"Our clients asked us to expand our business through more advanced security and cloud-based solutions," Sue Messner said.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

October 18, 2022

4 Min Read
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Two of the channel’s most storied technology advisor agencies are coming together in the form of ARG and Global Network Services (GNS).

Virginia-based ARG closed its acquisition of Florida-based GNS in August. ARG CEO Greg Praske praised for Global Network Services for its reputation.

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ARG’s Sue Messner

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ARG’s Greg Praske

“We’ve had the privilege of being at the forefront of every stage in the channel advisory business and have met many of the leaders along the way,” Praske said. “It was obvious to us that GNS is one of our industry’s top performers.”

For 29-year-old GNS, joining forces allows its clients to benefit from a deeper portfolio and deeper set of professional services.

For 31-year-old ARG, GNS brings nine employees “focused on client success,” a strong cultural fit and a prestigious leader in GNS CEO and president Sue Messner.

“Sue Messner is one of our industry’s most highly respected executives,” ARG chief revenue officer Mike Shonholz said. “This, along with the firm’s emphasis on optimizing the client experience, competitive strengths in multilocation network management, and a strong desire for continued growth, checked all the boxes for us. And we are looking forward to taking their business to new heights.”

Deepening Client Experiences

GNS has historically helped its clients find and implement networking, mobility and unified communications technologies. Joining ARG gives the firm access to a bench of engineers and client experience offers that can help it deliver offerings around managed cloud, security and customer experience.

According to Messner, about 75% of the GNS team focuses on client experience.

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ARG’s Mike Shonholz

“This is an area where GNS will continue to excel, but GNS’ clients wanted more,” Messner said. “Our clients asked us to expand our business through more advanced security and cloud-based solutions; however, we needed the right resources and expertise. ARG is a natural fit as its business model is closely aligned with ours. The ARG platform will enable us to go wider and deeper with our clients and play a more meaningful role in accelerating the growth of their businesses.”

Moreover, ARG has touted its ability to provide consulting services and managed life cycle services. Many players in the technology advisor channel, more colloquially known as the agent channel, see the need to provide more value to their clients beyond technology sourcing. That means providing more services before and after the sale.

“The top agents and partners are only able to address a fraction of their clients’ needs,” Shonholz said. “With ARG’s advanced consulting methodologies, engineering talent and client experience teams, they can dramatically deepen their client relationships and grow their business.”

Customer Use Case

The combined company engaged with a private equity firm that had lost its chief information security office (CISO) and a large portion of its IT department. Messner said ARG’s resources allowed her team to deliver more than just network services.

Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.

“With ARG, we were able to put a fractional CISO in place, as well as managed security and IT solutions to help mitigate the loss of key staff members,” she said.

Messner also said her existing client base presents opportunities to upsell.

” … We expect to double our business,” Messner said.

ARG Acquisitions

ARG has bought multiple agencies over the last several years. For example, it bought the carrier services consulting division from Atrion/Carousel Industries back in 2018. Darryl and Amy Senese, who joined ARG as a result of the deal, said their division’s revenue went from 70% connectivity-driven to majority advanced services.

ARG has more recently purchased firms like NextWave and Freedom Solutions Group. Last year Shonholz said ARG would invest in startups and acquisitions and grow its customer base. It would also sell deeper into its existing base of clients.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email James Anderson or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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