By Thomas Eason

Rackspace® Hosting, the service leader in cloud computing, today announced its acquisition of SharePoint911, an industry leader in SharePoint consulting, training, and “JumpStart” services within SharePoint. The unification of both companies provides capabilities to deliver unparalleled SharePoint hosting solutions along with expert services to the enterprise market.

“For several years, Rackspace has focused on providing managed SharePoint infrastructure,” says John Engates, chief technology officer at Rackspace. “We are thrilled to have the world-class expertise of SharePoint911 on our team to give us greater application delivery service capabilities. SharePoint911 will add the talent and expertise to our teams to make SharePoint deployments easier for our customers while increasing their scalability and performance through better integration of the workload and infrastructure.

“Founded in 2004, SharePoint911 is widely recognized in the SharePoint community for their technical excellence and thought leadership. The SharePoint911 team includes six Microsoft MVPs (Most Valuable Professional), and the authors of over ten SharePoint books such as Professional SharePoint 2010 Administration, Beginning SharePoint 2010: Building Business Solutions with SharePoint and Professional SharePoint 2010 Branding and User Interface Design as well as nine SharePoint training courses.

“SharePoint911 was founded on the principle that the complexities of SharePoint should not limit the solution’s success within an organization,” said Shane Young, SharePoint MVP and founder at SharePoint911. “With the support of Rackspace, we look forward to continuing that mission and spreading our capabilities within Fanatical Support to our current and future customers.”

Rackspace entered the managed SharePoint market in 2008 with a service offering that helped companies deal with the complexities of managing SharePoint environments. The immediate value of a reliable and scalable SharePoint infrastructure resulted in rapid growth rates for the offering. As enterprises continue to discover the power of SharePoint’s capabilities, it has become increasingly apparent that they need a trusted advisor to provide support regardless if the site is for internal use only or publically accessible.

“The Fanatical Support provided by Rackspace allows BHWM to scale and reach just like a global enterprise at the right cost,” said John Stuart, chief information officer at Beverly Hills Wealth Management. “Combining SharePoint911’s professional services and MVP staff is a valuable addition to the Rackspace proposition. I am excited to see two of BHWM’s service providers find each other independently and expand their offering as a team.”

SharePoint911, powered by Microsoft MVPs, and Rackspace will offer unparalleled access to the expertise needed to create long-term SharePoint success worldwide — both inside of Rackspace’s data centers or at customer locations.

“Our relationship with SharePoint911 dates back to our initial launch of SharePoint 3.0 in 2008,” said Armand Brunelle, managing director at Castle Pines Capital, A Wells Fargo Company. “The SharePoint911 team has played an instrumental role in the development and deployment of our solutions. I believe that SharePoint911 represents the industry’s best talent as they have clearly been a valued partner to Castle Pines Capital.”

“Rackspace’s acquisition of SharePoint911, a company dedicated to end-user SharePoint adoption, is a key strategic development, given that one of the primary barriers to broader SharePoint usage in businesses is the lack of comprehensive design, development, training, and end user support services to drive innovative SharePoint implementations,” said Melanie Posey, research vice president, hosting & managed network services at IDC. “We believe that Rackspace has uniquely positioned itself above its competitors by adding the thought leadership and expertise of SharePoint911. Going forward, Rackspace can help to further accelerate adoption of SharePoint, one of the fastest growing applications in the business productivity segment.”

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