Denver-basedPax8 has appointed channel veteran David Powell as vice president of sales strategy who will have a strong focus on MSPs to help them develop and strengthen their cybersecurity landscapes.
Powell brings with him 26 years of experience in a variety of areas in the IT channel such as account management, security, sales and marketing, channel strategy and business acquisitions and development.
He said his superpower is having both a background on the MSP side and the vendor side.
“I think I have this unique perspective,” he told CRN. “Internally I can be a big advocate for MSPs to say, ‘You’re trying to sell to a guy like me. I used to be the MSP so let me tell you where you’re missing the mark, where we could do better or what we could improve.’”
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Powell was recognized as a CRN channel chief star in 2017, 2021 and 2022. Knowing what MSPs are looking for, he’s ready to roll up his sleeves and get to work to help them grow their cyber stack.
“When I talked to the leadership at Pax8 they said, ‘We really need to do a better job of helping our MSPs get better at cybersecurity,’” he said. “Taking cybersecurity to their customers is a real risk. It is a real challenge, and not all MSPs can figure out how to do that on their own.”
He said the challenges MSPs have with cybersecurity are two-pronged.
“The first prong is how do we help them get better at this and mitigate their own risk,” he said. “The second part is how to take it to their customers and help their customers improve things. I think that most vendors do a good job on that first part, which is help the MSP, but not many do a great job at helping the MSP go sell into their account base and build that sales motion.”
In addition to helping MSPs, Powell will head the company’s sales strategy efforts to drive growth and revenue. He will report to Jared Pangretic, senior vice president of sales, Americas.
“We are thrilled to have someone of David’s caliber join Pax8 during this significant period of our company’s growth,” Pangretic said in a statement. “David’s passion for the channel community is evident in his efforts to empower MSPs and help them succeed in a constantly evolving market. His extensive network and deep understanding of the MSP landscape have earned him a reputation as a trusted advisor and thought leader in the industry.”
Pangretic could not be reached for further comment.
Powell, who assumed his role last week, previously served as chief revenue officer at Evo Security and was president at Prodoscore.
Powell, who joined Evo last fall, said while he loved his time at Evo Security and believed in what they were doing, he couldn’t turn down the opportunity from Pax8. “Evo has been supportive and we look forward to potentially working with them going forward as they are built for MSPs,” he said.
He is also a board member for the Inspire Brands Foundation and was the senior vice president of growth at ConnectWise. He also played a key role in the expansion of a variety of SaaS businesses, including LogicMonitor and Perch Cybersecurity.
“I’ve always had a heart for the channel,” he told CRN. “I’ve been in the channel as a MSP and on the vendor side, and one of the things I’ve always been able to bring to the vendor side is how do you align what you’re trying to do with a MSP’s goals.”
He said a lot of vendors try to “hammer a square peg into a round hole,” but vendors should align what they’re trying to accomplish to the MSP’s goals and how to make them successful.
Coming from a MSP background and building teams that sold cybersecurity, he believes there are aspects that Pax8 can replicate and formulate for its MSP customers.
“I think I can build that credibility quickly with our MSP community and then have some real actionable steps that they can go and implement immediately to improve their approach to the market,” he said.LEARN MORE: Cybersecurity
CJ Fairfield is an associate editor at CRN covering solution providers, MSPs and distributors. Prior to joining CRN, she worked at daily newspapers, including The Press of Atlantic City in New Jersey and The Frederick News-Post in Maryland. She can be reached at [email protected].
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