At IAUG, the Experience was Everything

At IAUG, the Experience was Everything

Avaya invited Brenda Emerson, President of IAUG, to share her thoughts about this year’s conference:

Brenda Emerson

Brenda Emerson is president of the International Avaya User Group and CIO, SVP at Landmark Bank. She is a technology and business visionary experienced in leveraging technology to deliver improved productivity and exceptional customer engagement. Avaya invited Brenda to share her thoughts about this year’s conference.


Avaya ENGAGE 2016 was, in a word, engaging.

It’s great to see the best and the brightest business communications professionals gather each year. As Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” Our vibrant, intelligent community is growing and has a very bright future. New technologies and solutions that we learned about will enable us to do our jobs better than ever before. When Gary Barnett unveiled Avaya Oceana during the opening keynote, the excitement and energy in the room was tangible.

The curriculum was outstanding. The agenda had something for everyone: Technical sessions for the engineers and design staff; business sessions for the business manager and architects. In total, 170 breakouts were available, covering 13 different tracks.

I spent quite a bit of time wandering around the impressive solutions expo, chatting with the more than 100 exhibitors. The ingenuity coming from the business communications industry never ceases to amaze me. I’m excited about what’s possible and what’s next.

Something new this year was the Avaya Breeze™ Developer Summit and Hackathon. This 2.5-day summit started with a quick tutorial on the development platform, followed by 48 hours of designing and building a custom application. Before the event, none of the participants had any experience with Breeze. I was invited to judge the applications. It was amazing to see the power and simplicity of Breeze in action. If you’re interested in reading more about the winners, don’t miss Zeus Kerravala’s recent article “Building Apps with Avaya Proves a Breeze.”

It’s a privilege for me to be a part of IAUG. I know it makes a difference in people’s professional lives. This event is truly a labor of love and I am grateful to work with the team that makes IAUG and the annual summit so successful. It’s gratifying to reflect on the results and feedback we receive. I was particularly thrilled when I came across Srivinivasan Narayanan’s post in the mobile app: “LOVED IAUG. My first ever. Flew in all the way from India on a friend’s recommendation. The event exceeded my expectations. Definitely worth the time and money. Brilliant speakers, great audience and a networking opportunity you don’t wanna miss!”

So my hat’s off to the team. Thanks for all the hard work. Can’t wait to get started on next year’s event!

If you were not able to come this year, and want to get a taste of what you missed, be sure to watch the highlights video.

At the end of the day, experience is everything. It’s how we learn, how we best interact with each other and how we continually improve ourselves. Being a part of a community like IAUG provides these experiences like no other. If you’re looking for a place to grow and share your expertise, come join us at IAUG.



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