Rackspace Launches Global Solutions And Services Business

Rackspace launched a new business division on Monday aimed at delivering a wide range of professional services to enterprise customers across the company's many cloud provider partners.

The San Antonio, Texas-based company's new Global Solutions and Services (GSS) unit will focus on helping customers implement cloud transformation initiatives along several lines of services, while working with channel partners to conduct planning and execute migrations.

"We're really focusing on the upfront strategic services aspect, looking at customers holistically, helping customers define the best cloud strategy and building out this global services catalog," said Rachel Cassidy, vice president in charge of the new division.

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"We're going to build out our professional services expertise up front with a partner strategy in mind," Cassidy told CRN.

GSS will create packages incorporating best practices and defined by consistent methodologies. Rackspace aims to have systems integration and ISV partners, both existing and new, work closely with the business division, adding to their own practices a repeatable architecture, Cassidy said.

"We're building out a channel strategy that will create joint offerings with our partners that we go to market with. We'll be working with partners that can supplement our skills and expand our capacity," Cassidy said.

Partners can look to Rackspace for upfront design and architecture guidance, or build their own services and offer joint implementations with Rackspace, she said.

Those upfront engagements will lead to new and existing customers consuming more managed services across various clouds. Rackspace offers managed services for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, as well as its own brand of managed OpenStack private cloud and expertise in VMware and Microsoft on-premises platforms.

"The goal is the landing place for our mutual customers is Rackspace managed services," Cassidy said.

Rackspace has defined four lines of service for the GSS business, Jaret Chiles, Rackspace's senior director of professional services, told CRN.

A cloud services line of business will focus on the infrastructure layer, with attention to business strategy. Big data services will implement data services and modernize data platforms. The application service line will help customers modernize their applications and accelerate DevOps processes by leveraging automation and containers. And security and governance services will help customers understand business risks and how those translate to technology.

Rackspace has been helping customers with migrations for a long while, but its capabilities were never actually defined as unique offerings, said Chiles.

The new division will build collateral material to bring those capabilities to market and operationalize at scale.

"It's a lot more than organization," Chiles said. "It's actually defining the offerings rather than just have capabilities existing in the company."

Rackspace aims to disrupt its own customer base with these services, giving them a path to optimize their systems and achieve the next level of scale and benefits from the cloud.

Engineers and solution architects will be available to offer pre-planning expertise, giving customers who are figuring out their cloud strategies as much, or as little, support as they need. Customers can choose enablement and advisory services, or full execution of their migrations.

Many customers "just need an unbiased point of view," Cassidy told CRN. And "if a customer has an alliance with a specific partner, we can work hand-and-hand with them."