Rackspace is now providing its trademark fanatical support for Google Applications. The service provider will resell and support the Google for Work app portfolio. It has been providing support for Microsoft business software.
Rackspace has competed with Google on the productivity apps front, acquiring cloud-based applications, such as Webmail, and offers collaboration tools and storage, much like Google. But the company said it didn’t see Google as a competitor. The move is about making options available, and Rackspace’s key differentiator in the cloud space: support. The company hopes to compete with commoditized public clouds through support, which is the company’s biggest value add to the equation.
"Rackspace strives each day to provide a world-class service experience on top of best-in-class technologies, and our new managed service offering of Google Apps for Work is a prime example," said Taylor Rhodes, president and CEO of Rackspace. "Companies want and need a trustworthy provider to offer technical expertise and support to help them succeed with their cloud applications. This partnership is an exciting step forward in advancing the future of cloud-based office productivity and collaboration."
Rackspace does support many other vendor technologies from the likes of VMware, Microsoft, Cisco and EMC.
The partnership with Google reflects a larger trend of hosting providers moving up the stack from hosting to offer other business services such as email and productivity applications. Rackspace will handle migration deployment and account management services when purchasing Google Apps for Work.
The apps recently underwent a rebranding to help drive business adoption. The suite includes Gmail, Google’s cloud storage Google Drive, Hangouts and Office applications.
"This is an ideal time for Rackspace to announce support of Google Apps for Work, as SMBs are looking to the cloud now more than ever before to support the need for office and collaborative applications that can be accessed from anywhere," said Chris Chute, research vice president, Global SMB Cloud and Mobility Practice at IDC. "Rackspace's focus on making SMB businesses successful through its managed cloud services and Fanatical Support team is an advantage for smaller customers who many times require this type of assistance in order to take advantage of the cloud productivity market."
The Fanatical Support option has been added to Google for Work, purchased directly from either Google, Rackspace, or Google channel partners. It is not available to the Rackspace channel, but might be added in the future.