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.


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Avaya and IAUG: Coming Together for a Better User Group Experience

Marilyn ShuckMarilyn Shuck serves as a Director on the IAUG Board, president of the Puget Sound Avaya Users Group, and as a UC Engineer at the University of Washington.



The combination of the Avaya Technology Forum (ATF) and the International Avaya Users Group (IAUG) flagship event, Avaya ENGAGE, is generating a lot of buzz. As IAUG members, it’s exciting for us because we’ll be there as Avaya is announcing new products and have better access to Avaya. We’re also looking forward to bringing in more technical expertise, session choice, and potential new members to IAUG.

In the past, ATF was held in February or March, and Avaya ENGAGE was in June. By the time we assembled for Avaya ENGAGE, new product lines would have been out for several months. Now, we’ll get to hear the latest announcements. Since we’re partnering with Avaya, we’ll have much more access to them, getting our questions answered, getting trained, and seeing the new products in action.

We’re also able to offer so many more sessions, some with more technical expertise. ATF has historically been a technical conference, and our IAUG attendees will have a choice of breakout sessions that will add a new dimension to the education they’ll already be receiving.

It also makes sense to hold both of these events under one umbrella. There’s some overlap between ATF attendees and Avaya ENGAGE attendees, and in organizations where travel budgets are tight or where the same person is a technical support specialist and a user, you no longer have to choose which event to attend.

Additionally, we’re excited about the possibility of introducing new members to IAUG. Some ATF attendees may not have known about our existence, but now not only will they have the chance to learn more about us but they can network with us. We can continue to share learning opportunities and even bring a whole new quality of technical users to IAUG.

Make no mistake, the foundation of the event has not changed. This is still planned with the Avaya customer in mind. However, it signals our deepening relationship by aligning all customer events.

This is going to be one of those cases where what happens in Las Vegas won’t stay in Vegas. Avaya and IAUG are aligning, and it’s going to provide valuable education and opportunities for customers, IAUG members, partners, and Avaya. The benefits of attending will resonate throughout your organization, so plan to join us in February to learn, network, and return full of ways to make the most of your Avaya implementations. You can learn more at


Advanced Techniques for Writing Avaya Breeze Snap-ins Using Engagement Designer—Part Four

Welcome to the fourth in my series of videos addressing some of the more advanced Avaya Breeze™ techniques. In Part One I showed you how to catch and process errors inside a Breeze Snap-in. In Part Two I addressed Breeze Connectors. In Part Three I added multimodal communications and parallel gateways. Here in Part four, I show you how to add JavaScript functions to Breeze expressions and data processing.

To start viewing my videos from the beginning watch the introductory series.

Continue with the advanced series:

Part 1: Error Processing and Boundary Events
Part 2: Breeze Connectors
Part 3: SMS Text, Email, and Parallel Gateways
Part 4: Adding JavaScript Functions to Snap-ins

Andrew Prokop is the Director of Vertical Industries at Arrow Systems Integration. Andrew is an active blogger and his widely-read blog, SIP Adventures, discusses every imaginable topic in the world of unified communications. Follow Andrew on Twitter at @ajprokop, and read his blog, SIP Adventures.

An Exploration of End-to-End Network Segmentation Part III: Automatic Elasticity

Imagine for a moment: you’re connected to a network via a piece of string. You perform your work, you wind down for the day and you disconnect from the network. When you leave the office, that piece of string stays behind, lying exactly where you last connected—exposed. Wouldn’t you know … the very next person to walk past your office after you leave is a hacker or a malicious employee (remember many attacks start from inside your network) who can now gain access to your open, vulnerable network via your left behind string (for techies, the static VLAN port configuration exposes that service). We all know what happens with the pull of just one thread … things unravel.

Now imagine this same scenario, but instead of your network core being connected by a string, it looks like a ball of rubber bands. When you connect to your network, a rubber band attaches to you, establishing your connection. Same as before, you disconnect when you finish your work day. The difference here is that your rubber band automatically recoils back to the network core (the rubber ball), where it safely rests until you or another user/device reconnects. If a hacker walks by where you’ve just been working, your node (or network connection) is no longer accessible. Similar to native stealth, this automatic elasticity means attackers can’t hack what they can’t connect to—therefore they can’t penetrate your network without the necessary level of authentication (certificates highly recommended).

This is the premise of automatic elasticity—the third core component of end-to-end segmentation (if you missed parts I and II of this series, be sure to catch up).

The Necessity of Elasticity

So, would you rather your network be a bundle of static, inflexible and unsecure strings that anyone can pull at? Or a dynamic, agile and secure elastic that extends to deliver services and retracts to prevent hackers from seeing and touching it?

Automatic elasticity enables businesses to stretch their network services (contained in hyper-segments) to the edge of the network, only as required and only for the duration of a specific application session. As applications terminate (or end-point devices close down or disconnect), those networking services retract from the edge. It’s as simple as that.

Stretching and retracting virtual services in this manner, however, becomes exceedingly difficult for companies operating in a static configuration environment. This is what ultimately led to Target’s massive data breach in 2013. A port had been statically configured to the company’s HVAC system—it did not retract—allowing a hacker to physically gain access to the entire network through that segment. From there, the hacker was able to conduct IP topology and trace IP routes to find the server they wanted and get the information they were after.

In this case, the mistake Target made was that it had no sophisticated methodologies in place to authenticate an end user or device before extending its HVAC port. It remained static, exposed and vulnerable to an attack, which eventually happened.

Without end-to-end segmentation, the only way businesses can truly extend their virtual services is to manually configure each node to simulate their desired level of elasticity. In this case, each node would have to be manually configured to stretch, and then that configuration would have to be removed as soon as the service was finished being used. Just imagine how time-consuming and painstaking this process would be on a large scale. This is illogical.

The bottom line is that automatic elasticity drastically reduces network exposure, and also transforms internal productivity and collaboration. A network access port is no longer statically mapped to a given service or user. Today it can be you, tomorrow a video surveillance camera, the next day a contractor. Agility, flexibility, security all delivered! With the ability to expedite provisioning and dynamically extend services to authenticated end-users or devices, an employee working across the country can quickly gain access to a system to complete a task. If you’re running late to a meeting, you can be authorized to temporarily gain access to a printer in-office to ensure you stay on schedule. The use cases for automatic elasticity are infinite and truly game-changing for businesses today.

In the End

While some still feel comfortable operating within legacy limitations, what’s important is that you now understand current industry standards have evolved to meet today’s next-generation network demands and security needs—something that end-to-end segmentation does flawlessly.

We’re excited to be able to help companies finally deploy end-to-end segmentation without resource-intensive or costly roadblocks. An end-to-end segmentation solution built on hyper-segmentation, native stealth and automatic elasticity is key. To succeed, you need all three of these complementary capabilities. All three share the common goal of maximizing network security. However, they contribute towards this goal in distinctly different yet necessary ways to substantially reduce your business risk exposure with the ever increasing cyber security threats we see and hear about globally.