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September 21, 2017updated 22 Sep 2017 4:44pm

Multi-cloud is where everyone wants to be – Rackspace EMEA CTO, Lee James

Which cloud do you like the sound of? Hybrid or Multi?

By April Slattery

VMworld Europe came and went just a short time ago with Pat Gelsinger CEO of VMware continuing to outline the company’s plans to create the best hybrid cloud solution by connecting businesses through a new era of the cloud with seamless technology following VMware’s aim to allow customers to access the cloud, anywhere, on any device and at any time, at oodeast that’s how the pitch goes.

During the three day conference in Barcelona, CBR got a chance to speak to the new Chief Technology Officer at Rackspace, Lee James about his new role, Rackspace’s vision and where he sees the cloud heading in the future.

Coming from a background of customer engagements at BP, Lee James was excitable from the outset to talk about Rackspace and the opportunities it presents to businesses and their customers.

Becoming Rackspace’s EMEA CTO just a few weeks ago, James explained the wide portfolio of capabilities the company offers its customer explaining the multi-cloud offering Rackspace provides for its customers and how they’re at the heart of his vision.

Multi-cloud is where everyone wants to be – Rackspace EMEA CTO, Lee James

Lee James pushes Multi-Cloud & Rackspace’s vision

James began and said: “We’ve got such a great portfolio of capabilities, coupled with our fanatical support we’ve almost got everything for everybody in terms of cloud offering then our ability in terms of professional services to stitch those solutions together I think is going to be fantastic.

“What’s really key for me is making sure that our customers understand our portfolio, how it’s going to drive those business outcomes for them and how we can deliver a multi cloud solution for them whether it’s off premise or on premise, making sure they understand the benefits of all our portfolio but most importantly to couple that with all the support as well.”

It’s no secret that there is a lot of big names offering cloud solutions for customers, but James outlines that Rackspace will offer multi-cloud to its customers, benefitting customers and giving them the option of every cloud describing it as a great opportunity for businesses.

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“We’ve got every cloud, it’s great” James stated, “It offers customer choice, having the ability to have all these multi-clouds and stitch those together for the customer is critical. Rather than having just one product set or buying into one cloud we can say take the best bits for each of these clouds and use that as your base for your business outcomes.”

By having multi-cloud it allows companies to use different cloud solutions for different capabilities depending on the demand and requirements of the job. Currently 57% of enterprises run their systems using a hybrid environment using at least four cloud solutions. However, the CTO believes Rackspace has the edge on their competitors with an additional service on offer.

He said: “With us, it starts right upfront in terms of our professional services. We lead with professional services in terms of understanding those requirements and find the best cloud provider suited to their business dependent on the requirements and capabilities.

“But further to that, we have a Rackspace managed security service as well, so where customers do want to move and change we’ve got the services to break into public cloud we can create the same security posture both from on premises into a public cloud as well. We have Fanatical Support across all those things, we manage the architecture and operation and support teams help us stand out against our competitors.”

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After working alongside VMware for almost 13 years, and being one of the top VCANN partners James explains it’s a long standing relationship and the relationship between Rackspace and VMware is valued by James. Working together it offers a range of management capabilities to help predict customer workloads and understand peak and demand from different areas. “Using VMware’s technology helps Rackspace to build customised templates for our customer requirements” James said.

Offering the all different cloud platforms to customers, whether they’re on or off premises is an important factor to James to best suit Rackspace’s customers and ensure they can achieve their businesses needs accordingly using the best cloud platform for them. As many businesses are already consumer up to four cloud platforms on average, James believes that multi-cloud is the future, and it’s where most business want to go.

James said: “Multi-cloud enables multi choice, but it also allows us then to be able to fit the best fit for their requirements and capabilities. The ability to be able to use services for their needs, a similar way customers will look at cloud services for data analytics desktop hosting, computer hosting and do it globally with the standardisation.”

As for the future, the CTO believes that the future is bright and is excited for the ‘fantastic’ opportunities that are around the corner for Rackspace, VMware and their customers.

He said: “Cloud is now prevalent in pretty almost every one of our customers and is a standard platform to deliver services. I think the multi cloud choice is where everyone wants to get to.”

James concluded his time with us at VMworld by outlining how exciting the opportunity is for everyone in the market and there are so many strong products entering the scene such as AWS, Google and Azure. He leaves us looking to an ‘interesting and exciting’ future ahead for the cloud and for Rackspace.

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