Rackspace Hosting Improves E-Mail and Apps Reseller Channel Program

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

Rackspace Hosting's e-mail and apps executives say that there are markets the company cannot reach without its channel partners. So it is adding tools, training and more program features.

Rackspace is relaunching its hosted e-mail and application reseller partner program to add tools, training, more program features and structure. The announcement at the company’s first partner conference in Atlanta this week follows updates for Rackspace’s managed services and Rackspace Cloud programs to increase the company’s presence in the channel.

The new channel investments also recognize that Rackspace has doubled its e-mail and apps partner ranks to 1,000 over the past year.  

"We are rediscovering the power our resellers have to reach into markets we cannot," said Kirk Averett, director of the product, e-mail and apps division at Rackspace. "We feel like with the economy being the way it is there are more companies than ever looking for ways to save money."

Partners aren’t likely to be able to make a living from the Rackspace revenue stream, but it could complement services they already offer. Rackspace offers hosted Microsoft Exchange e-mail that is priced at $12.50 for end-user accounts and offered to resellers at $8. Rackspace e-mail is priced at $1.

"It’s important to understand that the vast majority of our resellers are bundling e-mail together with other services they provide to customers," said Averett. "Every business needs e-mail."

For instance, Averett said that channel partners can reach into niches such as auto dealerships.

"There’s a class of service providers who know how to customize applications for car dealers," he said. "The automotive industry has particular IT needs, and it also has common IT needs like e-mail. It’s a natural fit between what we’ve built and what the dealership needs."

Rackspace is offering new white-labeled collateral that partners can brand and use for their marketing campaigns. Resellers also have access to monthly sales force training, educational Webinars and materials, and support.

Rackspace noted that over the past six months it has introduced several new offerings such as Email Archiving and hosted Microsoft SharePoint, and the company expects to soon add Rackspace Cloud Drive and Server Backup.

Rackspace also offers partners the following:

  • Access to Rackspace live support teams 24x7x365

  • Reseller Control Panel that enables management of all customer accounts from one dashboard

  • Exchange Hybrid, which combines Exchange and Rackspace e-mail on a single domain to help reduce customer costs

  • Integration Options providing documented APIs for Rackspace Email and hosted Microsoft Exchange

  • Personalized Branding, giving resellers the ability to brand their customers’ control panel, Webmail interface, support documents, and marketing and sales literature.

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com