Scott Peterson's experiencing with VARs lends itself to a new channel initiative Nitel is developing.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

January 2, 2024

4 Min Read
Scott Peterson gets Nitel CRO job
iQoncept/Shutterstock

Newly appointed Nitel chief revenue officer Scott Peterson will help the network aggregator and managed services provider expand its indirect sales channel.

Cinven-backed Nitel announced Peterson's hiring on Tuesday. Marketing, channel, wholesale and customer success will all ultimately roll up under his purview, the company said. Moreover, CEO Margi Shaw said Peterson's experience working with value-added resellers (VARs) will help Nitel provide a more customizable experience to such partners.

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Peterson said he likes the moves Nitel has made to expand its total addressable market.

“Nitel has been doing some interesting things with the business, including the recent announcement around expanding its global capabilities and introducing a comprehensive set of SASE solutions,” Peterson said. “But most of all, I’m happy to be part of an organization where customer and partner success are such an integral element of our growth plans. Helping our business customers win in their marketplace (via a robust channel) is what it’s all about.”

Mark Dickey previously was chief revenue officer for Nitel.

Scott Peterson's Background

Peterson most recently worked at Extreme Networks as senior vice president of global channels. He sat in the leadership position from January 2022 until his recent departure.

Related:With Hypercore Officially Acquired, Nitel Appoints Key Partner

"Thank you to Extreme’s customers around the globe, the thousands of partners who are integral to Extreme’s go-to-market approach, and [CEO] Ed Meyercord and the 'E' team for all of your support since I joined the firm in January 2022," Peterson wrote on Linkedin in December. "I am a huge fan of Extreme and I’ll continue to be a very interested observer going forward."

He worked as Mitel's executive vice president and chief revenue officer from 2019-2021. Peterson's longest tenure by far occurred at Verizon, spanning 15 years.

Shaw said Peterson in his past appointments at Mitel and Extreme helped companies move toward software and subscription-based recurring revenue models.

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“What attracted us to Scott was his ability to embrace growing a revenue engine with the intelligence around the entire operation of the business," Shaw told Channel Futures. "He has a proven track record of building go-to-market strategies that are very purpose-built, and building very strong recurring revenue stream as well as more hardware-oriented revenue streams.”

While Nitel has historically operated in a capex model, Shaw said her company is operating in a "software-first" manner with the goal of using a software layer to provide more visibility throughout its network.

Related:Channel People on the Move: Lumen, Pax8, 8x8, Microsoft, More

The software focus ties into Nitel's efforts with VAR channel partners, Shaw said. While VARs have participated in Nitel's agent program, Shaw said VARs and the supplier sometimes run into an overlap on hardware they both provide to the end user. She said the company is putting the finishing touches on an "overlay software level" that collects insights from non-Nitel devices. The layer would give VARs visibility into network performance across disparate devices, Shaw said.

“They're able to continue to add their value, but we're providing a much stronger alignment to the survivability of the network and the performance of the applications," she said.

Shaw gave the example of a partner who sells the Nitel network in an agent model but also resells and manages Cisco Meraki devices. Nitel's play helps it "coexist" with that partner, she said.

"We provide that tapestry of network services through a variety of carriers with diverse routing capabilities. The partner may provide the actual customer equipment, and they may do that in their own monthly recurring basis as a managed service provider, or they may sell the customer the devices and then help them manage it on a service contract," she said.

Market Growth

Shaw said companies like Nitel might have traditionally shirked at the moniker of "aggregators," which refers to their ability to design wide area networks using interconnects from multiple incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs). However, she said investors such as global private equity company Cinven have shown appetite for that value proposition.

“We can enable so much physical connectivity to our customers in an asset-light way and still have our business model make sense. I do think people are becoming more and more bullish on an asset-light model," she said. "I really love it because leveraging the density of fiber already built, we are almost never in a position where we can't satisfy customers’ needs because it's cost prohibitive to reach their location.”

Cinven and Nitel are expanding on three pillars: scaling from only U.S. coverage to a global coverage model, using software to provide more intelligence about network and application performance, and expanding customer success. Shaw said Nitel added network operations center (NOC) resources and customer service resources in 2023 and plans to create a more "digital experience" for customers.

Cinven first invested in Nitel in 2021. Its appointments since then include Shaw (from chief operating officer), executive vice president of channel sales Jim Glackin (from Comcast Business/Masergy) and chief product officer Mike Frane (from Windstream Enterprise).

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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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