In the company’s ten-year history, CornerStone Telephone Company has grown from a two-person start-up to an established 120-employee advanced communication solutions provider, with over 10,000 customers in three states. We have been recognized locally and nationally as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States. Following, please find these key dates and milestones in our history.
The early years
Don Walsh and Dan Yamin established CornerStone Telephone Company in 2002. They had first met while working together at FairPoint Communications. After they left the firm, Dan and Don leveraged their knowledge of the CLEC (competitive local exchange carrier) business and made the initial investment with their own capital to launch CornerStone, a business-to-business telecommuncations service provider. Within 18 months, the company was profitable and was offering DSL and hosted e-mail in addition to local and long-distance telephone service.
Managing growth and network expansion
By 2005, CornerStone had made its first two acquisitions — Butler Communications, a PBX vendor, and Telecon Communications, a CLEC — and had established sales and service offices throughout New York State. The following year, CornerStone deployed a Class 5 IP softswitch and began their IP core network build, expanding their product offering to include more flexible VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services.
CornerStone's adoption of new technology and their acquisition of a 40% stake in Distributed Applications Technologies (DAT), a cloud computing company offering the SkySphere product line, established them as a full-service communication and networking solutions provider. In 2007, CornerStone’s nearly 4000% increase in revenue made it the fastest-growing company in the Capital Region, as recognized by the Business Review, and no. 736 on the Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America. The facilities build-out was completed the following year and included four LATAs (local access and transport area) and 18 central offices.
In 2008, CornerStone was again tapped by the Business Review as one of the areas fastest-growing companies, and was also named one of the Capital Region’s Best Places to Work.
Expanding the service portfolio through acqusitions and partnerships
In 2009, upon acquiring Richmond Telephone and Richmond Networx in Massachusetts, CornerStone’s customer base included more than 10,000 customers with over 50,000 access lines. The Richmond acquisition laid the groundwork for an expansion into the Berkshire region of Western Massachusetts and increased CornerStone’s revenue by $6 million per year. CornerStone was again named by the Inc. 5000 as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America. The same year, CornerStone added its full-service security and surveillance services for businesses, assuming responsibility for a base of 800 alarm customers and bringing on state-licensed technicians to support this new line of business. CornerStone was approved as a New York State vendor, enabling it to service both state and municipal accounts.
As CornerStone continued to grow, 2010 brought the hiring of additional staff, and again the distinction of being named one of the Capital Region’s Best Places to Work by the Business Review. CornerStone also appeared, for a third time, on the Inc. 5000 list. In 2011, CornerStone closed on two key acquisitions. First, it announced the completion of the purchase of ActiveHost Corporation, a data center and hosting provider located in Schenectady and Albany, and then acquired the remaining 60% of DAT. CornerStone was named Partner of the Year by Parrallels, a world renowned cloud and hosting provider, in 2013.
These acquisitions increased CornerStone’s product and solution portfolio to include co-location, dedicated servers, virtual private servers, hosting services, software as a service, and infrastructure as a service. Next, the company bought out Public Interest Network Services, Inc. (PINS) and Public Interest Telecommunications, Inc., extending its facilities-based footprint into New York City, Westchester and Long Island. This round of takeovers is expected to increase CornerStone’s annual revenue to over $45 million. The company plans to continue its growth strategy, to consistently offer the most cutting-edge technology, and to increase service offerings as it moves toward its next decade in business.