Pax8's Robert Belgrave

Life in the channel: Pax8’s  Robert Belgrave

PCR talks to Pax8’s Robert Belgrave, a cloud management company, focused on simplifying the way organisations buy, sell, and manage cloud solutions through their born-in-the-cloud end-to-end platform.

Please tell me a bit more about yourself and your current role at Pax8?
Hi, I’m Rob Belgrave – previously CEO of Wirehive, and now CEO of Pax8 UK following the acquisition in January. My role as CEO of Pax8 UK is to create an environment which enables our team to do their best work and, in doing so, continue the incredible growth journey of Pax8 in a new market.

The purchase of Wirehive provided Pax8 with an expanded reach across new technologies and geographies. The acquisition of Wirehive and the creation of Pax8 UK into the market, has rapidly accelerated job creation in these new geographies, and in turn, offers new diverse job opportunities in the UK. Pax8 UK has allowed the capitalization of accessible new technology increasing the enhanced technology capabilities for step-by-step cloud migration. The emergence of Pax8 UK, has provided a really exciting opportunity for both myself and Pax8.

I also co-founded the social enterprise Ecologi (ecologi.com), a platform which helps individuals and businesses plant trees and fund the world’s best climate crisis solutions. In fact, we just hit 10 million trees planted at Ecologi.

Can you tell us how the cloud market has transformed within the last year as a result of the current climate?
Many industries have taken a significant hit within the past 12 months, with many still trying to navigate what a post-pandemic world will look like. However, due to the sudden need for the global workforce to work from home, many organisations had to re-think their infrastructures they had in place. A lot of organisations were relying on traditional, legacy IT systems which meant working remotely was near impossible with their current setup. This prompted the need to act quickly with a lot businesses looking at ways to provide flexible working tools that enable remote working.

The cloud market has gone from strength to strength as a result of the disruption caused by the pandemic. Businesses have been willing to accelerate their transition to cloud services more aggressively which has accordingly driven significant growth.

 Pax8’s mission is to simplify the way organisations buy, sell, and manage cloud solutions, how do you achieve this?
The way that modern businesses roll out new technology has changed significantly in recent years. As a result, Pax8 aims to enable these modern businesses to acquire the tools they need to not only drive productivity, but also remain collaborative and future-proof within these uncertain times.

Pax8 is modernising how partners buy, sell, and manage cloud. As a born-in-the-cloud company, Pax8 simplifies the buying journey, empowering partners to achieve more with cloud technology. We do this through billing, provisioning, automation, industry-leading PSA integrations, and pre and post-sales support, and education.

A successful cloud practice requires more than just technology. It takes having a partner every step of the way, empowering the MSP with the education, resources, and support they need to grow their business.

Our award-winning technology displaces legacy distribution by connecting the channel ecosystem to its award-winning transactional cloud marketplace.

Can you tell us a little bit about Pax8’s Wingman partner programme?
At Pax8, we believe the cloud should be an experience where the right team and the right technology come together to provide a simplified experience.

For five consecutive years, Pax8 has been awarded five stars for its Wingman Partner Program by CRN. To qualify, Pax8 met requirements for inclusion and had unique partner program benefits that address critical challenges in cloud infrastructure and applications, and had a strong combination of technology, training, and support to help cloud initiatives succeed.

We view our partner program as a roadmap for MSPs seeking to be successful with cloud technology. Pax8’s innovative partner program empowers and accelerates the growth of solution providers’ cloud initiatives. We are committed to enabling the cloud buying journey for the IT channel with the partner program. Especially with businesses operating in the new normal of the remote workforce, cloud solutions play a critical role in enabling their ability to stay efficient and secure. We custom built our program to enable partners to thrive in the modern channel.

What are your main goals on what you want to achieve at Pax8 within the next year?
As businesses look to emerge from the current climate, the post-pandemic world is going to look very different. I want Pax8 to be one of those organisations that takes the lead and enables organisations to navigate what this new normal will look like.

As a leader, my mission is to create the sort of business I would want to work for—one that inspires, celebrates, and rewards our talented team for the incredible work that they do for our partners.

As the best place for IT providers to buy technology solutions, we also strive to be among the best places to work. Over the years, we have been named one of the best places to work by ComputerWorld, OUTSIDE Magazine, Inc., and more. Our approach allows us to attract and retain the best talent available to cement our position as the leading cloud marketplace.
How did you begin your career?
As someone diagnosed with dyslexia at a young age, I didn’t connect with traditional academia but I was able to find a deep passion for technology. The internet was a revelation because it enabled me to teach myself skills that I identified as a huge career opportunity at a young age. When my friends were doing paper rounds, I was building websites for small businesses, and I was offered a full-time job at the age of 16 as a web developer. I decided to finish school before progressing in my career, but went straight into the technology industry aged 19, and I have never looked back.

What inspired you to set out a career in technology?
I’ve always loved technology and the possibilities it affords people to improve their lives. Technology always landed squarely in the middle of the Ikigai chart for me. It is something I’m good at, and something that I love. The most exciting thing about a career in technology is the rate of change—if you’re standing still, you’re going backwards.

 Where do you see the channel going within the next year?
The channel is modernising fast. Organisations like Pax8 are disrupting the legacy players with a new approach to cloud distribution. We are creating a tightly integrated marketplace, offering a blend of best of breed products and services, wrapped in the highest quality support. The growth we are experiencing speaks for itself – there is pent up demand in the channel to evolve, and I expect this to continue to accelerate over the coming year.

 What piece of advice would you give to someone who is looking to start a career in technology?
There has never been a better time to choose a career in technology with significant growth forecasted for technology jobs across all sectors in the coming decade.

Every business is now a technology business, relying upon innovation to enhance products, services, and customer experience from all angles. Data is a particular area of focus, with a race underway to attract and retain top talent to extract value from the exhaust of data every business creates.

My overarching advice, which has served me well, is: Work hard and be nice to people. If you can do that, then you will make your own luck.

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