Summary:

Rackspace buys SharePoint expertise and credibility with its purchase of SharePoint911, a training and consultancy specializing in the Microsoft collaboration software. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Rackspace, the big hosting and cloud computing provider, is buying SharePoint911 for its expertise in the Microsoft SharePoint collaboration arena and to bulk up its push into hosted collaboration. This is Rackspace’s first acquisition of the year.

For the past decade, Microsoft SharePoint has spread like kudzu in corporate networks — it enables workgroups to easily share and collaborate on documents. Microsoft claims 125 million SharePoint users.

While SharePoint started out as on-premises software, Microsoft has been pushing and shoving it into the cloud realm with Microsoft-hosted SharePoint Online itself and now with Office 365. Rackspace launched a hosted SharePoint practice in February 2010. It runs SharePoint as a managed service for enterprise customers.

Rackspace would “stand up” the SharePoint services and provide administration around them. What SharePoint911 brings is the ability to help customers customize and build a whole solution around that, said Shane Young, president of SharePoint911 told me.

SharePoint’s huge success often posed a problem to companies that found it hard to manage and control. That provided an opportunity for companies like SharePoint 911, which is based in Maineville, Ohio.

In other acquisitions aimed at boosting its cloud services, Rackspace bought CloudKick in December 2010, for cloud server management and ANSO Labs in February, 2011. ANSO was best known for its work with NASA.

Terms of the SharePoint911 deal were not disclosed.

Photo courtesy of  Flickr user karindalziel.

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