Chris Palermo founded the Florida-based GCN in 1997, and grew it into a leading advisory firm in the IT channel that provides vendors with vendor-neutral colocation, networking, cloud computing, voice and project management services. GCN has more than 300 customers worldwide, including leading Global 100 and Fortune 500 companies, according to Upstack.
In his new role, Palermo will work to advance Upstack’s partner investment strategy, the company said.
Upstack Acquires GCN: Welcoming A New President
Christopher Trapp, CEO, Upstack
Chris Palermo, founder and CEO, GCN
Christopher Trapp, founder and CEO, Upstack commented:
“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. 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.”
Chris Palermo 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. 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.”
Upstack’s M&A Plays
The acquisition of GCN fits into Upstack’s overall strategy to expand its end-to-end IT source/deploy/manage platform, according to the company. That strategy is supported by a $50 million equity investment from Berskhire Partners, which surfaced in April 2021.
Upstack originally positioned itself as a colocation marketplace, but has since pivoted to become a sales agency much like CloudAdvise. The company offers to help customers select and activate a variety of IT services including colocation, network connectivity, SD-WAN, unified communications, cloud, mobile, IoT, and business connectivity solutions.
Upstack’s platform allows business technology buyers and advisors to “design and compare cloud and internet infrastructure solutions. Its technology consists of a set of tools that automate many of the most time-consuming components of designing and sourcing IT solutions, saving its advisors and end-customers significant amounts of time relative to current modes of manual data extraction, input, comparison, and presentation,” the company says.