What to Expect from the Rackspace Partner Program in 2018

cloud partnerships

Last year, Rackspace invested in our partners through incentive programs, tools and training. As we move into 2018, we are deepening that investment.

As part of our commitment to a world class partner program, I’m pleased to announce two strategic hires, Senior Partner Marketing Manager Jolynn Antonacci and Director of Channel Operations Judy Vansell.

Judy brings expertise in operational process and tool enablement, plus channel and distribution partnerships from her 13 years at Dell EMC. Judy also launched the newly integrated Dell EMC partner program in North America last year.

Jolynn brings more than a decade’s experience in channel and event marketing from EarthLink, where she played an integral role in the creation and management of EarthLink’s National Master Program, established to better align EarthLink with the business objectives of its strategic partners and their customers. She also established EarthLink’s Partner Advisory Board, which we are excited to stand up at Rackspace in 2018.

We are thrilled with the deep experience they’re bringing to Rackspace, where they will focus on creating a fanatical channel program that serves our partners, as we serve their customers.

In the coming months we will deliver new tools, product roadmaps, dedicated partner account managers, new field resources and joint go to market planning, plus a continuation of our partner incentive program, and co-marketing events, all designed to make it even easier for our partners to do business with Rackspace in 2018.

[Not yet a Rackspace partner? Apply today.]  

With our acquisitions of TriCore and Datapipe, Rackspace is now one of the world’s leading providers of IT as a service. We offer an unmatched portfolio of integrated services across leading public and private cloud infrastructures, managed hosting, colocation, application management, digital security, professional services and digital transformation services. We work with the premier partners in the IT industry to serve business customers, including most of the Fortune 100, from 48 data centers on five continents.

These new capabilities help us advance the goal we’ve pursued since Rackspace was founded: to help customers navigate and operate successfully in today’s complex, fast-changing IT environment.

Don’t just take our word for it. Dan Pirigyi, managing partner of Telecom Consulting Group, described how his company’s relationship “clicked” with Rackspace once his team arrived at our headquarters in San Antonio.

“That’s when we fully realized that Rackspace is a very different type of company,” he said. “It’s cutting edge technology with really top-quality people. Seeing and experiencing the Rackspace products and culture made us excited. And doing the whiteboard session — that made an impression on us and a real difference. Rackspace has top quality people at every level who are passionate. Frankly, I want my team to behave like Rackspace employees.”

Our new business partner incentive for the first half of 2018 will help our partners grow with Rackspace as we serve their customers through digital IT transformation.

We’ll be hosting a Partner Town Hall in late February, where CEO Joe Eazor will kick things off with a special message to our partners. We are hard at work transforming our program to provide our partners with increase benefits and support. I’ll offer updates on our partner advisory council, tools and systems and new enablement strategy for partners.

Listening to our partners is the most important part of my job, which is why I’ll be hosting our first Partner Advisory Council of 2018 in March. The advisory council gives our partners an opportunity to give feedback, explore strategies and drive growth with greater profitability. They are our link to the partner community and market trends.

We’re also planning four regional “Partner Days” as part of Rackspace SOLVE Summit events throughout the year. At these events, our partners will receive an exclusive Rackspace update, access to our executive team and solution selling training. Our partner account managers will share dates and location for these Solve Summits soon.

Looking forward to meeting with, and hearing from our partners in the coming months. Let’s make 2018 a winner! Be on the lookout for the Town Hall invite, coming soon.

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.