Rackspace Helps Finish Line, Rhode Island School of Design and Smash.gg Get the Most Out of the Google Cloud

SAN ANTONIO, TX—(Marketwired – December 11, 2017) – Following Google's recent Managed Services Partner Program launch, Rackspace® announced that it is migrating, managing and optimizing business–critical workloads for several customers, from enterprises to educational institutions to emerging start–ups, on Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

Finish Line is a premium sports retailer with approximately 950 branded locations in U.S. malls and shops inside Macy's department stores and half a million daily online visitors. Finish Line turned to Rackspace earlier this year to help accelerate its IT transformation efforts by moving key workloads out of its existing data center facilities to Google Cloud Platform (GCP). “We operate in a highly competitive and rapidly transforming market,” said Warren Lenard, vice president of technology and operations at Finish Line. “We value the current support of our digital and e–commerce applications Rackspace provides. As we look to move workloads to Google Cloud Platform, we will continue to leverage their expertise and managed services for GCP.”

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is one of the world's most renowned colleges of art and design, and it is utilizing Rackspace Managed Services for GCP to help secure, manage and engineer its web sites for optimal performance and reliability. “As a leading design school, there is a high expectation on us to deliver exceptional web experiences,” explained Brian Clark, senior director of marketing strategy at RISD. “We look at Rackspace as an extension of our team in managing and optimizing our Google Cloud Platform deployment.”

Smash.gg is an eSports platform used by players and organizers worldwide, running nearly 2,000 events per month with 60,000+ competitors. The company engaged Rackspace to provide expert architectural guidance and augment its operations team — allowing them to focus on innovation and speed to market, while providing a reliable and performant user experience. “As we scale out our application to partners,” said Nathan Welch, engineering director and co–founder at Smash.gg. “We are leveraging Rackspace's expertise to help design, deploy and automate an optimal environment on GCP.”

Rackspace is supporting these customers by helping to remove the complexity and costs associated with managing their cloud environment all on their own. Rackspace helps Managed Services for GCP customers architect, deploy, manage and secure their cloud infrastructures, allowing them to focus their valuable IT resources on their core business.

“We're excited about the strong momentum we've experienced since we became Google's first managed service partner in March of this year,” said Patrick Lee, vice president of the Google business at Rackspace. “Since that time, we've strengthened our GCP expertise by earning more than 150 sales and technical certifications — and have built a robust offering to support a growing number of customers running applications on GCP. As our relationship with Google continues to evolve, we look forward to expanding our offering by bringing new services to market that will provide even greater value to customers.”

Rackspace experts work with customers to identify the scope and criticality of their applications to determine how to best meet their needs. Rackspace's core managed service offering on GCP is called Aviator and features:

  • Industry Leading Expertise for Google Cloud — Customers receive access to GCP trained and certified solutions architects that provide detailed cloud designs and architectures based on a customer's business and technical objectives. Rackspace cloud engineers that are GCP trained and certified experts provide 24x7x365 hands–on incident response and cloud operations including monitoring, logging, patching, backups, system updates and monthly account reviews including proactive advice on how to optimize a customer's environment.
  • Tooling and Automation for Google Cloud — Delivers simplified management of GCP products, along with billing and monitoring tooling. Rackspace also implements GCP identity and access management security best practices, and provides alerts and preconfigured monitoring for comprehensive tracking, logging and auditability for all GCP projects. Rackspace implements best of class infrastructure deployment tools to rapidly provision customer's infrastructure using an “infrastructure as code” approach.
  • Connectivity to Other Platforms — Offers a single, integrated customer interface to manage infrastructure across colocation, managed hosting, private clouds and public clouds including AWS and Azure.
  • Add–On Services — Provides customers with access to additional value–added services such as customer reliability engineering (CRE), migration assistance for getting applications and data moved to GCP, managed services for digital and enterprise applications including Sitecore and SAP, security services including breach detection and threat remediation, and others.

Rackspace Managed Services for GCP is currently available to customers in more than 10 countries and will be available globally in 2018. For more information, please visit: rackspace.com/managed–google–cloud.

About Rackspace
Rackspace is the world's #1 provider of IT as a service in today's multi–cloud world. It delivers expert advice and integrated managed services across public and private clouds, managed hosting, and enterprise applications. Rackspace partners with every leading technology provider, including Alibaba, AWS, Google, Microsoft, OpenStack, Oracle, SAP, and VMware. The company is therefore uniquely positioned to provide unbiased advice on which technologies will best serve each customer's needs. Rackspace was named a leader in the 2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud Infrastructure Managed Service Providers, Worldwide and has been honored by Fortune, Glassdoor and others as one of the best places to work. Based in San Antonio, Texas, Rackspace serves more than 170,000 business customers from data centers on five continents. Learn more at www.rackspace.com.

IDG Communications Announces Digital Edge 50 Awards Winners to Honor Organizations Excelling at Digital Transformation

BOSTON, MA—(Marketwired – December 11, 2017) – IDG's AGENDA18 conference is excited to announce the 2018 Digital Edge 50 award winners. The award recognizes 50 organizations for digital transformation initiatives with significant, measurable business impact. The 50 winners will be honored onsite at the AGENDA18 conference, March 19–21, 2018, in Miami, Florida.

Transforming into a digital business is a key area of focus for organizations, and tech leaders are putting strategies into practice. With more than 250 projects nominated for the 2018 awards, the judging process was extremely competitive. Winning projects used technology to drive business innovation and even launch new business units, both to serve new customer segments through an end–to–end digital experience and to commercialize non–competitive company innovations. Technologies involved include artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, virtual reality/augmented reality, cloud, data analytics, and mobile/smart devices. Entries were judged by a panel of executive peers, including past winners, who evaluated projects on complexity, scale, business outcomes and innovation.

“This year we have many winners employing AI and machine learning, or a combination of the two, demonstrating how quickly those technologies are taking hold,” said Anne McCrory, Digital Edge program chair and Group VP, Customer Experience and Operations, IDG Events and CIO Executive Council. “There are projects on data accessibility, digital assistants, sensors, and integrating numerous systems and data types for mobile users. All have remarkable returns, whether those are efficiencies or sales from new capabilities or even new businesses launching.”

Executives from winning companies will join the speaker roster at the AGENDA18 conference. Confirmed speakers include:

Lisa Bowman, Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, United Way Worldwide
Karen Brunn, Vice President, Research, United Way Worldwide
Brett Caldon, Head of Business Operations, Workgrid Software
Rickard Damm, Head of Innovation, Telia
Meghan Hart, VP of HR Technology & Systems Management, Liberty Mutual Insurance
Bill McCorey, CIO, Universal Orlando
Sherif Mityas, CIO & Chief Strategy Officer, TGI Fridays
Rob Norris, CEO, Cake Insurance
Gail Seanor, Senior Director, Digital, TGI Fridays

The conference, produced in partnership with the CIO Executive Council, will bring together more than 300 senior technology leaders and business stakeholders to share best practices, learn new techniques and engage in digital leadership training.

The 2018 Digital Edge 50 Award Winners are:

  • Adient
  • Agero
  • Aiolos
  • Allstate
  • Bechtel
  • Cake Insurance
  • California State University, Fullerton
  • Capital One
  • County of Los Angeles Department of Public Social Services
  • Creative Artists Agency
  • Deakin University
  • Dignity Health
  • Discover Financial Services
  • E. & J. Gallo Winery
  • ExxonMobil
  • Farmers Insurance Group of Companies®
  • FedEx Corporation
  • Georgia Aquarium
  • Georgia Department of Labor
  • GSK US Pharmaceutical Tech
  • Hitachi Consulting India Pvt Ltd.
  • Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
  • Liberty Mutual Insurance, Workgrid Software
  • Merck & Co., Inc.
  • Michigan State Police
  • Micron Technology, Inc.
  • Monsanto
  • Onslow Memorial Hospital
  • Penn Medicine
  • Pennsylvania Treasury Department
  • QVC
  • Reed Smith
  • Rogers Communications Inc.
  • RTI International
  • SimpleTire
  • St. Luke's University Health Network
  • Technical College System of Georgia
  • Telia Company
  • TGI Fridays
  • TIAA
  • Town of South Windsor, CT
  • United Way Worldwide
  • Universal Orlando
  • UPS
  • Vanguard
  • Verizon
  • Volvo Financial Services
  • WCA Waste Corporation
  • Whirlpool Corporation

AGENDA18 Sponsorship Opportunities
The AGENDA18 Conference is proud to have Google and HP as our strategy partners. Additional action partners include Atlassian and Omnivex. For more information on our various sponsorship opportunities, including the awards celebration, please visit agendaconference.com. Please contact Adam Dennison, SVP/General Manager, IDG Events & Publisher, CIO at adam_dennison@idg.com to learn more.

Event Information
To learn more about the conference and to register to attend, visit AGENDAconference.com and follow us at @CIOevents and @CIOEC and use #Agenda18.

About Digital Edge 50 Award
The Digital Edge 50 Award honors digital innovation. Through digital technologies such as mobile, analytics, AI, the Internet of Things and cloud, award winners see business results that indicate a true “digital edge.” Selected by a panel of industry experts and business and technology executives, winning applications are driving greater customer engagement, higher sales conversions and new products, as well as revenue and profit growth.

About IDG Communications, Inc.
IDG Communications connects the world of tech buyers with insights, intent and engagement. IDG Communications is the world's largest media, data and marketing services company that activates and engages the most influential technology buyers. Our premium brands, including CIO®, Computerworld®, PCWorld® and Macworld®, engage the most powerful audience of technology buyers providing essential guidance on the evolving technology landscape. Our global data intelligence platform activates purchasing intent, powering our clients' success. IDG Marketing Services creates custom content with marketing impact across video, mobile, social and digital. We execute complex campaigns that fulfill marketers' global ambitions seamlessly with consistency that delivers results and wins awards. IDG is the #1 tech media company in the world, per comScore.*

*Source: comScore Media Metrix, Desktop Unique Visitors, Worldwide, January 2017

Additional information about IDG, a privately held company, is available at http://www.idg.com.