Innovation Is a Matter of Mindset
Our industry, customers and company are undergoing perhaps the biggest challenge and transformation we have seen in our lifetime. Companies and governments around the world are analyzing, planning or executing the transformation of their businesses, propelled by new and emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Digital Workplaces, Enhanced Analytics, Internet of Things and others. We lump all these changes under one umbrella known as Digital Transformation.
It seems that everything is changing. We are constantly challenged by the unstoppable hunger of innovation and adopting new technology to achieve greater benefits for citizens, customers, and even entire countries. We are all facing a dramatic shift. I wanted to do more to experience this first-hand.
So, I packed my bags and temporarily moved from Mexico to Dubai as part of the Avaya Talent Exchange Program. I started in early February 2019, travelling 22 hours from Mexico City to Dubai. Why did I apply to the program? I wanted to be part of sharing successful practices with other peers, work with sales teams in other regions and understand how they face the same or different challenges and successfully overcome them. I had an urge to work with an innovative leadership team and learn from their strategies. This program enables me to be better prepared for the challenges we face today and in the future.
And why Dubai? In my case, the destination was for both professional and personal reasons. It is a place for innovation and was entirely different culturally from what I had previously experienced. Dubai checked off those boxes for me.
Dubai as a city-state has a proven transformation success story and positions itself today and for the future. In just a generation’s time, Dubai evolved from a small city-state in the desert, dependent on trade heritage and oil explorations, into a leading business hub in the Middle-East and is part the seven Emirates of the UAE (United Arab Emirates). Dubai is run in a business-like fashion and its leader functions almost like a CEO of a company.
A key project during my time in the Talent Exchange Program is to work on a strategy for demonstrating innovative solutions called “Innovation Framework.” It enables the company, for example, to showcase the unique features and benefits of our Powered By Avaya IX unified communications platform and present these innovative solutions at events all over the region.
Our team of experts includes those in Sales Engineering, Specialists and Architects. They take innovation from the field organization and turn it into solutions that can be shared globally. The framework all starts with gathering ideas from different inputs (external and internally) that generate value and differentiation for our customers. These ideas then get developed into use-case concepts. Selected solution prototypes built in the innovation lab make their way to pilot testing with customers and eventually showcased at industry events like GITEX.
We also successfully “exported” from Dubai the new demonstration platform we use to showcase the latest innovations in UX, CX and automation. Mexico is now the first country outside of the Avaya International theater enabled with this new demonstration platform and we already see the benefit for events such as Avaya ENGAGE, and for our Digital Experience Centers and customer demos. With support from the team in Dubai, we also could make available new features for our Avaya phones and video devices.
With that in mind, I believe innovation should come from many areas inside of a company. At Avaya, evolutionary and innovative products and services are coming from our successful R&D group. The Innovation Framework adds to that a culture to live innovation as a mindset for all Avayans. Every employee should be able to actively participate in bringing up their ideas, and help to generate innovative products, services or processes. Leveraging this power is a big opportunity for Avaya.
Thank you to my team at home in Mexico who have supported me during the program and made it easy to continue to help with our business and projects, even with a sizable time difference (9 hours!) It’s a great experience to count on such a strong and reliable team. I have received a warm welcome from the Dubai team and I am forever changed by their hospitality and business spirit.