Higher Learning and Support for MSPs Accelerates Growth, Deepens Customer Relationships

Higher Learning and Support for MSPs Accelerates Growth, Deepens Customer Relationships

By Juhi Fadia

There are few sectors in information technology, networking, and digital communications growing as fast as managed services. In large part, the rationale behind the growth is the shift to the cloud, the pace of change, and the opportunities for SMEs to compete with larger businesses, given the quality of productivity tools now available.

According to Statista, in 2021, there were estimated to be nearly 333 million SMEs worldwide, up slightly from 2019, when they were just shy of 329 million, and up dramatically since 2000, when there were 204 million. 

It is not surprising that this trajectory matches the growth of top technology trends, from access to more powerful and affordable mobile devices to Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS) and cloud computing.

Without the need to risk upfront capital to buy, maintain and replace equipment – from application and web servers to phone systems, faxes, and printers – every size organization is able to do more for less by tapping into shared infrastructure and any combination of public, private, and hybrid clouds.

This has created massive opportunities along with new challenges for MSPs, whose customers depend on them and truly trust their futures with them as the foundation for how work gets done, products are designed, manufactured, and marketed, and how they deliver competitive customer experiences.

If the network goes down, the business goes down. The MSPs who are succeeding are continually making investments in ensuring the quality of service, even though the MSPs themselves are often at the mercy of their cloud and network providers.

“Continuing education is key to growing every MSP business,” said Rex Frank, Vice President of Pax8 Academy, which provides education and support to its partner MSPs. “Establishing and operating an MSP is one thing, but growing and enriching the capabilities of an MSP is another, given the constant change in IT and new challenges, including security assurance in a world where new threats are emerging every day. Building trust with customers requires knowledge, experience, and the ability to advise on new ways those customers can benefit from solutions they may not even have thought of – for example, adding smart building technologies, IoT applications, sustainable energy power alternatives, and more.”

Pax8 has continued to develop Pax8 Academy, offering MSPs a variety of ways to learn, stay up to date on trends, gain peer support and get coaching from cloud professionals after launching training, education, and access to coaching in 2021.

The company introduced a redesigned website that makes it easier for MSPs to outline their educational roadmap and leverage the company’s 600 years of collective cloud and channel experience among its cloud educators. Pax8 was recently selected as a 2022 ChannelPro SMB All-Star in recognition of the company’s leadership and innovation. ChannelPro cited, in part, Pax8 Academy’s education and enablement in the recognition.

“Pax8 Academy allows partners to benefit from the support, education, and encouragement of MSP experts and coaches when, where, and however they are ready to learn,” Frank explained. “We believe every MSP should benefit from an entire support team of MSP experts, coaches, and peers who help them take the right steps forward and catapult their business into what’s possible.”

More than 9,000 partners have already engaged with Pax8 Academy.

Pax8 Academy’s mission is to meet every partner where they are, with what they want to learn, and exactly how they want to learn it. That could mean helping a partner with general operational education or with vendor-specific education.

“Ultimately, partners gain a better understanding of their own business through Pax8 Academy, so they can better support clients, grow the business, save time and money and reduce risk,” Frank continued, “learning not only from our training team, but from each other as the Pax8 community of MSPs continues to grow, and our marketplace brings the best vendors in the business into view.”

Pax8 Academy offers support and education in four areas:

On-demand learning: Pax8 Academy courses cover topics including vendor solutions and business processes and are free for Pax8 partners – more than 8,500 partner employees have taken an on-demand course. There are more than 220 pieces of free content, including 149 guides, videos, and resources.

Instructor-led courses: Pax8 Academy offers ten paid courses with live, in-depth education. More than 700 MSP employees have graduated from instructor-led courses. Those who completed an MSP foundations course at least six months ago have seen an increase of 146 percent in their cloud revenue.

Peer groups: Pax8 Academy offers 15 non-competitive groups facilitated by industry experts for MSP owners, service managers, sales and marketing, dispatch, and operations. More than 130 MSPs have participated. Those who stay in a peer group for six-plus months see their cloud revenue more than double, on average.

Coaching: Pax8 Academy offers customized coaching in sales, operations, and value creation, with nearly 300 partners currently enrolled and 640+ partner coaching graduates. Coaching partners see cloud revenue that is up to 2.5 times the industry average.

Frank was the founder and CEO of Sea-level Operations, which was acquired by Pax8 last year. Sea-Level Operations, as part of Pax8, continues to provide consulting and coaching to MSPs through operations planning.

“We continue to invest in bringing a comprehensive curriculum to our MSP partners,” Frank said, “but even more important than the on-demand classes, virtual events, and peer support, is taking time to tailor coaching for MSPs, to help them enter a new service category, to help them prepare for regional expansion, to help them enter new vertical industries.”

Pax8 Academy also includes courses and coaching on excellence in operations, including PSA configuration, the life of a ticket, KPIs, HR and professional development, accounting systems, and more, with a focus on running a more profitable and scalable business. “Additionally, there are programs for sales, marketing, and customer experience, designed in total to nurture a lasting, valuable enterprise,” Frank said. “When our MSP partners succeed, we succeed, and their customers succeed. Providing education and training – along with motivation and strategy – is very rewarding on all fronts.”

Juhi Fadia is an engineer, analyst, researcher and writer covering advanced and emerging technologies.

Edited by Erik Linask
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