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Why Rackspace chose to white-label cloud archiving services

Resell, white-label or build your own cloud-based archiving services? Of these three delivery options, Rackspace decided to white-label cloud services from Sonian.

Desiring to expand its services portfolio, Rackspace began offering cloud-based email archiving services seven years ago. Due to a lack of in-house expertise, the cloud service provider chose to partner with an email archiving provider, whose service it white-labels today. Why did Rackspace decide to white-label cloud archiving services instead of reselling or building their own services?

"We wanted to make it simple to get the security you feel when you have everything backed up in a true archiving solution," said Kirk Averett, senior director of sales and marketing at Rackspace. "We launched with the Sonian name and label, but we did testing with it white-labeled, and we found it made sales simpler. We're very open about [the service being Sonian] though."

About the company's decision to resell and then later white-label another provider's services, Averett said, "We are good at core apps, but archiving felt like an area where specialization would be powerful and finding an expert partner would be to everyone's benefit. They could give us the depth and expertise in an important niche."

He continued: "We wanted a partner that understood the e-discovery world and compliance world. That's why we decided to find a partner. Over time, we found [Sonian] has some unique technology that allows us to get access to inexpensive storage that's effective for archiving scenarios."

According to Averett, Rackspace offers its email archiving service with unlimited retention and unlimited storage, "because it's all in the cloud. We're plugged into a partner that can scale as much as we could ever need to." Averett said Rackspace has more than 300,000 mailboxes archived through Sonian. "There are few places that can manage this many users in such a seamless way," he said.

Early in the partnership, a support manager acted as a key liaison between Rackspace and Sonian, but these days, the white-labeled cloud service requires little maintenance. "The solution works so well that we don't have dedicated staff from a support or engineering perspective. We're able to manage it without much trouble through existing technical folks who handle email routing and with the general support. It doesn't take too much effort on our part, and it keeps scaling and scaling," Averett said.

It is for this reason that the service has proven successful for Rackspace. "In our cloud office segment, [email archiving] is an important revenue segment and profit center because it is proven to be something that scales well," Averett said.

As for relying on Sonian's expertise, Averett said Rackspace has taken advantage of it to help customers that are involved with lawsuits and need e-discovery services. There are other benefits, white-label cloud archiving choice. "The more practical, day-to-day advantage is that they are good at what they do," Averett said, explaining that Sonian is often updating platforms and delivering innovation and significant performance improvements. "Sonian often approaches us with opportunities to do new and different things because they are continually stretching themselves. From time to time, we say yes, because it makes sense to our customers."

Next Steps

Read about the pros and cons of white-labeling cloud services

Rackspace sees growth in nontraditional partnerships

Expedient Data Centers opts to build their cloud archiving services

This was last published in March 2015

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Why would you choose to white-label cloud-based archiving services (as opposed to reselling or building your own)?
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White-labeling doesn't require a lot of money up front, and you don't have to handle customer support. Also makes it easier to bundle together products and it's easier to explain those bundles to customers.
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