Flexible Partner Program Racking Up Accolades

If your company is looking for a channel partnership with a DIY ethos, Rackspace is probably not the partner for you, says Chris Rallo.

“Fanatical Support is in our DNA,” said Rallo, director of strategy and programs for Rackspace’s Partner organization. “So that’s the kind of partnership we offer: we’ll manage your infrastructure, help you go to market, and support you and your customers. We’ll do the heavy lifting.”

Rallo said Rackspace is eschewing a one-size-fits all approach to partnering in favor of a flexible approach that allows partners to leverage programs that truly fit their needs and how they go to market with their customers.

SiriusDecisions, a leading global business-to-business research and advisory firm, confirmed the wisdom of that approach recently when it honored Rackspace with its Channel Programs of the Year award at its 10th annual SiriusDecisions Summit, held last month.

Rackspace was selected from a field of leading b-to-b organizations that have “achieved significant results using data, analytics and next-generation metrics to develop the most effective channel management strategies.”

Kathy Contreras, Research Director at SiriusDecisions, praised Rackspace for “segmenting and targeting new partners with the best potential to perform.”

“Rackspace’s new partner recruitment program and their pursuit of non-traditional channel partners — specifically targeting venture capital/private equity firms, managed service providers, master agents and digital channel partners — has successfully brought their channel expansion into new markets,” she continued.

Also last month, Liz Thompson, marketing programs manager, was named one of The Channel Company’s prestigious 2015 CRN® Women of the Channel, which honors outstanding female executives across vendor channel organizations prominently involved in the IT channel ecosystem.

These awards preceded two in June; EMC’s Cloud Provider of the Year, which Rackspace earned for the second consecutive year, and perhaps most excitingly, Microsoft’s 2015 Hosting Partner of the Year.

As CRO Todd Cione wrote in a blog post earlier this month, “This is an honor we’ve now earned for the fifth time — the only hosting company to hit that milestone. And while it highlights the work we’ve done over the past year, it also stands as a testament to the success of our longtime partnership.”

These honors “illustrate the strength of what we’re building for our partner community,” said Rallo. But the team is not resting on these recent laurels; later this month, they’ll host their first Partner Advisory Council at Rackspace headquarters — aka the Castle — in San Antonio.

“We want to expose our partners to our culture, our leadership and our Fanatical Support,” he said, “but just as importantly, we’re looking for feedback from our partners, to continue to strengthen our program.”

The first advisory council will be made up just of “master agents,” but Rallo said the partner team is planning many more such events.

Want to learn more? Visit our Partner Network page, or contact the team directly at partnermarketing@rackspace.com

Tracy has served as editor-in-chief of the Rackspace blog since mid-2015. A Californian and recovering newspaper reporter, she’s called San Antonio home for more than a decade. You can find her resume and clips on LinkedIn.

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