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Rackspace: Blocks will benefit channel and a UK welcome for RelationEdge

Rackspace expects its flexible service blocks approach will benefit the channel and the firm has introduced RelationEdge to the UK

Rackspace is positioning its recently launched service blocks offering as one that should appeal to the channel because of the additional flexibility it will give them.

The firm launched the offering at the end of last week, with the chance for customers to buy service blocks to perform specific tasks over a defined period. In many respects its resembles the bolt-on approach that mobile phone companies have taken, giving customers the chance to pay for additional services without committing to a long-term contract.

Lee James, EMEA CTO at Rackspace, said that customers might want to access virtualised storage or networking or could also be looking for access to high levels of expertise around AWS, VMware or other services but on an infrequent basis.

"We have seen a change in the persona of our customers,  as they are becoming more au fait with technology they are demanding from us more access to more capabilities," he said.

"We have termed it service blocks because you take the base level of service from Rackspace around support and then offer these extra blocks of service that are bought into the contract they pay-as-you-go, on-demand and when you need it. Some are time-boxed and some are based on the capability that you request or require," he added "We are finding a move away from the large outsourcing contracts of three-years to this subscription service-block approach."

From a channel perspective, John Coulston, director of partners & alliances, Rackspace EMEA, said that it would arm partners with more options.

"The idea of partners being able to pick the blocks of service that they will utilise and complement them with their own capabilities is how I think this is going to play out really well in the channel," he said.

"I think it is going to be a real coup for channel partners out there that in the past have been locked to a single service level that can now adapt that service level depending on their requirements and their capabilities and their customer needs," he added.

UK launch for RelationEdge

In a separate move, Rackspace has RelationEdge, a Salesforce platinum consulting partner that it owns, into the UK just six months after acquiring the US-based business.

RelationEdge will work alongside Rackspace's UK professional services team and be selling the ERP application into business customers.

“It’s an exciting move for us to launch in the UK, the time our organisation has operated outside of the US," said Matthew Stoyka, CEO of RelationEdge.

"We know that today’s enterprises want a relationship with a company that can help them navigate their digital transformation journey from end-to-end, not a siloed approach with multiple vendors," he added.

The UK is the port of call for RelationEdge and Mark Emanuelson, vice president for solution sales at the firm, will be looking to drive the firm deeper into Europe.

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