First, a little background. Rackspace (NYSE: RAX) has formed the Partner Leadership Council to gather feedback from MSPs, VARs, digital media consultants, e-commerce partners, cloud integrators and more. The council is meeting at Rackspace's headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, through the end of today. Among the chatter heard so far...
1. BYOD Becomes BYOS: You know about Bring Your Own Device. But have your heard of Bring Your Own Software (BYOS)? The BYOS trend will involve recent college graduates who arrive to work and demand access to their own preferred SaaS applications -- such as Google Apps, notes nGenX President Robert Bye.
2. MSPs Plug In: Mike Celayeta, director of product development at CMIT Solutions, is here exploring how the managed services franchise organization can roll out more Rackspace cloud and online services to its franchise network. Stay tuned for more moves there. Side note: CMIT also has a close relationship with Continuum, the managed services and NOC (network operations center) software provider. More on that later.
3. You Need Software Experts: Nearly every partner here has software developers on staff. That's rather remarkable, considering most VARs and MSPs lack such in-house expertise.
4. Big Commitment: There are roughly 50 Rackers (that is, Rackspace employees) who focus on the IT channel strategy. Those channel leaders are speaking extensively about Rackspace's Fanatical Support culture, and trying to make sure partners become Fanatical Partner Ambassadors.
5. The Bigger Story: While partners here are impressed with Rackspace's business, most are more impressed with Rackspace's commitment to the local economy and supporting local businesses. There are about 3000 employees in the San Antonio and Austin, Texas area. More on that later.
That's all for now. The Rackspace Partner Leadership Council meeting continues through the rest of today. Talkin' Cloud will be back soon with more updates.