Jun 20, 2024
7 min read

Uncovering MSP Challenges and Showcasing Alcion at Pax8 Beyond 2024

Uncovering MSP Challenges and Showcasing Alcion at Pax8 Beyond 2024

Alcion recently showcased our innovative AI-driven Microsoft 365 data protection solution on the expo floor at Pax8 Beyond 2024 in Denver. As a "coming soon" vendor to the Pax8 Marketplace, we couldn't wait to connect with the 1,600+ Managed Service Providers (MSPs) in attendance. The demand for MSPs globally is booming. Through Pax8 alone, their MSP partners support over 550,000 businesses and 15 million end-users globally.

At Alcion we take partners seriously, we don't just offer the best Microsoft 365 data protection in the industry. We have a laser focus on creating a frictionless partnership experience, allowing partners to focus on their client's needs without getting bogged down by data protection complexities or restrictive partnership programs.

Why sponsor Pax8 Beyond? This premier MSP event provided the perfect platform to:

  • Validate our future roadmap: We gained valuable insights from MSPs about their challenges and priorities, ensuring our solutions align with their needs.
  • Build the best partner program possible: For us, feedback is crucial and an integral part of what we build here at Alcion. We want to create a seamless and frictionless partnership experience.
  • Showcase our expertise: We're passionate about data protection for Microsoft 365 and Alcion has some innovative, AI-driven and security-focused features that are a modern take on traditional data protection platforms.

Connecting with well over a hundred partners at the event, here are some of the key challenges and themes that MSPs are facing, based on the fantastic conversations we had at the conference. We'll also explore how Alcion's platform can help address some of these challenges for MSPs.

What are the Challenges of Managed Service Providers?

  • Licensing Headaches 
    • Complex licensing models with upfront yearly or multi-year commitments are a constant struggle for MSPs, not flexing up and down with their business.
    • These models limit flexibility and make it difficult to scale effectively.
    • Accurately forecasting licensing needs three months in advance is a challenge for many MSPs, let alone a year. To avoid overage fees associated with missed licensing commitments, they often play it safe by underestimating their needs. However, this approach can sacrifice access to better pricing offered for higher licensing commitments.
  • Security and Insurance Concerns
    • Insurance policies such as Cyber and Liability are more thoroughly evaluated during the underwriting process  
    • A robust backup solution with security functionality and integrations baked in as a first-class citizen is of the foundational pillars MSPs and underwriters are looking for.
    • Headlines like “MSP being sued for inadequately protecting customer” are making it into the news – Raising alarm bells of risk exposure to their businesses MSPs are looking for providers who have a strong focus on security built into the products as they provide more security-focused services to their customers.
    • MSPs are increasingly finding their customers demanding additional layers of security, particularly against malware and ransomware attacks.
    • Features, like delete protection and storage-level safeguards like data immutability, were frequently highlighted as essential product functionality.
    • Especially for MSPs consuming SaaS-based products, secure multi-tenancy models are crucial for ensuring data isolation and preventing breaches.
  • Retention Gaps and Data Loss
    • While Microsoft 365 offers a good foundation, MSPs agreed it falls short when it comes to comprehensive data protection.
    • MSPs highlighted they are actively pursuing or already using an external backup solution to plug gaps in Microsoft 365 retention and other SaaS-based applications.
    • MSPs are seeing an increasing number of customers experiencing some form of data corruption or data loss in SaaS-based applications, such as Microsoft 365.
  • Operational Toil  
    • Managing and maintaining complex legacy backup solutions is a huge burden for MSPs.
      • Legacy solutions often require manual configuration, monitoring, and troubleshooting, taking away valuable time MSPs could spend on higher-value services for their clients.
      • Scaling legacy solutions to accommodate new clients or data growth can be technically difficult and expensive.
      • Using and maintaining older systems may require specialized knowledge that newer MSP staff members might not have. This can lead to staffing challenges for MSPs.
    • The time and resources spent on operational toil directly eat away at profit margins. Several MSPs shared how their team spends a significant amount of time managing backup infrastructure, leaving less time for strategic growth initiatives and serving their customers.
    • The shift towards SaaS solutions is a welcome change for many MSPs, but even some SaaS offerings can create challenges. A few MSPs mentioned frustrations with managing legacy SaaS products due to limitations in delegated control, a lack of user-friendly multi-tenant dashboards, instability, or unnecessary complexity.

Microsoft 365 Backup Solutions Alcion provides for MSPs

  • Simplified Licensing  
    • We understand the complexities of licensing, and that's why we are changing the game with flexible, no commitment monthly based licensing.
    • No upfront commitments allow MSPs to scale their services based on customer demand.
  • Prioritizing Security
    • Alcion monitors the contents of backups and analyzes the access patterns in your data. If signs of abnormal or suspicious activity indicative of ransomware are detected, Alcion will raise an incident.
    • Alcion is integrated with industry-leading XDR solutions like Microsoft Defender. This allows Alcion’s threat detection engine to go beyond Microsoft 365 monitoring and leverage the greater infrastructure visibility provided by the Microsoft Defender suite of products.
    • Alcion offers advanced features like delete protection and immutable storage, providing an extra layer of security for both the MSP and the Alcion platform.
    • Our secure multi-tenancy models ensure complete data isolation for each client.
    • We support MSPs with BYOK encryption, giving them complete control over their encryption keys if they require it, otherwise, MSPs can rely on our robust per-client key management.
  • Bridging the Retention Gap  
    • Alcion offers robust backup solutions that seamlessly integrate with Microsoft 365 and offer market-leading data retention.
    • With advanced search and restore capability MSPs can easily find items and perform granular restore.
  • Reducing Operational Toil  
    • Simplified partner onboarding (minutes!) with no certification or training requirements.
    • Alcion's partner dashboard offers a single view of all managed tenants streamlining operations.
    • Simple invoicing with per-tenant breakdown simplifies end-of-month billing.
    • With secure delegated access, MSPs can easily manage all their customers without needing to context switch between users.
    • Smart features, such as intelligent backup scheduling and continuous data validation, free up valuable time and give MSPs confidence that data is protected around a user or resource's busiest time.


Alcion recently connected with over a hundred MSPs at Pax8 Beyond, a premier MSP event. Serving as a valuable opportunity for Alcion to have one-on-one conversations to gain insights from these partners to validate our product roadmap and to discuss challenges they are facing in the market today.

Managed Service Providers are grappling with several challenges, including: complex licensing structures that require upfront and long-term commitments (12+ months) requiring complicated or inaccurate modelling, the ever-increasing need for robust security features to combat cyberattacks and meet insurance requirements for themselves and their customers, inadequate data retention capabilities in Microsoft 365 that necessitate external backup solutions, and the burden of managing and maintaining legacy backup systems that consume valuable resources.

Alcion is changing the game for MSPs. We offer:

  • Simplified Licensing: No upfront commitments, monthly billing with clear invoicing and per-tenant breakdowns
  • Unmatched Security: AI-powered threat detection, ransomware protection, BYOK encryption, and secure multi-tenancy
  • Comprehensive Retention: Fills the gaps in Microsoft 365 retention combined with advanced search and restore capabilities
  • Reduced Operational Toil: Streamlined operations with our partner dashboard, delegated access and intelligent features

Are you an MSP looking for a better way to protect your clients' Microsoft 365 data? Contact us for more information or get started by registering on our partner portal and taking advantage of our 14-day free trial.

Ben Young
Ben Young
Technology Evangelist

Ben Young is a Technology Evangelist at Alcion with over ten years of experience in the Managed Service Provider (MSP) and Cloud Service Provider (CSP) markets. He's an expert in using APIs to automate complex tasks and integrate different technologies. His skills are recognized internationally, and he shares his knowledge through writing and speaking engagements. His passion is showcasing the art of the possible and being a product champion.