Rackspace's Channel Chief McLin On Datapipe Deal, Helping Partners Make The Cloud Transition Through Fanatical Channel Support


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Only 10 weeks into her job, Rackspace's newly appointed channel chief, Lisa McLin, is already helping partners translate what cloud transformation means for their business customers.

The combination of Rackspace's support and solution provider expertise was already marrying very well for end customers, but McLin wants to take that support to the next level and make the partner program easier to navigate for channel partners. Cloud needs to make sense for business customers, and not be just another obstacle for partners and their clients, she said.

"If we want to spread Fanatical support as a service within the cloud space, the best way to do that is through partners," McLin told CRN. "Partners know they have to make the transition because they know it will grow their portfolio, it's just where to start?" 

[Related: Rackspace To Acquire Datapipe In A Blockbuster Deal For Global Cloud Services]

Rackspace's channel community today consists of systems integrators, distributors, master agents and VARs. The goal now is to "get specific" with partners that can add value and with which Rackspace can add value to as well, McLin said.

"Not every partner is going to be a great fit," she said. "We are going to focus on the partners we resonate with. We want to drive additional revenue through partners and then spread support to new markets we aren't in."

Scottsdale, Ariz.-based master agent PlanetOne Communications, one of Rackspace's top-performing partners, is looking forward to continuing its growth with Rackspace with McLin at the helm.

PlanetOne shares Rackspace’s passion for partner and customer support and operational excellence, said Lauren Shapiro, president of PlanetOne Communications.  

"[McLin] came into this new role with proven leadership skills and a ton of hands-on experience in cloud sales, support and customer service," she said. "We’re excited to work with her and find more ways to engage with the MSP and agent communities.” 

Right now, McLin is working on a partner relationship portal that is letting partners work with Rackspace more efficiently, she said.

"The ability to help partners make that transition from the services they are offering today, like telecom, to getting comfortable selling cloud is important," she said. "I want partners to know that it can be taught."

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