Rackspace Channel Chief: We Want to Go Deeper with Partners

Channel Partners' Edward Gately

Edward Gately

**Editor’s Note: Click here for our most recent list of important channel-program changes you should know.**

CHANNEL PARTNERS CONFERENCE & EXPO — A new partner program that represents an evolution in Rackspace‘s channel strategy will be a hot topic for the company’s channel chief and other reps when speaking with partners at this week’s Channel Partners Conference & Expo.

Rackspace has rolled out a new partner program that represents an evolution in the company’s channel strategy and has “partners’ fingerprints” all over it.

Lisa McLin, Rackspace’s channel sales and alliances vice president for North America, says the new program has “partners’ fingerprints” all over it. It’s designed to provide partners with better visibility and access into Rackspace’s portfolio of managed IT services across private and public clouds, application services, managed hosting, colocation and managed security.

Rackspace’s approach to the channel offers partners access to self-service and dedicated, customized program models to help meet their needs and the needs of their customers, the company said. Partners can take advantage of new features, including a strategic partner agreement, strengthened partner enablement and an enhanced portal.

Last November, Rackspace completed its acquisition of Datapipe, a MSP for public, private and hybrid cloud platforms — and competitor. Datapipe has 29 data centers in nine countries.

Rackspace's Lisa McLin

Rackspace’s Lisa McLin

In a Q&A with Channel Partners, McLin talks about her company’s new commitment to the channel and what partners can expect from the new program.

Channel Partners: How is the new program different from the previous program?

Lisa McLin: In the past, we had lots of partners and we didn’t go very deep with these partners; it was very much referral-commission, referral-commission, and we’ve now created a structured program, a program that will support partners who want to do business with Rackspace, but not get strategic. So maybe just referrals throughout the year.

We’ve also made the conscious decision of saying we only want a few partners, and we want partners who want to help their clients in this digital transformation, and they want a strong partner to help do that. So in the future you’ll see that we’re really going to focus on anywhere from 30-50 partners. That’s so we can go deep with those partners and get true enablement together, work with their customers to make sure that we are representing both companies in a fanatical manner in actually solving that digital-transformation need that most companies out there have today and are going through. And then you’ll also see a strategic agreement out there that’s a strong [one] for the partner and customers so that we do business together, and we actually lead with each other. That’s probably one of the big differences.

Through the Datapipe acquisition, we did have a channel program that had an agreement, and then Rackspace had a few agreements out in the market. Now that we’ve created one program, we have …

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