focused on selling an outcome and a result, as opposed to just a product.

05:33 — More and more, Pax8 is learning two things:

  • The experience of interacting with somebody is almost as important as the product and service itself
  • Outcomes and solutions over products

“The solution needs to have multiple dimensions, not just one thing,” says Walsh.

06:19 — Pam asks Walsh if he has recommendations for less sophisticated organizations with small IT teams who want to move to the cloud. Should they go through a managed service provider (MSP), or Pax8?

Pax8 realizes that there is an ecosystem of partners who can deliver these solutions. As a result, the company is focused more and more on strategic partnerships. “You can come to us or go straight to an MSP, we’re going to make that happen.” “Enablement education” is another focus of Pax8, as the company places attention on helping customers understand and implement its cloud technologies. Pam notes that the company acts as a “community collaboration space,” to which Walsh agrees.

08:38 — When Pax8 started its journey, the company was focused on disrupting the distribution space. The second phase of its journey related to building the Pax8 community, which came about through peer groups, education, and partnerships. Within its marketplace, Pax8 is trying to enable “a partner to partner,” which makes partners available to customers in the same way that products are.

09:22 — Pam asks Walsh to elaborate on some announcements that were made at Pax8 Beyond. Pax8 has a deep relationship with Microsoft, Walsh explains, and many Pax8 customers were buying Microsoft products first. As such, Pax8 is now offering Microsoft Copilot and other AI technologies in its marketplace. During the event, Pax8 revealed that the Pax8 marketplace will be fueled by data-driven insights, considering that “data is the new oil” and has the ability to reduce complexities.

“Data-driven insights is a big reveal of the future of how solutions will be assembled and suggested to communities,” says Walsh in closing.

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