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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