How Ahead of the Curve is Your Network Provider?

Think about your smart device. Think of all of the apps and all of the tasks you can do on it. Now think about how a company would communicate fifteen years ago.

It’s amazing to consider the differences in an employee’s work life not too long ago. You were tethered to a desk phone to take your calls, and in the early 2000s  the hottest new option incorporated into Apple iBooks (iBooks!) was a slot for a new thing called WiFi that had yet to explode and become a free service you could find anywhere including your neighborhood coffee shop and restaurant.

Nowadays? Communications is changing rapidly. In the era of the global business world, you’re taking a video conference call from your hotel and responding to emails while you’re in line at the grocery store. The way we consume our communications is evolving faster and faster with each new app and portable device. In this Unified Communications day and age, you have the ability to be incredibly agile because of all of the options IT can now provide.

How agile is your IT though? While IT leaders have spent billions on tech that improves flexibility within computing and application tiers, they often falter when it comes to simplifying existing communication and networking tiers. Today’s network lacks in agility, and more  often than not, it is older and costing you. In 2013, the ZK Network Purchasing study revealed that 83 percent of IT budgets are used to maintain existing networks, nearly an 11 percent increase in five years. And they don’t necessarily play well with today’s hottest solutions, slowing employees and your business down.

It’s hard to simply replace an existing legacy network though. As complex as old technology may be, a company may not be in the market to completely overhaul their hardware. A recent white paper by ZK Research points to Avaya as being aware of this change in the needs of a company. Instead of looking to sell a product to replace network infrastructure, Avaya sells  solutions to help streamline legacy networks so they can be tapped to take full advantage of the wide range of unified communications options available. For every one hardware endpoint sold, Avaya sells five to eight of their software solutions — tapping into a market that few IT leaders have invested in.

Avaya’s transformation, including  its restructured approach to selling networking solutions, has positioned the company to put it ahead of the curve with market transitions. Research shows that Avaya’s midmarket revenue could potentially double due to an estimated increase in deal size paired with even a small market share gain. Other standout predictions suggest immense promise in Asia and overall growth.

Now think about your smart device again. Think about the fifteen years before and those chunky cell phones that couldn’t sync to your desk phone. How WiFi wasn’t there to connect you to the rest of the world that was beyond your cubicle and high-speed internet was something that was bits instead of megabits. Now think about fifteen years into the future. Because Avaya already is.

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Sabio uses Avaya Scopia Video Conferencing to Communicate Major Investment

2016 is shaping up to be quite a year for the tech sector in the UK, with the UK digital economy growing 32% faster than the wider economy, according to Tech City UK. At Avaya we’ve been busy working with our partners to help new and existing customers transform their businesses to be more competitive in today’s hyper-connected world.

Sabio is a great example of this tech growth. The company is one of Avaya’s premier partners, and has been striving to grow their business. We’ve worked with the Sabio team for a number of years during which they have earned the Avaya Platinum accreditation. Sabio’s strategy in consistently driving value with our customers and proposing customer experience solutions that deliver measurable impact on our customers’ business is definitely a winning formula.

In fact, it’s been doing so well that it recently attracted significant investment, which I’m sure will help the company to achieve its ambitious growth targets across the globe. Congratulations Sabio—you’re on the path to achieving even more great things.

Sabio’s upward trajectory also illustrates the role of technology in underpinning growth. As technology companies, it’s important that our partners demonstrate their belief in the tech they sell. I’m pleased to say that Sabio has certainly been doing this in the video conferencing arena, using Avaya’s collaboration tool Scopia Video Conferencing to enable their growth.

Sabio has been using Scopia in earnest for about a year now. It’s installed on laptops and desktops of nearly all employees and is in frequent use, to make the company greener, save on flight costs and generally enable remote employees and different office locations stay more engaged.

When the recent $80m-odd investment was announced, Sabio needed to communicate the news to its customers, partners and employees as quickly as possible and in a personal, interactive way.

Sabio used Scopia for the announcement and avoided flying over 50 staff to one location, saving time, money and removing the need to disrupt business by having multiple employees out of the office. Over 200 employees joined the staff briefing, which ran for two hours and whilst allowing the face-to-face element of a meeting, did not affect productivity and allowed all staff to be updated on the exciting news.

Sabio had also used Scopia during its meetings with the investors. Overall, during the negotiations and the period that followed, the company spent about 30 hours on Scopia. My mind boggles when I think of the time, cost and carbon emissions saved by holding these meetings via video, rather than flying people around the world. A key fact is that Scopia proved itself as a reliable and productive method for covering a broad range of audience, from investors to employees.

Being able to offer a personalised channel of communication without the logistical cost of a physical meeting means Sabio—and countless other businesses—can continue to grow and ultimately satisfy employees, investors and customers. Of course, there will always be a place for in-person meetings, but as this example demonstrates, for the most part video can help us engage just as well for a fraction of the cost, and in a more timely manner.

Six Questions to Help Non-Profit IT Managers Pick the Right Partner

Every organization knows the importance of stretching each dollar. That’s especially true of a non-profit trying to keep operating costs at a minimum. They must keep their IT system investment running at peak performance, ensuring constant communication with members and achieving the organization’s underlying goals.

According to the recent 9th Annual Non-Profit Technology Staffing and Investments Report, IT staffs at national non-profits are falling into four categories:

  • Struggling: “We are struggling; we have a failing infrastructure, and our technology time and budget generally go towards creating workarounds, repairing old equipment, and duplicating tasks.”

  • Functioning: “We keep the lights on; we have basic systems in place to meet immediate needs. Leadership makes technology decisions based on efficiencies, with little to no input from staff/consultant.”

  • Operating: “We keep up; we have stable infrastructure and a set of technology policies and practices. Leadership makes technology decisions based on standard levels according to industry/sector information and gathers input from technology staff/consultant before making a final decision.”
  • Leading: “We’re innovators; we recognize that technology is an investment in our mission, and leadership integrates technology decisions with organizational strategy. Technology-responsible staff is involved in overall strategic planning.”

More than half of the surveyed organizations reported that they were at “Operating” level when it comes to technology adoption. The report also found that “Leading” organizations are nearly twice more likely to include technology in their strategic plans than” Struggling” organizations.

Large Charity’s Challenge: Support 100+ Sites with Lean IT Team
Recently, one of the leading organizations, with 125 locations in the U.S. and an array of business communications solutions, faced their own three challenges:

  • Small IT staff overseeing large number of locations
  • Support required for multivendor environment
  • Insufficient tools to troubleshoot end user business communications problems

“I run an extremely lean staff,” says the telecom manager at one of the US’s top 25 non-profit organizations. “We do 25-50 major projects a year. Opening new locations, upgrading existing locations—all on top of day-to-day business. For us, it’s imperative that we operate as efficiently as possible with the tight resources we have.”

To overcome these challenges while boosting stability and allowing IT to focus on high value projects, the IT Manager looked for answers to six critical questions for a potential support services partner and their systems:

  1. Does the partner have the experience and resources to keep systems up and running while allowing the team to focus on high priority projects?

  2. Does the partner have the skills necessary to work in a collaborative multivendor environment?

  3. How does the partner optimize the performance of the current business environment while proactively preventing problems before they become outages? Do they use self-healing automated intelligent systems or is it manual?

  4. Does the partner have a continuum of services to support an evolving environment from maintenance to proactive support to managed to private cloud?

  5. How quickly can the provider restore systems during a disaster or emergency scenario?

  6. Can the partner provide an easy-to-use tool that helps diagnose reported intermittent network issues?

 

What are some of the questions that you are asking partners?

 

Summer at Avaya through the Eyes of Interns

Summer in the U.S. is winding down. In stores, aisles of beach accessories are quickly being replaced with school supplies and pumpkin-scented candles. We say goodbye to vacations, neighborhood barbecues and, at Avaya, we bid a fond farewell to the interns who have worked by our sides throughout the summer months.

Avaya’s internship program aims to hire the brightest university candidates and set them up to do meaningful work. We do our best to expose our interns to a full range of corporate scenarios and opportunities, resulting in hands-on work experience within a global enterprise.

This summer, interns around the globe have graced our Avaya offices. They’ve contributed to projects that have created revenue, solutions and products. Whether working independently or with colleagues, they’ve left their mark in our Avaya world. Before they pack up and head back to school, we asked three interns at our Santa Clara headquarters to share details about their Avaya experiences. Here they’ve shared their thoughts on Avaya technology, corporate work life and our culture.

Natasha Cougoule is a rising junior at University of California, Berkeley pursuing a B.A. in economics and a minor in Portuguese. While at Avaya, she interned under the marketing operations budget team.

Avaya Summer Interns, NatashaNatasha volunteered to work at Avaya Stadium, home of the San Jose Earthquakes.

My internship experience started before I even stepped in the office when I had my first interview using Avaya Scopia®, our video conferencing solution. The use of Avaya technology became a defining theme of my work in the company. While I spent my summer at our headquarters in Santa Clara, my supervisor worked remotely from Indiana. We regularly met “face-to-face” via Scopia and utilized the service’s presentational capacities to collaborate on projects.

This level of interaction with the technologies offered by Avaya, for both internal and external use, bolstered my experience as an intern on the marketing operations team. Although I didn’t personally have anything to do with building our newest products or presenting them to the market, I was able to follow their development and marketing through the budgets I helped manage.

Beyond the specific responsibilities of my internship, Avaya’s friendly, energetic corporate culture allowed me to engage personally with our Chief Marketing Office Morag Lucey and Chief Financial Officer Dave Vellequette (a fellow Golden Bear!), as well as many of other inspiring coworkers. Even though I gained valuable work experience—more than I could have ever anticipated—what I’ll cherish and remember most are the relationships that Avaya encouraged me to form with my coworkers. I’m so grateful to have spent my summer here at Avaya.

 

Josh Vellequette is entering his senior year at The Ohio State University studying marketing with a minor in music, media and enterprise. During his time at Avaya, Josh worked under the head of digital marketing.

Avaya Summer Interns, Josh and KielyJosh and fellow co-worker, Kiely, work the Zang Meet up table welcoming guests.

Avaya gave me an experience that will greatly benefit my future in the marketing industry, not only because of what I learned but because it was the perfect time to join the Avaya team. Avaya is a known leader in telecommunication solutions. Being at Avaya for the past few months allowed me to observe the adaptability of the company and the immense effort every single employee gave to position themselves as a hub for technological innovation. I was also able to assist with Zang, a newly launched cloud communications platform service, and learn how to build brand excitement by organizing a meet-up for potential customers.

I loved how I was able to take subjects I learned in the classroom and see their real-life application in the office. Topics discussed in my classes at Ohio State, such as market research and campaign planning, came to life while working under Avaya’s head of digital marketing. Those ideas and definitions that are taught in the classroom aren’t entirely useful unless you learn how to execute them, and Avaya provided the hands-on approach that’s necessary for this industry. Not only do I feel more confident in my marketing knowledge, but now I understand what it takes to be a part of a productive team. I will always be grateful for everything Avaya has taught me.

 

Mitchell Shapero is finishing his last semester at San Jose State University with a major in business administration management. During his experience, he interned under the marketing communications director.

Four Avaya Summer InternsFrom left to right—Mitch Shapero, Marissa Ohye, Kiely Pieper, Natasha Cougoule

Throughout the internship process at Avaya, I met many awesome people, learned a variety of new things and had fun experiences in the process. From demos to briefings, seeing first-hand Avaya technology at work and being a part of these experiences has been an unforgettable way to begin my professional career. I loved being a part of the corporate culture and seeing exactly how a large business operates. As a diverse and global company, I had the opportunity to meet many new people from different backgrounds. This real-world interaction is something you can’t replicate in a classroom. I want to thank all of the people with whom I worked for an unforgettable summer!

 

While it’s easy to list the benefits an internship affords a student, we rarely look at the positive impacts it has on the company. The fresh, new perspectives we gain by opening our doors to eager learners is impossible to replicate. Their openness to branch outside their comfort zones and take on any task that’s thrown their way is an inspiring way to work–truly a jack-of-all-trades attitude that we just love at Avaya. I’ve found that their spirits are contagious, uplifting myself and our fellow colleagues.

Natasha, Josh, Mitchell and all of our Avaya interns have excelled in their positions and have raised the bar for future classes. Goodbyes are never easy, and while we’re sad to see them go, we wish all these bright, rising stars the best of luck in their education and future endeavors.