TC 100 Profile: Rackspace Eyes 'Fanatical Support'

What does it take to become the world's top managed cloud company? For Rackspace, it's all about providing "Fanatical Support." John Engates, Rackspace's chief technology officer, told Talkin' Cloud that his company differentiates on service, which has helped it carve out a niche in the cloud market.

Dan Kobialka, Contributing writer

March 31, 2015

3 Min Read
Rackspace Chief Technology Officer John Engates
Rackspace Chief Technology Officer John Engates.

What does it take to become the world’s top managed cloud company? For Rackspace (RAX), it’s all about providing “Fanatical Support.”

Rackspace, a San Antonio, Texas-based managed cloud company that ranked 10 on last year’s Talkin’ Cloud 100 list of the top 100 cloud services providers (CSPs), blends infrastructure with expertise. In fact, it does its best work at 3 a.m. on Sunday, Thanksgiving Day or any time its customers or partners need assistance, thanks to its “results-obsessed, can-do approach to customer service,” according to Rackspace’s Fanatical Support Promise.

John Engates, Rackspace’s chief technology officer, told Talkin’ Cloud that his company differentiates on service, which has helped it carve out a niche in the cloud market.

Rackspace is the only major cloud provider that offers a mix of database technologies on a combination of private, dedicated or public clouds, Engates said, and the cloud industry has taken notice.

“We built our company on the strategy of providing a superior services experience and by extension, a superior outcome for our customers,” he said. “We have found that this strategy works.”

Rackspace’s focus on specialization is reflected in its partner programs

Founded in 1998, Rackspace is “focused on customers who want to tap the power of the cloud without the pain of hiring experts in dozens of complex technologies,” according to Engates. It has nine data centers on four continents and serves more than 300,000 customers globally.

Engates noted that Rackspace prioritizes specialization, which is reflected in its partner network programs. These programs include:

  • Cloud affiliate program — Enables companies to drive revenue through their own websites by using Rackspace-approved web banners and text links.

  • Referral program — Provides a process for referring Rackspace’s dedicated bare metal, Rackspace Private Cloud (RPC), public cloud and email hosting to partners, customers and prospects. It also offers rewards to referral partners.

  • Reseller program — Allows companies to incorporate hybrid cloud hosting into their current product and service offerings.

  • Strategic program — Designed for companies that deliver enterprise IT infrastructure services, system integration, digital marketing, content and ecommerce solutions, it features a performance-based, tiered structure that rewards partners based on their efforts and investment.

Rackspace reported $472 million in net revenue in the fourth quarter of 2014, up 15.8 percent year over year. The managed cloud company also said it expects its revenue to grow between 2 percent and 3.5 percent on a constant currency basis in Q1 2015.

Click here for Talkin’ Cloud’s Top 100 CSP list

But to succeed in the cloud market, Rackspace will continue to stick to its strengths, Engates said, and ensure that each customer finds value in its services.

“We have been tempted to compete on other dimensions over the last few years, but we’ve always come back to our strengths and our roots of Fanatical Support,” Engates said.

What do you think of Rackspace’s commitment to “Fanatical Support”? Share your thoughts about this story in the Comments section below, via Twitter @dkobialka or email me at [email protected].

About the Author(s)

Dan Kobialka

Contributing writer, Penton Technology

Dan Kobialka is a contributing writer for MSPmentor and Talkin' Cloud. In the past, he has produced content for numerous print and online publications, including the Boston Business Journal, Boston Herald and Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State College (now Bridgewater State University). In his free time, Kobialka enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football (Go Patriots!).  

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