Amazon.com's cloud business is wildly popular with the techy do-it-yourselfers, but less so for companies that need help managing their data centers.
Microsoft, after spending years playing catch-up to Amazon Web Services, is now catering to the type of client that likes to ask for assistance. On Monday, the software giant said that it's partnering with Rackspace Hosting, which will provide its trademark "fanatical support" for Microsoft's Azure cloud service.
"The next wave of cloud adoption is going to come from more traditional enterprise customers who value support and expertise from a company like Rackspace," said John Engates chief technology officer of San Antonio, Texas-based Rackspace.
Microsoft, under CEO Satya Nadella, is juicing up its Web-based offerings as customers dump their own data center equipment in favor of the more powerful, cost-efficient and data-heavy attributes that come with the cloud.
In the fiscal third quarter, Microsoft's commercial cloud revenue more than doubled and the business is on pace to generate $6 billion annually.
By joining forces with Rackspace, Microsoft salespeople can provide greater comfort to customers who have expressed concerns about offloading their most critical infrastructure.