At CloudHealth, we work with a talented community of partners to help thousands of our joint customers optimize their cloud environments and drive business transformation in the cloud. We recently had the opportunity to hear from Matt Shover, Product Manager at Rackspace, one of CloudHealth’s premier partners. Matt discusses the partnership between Rackspace and CloudHealth, and how we work together to drive successful business outcomes for our customers.
What is your role at Rackspace? How do you impact the cloud customer experience?
I’m a Product Manager that helped found our AWS and Managed Public Clouds business almost five years ago. Regardless of role (e.g. developers, product, sales, support), everyone at Rackspace has the common job of culling and solving customer pain points.
A persistent pain point I’ve been focusing on for the last couple of years has been around managing cloud costs. Our initial approach was to enable customers with tooling and education, but alone, that approach fell short when it came to realizing outcomes. Because cost governance outcomes rely on organizational processes and habits, we’ve evolved our offering to provide a combination of tooling and expertise that’s also integrated into everyday business practices.
Can you tell us about the release of CloudHealth for Rackspace-supported AWS customers?
This was a special release for both Rackspace and CloudHealth, as it was the first fully-automated, at-scale integration with the platform. We automatically detect and sync new AWS accounts, ingest billing from CloudHealth, and have users seamlessly federate from our control panel into CloudHealth.
When IAM policies need to change—for instance, when AWS Savings Plans were released and we needed to add an IAM permission out to our AWS customer base—it was just a few minutes of effort to push out across thousands of accounts. The rollout has had very few speed bumps and customers love having the power of CloudHealth. It’s a huge bonus that the platform is frictionlessly in-sync with their environment.
What are the customer benefits as a result of the partnership?
Awesome customer outcomes. Together, we provide value by making customer lives easier and enabling outcomes that would not have happened otherwise.
In addition to a stellar recommendation engine within CloudHealth, having a method to attribute actual savings and distribute them across individual cost centers is highly useful for customers. Like AWS, CloudHealth and Rackspace are obsessed with customer outcomes.
Together, we provide value by making customer lives easier and enabling outcomes that would not have happened otherwise.Product Manager, Rackspace
What do you see as key points of success for your cloud customers?
Successful outcomes around visibility, cost, and control aren’t individual steps—they need to be owned by everyone involved and built into daily processes and habits. What I love about CloudHealth is that we can treat our users like users—not as monolithic customers. A CFO, a Director of IT, and a Developer all have unique needs to achieve their goals. We can arm them with the exact information they need, regardless if they want detailed spreadsheets or pretty graphs in an e-mail.
Companies have policies around travel, expenses, and time off—but very few have a cloud spend policy. I’d like to see more leadership formulating policies that proactively address inevitable tensions (e.g. speed of innovating vs. control), clearly define the business’ priority goals, and even incentivize teams based on those goals. When tensions are passed down without clarity, detrimental effects are amplified.
What are the primary reasons cloud customers leverage managed service providers instead of managing their environments directly?
Higher specialization and lower costs. The concept of economy of scale of expertise means we learn hundreds of iterations to create the right architectures, select the right services, and use the right methods to ensure we’re building scalable, supportable, secure, and cost-effective environments.
In practical terms, a particular department may not want to hire a database administrator or an AWS solution architect full time. With a managed service provider, they can accomplish the work they need to get done at a fraction of the cost, and also allow their limited internal resources to focus on growing the business.
Can you name an event or specific impact Rackspace and CloudHealth have had on your cloud customers?
I was on a call recently with a counterpart from CloudHealth where we worked with a customer on some advanced reporting requirements. The customer was spending several hours every week on the reports with constant pressures around deadlines and missing data. In short, repetitive stress.
We were able to quickly customize a handful of existing reports in the platform to automate the reporting. While the customer outcome was absolutely the best part, the next best was how CloudHealth and Rackspace worked together not as two companies, but as one big team to solve the customer pain.
What are you most excited about for the future of Rackspace and CloudHealth’s partnership?
I think one of the best jobs in the world has to be a personal trainer. You get to be professionally in-shape, you help others achieve their goals, and you have clients that are grateful for effective help.
Much the same, the partnership with CloudHealth is about saving customers money and hearing customers brag about it. We solve pain around cloud spend and visibility, restore sanity and control to leaders and frontline employees, as well as provide a sense of control over what they’re doing. CloudHealth is the best tool to help us put together a system to unlock these outcomes for our customers. I’m excited as we continue to progress together, making all of the above even easier.
We solve pain around cloud spend and visibility, restore sanity and control to leaders and frontline employees, as well as provide a sense of control over what they’re doing.Product Manager, Rackspace
To learn more about how your business can unlock outcomes in the cloud, see our whitepaper: Benchmark Your Cloud Maturity: A Framework for Best Practices