“In business, differentiation is everything.” Those words were spoken to me by Pat Matthews, General Manager of Rackspace Email & Apps, during an interview in April, 2009. And, who would know better? Matthews spent the last 10 years building a career and corporate culture founded on the radical idea that people should love their jobs and that service to customers matters.
The success of this effort was recognized this week by Frost and Sullivan who awarded the cloud-based apps division of Rackspace, known as Rackspace Email & Apps, the prestigious 2009 Global North American Hosted Enterprise Email Customer Value Enhancement Award. Based on a Rackspace news release, this award recognizes the company for providing “outstanding performance in customer service and high value-to-cost ratio, leading to improved customer retention and customer base expansion.”
According to Matthews, “The more advanced technology gets and the more people use it, the more service matters, especially for businesses. We've built a culture around service at Rackspace. The philosophy behind delivering Fanatical Support to customers is one of the biggest reasons that it made so much sense to merge businesses back in 2007 and the biggest reason for our success to date."
The RackApps division is growing at the rate of 1000 new customers a month. Sales equals jobs and the company is hiring, reports Cameron Nouri, Rackspace Evangelist. “To date we have grown to over 120-plus Rackers here in Blacksburg and are on a path to hire more. Currently there are over 10 job openings for our Blacksburg office and over 200 openings in the company as a whole. I don't know of another company who is making the kind of direct economic impact that Rackspace is and has the opportunity for growth like we do.”
Rackspace is now the second largest hosted email provider in North America. It's a level of achievement that Matthews, during his early days as an entrepreneur behind the start-up originally known as WebMail, always believed would happen. “Ten years ago I didn't know we'd be in the email hosting business. Cloud computing wasn't even a buzz phrase yet! But, yes, I did imagine that we'd be having this type of success. I think that most entrepreneurs have a deep belief that they will ultimately be successful. It's that belief that creates the drive.”
Drive and differentiation together appear to be that magic that sets Rackspace apart. “Rackers are a dedicated group of people,” says Matthews. “They believe in Fanatical Support and how much it means to our customers. I love when Rackers are recognized for the hard work they do.”
Jim Flowers interviewed Pat Matthews for Shaking Hands with the Real Thing – A Successful Entrepreneur.