#Converge2013: @IAUG Member Advocacy, Got Issues Get Action!

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Avaya Tech Talk 014: with Bill Moore a member of the Board of Directors of the International Avaya User Group (IAUG)

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Synopsis:

In this episode of my Avaya Tech Talk podcast I continue a series of conversations about IAUG CONVERGE2013 that is taking place at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Orlando June 3-7, 2013. In this latest installment of the series I interview Bill Moore, Technical Infrastructure Manager at The Museum of Modern Art and a member of the Board of Directors of the International Avaya User Group (IAUG) about the IAUG Member Advocacy program and how it interacts with activities that take place during the conference in Orlando June 3-7, 2013.

Bill Moore

IAUG’s Member Advocacy programs go on 365 days per year. The programs make it as easy as possible for IAUG members to reach out for help when they need it. They have a number of options. The most direct method involves entering information about their issue directly into a form on the IAUG website, www.iaug.org. As soon as an issue is entered the issues are assigned it to a member of the Advocacy Committee for action. We will contact the appropriate resource at Avaya, or an Avaya business partner, to achieve resolution of the issue.

During IAUG CONVERGE2013 a number of session are scheduled that will feed member support requests, product enhancement suggestions and other parts of the process and product improvement dynamic that goes on throughput the year. My blog, The Power of the Customer/Supplier Dialectic describes this dynamic in which both the customers and Avaya benefit from the vigorous interactions of the IAUG Member Advocacy programs.

Session at IAUG CONVERGE2013 during which member issues will be collected include Advocacy: Sales, Services & Billing – International/Multi-National (Avaya Services & Maintenance) and The Future Needs Session is being held Thu, Jun 06, 2013 from 02:00 – 03:00 ET. The session allows participants to provide direct feedback to Avaya product managers and executives on what they want the future of Avaya’s contact center product portfolio to be.

Transcript:

[Guy]:
Good day all! This is your APN Podcast host Guy Clinch. This edition of Avaya Tech Talk continues the recent series of conversations in my role as Avaya Champion to the International Avaya Users Group – Contact Center Contact Center Council.

May I introduce you today to Bill Moore a member of the Board of Directors of the IAUG? Among the many ways Bill serves the organization is Bill’s role as chairman of the IAUG Member Advocacy Council. We’ll be discussing the IAUG Member Advocacy processes and other attributes of IAUG’s support for the organizations’ members.

Bill, welcome to Avaya Tech Talk.

[Bill]
Hi Guy, thanks for inviting me to join you today.

[Guy]
Bill, I’ve had the privilege of knowing you for a number of years through our mutual involvement in IAUG. Congratulations on your recent appointment to the Board of Directors. It is well-deserved recognition of how long and hard you have worked in support of IAUG and its member. What are some of the IAUG responsibilities that you care for?

[Bill]
Most of my duties at IAUG focus on serving our members. I chair the Cabinet of Council Chairs, a group made up of the leaders of IAUG member councils. Each of the councils specializes in a group of Avaya products or services. I also chair the Advocacy Council. This is a larger group that includes members of the C3, a few very experienced members of IAUG, and representatives from Avaya.

[Guy]
You’ve been caring for member advocacy for as long as I have known you. You’ve been a great driver in formalizing the processes. Please explain how the member advocacy processes work today in IAUG?

[Bill]
We’ve tried to make it as easy as possible for our members to reach out to us for help when they need it. They have a number of options. The most direct method involves entering information about their issue directly into a form on our website, www.iaug.org. As soon as an issue is entered, I receive a notification and assign it to a member of the Advocacy Committee for action. We will contact the appropriate resource at Avaya, or an Avaya business partner, to achieve resolution of the issue.

Other methods of engaging our help could be contacting one of the council chairs directly, or attending one of the Sales, Services, and Billing sessions at our annual conference. We respond to member issues brought to us in any manner.

[Guy]
Mark Burns of the IAUG member company Medimedia and Bill Jolicoeur of Avaya are hosting the Contact Center Future Needs session during IAUG CONVERGE2013. As part of this session they will collect member issues. Also at the conference there are Sales, Services, & Billing sessions at which member issues are collected. How will this information feed into the processes of the ways in which member’s issues are handled throughout the year?

[Bill]
Although we normally will receive about 50 member issues during the Sales, Services, & Billing sessions at the conference, our Advocacy program is engaged all year. We’ve made it easy for members to submit issues through the Issue Tracker on the homepage of www.iaug.org

[Guy]
What kinds of results do the IAUG member advocacy processes generate?

[Bill]
We track and follow every member issue until a satisfactory resolution is reached. About 1/2 of the issues brought to us are resolved within the first month. More complicated issues that may involve process or policy changes can take much longer. Status of all issues is posted on the IAUG website. We don’t close an issue until we’ve checked with our member to be certain the resolution was acceptable.

[Guy]
The member issues processes were trialed and launched in the United States. As IAUG serves a global community, I understand that member issues processes have recently been expanded. Please tell us about that.

[Bill]
For the first time last year, we held a special Sales, Services & Billing session for members from outside North America as well as those members who represent multinational enterprises. We recognize that our international members have a unique set of issues when dealing with Avaya and Avaya Business Partners. We’re committed to providing them the same level of service that we do for our North American members.

[Guy]
The focus of the member’s issues processes has been primarily related to IAUG’s relationships with Avaya. As the IAUG organization has grown to include a robust ecosystem of members of the Avaya global partner community, how does IAUG address issues that result from interactions with vendors other than Avaya?

[Bill]
An example is that this year we will be taking advantage of the overlap between CONVERGE2013 and the Partner Community Council (PCC) Conference by holding a preliminary discussion around how we can better represent IAUG members when they have issues with Business Partners. Our goal is to open a dialogue with the BP service leads in order to develop relationships that will allow us to find quick resolution to member issues.

[Guy]
What other programs fall under member advocacy at IAUG?

[Bill]
One of my favorite programs every year is the IAUG Service Excellence Award. We present it during our conference every year to an employee from Avaya or an Avaya business partner who has demonstrated an outstanding level of customer service to one of our members. We take nominations from members throughout the year, selecting the winner shortly before conference. The name of the actual winner is a closely guarded secret until the award is presented during the conference. It’s really one of the highlights of the conference every year. And…it’s a great way for us to say “thank you” to the people who make our jobs easier.

[Guy]
We’re almost done. Bill one last question, what would you say to someone who has not yet made up their mind to come to Orlando June 3-7, and attend IAUG CONVERGE2013?

[Bill]
I’ve attended a lot of conferences in my career. I can honestly say that IAUG offers a unique experience. We have some of the best training sessions you’ll find anywhere within our educational program. But more than that, you’ll have the opportunity to network with your peers from all around the world. You’ll meet people who are experts in every area of communications. Having the ability to call them and ask questions is an invaluable resource. It’s worth many times the cost of the conference.

[Guy]:
We’ve been speaking today Bill Moore a member of the IAUG Board of Directors chairman of the IAUG Member Advocacy committee about the processes in place supporting IAUG’s member issues. The issues resolution processes will kick into high gear during the upcoming IAUG CONVERGE2013 that is being held in Orlando June 3-7.

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Join the conversation with your comments below!

Please note that during the IAUG CONVERGE2013, fellow APN Podcast host Mark Fletcher and I will be producing live interviews and content originating from Orlando. Please join us for a large amount of new content, industry insights and special announcements.

Thanks for listening to Avaya Tech Talk. You can subscribe to our episodes on iTunes, Player.fm and follow us on Twitter hashtag #APNpodcast.

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