Pax8’s John Street on Building the “Un-Distributor”

John Street, CEO and founder of service distributor Pax8, talks to Larry Walsh about disrupting the status quo in distribution with an innovative approach to selling to and supporting managed service providers that cater to SMB customers.

Many vendors and channel professionals continue to think about distribution in its traditional “pick, pack, and ship” role in the two-tier go-to-market model. Distributors are the backbones of product logistics, partner support, and financial credit.

However, distributors are under scrutiny as technology sold as a service continues to erode the transactional hardware business. Some vendors question the role and value of distribution when technology is sold under contracts, delivered by MSPs, and paid through subscriptions.

What many vendors are discovering is that distributors are essential for reaching customers through the channel — even under the service model. Distributors are proving valuable in providing the enablement and support that partners, particularly MSPs, need for adopting and developing services to deliver to their customers.

Not all distributors are created equally, particularly when addressing the SMB segment. One distributor that’s made a name for itself by disrupting the SMB service channel is Pax8. Born from the legacy of a managed security service company, Pax8 focuses on helping MSPs build solid service offerings and develop healthy recurring revenue in the SMB segment. In the past 10 years, Pax8 has gone from a struggling start-up to a major disruptor in the distribution segment. Today, after passing $1 billion in annual recurring revenue, Pax8 is taking aim at transforming itself into a service marketplace for MSPs.

The Pax8 journey hasn’t been easy. It’s been replete with setbacks, challenges, and opportunities that took time to develop. Pax8 CEO John Street joins Changing Channels to discuss the evolution of Pax8, what makes it different from traditional distributors, and where this innovative company is going over the next 10 years.

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