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Rackspace doesn’t want to be just another raw cloud-infrastructure provider anymore.

Today it’s stepping out with a new “practice” to support digital marketing needs in particular. Rackspace Digital includes support for content management systems, e-commerce systems, and mobile app hosting, according to a release on the new initiative.

Naturally, the arrangement comes along with Rackspace’s always-on Fanatical Support for tooling from partners like Adobe, Magento, and Oracle Retail.

The vertical-specific strategy is just one of many that Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) providers have adopted in recent months to stand out from the rest of the pack. Of course, if you don’t differentiate, you can always be a manager of cloud deployments. But Rackspace isn’t taking that tack — it’s reaching to be the go-to IaaS for marketing stuff.

As we’re looking to grow, we’re looking to see which areas does Rackspace specialize in,” Rajeev Shrivastava, the company’s vice president of product marketing, said in an interview with VentureBeat. “We’re looking at how do we differentiate ourselves in the market. The whole competitive landscape is heating up.”

So even Rackspace knows it needs to have a specialty. Because not all cloud providers can be as widely used as market leader Amazon Web Services — not at this moment, anyway.

Rackspace’s marketing maneuver comes just after the cloud provider played a game of musical chairs with its top executives. The company’s latest quarterly earnings did beat analyst estimates, but Rackspace clearly needs to make changes, and the targeting of specific industries could end up paying off.


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