Ken Archer, former vice president of North American channels at Avaya, has resurfaced as president of Prime Communications, a Piscataway, N.J.-based communications integrator and Avaya partner.
Along with being named president at Prime Communications, Archer is also the newest member of the PRG board of directors. PRG Group Inc. is a holding company for PRG Systems Inc., Prime Communications Inc. and Locate Inc.
Archer left his post at Avaya in January 2008, after roughly three years in the position. Before his stint at Avaya, Archer was responsible for the direct response channel at Hewlett-Packard. Archer was recruited to Avaya in an effort to revamp the channel program and strategy and to allow the channel to be a growth engine in Avaya's overall go to market strategy.
Last month, Avaya replaced Archer by naming its first ever global channel chief, hiring former Motorola channel head Jeremy Butt as its new vice president of worldwide channels.
Under Archer's guidance, Avaya's North American channel grew 50 percent, which earned Archer a spot among VARBusiness' Top 100 Channel Executives in 2007.
"Our Prime Communications subsidiary retails Avaya products and services, so Archer will undoubtedly spend minimal time getting up to speed in his new position," said PRG Group CEO Uma Pandey in a statement. "I can't think of anyone more suited to run Prime. We are very pleased he's accepted the responsibility and we look forward to the results his expertise is sure to produce for Prime and PRG as a whole."
Along with taking on the new role as president with Prime Communications and a spot on PRG's board, Juma Technology, a Farmingdale, N.Y.-based IP convergence and systems integration firm, announced that Archer has been appointed to its board of directors.
Juma, which is also an Avaya partner, offers IP convergence solutions to integrate voice, data and video applications. Juma's Nectar division offers convergence software.
"Ken Archer is a valuable addition to our board," Juma chairman and CEO Anthony Servidio said in a statement. "Ken brings with him years of channel partner experience and relationships and is highly regarded in this community. His talent and experience will certainly help us as we continue to execute on our business plan objectives and grow our enterprise."
"I have always been impressed with the vision, foresight and unmatched engineering talent that Juma possesses as a company," Archer said in a statement. "I am very excited to have this opportunity to work with Juma as a member of their board and to help them unleash the enormous market potential that I see in the industry."
Archer said his new roles with Prime Communications and on Juma's board are opportunities he "couldn't refuse" and offer him the ability to sit on two separate boards, something he couldn't do working for a large vendor.
Archer said he plans to take his 20-plus years in the channel to help both companies solidify their offerings and differentiate themselves in a crowded field, following up on the blueprints he created for partners while with HP and Avaya.
Archer added, however, that he faces strong challenges as he transitions to roles with partners as opposed to vendors. First, he must ensure that his new companies' vendor partners remain strong and offer the support they need. Second, he must focus on creating recurring revenue streams for both Prime Communications and Juma.
"Many, many partners don't have a recurring revenue stream," he said. "We have to create good, recurring revenue streams and cash flow to cover expenses."
Archer also noted that he didn't make the jump from Avaya to a partner to create a competitive model for other Avaya partners that he had a strong hand in growing. Instead, he said, he wants to focus on utilizing other partners and building an environment of partner-to-partner relationships through a collaboration strategy.
"I'm not looking to build a competitive model against other Avaya partners," he said. "Collaboration and partnering are at the heart of what the end user customers want."
Ultimately, Archer said, his goal is to carry out the mantra that "we never say no to a customer."