Engaging in Multi-Vendor Collaborative Support

Periodically, in my personal life, I will use video conferencing technology on my PC to talk with family and friends. I’ve recently been having problems where “muting” my video to the other party causes my Windows 7 to crash (the legendary blue screen of death).

As a professional diagnostician, I can’t leave it alone and opened a support ticket with the video solution. They assured me the root cause was with the webcam driver. I opened a ticket with the second company, and sure enough they are confident the problem is with the first vendor.

I pushed both parties for full Windows dump analysis and after several months of back and forth I’m still no closer to resolution.

I mention this because we know that enterprise customers experience similar issues when getting multiple vendor solutions working together (see this recent No Jitter article). I’m proud to say that Avaya Support has put in place a program where we will now collaborate with other vendors in our industry to ensure our customers don’t experience frustration in the back and forth between their vendors.

Let’s say an Avaya customer is having voice quality issues with their Communication Manager. If during the troubleshooting of that issue, the Avaya Support Engineer believes the problem lies with the customer’s third-party data network, if that vendor is one of the 50+ we have an agreement with, our engineer will work directly with the other vendor’s support team to identify where the problem truly lies.

Only once both vendors agree where the problem is, the problematic vendor will continue to work with the customer and the “innocent” vendor will move on to other customers.

While the list is long, at the time of this article, they include Cisco, EMC, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Red Hat, and VMware.

If you are interested in this capability, it is included, at no additional charge to current customers with Support Advantage Preferred support coverage, “Utility” contracts, and/or remote monitoring coverage for CS1000 and Meridian 1. For more information, please speak with your Avaya/Partner account team.

Engaging in Multi-Vendor Collaborative Support

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The 5 Reasons Why I Joined Avaya Global Support Services

A couple months ago, I found myself around the family kitchen table attempting to explain to my wife why I was considering leaving my current role at Avaya for another. Between requests and “stories” from our three young children, I explained that I was considering joining the leadership team of our support organization as a strategy leader.

Carl Knerr

As I cut some food for my daughter and passed the ketchup to the boys (is there such a thing as too much ketchup?), I told my wife about how Avaya Support has gone through a huge evolution in the last couple of years, earned a lot of recognition, and are now looking to take their delivery to another level.

Although I would very much enjoy having you, oh beloved reader, at our family dinner table, alas, the logistics just do not allow for such wonderful things. While I cannot share some of my wife’s amazing cooking, I will share with you the reasons why I think Avaya Support will continue to be not only an industry-leader, but an innovator in delivering value to our clients.

Downtime is the enemy

91 Percent of Outages Resolved in 2 Hours or Less

We know that system outages are the worst thing that can happen to our clients, and as such, we have dedicated teams trained on restoring down systems as fast as possible. If that isn’t great enough, I’m really excited that they have begun to reach out to our clients when we know they are at risk.

For example, we know that having a recent backup allows restore times in 2.5 hours instead of 1.5 days. Given the industry average of $110,000 of cost to the customer for every hour of outage, this makes a huge difference to our clients. If a client doesn’t have a recent backup, we reach out and help them implement a backup strategy. These engineers are inspiring on how customer focused they are.

Death to Rework

Our support team hates rework and that’s why every time one of our wicked-smart engineers finds a new problem, she will document it and publish the solution to http://support.avaya.com instantly. As if that isn’t enough, we use our own Avaya technology, Avaya Automated Chat, to help our customers easily find what they are looking for.

Avaya Ava

In fact, our implementation of this technology, dubbed “Ava”, has become the face of Avaya. How cool is that? Even when Ava fails to find you a solution, she succeeds by putting you in touch with an Avaya engineer and passing that engineer your full history, so that you don’t have to start all over.

Not Just a Phone Company

As a Gen-X’er myself, I despise talking to customer support on the phone; and Avaya gets that. Not only do we work with customers over the phone, email, or online chat, but last year, they deployed a first-in-the-industry video chat option using our own products.

If you haven’t tried this yet, stop what you’re doing; and just check it out. Wicked cool stuff. Of course the hot topic is support via social media–something I’ve written on–and now you have an opportunity to see what @Avaya_Support can start doing.

Innovative Diagnostics

Perhaps my most passionate topic over the years has been around diagnostics for Avaya products.

Avaya Support continues to raise the bar in the space of diagnostics. I get irritated when I see valuable time of our human experts being used to validate basic settings, gather log files, etc.

We’ve got really exciting technology that leverages our lessons learned from years of troubleshooting hundreds of thousands of customer systems and we embed that into tools that can solve product issues without an engineer; which means our customer gets an issue resolved in a matter of minutes.

I’m excited that we’re not resting on those laurels, but continuing to invest in improvements and all-new tools to keep satisfying our customers.

Satisfied Customers

As a result, in 2014, 92% of our clients indicated that their overall support experience was excellent, very good, or good. Read that last sentence again. 92%! Isn’t that amazing!

When we look at Avaya’s Net Promoter Score, as an entire company, we were at 65 the last quarter (average of 50 over the last 4 quarters), putting us in best-in-class with Amazon and other companies and beating out companies like Cisco, Microsoft, and Shoretel. Read more here.

Avaya Client Services

Please don’t just take my word for the impact of the items above. In October 2014, I was proud to join other Avaya Client Services leaders in Las Vegas at the TSW 2014 Conference, hosted by TSIA. Avaya walked away with three awards for our efforts in Avaya Client Services, putting Avaya in TSIA’s STAR Awards Hall Of Fame.

As you may surmise from the above, I was convinced this was the right move for me and I’ve made the shift. As part of this new role, I plan on continuing to bring you stories from Avaya Support as a means to help our customers and partners derive as much value as possible out of their Avaya Support agreements.

*Based on internal metrics in 2014