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The Rackspace Cloud, previously known as Mosso, has formally launched its
first partner program with tracks for resellers and for affiliates.

The program offers volume-based discounts for reseller partners looking to
offer their own service to end-customer companies, Jeff Omstead, director of
cloud sales at The Rackspace Cloud, told Channel Insider.

“A lot of our reseller partners are focused on providing value to niche
markets,” he said. That is, they combine the cloud computing they buy from The
Rackspace Cloud with specialized functionality that they add and then sell the
whole package to their end customers. Those end customers buying such
niche-packaged applications to compute stacks could include doctors or lawyers,
said Omstead.

The volume-based discount ranges from 4 percent for those buying $2,500 or more
worth of Rackspace Cloud services per month to 12 percent for those buying
$20,000 or more per month. It’s an area that is garnering increased interest
from resellers, according to Omstead. 

The Rackspace Cloud provides what channel partners need for
reselling a hosted offering to make sense, according to Justin Santa Barbara, CEO
at San Francisco-based FathamDB, a Rackspace Cloud reseller partner. FathamDB
provides its customers with hosted MySQL databases.

“This is the channel model that has worked so well with non-cloud computing,” Santa
Barbara told Channel Insider. Big companies such as
Microsoft cannot personally deal with each of their end customers. “They need
resellers. That’s the model that has worked and has been very successful in the
past.”

And Rackspace Cloud offers resellers something that other cloud providers do
not—a volume discount program, said Santa Barbara,
who also works with Amazon’s cloud offering. Rackspace Cloud’s discount program
is what makes it possible for resellers to resell the cloud plus their value-added
services to end customers and still make a profit.

Santa Barbara envisions that
ultimately many IT solutions providers will build functional offerings on top
of cloud services and that end customers can mix and match those services a la
carte, buying the functionality they need from a number of different providers—hosted
database from one, Website from another and so on.

And that may happen soon, given the interest Rackspace Cloud has seen from
resellers.

“We are seeing more and more interest from resellers each day regarding cloud
computing,” he said. “People are looking at how they can add to their
businesses.”

Partners can integrate additional applications to create their own offerings
for end-user customers by writing to The Rackspace Cloud’s APIs. Chandler
Vaughn, director of product development at The Rackspace Cloud, told Channel
Insider that the integration is something that a typical reseller can handle
in-house.

With the Rackspace Cloud reseller track, partners own the relationship with the
customer. On the other side, the Rackspace Cloud affiliate program rewards
affiliates for referring customers to The Rackspace Cloud with 5 percent of
what is billed to the end customers each month.

The Rackspace Cloud includes a Web portal for tracking and reporting, Webinars,
marketing collateral and opportunities for co-marketing, the company said. It
also provides end-user billing and end-user support services to help partners
streamline their own day-to-day businesses.