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UPSTACK Acquires IT Channel Advisory Firm Global Communication Networks

UPSTACK Acquires IT Channel Advisory Firm Global Communication Networks
GCN Founder and CEO Chris Palermo Joins Cloud and Internet Infrastructure Platform as President

UPSTACK, a profitable, fast-growing platform that transforms the architecture and sourcing experience for businesses seeking cloud and internet infrastructure solutions, announced that it has acquired Global Communication Networks, Inc. (GCN), a leading advisory firm in the IT Channel, that provides enterprises with vendor-neutral colocation, networking, cloud computing, voice and project management services. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

GCN Founder and CEO Chris Palermo will join UPSTACK’s executive leadership team as President as well as a true equity stakeholder in one of the technology industry’s most innovative companies. Palermo has more than 30 years of cloud and telecom infrastructure experience, including 25 years spent building GCN into a thriving global data center and connectivity advisory firm.

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“I’m happy to welcome the entire GCN team to UPSTACK. Under Chris Palermo’s leadership, GCN has become one of the most successful technology agencies in the world,” said Christopher Trapp, Founder and CEO of UPSTACK. “Bringing Chris onto the team is a big win for our organization. I have no doubt that he will help lead our organization to meet and exceed our ambitious growth goals.”

As President, Palermo will work closely with Trapp to advance the company’s partner investment strategy and accelerate the growth of its industry-transforming platform, which combines leading internet infrastructure advisors with proprietary software and support resources.

UPSTACK’s growth strategy is supported by a $50 million equity investment from Berkshire Partners, announced in April, which will enable the company to continue to scale its platform through technology expansion and partner acquisitions.

GCN was formed by Palermo in 1997 after he spent six years working in direct sales for Allnet, AT&T and Cable & Wireless.  Palermo’s vision for GCN was to deliver complete, multivendor solutions tailored to customers’ specific needs. The Florida-based company’s business grew quickly by providing connectivity to data centers in the Miami area, earning GCN a reputation as the go-to advisor for helping data centers bring in multicarrier connectivity to attract tenants. GCN’s experience working with data centers was a springboard into becoming one of the first consultants to help enterprises find data center space worldwide.

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Today, GCN works with more than 300 customers worldwide, including leading Global 100 and Fortune 500 companies. The advisory firm delivers best-of-breed solutions spanning IaaS, data center colocation, hybrid cloud, network and unified communication services. In 25 years of business, GCN has seen revenue growth every year and landed on Inc. Magazine’s annual list of the fastest-growing U.S. firms three times.

Due to its track record, GCN was approached by several companies for acquisition before discussions with UPSTACK, but Palermo shied away because he felt GCN would ultimately be “just a cog in the wheel,” he said.

“Selecting UPSTACK as our growth partner means that the entire GCN team would transition under the UPSTACK umbrella and would become a material component of its account management, delivery and customer success organization,” said Palermo.

“I’ve always had a passion for growing our firm and making it stand out from all the others in service and offerings. Now, with all the resources UPSTACK has, we can look internally to find the best advisors in UCaaS, CCaaS, cybersecurity, connectivity, data center – you name it – to create optimal solutions for our clients.”

Chris Palermo is one of the pioneers of our industry and a model of what it means to be successful. Tapping into his expertise and network will help us accelerate the building of UPSTACK’s most comprehensive product and service offering yet,” said Trapp. “I am honored that he selected UPSTACK as his go-to-market partner and can’t wait to both work with and learn from him.”

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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