Global Communications Network: Dancing on a Cloud

During a preliminary meeting, Joe discusses the upcoming segment with the guest.

During a preliminary meeting, Joe discusses the upcoming segment with GCN President and CEO Chris Palermo (center).

Profile:  Global Communications Network (GCN)

Their Competitive Edge:  Providing the Crucial Link between Technology and business Success

Special Guest:  Chris Palermo, President and CEO

We keep hearing all this talk about “cloud computing”.  “We’re on the Cloud”, “You can share that file through the Cloud”, and so forth.  It seems to be the latest buzzword among the techie and wanna-be techie crowds. It’s the new Web 2.0!  But is it really new?  Before we can answer that, we need to look at the definition of cloud computing…

The term “Cloud computing” comes from the cloud-shaped symbol that is typically used as an abstraction for complex infrastructure which IT professionals have been using for years. Like clouds of the meteorological variety, data clouds are blobs of condensation – only instead of water droplets, the blobs are a condensation of ones and zeros.  The Internet is perhaps the best known cloud of all. The Internet, in its simplest form is a collection of remotely hosted servers that you could connect to for any number of reasons. When you save a photo to Facebook, you are uploading that photo to a remote server that is managed by Facebook in any one of their data centers throughout the world.   We interact with these clouds every day, according to Chris Palermo, President and CEO of  Global Communications Networks.  “You and I have been using it for years,” Palermo said in a recent interview with Joe and Kristy on The Competitive Edge™.  “Social media is the cloud – Facebook or iTunes – everything.  You host your media on somebody else’s site.”  Pretty simple explanation.  But let’s take it one step further:  You and your group (a company, an organization, or a fan club) are the “users” and you see the front end of the cloud computing system.  Through your interface (software, browser, etc.) you access what you need at the back end of the system – the “cloud”.  This type of data interaction offers the convenience of someone else handling the hardware, such as the Server itself, and the software, such as Google Apps at an affordable cost.

So what makes GCN such a standout in a veritable sea of telecommunications and cloud computing specialists?  “You have to change with the market,” Palermo explains.  “One of the things I’ve learned is that you have to be a representative for all carrier types.  We look for the right solutions and present, maybe four different proposals.  After the customer has made their decision, our project management will manage it, and then we will put together a life cycle management team to support them.”  This, combined with their VOIP, data connectivity and co-location services (data replication and recovery in the event of a disaster), got GCN inducted into Inc. Magazine’s list of 5000 Fastest Growing Corporations two years in a row.  According to Chris, “We’re looking to be in there for our third year in a row.” Regardless, Chris Palermo and his company can rest assured that the forecast for cloud computing is very favorable.