Rackspace is now more than seven months into our partnership with Google as its first managed services partner for Google Cloud Platform.

Since we began servicing customers in July, more than 100 Rackspace employees currently hold Google technical and sales certifications. We’re now working with customers in both North America and Europe and our managed service offering on GCP continues to thrive.

The video above provides some insight into why Google chose Rackspace as its first MSP, but I also wanted to share the top five reasons Rackspace decided to invest in our partnership with Google by building managed services on GCP.

1. Customers are asking for Google Cloud

Not a day goes by that we don’t see customer demand for Google Cloud Platform. Whether they’re trying to save money developing their mobile applications, hosting critical ecommerce apps or evolving their infrastructure to a more open, containerized environment, Google is attracting customers of all sizes from all corners of the market. The common denominator for Rackspace is their desire for expertise on the platform.

As one Rackspace customer, Sr. Director of Marketing Strategy for the Rhode Island School of Design, Brian Clark, recently put it, “There is a high expectation on us to deliver exceptional web experiences — we look at Rackspace as an extension of our team in managing and optimizing our Google Cloud Platform deployment.”

2. Google Cloud is growing fast

From tripling its big cloud deals to investing more than $30 billion in its platform, Google is making undeniable strides in the public cloud market. In RightScale’s State of the Cloud report for 2017, Google saw a 50 percent year over year increase in adoption, and the company’s cloud growth is now outpacing its ad business — making a statement to the industry that Google is serious about its cloud platform.

In order to accelerate its growth, Google is relying on partners such as Rackspace to not only bring new customers to the platform but also service the growing number of customers that will require managed services to successfully operate their cloud deployments. Recognizing that many of its current support customers will benefit from managed services, Google has already listed Rackspace on its support website for customers looking for the kind of proactive managed operations that Rackspace provides.

3. This is still the beginning

Public cloud services spending continues to grow — and with it comes the rise of big data, machine learning and IoT-enabled devices. Director of Customer Reliability Engineering at Google Dave Rensin recently told me, “We’re all headed down the same road toward the same destination. Artificial intelligence and big data are the frontiers that every business will have to tackle sooner or later.”

As new big data and machine learning services emerge among public clouds and as customers face new requirements with regard to their data, security and insights, it’s clear the cloud that got them to this point isn’t necessarily the one that will make them the most competitive in three to five years.

4. The reality of hybrid cloud

Rackspace has been managing hybrid clouds for years. In its 2017 State of the Cloud report, Rightscale reported that companies are already using as many as eight clouds between production and test environments and nearly 70 percent of organizations are adopting hybrid strategies.

Given this reality, Google Cloud Platform expertise is a must-have for Rackspace, as our customers seek open, hybrid and optimized environments — the kind Google is enabling through its pioneering work with Kubernetes and TensorFlow.

5. The rise of multi-cloud

According to Rightscale, more than 85 percent of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy — and 20 percent have plans to utilize multiple public clouds. We see frequent adoption of multi-cloud strategies at Rackspace. “Some workloads run better on one cloud platform,” argues John Engates, our Rackspace CTO, “while other workloads achieve higher performance and superior cost-efficiency on another platform.”

We know multi-cloud adoption will increase as cloud platforms increasingly differentiate themselves and the rise of containers and micro-services-based architectures make migrations across platforms relatively painless.

‘Build What’s Next’

We believe cloud adoption is still in its infancy and that market forces such as big data, Internet of Things and artificial intelligence combined with the rise in hybrid and multi-cloud strategies will spur even greater Google Cloud Platform adoption and allow Google and Rackspace to Build What’s Next for organizations of all sizes around the world.

Want to find out more? Visit Rackspace to find out about the support we provide for the world’s leading clouds, including Google Cloud Platform.

Patrick Lee is vice president of Rackspace's Google Cloud business which he is responsible for building and growing. He has over 15 years of experience in the technology industry, most recently working directly for Rackspace’s CEO in central strategy. Prior to joining Rackspace, Patrick served as a vice president at Belgian technology company Barco and was a consultant within PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Entertainment and Media advisory practice in Los Angeles. He earned an MBA from The University of California, Irvine and completed his B.S. at the University of Arizona.

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