Avaya StaffSeptember 18, 2020

Why I Chose Avaya

This blog was written by Thomas Marsh, Academy Associate, Durham, NC.

Why did you choose Avaya?

I chose to apply to the Avaya Sales Academy after graduation because the company is a leader in the UC and CC industry and offered a promising training program. I was looking for a place to start my career with a motivating culture, with mentors that were willing to invest time in my career development, and for a place that I could grow and improve my selling skills.  Through the interview process, it became clear this company was a great fit for me.  The Academy offered a place where I could transition from student to dedicated employee.

Coaching and Mentoring Support

Avaya has provided me with excellent mentors! My manager, Jasmine Williams, is the reason I am motivated to work each day with a killer attitude to sell. Matt Simon, a previous Academy graduate, calls every Friday to review the week’s work and give me networking steps for the upcoming week. Demitri Patsilivas works with me on customer role plays and outcome base selling. Allen Ginder continues to give me unique projects that allow me to be innovative and creative. He challenges me every day to grow through assigning new tasks, projects and presentations. Without Allen's guidance I would not be in the position I am in today. Steve Senna is not only a great educator but has become a friend. Mike Wies challenges me every day and is readily available if I ever have a question. Alex Thompson is a true friend and always the go to guy to answer any questions. Finally, my fellow academy members have been a constant source of guidance, advice, and encouragement. Each one of us specializes in something unique and as a team we are more successful.  These key players have truly helped me grow as an individual. 

First six months of Training

The first six months of training were amazing. I was very impressed with the 18 motivated individuals who joined the Academy. We started training with onboarding, interactive sales training sessions and team building activities. As we progressed, we learned about Avaya’s extensive portfolio. Executives and leaders from all over the United States spent time with us explaining their role, teaching outcome-based selling, and help us understand the breadth of Avaya’s technology. After ramping up for months we then moved into a client facing role. In this role we engaged clients and began selling software upgrades. During the holidays, we ran a marketing campaign offering Avaya customers a free wellness check on their phone system.

Engage and CPaaS

I was selected to attend Avaya Engage, the premier event for future communications experience technology hosted by Avaya User Group. My role at the conference was a Spaces Ambassador. We worked the conference seeking interest about Avaya Spaces on the demo floor throughout the week. Over the 4-day conference we attended a Superbowl party at the Arizona Diamondback stadium, listened to Magic Johnson, Jim Chirico and other amazing speakers. Engage gave us the opportunity to meet our leadership team, see new innovative technology, network, and truly was a once in a lifetime experience.


Avaya is always challenging the Academy to be innovative every day. The Academy hosted a competition which was a group project where we took our CPaaS (communication platform as a service) and prepared a presentation for our executive team. The goal was to find a problem and leverage CPaaS technology to create a solution. With the help of our CPaaS experts, Tim Gogal, Andrew Serenstis, Austin Gladfelter and many others, we collaborated to build a live demo. After months of preparation we presented or projects to the VP of North America, Frank Ciccone, and the leadership team. My team was selected to present our successful project to Avaya CEO, Jim Chirico.

Transition to a Full Time Spaces Role

In March, COVID-19 hit the United States, and our focus shifted to helping the country continue to be productive and meet in a virtual environment. We reached out to all schools and non-profit organizations to offer Spaces, our video collaboration solution, for free for a three month trial. Over the next few months we would on board customers, give training demos and seek new clients for Avaya Spaces. It was an amazing experience reaching out and being able to ensure customers that we had the solution that would enable them to work during this pandemic.