It was another whirlwind week here at Rackspace. From closing out SXSW Interactive, a major nod as the No. 2 in the cloud computing game and a big mention in a piece about wowing customers with incredible support; Rackspace Hosting dominated the headlines.
Here’s a look at four stories where Rackspace was the news this week:
As the SXSW Interactive wound to a close, TechCrunch TV chronicled the travels of the StartupBus, which carried startup entrepreneurs – dubbed “buspreneurs” — from San Francisco to Austin, and made a pit stop here at The Castle for a day of interaction with and advice from some of Rackspace’s senior leadership before continuing north to SXSW.
TechCrunch TV wrote: The “buspreneurs” have arrived in Austin! The StartupBus, which began a four-day journey from San Francisco/Silicon Valley on Tuesday morning, completed the final leg of the voyage yesterday. The teams of entrepreneurs hoping to debut new products at South by Southwest Interactive arrived by way of San Antonio, where they received an enthusiastic welcome at Rackspace. “We live in a magic moment of innovation and entrepreneurship right now,” remarked Rackspace CEO Lanham Napier as the StartupBus teams took another break from the road.
GigaOm’s Barb Darrow dove deeper into the cloud computing market, ranking the top seven cloud rivals looking to steal the No. 1 spot from Amazon. Rackspace placed No. 2 overall, receiving the distinction as the second largest cloud provider.
According to GigaOm: While Rackspace encompasses managed services and pure hosting businesses, it’s also a major cloud provider with actual, paying customers. Measuring by revenue and VMs, Rackspace currently has a lock on the No. 2 slot by a wide margin, said Gartner analyst Lydia Leong. As one data point, Rackspace public cloud revenue rose to $189 million in fiscal year 2011, up from $100M the previous year. Going forward, that business should only grow as Rackspace brings more OpenStack implementations online.
It’s no secret that Rackspace is all about Fanatical Support in all we do. Rackspace strives to wow the customers, and that’s just what the Harvard Business Review recognized Rackspace for in a piece by Bain & Company Fellow and author Fred Reichheld, who is also a Rackspace board member, that examined amazing tales of customer service and the value in wowing customers. Reichheld explains that it doesn’t cost much to make customers happy, but following the “Golden Rule” in customer service can have a tremendous impact.
One of my favorite examples of this happened at Rackspace, the managed hosting and cloud computing company. An employee on the phone with a customer during a marathon troubleshooting session heard the customer tell someone in the background that they were getting hungry. As she tells it, “So I put them on hold, and I ordered them a pizza. About 30 minutes later we were still on the phone, and there was a knock on their door. I told them to go answer it because it was pizza! They were so excited.” I’d have been pretty excited, too, if I were that hungry customer. Another “wow!” moment, Reichheld’s Harvard Business Review piece exclaimed.
Computerworld’s JR Raphael went on a quest to determine the naming conventions that some companies have for servers. In his search for clever and amusing server-naming strategies, he spoke Cormack Lawler, a Rackspace data center director. From super heroes, to Simpsons characters to inside jokes, server nomenclature takes many forms. But when it comes down to it, you better be able to locate the right server when you need to.
Computerworld noted: What’s in a name? When it comes to servers, as it turns out, quite a lot. … Server names are designed for functionality: They let system administrators easily identify each machine and keep track of what it does. For some companies, that means coming up with a cut-and-dried alphanumeric convention. For others, it means taking the opportunity to get a little creative. … “The basic rule is that the name should be unique with enough options so that [it] can always be informative,” says Cormack Lawler, a data center director at Rackspace.