Rackspace is lifting the curtain on its refreshed partner program, which will equip partners with better access to its managed cloud and IT services and reward those solution providers going big with the provider.
The biggest changes to the Rackspace Partner Program will include one unified partner agreement and new, dedicated resources for solution providers, something that partners have been asking for, Rackspace's channel chief, Lisa McLin, told CRN.
"We want partners to use the enablement tools and portal to make this transition to the cloud along with Rackspace," she said. "For partners out there looking for a strong MSP that has a wide portfolio specializing in cloud, we are the best partner out there for them."
San Antonio-based Rackspace is known for its cloud and managed IT services, including its private and public cloud offerings, application services, managed hosting, co-location and managed security.
Rackspace has several agreements still in rotation originating from its September purchase of managed services provider Datapipe, and the refreshed partner program will include one partner agreement. The agreement will offer a formalized MDF program, sales and technical resources, and customer life-cycle management.
"Creating one strong partner agreement will be huge for partners," McLin said. "It will make very clear things like how they earn MDF and how to use it."
There also will be more resources for partners, such as dedicated partner account managers, content and training, priority access to the Rackspace Customer Experience Center and joint marketing content, McLin said.
Solution providers also will have access to more features through a new partner portal. The new tool will give partners a place to communicate with Rackspace and give them more power to manage their existing business with Rackspace through analytics and training.
The new platform integrates with Salesforce so partners can view their current pipelines, McLin said. Rackspace also can customize the portal for partners to present new sales opportunities and sales performance incentive funds that are unique for the solution provider.
"Partners will really be able to dig in and understand what they are selling today, and what they should be selling and caring about. It's a much deeper view of their relationship with Rackspace," she said. "Then, we can put together training for our [partners] to make sure they are taking advantage of the portfolio."
Rackspace's channel community today consists of systems integrators, distributors, master agents and VARs. In October, Rackspace told CRN that the goal was to get specific with partners that can add value. The changes to the partner program are doing just that -- placing an emphasis on the solution providers that are investing in Rackspace, McLin said.
"We'll still be working with VARs, SIs and ISVs, but it's really about working with the partners who have a place in this technology transformation that is happening," she said.
These "strategic" partners have a dedicated manager, while Rackspace's consulting partners will continue to have self-service access to the provider's tools and technical resources, McLin added.