CHALLENGES: Reliable infrastructure to support internal and client projects
BUSINESS OUTCOME: Access to premium infrastructure for interactive video and application development
A full service IT company, TStream Software focuses on interactive video and also Microsoft software development and migration. In early 2007, they moved their entire infrastructure to Rackspace®. Almost immediately, TStream joined the Rackspace Partner Network and began expanding its business—generating more leads, leveraging Rackspace programs, customers and partners, and gaining additional market exposure through Rackspace.
On one side of their operations, TStream creates interactive online videos. The more engaging, non-static medium helps businesses better communicate and sell their products and prompts viewers to take immediate action. The videos take many forms—emercials, interactive sales agents, personal web navigators, how-to videos and banner ads.
"I joined TStream in December of 2006 and my first act was to take our in-house client hosted websites and internal operations, and move it to Rackspace," says Dan Reynolds, vice president, TStream Software. "Prior to TStream, I had owned my own company and had used Rackspace for myself and all my clients, so I knew Rackspace was a premier player in the hosting industry and it only made sense to use them again."
In his role at TStream, Reynolds is largely responsible for new client acquisitions and customer service. A top-tier infrastructure and seamless support are two of his main selling points.
"After working with more than two dozen other hosting providers in the past, we eventually learned to really place a premium on support and service," recalls Reynolds. "Rackspace delivers it through their famed Fanatical Support® and our clients couldn't be happier. If they ever have a hosting question, all they have to do is call—our Rackspace team is always available to us 24x7x365."
Once TStream and their clients were live at Rackspace, Reynolds' next step and obvious step was to join Rackspace's Partner Network.
The second half of TStream's business, web technology and migration, is what attracted them to become a Rackspace Partner. TStream is an industry leader in Windows migrations and Microsoft software development. Their custom software applications and migrations include ASP.NET, Flash, Flex, Silverlight and SQL database development.
Rackspace, on the other hand, is known as a Microsoft hosting expert, being named the Microsoft Hosting Partner of the Year in 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2012. A partnership between the two companies couldn't be more ideal. New or potential Rackspace Windows customers can make use of TStream's expertise for a seamless software migration while Rackspace focuses on the hardware.
"Migration is a difficult yet necessary process," admits Reynolds. "No two configurations and applications are the same, so every migration must be custom. Through our unique design, development and testing process, we work with Rackspace hardware engineers to ensure a seamless transition into the Rackspace datacenter.
"The partnership just made sense from the beginning," continues Reynolds. "Rackspace is the expert when it comes to hosting. We're an expert in Microsoft technologies. Instead of trying to do each other's business, it just makes sense to partner together and help each other. I would never again want to host my clients on my own servers."
Since becoming a Rackspace Partner, Reynolds has seen a breadth of benefits emerge. For starters, it introduced them to Limelight Networks, also a Rackspace Partner, who they now use to stream all their rich media content.
"Just being associated with Rackspace has opened up so many opportunities, like Limelight, which we may have missed out on in the past," confides Reynolds. "Along those same lines, being hosted at Rackspace really gives us a leg up on competitors because it makes us seem much larger than a 30 person company. Hosting with Rackspace allows us to be SAS 70 certified as well as benefiting from all the other certifications like Microsoft Gold and Cisco."
Reynolds also says that the volume and quality of leads that come through Rackspace is an immeasurable benefit. To him they are real, qualified leads. For the most part, the customers that deal with Rackspace, just 'get it,' he says. They understand the value of paying for a premium infrastructure, so when TStream gets to talk to them about technical service solutions, be it rich media or custom software development, they're educated and easy to talk with.
One of the more active partners in the new Rackspace customer space, TStream is now beginning to focus heavily on Microsoft Managed Exchange migrations.
"Exchange is a great offering for our clients and an even better business for Rackspace," says Reynolds. "Everyone needs email and it saves our clients the hassle of having to look elsewhere. By having the services of their business-class hosted email right at their fingertips, Rackspace provides a complete IT hosting package. As their Partner, it makes sense to become an expert in the Exchange migrations because a lot of customers will need that application migrated along with their infrastructure."
Now, anytime a TStream client approaches them for interactive video production or application development, they are immediately hosted at Rackspace. They are exposed to Fanatical Support and the confidence in having a powerful infrastructure from the onset. In return, Rackspace utilizes TStream when a new Microsoft customer needs to migrate software to Rackspace or custom development projects, which also creates the possibility for any additional development that customer may need.
It's a true win-win partnership—for the companies and their customers.
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