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Why I Joined Rackspace Part I – The Company And Its Values

Alan Perkins recently joined Rackspace as Director of Product and Technology, Asia Pacific. In this two-part series, he discusses why he joined Rackspace.

As one of the early cloud adopters, and someone who has worked hard to promote what cloud can bring to businesses, I was looking to join a vendor where I could leverage cloud concepts to truly make a difference in the world. The more I looked, the more Rackspace seemed like the right place to be.

The first thing that stood out to me was the company’s core values:

  • Treating Rackers Like Friends and Family
  • Passion For Our Work
  • Committed To Greatness
  • Full Disclosure & Transparency
  • Results First – Substance Over Flash
  • Fanatical Support In All We Do

These formed a picture for me of an organization that was striving to really make a difference. The term that stood out most was the word “Greatness,” a value that I personally believe in very strongly. Companies that are committed to greatness are alive, vibrant and focused on growth.

Rackspace is best known for its Fanatical Support. I have to admit that before I experienced this commitment to great customer service, I thought it was just marketing hype. I was first exposed to Fanatical Support when Altium acquired a company and brought in a new head of IT who had utilized Rackspace’s Fanatical Support. His face was radiant as he described the fact that Rackspace knew about problems on his servers before he did. I was still pretty skeptical, but impressed with the positioning. I thought if a company can pull this off, it would make them really successful. I have always believed in providing phenomenal support, so I was impressed in an intellectual way.

Then I joined Rackspace. And what I found inside shocked me: here was a company that had inculcated the very idea of going above and beyond into the core of its being. I went to the London office for my induction program – five days of aligning new Rackers (Rackspace employees are called Rackers) to the fundamental principles that drive the business. There are over 1,000 staff in the London office and I must have been approached half a dozen times by people asking me, “You seem lost – what can I do to help you?” This was no fake offer – each time this happened I was helped all the way to my objective, and the Rackers always seemed eager to help.

Everything the company does drives this Fanatical Support. The company uses Net Promoter Score (NPS) to measure the likelihood customers will refer others. But even the induction program had us rookies being asked how likely we would be to recommend each of the presenters to our colleagues or friends. The presenters, we learned, were vying for a coveted internal trophy. I have never seen such engaging and creative presentations, all designed to prepare us to be effective in the Rackspace culture.

The company’s mission is to be recognized as one of the world’s greatest service companies. And it shows.

Be sure to tune in next week for part two of Alan’s two-part series on why he joined Rackspace, which focuses on the products and the strategy.

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Alan Perkins.

Alan Perkins is Rackspace's Director of Product and Technology, Asia Pacific. Based in Sydney, he is responsible for driving continued growth and technological innovation in the region. Prior to Rackspace, Perkins spent more than 10 years at Altium in key leadership and specialist consulting roles, including seven years as CIO. During his tenure at Altium, Perkins played a pivotal role preparing and implementing strategies to move the entire business systems to the cloud.

Perkins was named by The Australian as one of the Top 20 people to watch in technology 2012; and in 2009 he was a finalist for the IDC Asia Pacific CIO of the Year Award. In the same year he won an Enterprise Innovation Award for Cloud Innovation from IDC.


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