Ken Archer, a channel stalwart who's led partner organizations at industry titans like Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and Avaya, has taken a job as chief revenue officer at network monitoring and performance management software firm Nectar Services Corp.
The position gives Archer leadership of the Jericho, N.Y.-based company's entire route-to-market strategy, including global channels, and puts new fire into a relationship kindled a decade ago. It also gives the channel veteran an opportunity to double down on Nectar's relationships with Microsoft and Cisco Systems.
Archer has had a relationship with Nectar for a dozen years, going back to his time as North America channel chief at Avaya. Back then, Archer evaluated Nectar's software for Avaya, which was exploring network monitoring and performance management software.
"I was a big fan of the technology platform and tried to get Avaya to license it. They did not, and ultimately, I helped them to build their business plan and go-to-market strategy to have their platform inside a lot of Avaya partners' managed service offers," Archer said.
Archer also helped Nectar strike up what would become long-term relationships with Microsoft, particularly Skype for Business and Cisco. Today, the company has what Archer calls "very, very strategic relationships" with both IT giants. Cisco sales reps and partners can get paid to market and sell the Nectar platform, he said.
Now, Archer is focused on kicking those relationships into high gear. "I see this as a continuing evolution of a platform that really helps partners build out managed services capabilities, or to enhance their managed services capability," he said. "Everybody wants to enhance the user experience on Microsoft Skype for Business, or a Cisco voice and video environment. Unified communications is really a hot market opportunity, and we have the premier platform to manage and monitor anything in the unified communication environment."
Before joining Nectar, Archer spent the last eight years at HPE, most recently as vice president of global channels for the company's Pointnext Services business. In all, he's done two stints at Hewlett-Packard. The first was between 2000 and 2005 when he held vice president positions in the company's channel organization.
The new Jersey native was North America channel chief at Avaya between 2005 and 2007, and spent the following three years as CEO of TriNet Systems, an Avaya reseller.
The experience of being a reseller CEO gives Archer a considerable depth of knowledge when it comes to developing and maintaining partner programs and development strategies, he said.
"It gives me credibility when I talk to someone who's building a managed services business," he said. "I've been there and done it, and I can help them with best practices."
And in return, Archer expects one thing: Commitment.
"If they're committed, we're committed," Archer said. "I'll put in coverage resources. I'll put in technical resources, enablement resources. If they commit, we'll commit back. This is always a joint investment strategy that you go through with partners. We realize they have a choice of which vendors to work with and the largest partners have as many as 500 or more vendors they're representing. I will earn their loyalty, their trust every day. That is an investment I will make based on their loyalty and commitment."
Jim Marsh, chief revenue officer at Carousel Industries, a Carousel Industries, an Exeter, R.I., solution provider that worked with Archer when he was at Avaya, said Archer is among the best channel executives in the industry.
"Ken is a great guy, and he was great in the channel at Avaya," Marsh said. "He's very focused on working with the partner community, and I think he'll do very well at Nectar. His vast knowledge of the network helps open people to new avenues they haven't been open to and drove revenue. He's tremendous at finding and creating opportunities in the channel. He has a real knack for being creative in the market. His programs are built to be an economic benefit to partners. He's a tremendous partner and friend. He institutes programs that work and helps counsel partners. He'll sit down with you as a friend."