Thursday, February 16, 2012

Behind the Rackspace acquisition of SharePoint911

SharePoint911 -- powered by Rackspace.
Or some branding to that effect, now that Rackspace today announced it has acquired Shane and Nicola Young's SharePoint911 consultancy.
Rackspace, of course, is a leader in hosting and cloud development, and sees continued growth potential in the SharePoint market. "We want to be able to help more people become successful with SharePoint," Bret Piatt, Rackspace director of corporate development and strategy, told me today. "The acquisition helps Rackspace and we help [Shane's team] reach a wider audience."
Shane explained that SharePoint911 was among the partners Rackspace would work with when a customer needed SharePoint services that Rackspace could not provide. "Once they built [a SharePoint installation], they were done. Now, we can do anything and everything SharePoint." That relationship led to the acquisition discussions that started "in earnest" by the end of last year, he added. "Once they built [a SharePoint installation], they were done. Now, we can do anything and everything SharePoint."
To allay fears of customers, Piatt and Shane Young both said SharePoint911 will continue to operate as it has. "From everyone's point of view, we are SharePoint911 for all they know," Shane said. "They're going to run their bsuiness as they always had before the acquisition," Piatt said.
Piatt indicated the SharePoint911 team will help with hosted projects as well as on "products we can turn around and sell into the marketplace." As an example, he noted that "adding Shane, Todd [Klindt] and John [Ross] gives us three amazing sets of eyes to look at our configurations, to make sure we're giving our customers the best of the best" in a hosted solution. He also pointed to the contributions that Randy Drisgill, Laura Rogers and Jennifer Mason will make to the efforts due to their expertise in SharePoint.
Piatt said Rackspace expects to grow its services business over time, but there are now "no specific plans set around growth targets for that business."
Piatt also said the Rackspace-SharePoint911 relationship goes back four years, when Rackspace "brought in Shane and Todd to train OUR guys on SharePoint, when we were getting into that market."
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

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