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Rackspace set to buy AWS partner

Rackspace's pending purchase of Onica, an AWS partner with consulting and professional services capabilities, underscores the continuing interest in cloud services specialists.

Rackspace plans to acquire Onica, an AWS partner that brings with it consulting, professional services and cloud-native development skills.

Onica, based in Santa Monica, Calif., possesses more than 500 AWS certifications, resources that will boost Rackspace's AWS certification pool by 45%, according to Rackspace. "We believe the combination will make us one of the largest, pure-play AWS partners," said Matt Stoyka, chief relationship officer at Rackspace.

The transaction, scheduled to close late in the fourth quarter of 2019, follows a long line of combinations in the cloud and managed service space. More than 30 deals have been struck in 2019, with companies with expertise in specific cloud platforms much in demand.

AWS partner to continue focus

Onica focuses exclusively on the AWS platform, its single-cloud pursuit running counter to other service providers attempting to span multiple clouds. Onica CTO Tolga Tarhan said his company will continue its AWS focus within Rackspace, where it will become part of Rackspace's Americas organization. Rackspace, a managed cloud services company based in San Antonio, offers cloud services around AWS, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure.

"We remain as committed as ever to the AWS platform," Tarhan said.

We believe the combination will make us one of the largest, pure-play AWS partners.
Matt StoykaChief relationship officer, Rackspace

Stoyka said Onica contributes consulting and professional services resources, which will grow Rackspace's existing capabilities. He also pointed to Onica's large presence in the Canadian market. Onica has offices in Calgary, Alta.; Montreal; Toronto; and Vancouver, B.C.

Onica CEO Stephen Garden said the AWS partner will provide Rackspace customers with access to its cloud-native development group. Rackspace clients, he said, "can extend their use of Rackspace into our service areas." Those areas include serverless, machine learning and AI in addition to cloud-native development.

Onica gains

Onica also stands to benefit from Rackspace's scale: The $2.4 billion company employs more than 6,000 people and works with more than 140,000 customers worldwide. Tarhan called Rackspace "a great platform to build upon." Stoyka noted Rackspace can help Onica grow in regions such as EMEA and Asia-Pacific.

Garden cited Rackspace's sales and marketing personnel, numbering in the hundreds compared with Onica's 20-person team.

Garden and Tarhan will continue to lead the Onica team post acquisition and report to Sid Nair, general manager of Americas at Rackspace.

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