Paul RelfMay 08, 2017

Keep Up as our Avaya Equinox Team Member Races for Youth Mental Health

I’m still totally stoked about the energy and enthusiasm at Avaya Engage earlier this year. It was exciting to introduce the Avaya Equinox™ experience and our rich Avaya Breeze™ platform developer tools. We are truly enabling limitless possibilities for workplace automation, and completely transforming how we connect employees to their businesses.

While at Avaya Engage, I was particularly touched by an incredible story from an incredible Avayan, Kirk Jones. Many of you already know Kirk as the Avaya Equinox solution guru. Leading initial implementations, he shares his vast knowledge of deploying the full stack in customer and cloud environments. What I was not aware of is the energy and enthusiasm he is dedicating in his personal life to realize his dreams and benefit youth mental health. Kirk is preparing to participate in September’s 2017 Targa Newfoundland 1700 Km car rally at blistering speeds along closed city streets and municipal highways—while raising money and awareness for youth mental health.

When Kirk’s daughter was recovering from a skiing accident, he developed first-hand knowledge about the challenges faced by children and teens needing help. “The issue is there are not enough resources for parents with children dealing with mental health issues. Unless your situation is critical or life-threatening, it is difficult to get the support you need,” Kirk told me.

Kirk does not like to do things small, and this is no exception. He’s established an official charity for his cause and set the fundraising goal to $100,000! He is building a new race car from the ground up while seeking sponsors—not to pay for the car, but to contribute to his charity. The racing community has already started to come together during the build process, with big name sponsors like Volkswagen stepping up and supporting Kirk’s mission.

I was blown away by Kirk’s extreme dedication to the success of Avaya Equinox, and now he’s applying the same level of commitment and dedication to his racing benefit for youth mental health. For Kirk, even if he helps only one child, it will all be worth it. It seemed to me that for him no goal is too high, no challenge too hard. How could I help? As I told this story to other Avayans, the ideas kept flowing. We have such cool technology at Avaya and have shown we can completely change the fan experience in Sports and Entertainment—so why not make Kirk’s racing journey more accessible and engaging for those who watch and donate?

We will enhance the donor experience by combining the Internet of Things (IoT) and Avaya Breeze workflow automation with Zang™ Cloud, our robust communication platform-as-a-service. We’ll create a workflow to give contributors real-time updates while Kirk races. It will be easy and amazing, and it is all possible using simple Avaya workflows.

In upcoming blogs, as we lead up to the Targa Newfoundland car rally, I will be posting updates on this incredible story and sharing more about how we’re implementing the IoT workflow project. But the real story is about helping children and teens in need—I’ll keep you posted on progress there as well.

This story makes me proud to be an Avayan. We have so many great people, doing great things to make the world a better place. Learn more about Kirk’s journey on his website, and be sure to Like the Facebook page. You can even make a donation to the Race for Mental Health Fund. Until next time, it would be great to hear from you. Follow me @Paul_Relf, and follow this story on social #RealAvayaStories

Paul Relf

Paul Relf is a Digital Transformation Accelerator. As a Director of Product Management at Avaya, he helps customers enhance user experience, increase productivity and improve business performance by leveraging disruptive digital technology. Paul is a seasoned Agile Scrum and Pragmatic Marketing practitioner, with a strong track record of delivering innovative solutions to the market.

Read Articles by Paul Relf


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