Former Microsoft Exec Knight New Rackspace Channel Head

will-knight-raxWill Knight, a former 15-year Microsoft (MSFT) veteran, is Rackspace Hosting’s (RAX) new channel sales head, charged with building strategic partner relationships and sprinkling the program with incentives to improve profitability and sales.

Knight’s role is to show Rackspace’s partners how to make more money by simplifying the program and clarifying how to best engage with the vendor to maximize the relationship. He’s no newbie to channel- and customer-facing positions, commanding some 20 years of experience in IT, sales, marketing and channel strategy roles, most recently as Microsoft’s Asia Pacific SMB business senior director responsible for its partner ecosystem in that region.

Rackspace competes for partners with cloud providers Amazon (AMZN), Google (GOOG) and Microsoft (MSFT) so fine-tuning its channel program is vital.

In a blog post, Knight said he’s “charged with streamlining Rackspace’s partner program to ensure our partners get the most out of it.” He said “2014 is a big year for our Partner Network as we sharpen our partners’ expertise in the hybrid cloud to assist them in becoming cloud specialists.”

Knight said Rackspace is eager to adjust its program to the needs of its channel partners, tailoring its offerings to partners’ specific business models both with financial incentives and other benefits.

“Our enhanced Partner Network means that our partners choose the activities that are the best fit for their specific needs,” he wrote. “It also means they’re rewarded more easily for their efforts.”

In particular, Rackspace plans to offer partners a specialization program surrounding OpenStack, the hybrid cloud and managed virtualization and specific workloads such as ecommerce, web content management and mobility, Knight said. In fact, Knight told Talkin’Cloud in an interview that Rackspace will be actively recruiting partners whose strengths lie in those specialties.

“As specialists ourselves, Rackspace can support partners through technology shifts and changes,” he wrote. “This means they focus less on their infrastructure and the technologies involved, and more on the solutions they’re building for their customers. Our partners and their customers want high-performance, low-latency and no-downtime solutions, and we’re here to provide that for them.”

By |April 5, 2014|People on the Move| 15002 Views |

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