Q&A: Avaya U.S. Sales VP, Brian Morgan

(Photo by Andres Larranaga)

Brian Morgan is the vice president of sales for the U.S. for Avaya. I interviewed him at the Avaya Evolutions San Francisco show yesterday, where Avaya executives such as CTO Brett Shockley and Vice-President for Technical Solutions Marketing, Jean Turgeon, were among the speakers (as well as astronaut Buzz Aldrin). Below is a transcript of our conversation (listen to the podcast with Morgan and many others here):

Fletch: There’s almost a competition with trade shows, right? There’s IAUG, there’s Enterprise Connect, there’s Interop. Evolutions is an one-day event that I don’t think you can get this kind of content anywhere else. It’s kind of unique, right?

Morgan: You know, I get great feedback from the customers and partners both because it allows them in a very focused way to connect. Then if I look around the room here like in the expo we have a great representation with our business partners as well with our DevConnect partners. And the customers are all interacting, very engaged, so it’s unique from the trade shows. They’re not just kind of walking and looking, but they’re really engaging and having great discussion around specific needs, solutions, areas of focus for them, so I think it is unique.

Fletch: It’s not like the normal trade show where you got rows and rows of booths. You almost have kind of a collaboration environment in here so you can go in and you can hear the keynotes, you can hear the visionaries, and then you can come in and actually see some of the technology. It’s more of a pedestal environment then a booth environment here.

Morgan: Absolutely. It’s very lightweight. It’s interesting. I think it is the way that the people are working today, and certainly I think that’s why this format works well for us, and again why we get such positive responses and attendance at the event

Fletch: You know, I snuck in during some of the rehearsals last night. I can’t believe the stage setup that they do for the Evolution event. You would think you were at a week-long industry event with as much as they pack in that room. It’s pretty amazing.

Morgan: Yeah, it’s fantasic. I think, you know, it’s the fact that our solutions are front and center. Not only do we use them in kind of the platform as we’re presenting, but certainly as we interact here in the expo. And so, you know, it allows us really to have the solutions front and center without it being, you know, looking like commercial, so it’s a nice mix.

Fletch: What do you think the biggest takeaway is, Brian, for customers who attend these for the first time?

Morgan: You know, well, I’m optimistic that they see a different face of Avaya and how we are driving innovation both in what we’re delivering to the market as well as getting connected with our people, which really, if you look at the folks from Avaya that are here, we’re well-represented across the lines of business. If you look at the business partner community, I think that that personal connection is what makes us a little different in the marketplace.

Fletch: Our social media team is out here in Santa Clara. They do a great job promoting APN, the podcast network, the Innovations magazine. It’s just vehicle after vehicle after vehicle that really promotes what I call the true Avaya. You know, you kind of get that inside look at not only where we’re going but why we’re going there. And I think that’s unique in the industry.

Morgan: Yeah, I agree. You know, the texture you get through those different mediums is really important. It’s interesting, each time I’m at one of these events, I obviously get a lot of feedback here, but I’m also because of the different mediums the network communicating around, I’m getting connected with folks that aren’t here, that see what’s going on and say, “Oh hey, Evolutions is going on in San Francisco today.” They’re hitting me on Twitter, as well as text and email, and so, I think it just goes to show how connected we are across the whole US.

Fletch: Even your wife can keep tabs.

Morgan: Even your wife can keep tabs. You know, she said I did a good job selecting my tie this morning, so I think I did okay.