In early June 2015, Ovum participated in Rackspace’s new Solve UK event in London. The event provided a good opportunity for Rackspace to summarize past successes and reveal its priorities and growth plans. The company is building on its “managed services” vision to expand in a variety of directions. Ovum agrees with its focus and ambitions but believes that Rackspace needs to clarify its “Fanatical Support” catchphrase.
Fanatical Support needs to reflect the new Rackspace
Rackspace believes that managed services represent an increasing opportunity in the cloud computing market. So does Ovum, as pointed out by the 2015 Trends to Watch: Cloud Computing report. The new scarcity is that of expertise, and skilled people are both hard to find and keep up to date. Rackspace is also right to expand its manage services operations, and is doing so at many levels, where it helps customers implement managed private, public, and increasingly hybrid clouds, for example. It supports VMware and Microsoft as well as OpenStack-based private clouds. It has also moved up the stack toward big data, Google Apps, Microsoft Office365, and e-commerce solutions, while expanding its portfolio of managed security and monitoring services. More expansion is on the cards with increasing support for multiple clouds, all backed by the company's Fanatical Support message.
However, the company needs to clarify some of its plans. For example, it needs to reveal in detail how it will make it easier for customers to manage multiple clouds. It also needs to clarify the meaning of Fanatical Support in the context of its expanding portfolio of services. The Solve UK event was a good opportunity to showcase customers providing specific examples of its capabilities in this domain. However, the Fanatical Support message needs to move beyond mantra repetitions and into more detailed descriptions, such as, for example, to explain how it meets expectations and requirements for public/private cloud infrastructures as opposed to cloud solutions/applications. Among other things, it requires Rackspace to expand its professional services capabilities to help customers not only operate but also design and build infrastructures and solutions. This is something that the company has, however, started to do, both directly and via partners.
“Rackspace is building a sustainable future in cloud in Asia-Pacific”, TE0005-000643 (August 2014)
Laurent Lachal, Senior Analyst, Ovum Software