Alaska Telecomm Giant GCI Now a Partner in Fanatical Support

Rackspace’s new strategic partnership with GCI, the telecomm market leader in Alaska, brings Fanatical Support to that state’s unique and often challenging business environments.

Together with Rackspace, GCI, with its long and successful history serving more than 80 percent of the Alaska’s network, telephony and transport needs, can now help customers optimize IT budgets, take advantage of the flexibility of cloud consumption and manage the overall operational costs of running workloads in the cloud.

Given the unique dynamics of serving remote and rural customers and challenging economic conditions across Alaska — in particular the long downward trend in oil prices — organizations more than ever need new, favorable cost models. This partnership creates an enormous opportunity for businesses from healthcare to financial services, not to mention government and education, that have struggled to hire IT talent and move to the cloud.

As companies and institutions face decisions around renewing hardware and software contracts, committing significant capital outlays for data centers and colocation, migrating to the cloud provides an opportunity for greater flexibility, the ability to reduce capital and operating costs, create efficient workflows, maximize resources and keep globally connected. But a recent survey of 1,000 companies using the cloud showed “lack of expertise and resources” was a major hurdle for their organizations.

That’s why GCI is becoming more focused on managing these cloud capabilities and the vast technology resources available globally to customers, bringing subject-matter experts such as Rackspace to provide these specialized services and help navigate complex technology infrastructure. Partnering with Rackspace brings GCI customers access to managed VMware, AWS, Microsoft Azure and OpenStack clouds, and is Google’s exclusive managed cloud partner.

GCI’s customers will also now have access to Rackspace’s approximately 3,000 professional cloud engineers to help customers in Alaska and nationwide design, scale and properly manage cloud environments for maximum effectiveness, reduced costs and minimized risks.

Rackspace has a long and proven history of helping companies reduce risk and cost associated with running workloads in the cloud, and we bring that expertise to manage whatever the solution, freeing organizations up to focus on their core business rather than IT infrastructure.

This partnership is a natural fit; like Rackspace, GCI cares deeply about customer success and creating positive outcomes, a stance entirely consistent with Rackspace’s focus on Fanatical Support and mission to be the world’s leading services company Rackspace.

“We want to usher in a new era of what it means to be a managed service provider, and we looked to Rackspace as a partner to help advance our capabilities to get us there,” said GCI’s Senior Vice President and General Manager of Business Services Martin Cary in a press release. “We’re now able to help our customers improve their operations and connectivity from anywhere in the world.

As with our new relationship with GCI, Rackspace continues to identify key partnerships and relationships to leverage new and improved solutions for our partners and customers.

Within the Rackspace Partner Network, we’re your trusted advisor, collaborating with you to solve your customers’ business challenges and enabling their best business outcomes. Our fanatical channel is ever growing with additional support resources, new tools and enhanced educational and marketing programs for our valued partner ecosystem.

Michael Stephens is the Agent/VAR/Private Equity indirect channel leader at Rackspace. He oversees the company’s channel sales organization and is responsible for driving growth within the above stated practices. He brings more than 20 years of technology industry and channel experience to Rackspace. From 2013 to 2016 as Vice President of Customer Lifecycle Management, Michael led sales engineering, technology specialists and post-sales support at CenturyLink, helping grow the company’s channel revenue exponentially through a customer and partner-first strategy. Michael's leadership roles in operations have included inside sales, sales support, order entry, billing and collections. He has also led various teams within product, marketing and process management for LCI International and Qwest. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science degree in communications systems management from Ohio University. He also holds a Master of Science degree in information and communication sciences from Ball State University. A native of Ohio , Michael lives in Denver with his wife and two children.

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