Rackspace and Datapipe: What this Acquisition Means for the Channel

The news that Rackspace is in the process of acquiring Datatpipe, one of the world’s leading managed service providers, continues to make waves among tech media, industry analysts and customers.

But what does it mean, specifically, for the channel?

To say I am excited about the opportunities this acquisition offers our alliance and channel partners would be an understatement. And while we are limited in what we can discuss until the deal closes, likely by the end of this year, I did want to share what I can about our new capabilities and potential.

It’s important to understand that this is something customers have been asking us for: to expand further our ability to manage, at scale, the multiple clouds businesses and organizations use today. Customers want expert help as they spread various applications across public and private clouds, managed hosting, and colocation, depending on the blend of performance, control, security, cost-efficiency or geographic presence they need.

Luckily, Rackspace and Datapipe are very similar. We’re both known for our technical expertise and managed services across multiple clouds, exceptional customer service, profitable growth, and engaged workplace cultures. Both companies have been positioned as leaders in the Gartner Magic Quadrant assessment of providers of managed cloud services.

Also, both Rackspace and Datapipe have established strong channel partner ecosystems, and with the combination of our businesses, our commitment to invest in the channel deepens. The combined customer base will add considerable scale and more customers for both Rackspace and our partners to serve, in the U.S. and abroad.

As you may know, since being appointed vice president of Channel Sales and Alliances for North America in July, I’ve been listening to our partners about how we can better support what they do. That’s one reason we announced last month new incentives for agents, and have additional incentive programs in the pipeline.

And I’m already hearing positive feedback about the acquisition from our partners.

“This acquisition is positive news for the channel,” Ian Kieninger, CEO, AVANT Communications, one of our channel partners, told me. “We’ve been a long-time partner with Datapipe and believe the joining of forces will now offer customers even more solutions to solve the most complex IT challenges.”

Ted Schuman, Founder and CEO, PlanetOne Communications, called the deal “a multiplier” for channel partners – agents and managed service providers – and a growth catalyst for the cloud computing industry.

“From our perspective, this acquisition stands to deliver more services, more scale and more success to everyone engaged – the companies, the channel partners and the customers. Rackspace and Datapipe are both Preferred Providers of PlanetOne, and this move is strategic, substantial and sure to grab the industry’s attention.”

Joe Tsidulko, a senior editor with CRN, called it “One of the Six Deals That Reshaped the Channel in 2017.”

Once the acquisition is complete, Rackspace can build on the industry leadership our two companies have established in reliability and support, to create a new level of end-to-end customer experience. During the transition, we will take special care to maintain and enhance the exceptional customer experience that has differentiated both Rackspace and Datapipe from our competitors.

To learn more about the expanded capabilities Datapipe will bring to Rackspace, please read Rackspace CEO Joe Eazor’s post, “Why We’ve Agreed to Buy Datapipe.”

If you have any questions, either during the transition (when we must continue to operate as separate companies) or after the deal closes, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly.

Lisa Heritage McLin is the Channel Sales and Alliances VP for North America at Rackspace, where she's worked since 2002. In her current role, she focuses on building strong relationships across the company's partner and alliance channels. Prior to this position, Lisa was VP of Sales at Rackspace where she was responsible for building, scaling and rapidly growing the sales organization. Lisa serves on the board of directors for Texas Conference for Women and on the board for the Rackspace Foundation. She is also the executive chair for POWER, the Professional Organization for Women Empowerment at Rackspace. Lisa has been recognized as one of the 50 Most Influential Channel Chiefs of 2018, honored as CRN 2018 Women in the Channel, and was awarded Channel Partners Circle of Excellence for her executive vision, innovation, and advocacy of the indirect channel. Lisa earned a BBA in accounting and business management from The University of Texas at San Antonio, and an executive business administration and management degree from The University of Texas at Austin. She's a native of San Antonio, where she currently resides with her husband and two sons.


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