Coming Soon IAUG CONVERGE2013!

By Guy Clinch

Now Playing: Avaya Tech Talk #003 – IAUG CONVERGE2013

This week Guy talks about his recent trip to meet with International Avaya Users Group (IAUG), content committee, council chairs, IAUG professional staff and executives to plan the nearly 150 learning track session that will take place during the event, June 3-7, at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Conference Center, Orlando, Florida.

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Good day all! Guy Clinch here, advocate for the government customer in Avaya’s product development organization. Welcome to the latest episode of Avaya Tech Talk.

Today I stray a little from the topic of government. Readers of my blog at will know that I am active in a number of industry organizations. I am just back from quick business trip to Chicago meeting with the leaders of one; the member driven International Avaya Users Group (IAUG) as part of the planning for the IAUG CONVERGE2013 which will take place June 3-7, at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Conference Center, Orlando, Florida.

Each year the majotiry of IAUG’s over 4,000 members gather for an energetic week of training, networking and interaction among fellow members, sponsors of the organization, Avaya leaders, and Avaya personnel from product management, support organizations and the Avaya learning organization in a dynamic and challenging environment.
Many of Avaya’s go-to-market and technology partners support IAUG’s mission though sponsorship and active participation.

I was joined in Chicago by two of my colleagues from Avaya; Angela Adams who is Avaya’s executive liaison to IAUG and Marge Rance who is one my fellow Avaya champion to the IAUG Councils. There are more than a dozen IAUG councils that function as special interest groups for technical topics ranging from Enterprise Core Communications to Contact Center, to Collaboration and Mobility and other topics including day-to-day support of the IAUG members including the Member Advocacy and Education and Professional Development councils.

The meeting in Chicago was with the content planning committee, the council chairs and IAUG staff to finalize the grid of educational session planned for the conference in June. This meeting was a significant milestone in a process that has been going on since October of last year.

Content for the conference is primarily driven by member advocacy which makes the event unique. As I’ve written in blogs including More than Worth More than Paid For at the 2011 IAUG,this is not your average tradeshow. Participants come with high expectations that they will return to their jobs enriched with new tools and a better understandings of how to leverage investment made by their companies in Avaya technologies.

The process of gathering content for IAUG CONVERGE2013 began last fall with a broad outreach to IAUG members, potential sponsors, Avaya personnel and other interested parties for content that will be included in the educational tracks that will be present beginning Monday June 3 at noon and continue throughout the conference until Friday.
Each council chair is responsible for reviewing and approving the sessions that will become the final agenda. I work most closely with Contact Center Council Chair Kelly Leister whose day job is with Sitel the leading global business process outsourcing provider of customer care and complementary back-office processes.

To solicit the participation from Avaya I reach out to subject matter experts from across the company including the product management teams, Research and Development, professional services, support organizations and Avaya Laboratories. Kelly and I then combine the Avaya proposals with submissions from IAUG members and sponsors.
We review the proposals against feedback received from members about the topics most interesting to them. We review survey data from previous conferences that tells us which topics were of most interest and which may bear repeating. We look at speakers who were most effective inviting back the best and we look towards the future for topics of emerging interest.

Having done most of this before traveling to Chicago we were ready to work with the other council chairs on scheduling. The IAUG events are of such great interest to the members, the sponsors and Avaya that there are always too many more proposed sessions for the available time and conference room space.

Some hard decisions had to be made. Not every session submitted could be accommodated. A bit of horse trading went on over the most advantageous spots on the agenda, the lengths of proposed sessions and potential of conflicting topics.

By the end of the day, though, the fittest had survived and with the help of Lydia Kamicar, Kristen Sutherland and Skye Hodges of the IAUG professional staff we all walked away satisfied that the grid of almost 150 educational sessions that will take place over the five days in Orlando will be one of the best agendas ever for this tremendous annual event.

My thanks and professional appreciation goes out to the member volunteers Tina Gjerdset of Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, Jim Sposito of Penn State-University Altoona, Kim Heintze of Texas Guaranteed Student Loan, Dennis Manning of US Cellular, Jayne Hogle of the American Heart Association and an IAUG Board Member, Bill Moore of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Lynn Hausmann of Magellan Health Services Magellan Health Services, Doug Leininger of Aetna Life Insurance and Sue Ryan of Mutual of Omaha for your teamwork and professionalism and your personal dedication to the strength of the organization and keeping up the tradition of the world class event that will be IAUG CONVERGE2013.

Thanks also to my Avaya colleagues Marge and Angela and the IAUG staff members Lydia, Kristen and Skye and IAUG Executive Director, Victor Bohnert for your dedication and support.

Dear podcast subscribers, I hope you’ll consider participating in this year’s event. You may obtain more information about the IAUG organization and IAUG CONVERGE2013 by visiting

Thanks for joining me here today on Avaya Tech Talk. You can subscribe to our episodes on iTunes and follow us on Twitter hashtag #APNpodcast.

Talking Tech, this has been your host, Guy Clinch the advocate for the government customer at Avaya!

Dear Listeners,
I’ll be honored if you chose to follow me on Twitter @gclinch check out my professional profile on LinkedIn and subscribe to my podcasts:

Warmest regards,
Guy W. Clinch


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