Blue Springs School District Graduates to Smarter Campus with Avaya

Blue Springs School District School has a big population to serve: 1,000 teachers, 2,000 staff members and 14,700 students across 22 elementary, middle and high schools located on the edge of Kansas City, MO.

Looking to consolidate its distributed computing environment to simplify management, reduce capital expenditures and cut power costs, the district decided to upgrade its Avaya network backbone and standardize on a Nutanix hyper-converged environment. The challenges this new system addressed:

  • Consolidating into a centralized data center with resulting reduction in IT workload and power consumption savings. The IT team was stretched thin operating, 144 servers over 23 locations.
  • Providing IT resources for standardized testing. For the first year, students in grades 3-11 – not just high school students – would be taking their standardized exams online. The testing provider sent its list of requirements, which included a test site management server for every 150 machines in any district, to ensure the testing load could be handled. The Blue Springs School District has more than 10,000 computers, and had no desire to set up 30 to 40 TSMs.

Centralizing the data center meant choosing appliances that would not only save the district money but would be easier to manage. Nutanix appliances were installed within less than a week on the Avaya core network. Blue Springs School District didn’t seriously consider using any other providers for its infrastructure.  Some of the benefits of consolidating the data center include:

  • Decreased time and personnel to manage servers and near-instantaneous VM deployment.
  • Sharply reduced electrical bill by some $100,000 on an annualized basis through the consolidation of infrastructure footprint.
  • Ability to handle standardized testing workload with a single test site management server for the entire district through new solution running on the Avaya backbone.

“We could bring all the data and services back to one centralized location,” said Tim Jones, director of IT, Blue Springs School District. “Now we’re managing one, not 21, data centers. Our Avaya backbone was one of the reasons to go to a centralized datacenter model. I knew we had a backbone that could handle it. We felt very confident we weren’t going to have any issues as far as connectivity. If I were talking to another school district to look at virtualization to handle common core testing and the traditional school load, I would feel absolutely comfortable recommending Avaya and Nutanix.”

Nutanix has been validated by Avaya for the 1,000-user Avaya call center solution and Avaya has received Nutanix Ready for the Avaya product lines demonstrating solution interoperability and compatibility between the Nutanix and Avaya solutions.

Click here to read the full case study from Avaya.

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Your Avaya Developer Journey Starts Here

STEM. Hackathons. Hour of Code. Oh, my…

I’ve been in the developer and ecosystem space pretty much my entire career, and I can’t recall a time when there was a greater focus on strengthening and expanding skills in software development with new audiences. I’m excited to see Avaya making such efforts across our Team and Customer Engagement portfolios with new and expanded APIs, toolkits, and supporting educational materials for Avaya Breeze, Avaya Oceana, and Avaya Vantage.

Start Your Own Journey—It’s Free!

Many of our customers are aware of the value of the DevConnect “Compliance Tested” designation used by our DevConnect Technology Partners to indicate the proven interoperability of their products. But you may not realize that DevConnect isn’t just a testing and partner program. It’s a full-fledged and open developer program for all types of developers looking to leverage Avaya technology. You can freely browse all our developer content and it takes just a few seconds to register when you want to download a specific SDK. And it doesn’t cost you anything to do this.

For example, we’ve added online developer documentation and code samples like integrating Desk Phone Services into custom applications using Avaya Breeze™ Client SDK, which applies to Android-based mobile devices. And to go alongside that, we’ve expanded our Forum Boards to include discussions on developing custom clients for the Avaya Vantage™ Device, as well as made available a full set of source code for a basic Vantage client using the Breeze Client SDK.

But Wait… There’s More!

With the introduction of the Avaya Breeze™ Platform and the Avaya Oceana™ Solution, Avaya’s made available even more resources for developers to leverage in the form of Avaya Collaboratory and the Avaya Snapp Store.

Avaya Collaboratory provides cloud-based, fully configured developer environments to support jump-starting your projects and evaluating the powerful capabilities of Avaya Breeze and the Avaya Breeze Client SDK. Whether building snap-ins using the Java SDK for Avaya Breeze, or learning to create complex workflows in Avaya Engagement Designer, a Collaboratory environment gives you a full Avaya Aura and Breeze software stack to play around with.

And if you’re looking for additional pre-build snap-ins or workflows, there’s the Avaya Snapp Store. Similar to the DevConnect Marketplace, the Snapp Store highlights a range of Avaya-build and third-party snap-ins for Avaya Breeze or Avaya Oceana environments. Some snap-ins can even be purchased directly from the Snapp Store itself, so you can drop them into your own Collaboratory or Breeze environment in a matter of minutes.

And There’s Even More Coming

We’ve been running some very successful hackathon events around Avaya Breeze, Vantage, and Zang in the past few months, so keep your eyes open for more opportunities to get hands on with new Avaya offers. Note that Avaya Learning has introduced a variety of training courses specifically aimed at Breeze. There are also courses for Avaya Breeze Client SDK developers—on Android and Windows and on iOS and macOS, so Avaya developers can continue to build skills on these new and powerful products.

Keep watching the Avaya Developer blog for deeper insights from key technical leads for many of these products, as well as insight into how our customers and partners are leveraging these new technologies through their own application development efforts.

And even if you aren’t yet ready for the latest and greatest of what Avaya has to offer, visit the DevConnect portal—you may be surprised by what you’ll find for the Avaya products you’re currently using.

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.

 

Enabling Smart Vertical Solutions in a Smart Digital World

Watch as Jean “JT” Turgeon discusses the path Avaya is taking into the Smart Digital World and how the company enables digital transformation.

In his previous video, Turgeon introduced Avaya’s smart vertical solutions and now returns for a deeper dive. He also elaborates on the importance of the secure and automated end-to-end network infrastructure that Avaya provides, assuring viewers that there are “no other competitors that can do what Avaya can do today.”

Turgeon continues, “Avaya enables Digital Transformation at customer speed. The digitization of global enterprises is a reality in the marketplace and Avaya is delivering vertical solutions today that can help them transform.”