By Gennifer Biggs, security, storage, and managed services editor
With many MSPs and VARs still confused and concerned about their role in the cloud computing world, N-able has staked out a clear strategy recommendation for its partners: go hybrid, don't invest in a private cloud, pick reliable vendor partners.
One of those partners, announced as part of the N-able Cloud Alliance at the N-able Partner Summit this week, was Rackspace, a hosted storage and services vendor. I sat down over breakfast with Chris Rajiah, director of Rackspace's North American channel, to talk about his company's plans for 2011.After launching aggressively into the managed services channel at Ingram Micro's Seismic event in June, the hosted services vendor has been a prominent player at several industry events. Rajiah explains that the company has several different go to market strategies, but the channel is key to all its future plans. "We are working and investing now to carefully scale out in order to meet the needs of the channel partnerships we are extremely dedicated to growing," he says.
While the vendor will continue to target small VARs and MSPs such as those attending Seismic and the N-able summit, it is also working to expand its relationship with those channel partners that serve the midmarket and enterprise space. Rackspace is still honing its program for those partners, but Rajiah outlined two key elements in that program. One, "instant" platinum-level partnership with those channel companies that have already achieved high-level partnerships with Rackspace partners such as EMC and NetApp. Two, partner commissions paid upfront, which helps channel businesses offset the squeeze when it comes to incenting sales teams to sell hosted solutions vs. traditional product. Overall, Rajiah says 2011 should be a big year for Rackspace as it expands its channel relationships, not only through distribution and vendor partnerships but also through its maturing channel program.