It took 10 years, but Rackspace Hosting has finally unveiled its first formal channel program to its 2,000-plus hosted service solution provider partners, with a similar program for those who partner on cloud services expected next month.
Rackspace traditionally offered partners compensation for referring customers to its dedicated hosted infrastructure service or for helping Rackspace get new business, but that is changing under the new program, said Robert Fuller, vice president of worldwide channels for the San Antonio, Calif.-based hosting provider.
Fuller, who joined Rackspace about six months ago after running his own channel consulting business and handling channels for AMD, said the company's first official channel program resulted from conversations with partners who said they wanted a simple but formal program with a global reach, clear compensation rules, a training component, and easy-to access support and collateral.
As a result, the new Rackspace Partner Network now offers four levels of commitment based on partner size and sales, with partners at certain levels receiving recurring revenue from customer upgrades and renewals, Fuller said.
Partners also get access to a dedicated sales representative, sales and technical training, and marketing and sales information at increasing levels as they move up the partner ladder, he said.
The program is also now consistent across the world to make it easier for customers who work with customers in multiple geographies.
Rackspace has also overhauled its partner portal with what Fuller called the "two-click goal."
"Once a partner logs in, it can hopefully get to any piece of information in only two clicks," he said.
Rackspace, because it only hosts infrastructures, can be a good friend to solution providers, Fuller said.
"VARs handle the applications, modifications to the applications, and implementation," he said. "We just reduce customer capital expenditure, cutting the resources they spend on infrastructure and letting them move those resources to areas which make more of a difference to them."
The new channel program currently applies to Rackspace's dedicated hosting services, but next month will be rolled out to partners who help customers take advantage of Rackspace's cloud-based services for things like running websites or test and development platforms, Fuller said.