We show the leading computer hosting company how to be
The World’s #1 Managed Cloud Company.
Rackspace (NYSE: RAX) had a perception problem: the world’s #1 computing hosting company was in the midst of a Cloud revolution started by Amazon. Now the market, customers and employees needed to know where Rackspace fit. The global enterprise had to re-position itself for a whole new era.
Because Rackspace had founded OpenStack along with NASA–an Open cloud operating standard being hailed as the new Linux for Cloud computing, the company thought it could brand itself as the open platform expert: the Open Cloud company vs. closed, proprietary platforms like Amazon’s Cloud. But it was soon apparent that being “Open vs. Closed” was a solution without a problem for most customers. Amazon’s Cloud was still growing 100 times faster than anyone else. No one could compete with them head to head.
So we asked Rackspace: What is the one thing the Cloud world needs you to do that no one else can do? And the answer was right there in front of them: ”
It turns out that the Cloud is immensely powerful but it’s also hopelessly complex for new adopters who aren’t tech companies and don’t have Cloud engineers on staff to begin with. The Amazon Cloud is a bunch of unmanaged tools that you have to put together and run yourself at your own risk.
It meant that there was a huge market for a company who would help put Clouds together and manage them for customers. Rackspace realized: we are already the world’s #1 company for Managed Hosting of dedicated servers. Now the world needs us to apply our legendary Fanatical Support to the Cloud, and become the #1 Managed Cloud Company. It needs us to handle all the complexity, so our customers can focus on their businesses. We’re not better than Amazon. We’re simply in a different business. Unmanaged vs. Managed. We are a different category!”
And there it was: We framed a new category of Cloud called the The Managed Cloud which Rackspace could own day one. We also framed their opposition–the old category of Cloud that Amazon and Microsoft owned. We called that: The Commodity Cloud and The Do-it-Yourself Cloud. Rackspace’s new global tag line became The #1 Managed Cloud Company. Then we began telling the story to the market.
As we seeded Micro-Scripts like “un-managed, Commodity Cloud” and “Who’s going to manage your cloud?” into the media, the press picked it up and started to repeat our words and our message. The analyst firm Gartner legitimized our story by officially declaring our specialty area a new category in Cloud. When the Managed Cloud was announced to the world, Rackspace stock was priced in the high $20 dollar range. Within six months it was hitting $50+.
The Managed Cloud was a new mission, new source of energy and a new reason to believe–not only for customers but for employees around the globe. Now every Racker knew how they were going to win in the Cloud era. It was amazing to watch the transformation. We were very proud to have named, claimed, and framed this Dominant Selling Idea for Rackspace.