Simon HarrisonOctober 23, 2020

Telling The Avaya Customer Stories

Almost 9 months ago I stood on stage for the first time at Avaya Engage in Phoenix and talked about how only Avaya is positioned to truly enable customers and partners to realize the benefits of the multi-experience economy – encompassing touchpoints, modalities, and personas. With an extraordinary application and partner ecosystem combined with a much broader portfolio that is very different from those out there, Avaya does offer something very special.  I talked about my passion for storytelling and how we would take that to new heights (which we have, by introducing a new role at Avaya, which I get into more detail below).  As evidence at Avaya Engage, I shared a sprinkling of some of the amazing stories of our customers who are working every day to create experiences that matter for their employees and customers – the Stop Soldier Suicide Organization who looks to Avaya to help veterans at risk, and RCM des Collines-del’Outaouais who worked with Avaya to prioritize new technology to support 9-1-1 calls for their community, or VCA, the world’s largest veterinary hospital network that relies on Avaya to support their lifeline for concerned pet parents – who with Avaya’s help are changing lives every day.

Just two weeks later I shared a blog that focused on the heart inside Avaya and the extraordinary things our employees do daily, donating their own time and money to help customers and their communities.  I could have never imagined the change that was about to take place in our world and that Avaya’s heart would grow even bigger, and the relationships our customers have with Avaya, even stronger.

Throughout the last several months the extraordinary stories of our customers and how they are helping their employees and customers during and throughout the pandemic came to light almost daily.  Like many, I was just overwhelmed with how incredible our customers are and I feel genuinely privileged to be their partner as part of Avaya.  During that time we’ve been proud to showcase many of our customer stories through the work we did to support their remote contact center employees, in connecting their knowledge workers and students via Avaya Spaces, by using our CPaaS platform to effortlessly and quickly spin up contact centers to support their unplanned spike in call volumes, just to name a few.  These types of stories are replicated across every region, all around the globe daily.

The feedback that we have received in showcasing our customers’ stories reinforces how different Avaya is in the industry.  What I said on that stage over 9 months ago has not changed:  I have a passion for customers and their stories. So much so that we’ve built out our customer story practice and have created a brand-new role in the company called ‘Head of Storytelling’.  What excites me about this role is how it will further take the Avaya OneCloud brand, coupled with how we are helping customers realize the benefits of the multi-experience economy, and bring it to life through the stories of not only our customers but our channels, our partners, our employees, and influencers.  I had a chat with our new head of storytelling, Chris Bain, about his passion for storytelling and why he joined Avaya after being part of our partner ecosystem for many years.

SH – Chris, welcome to Avaya. Fantastic to have you here, and I’m excited about this new role.

CB – Thank you, Simon, it’s wonderful to be a part of an organization that’s helping to power the global economy, shape the future, and change the world. I’ve been working within the Avaya ecosystem of development partners and channels for the past 15 years, so it feels like a very natural step to join the mothership!

SH – Tell us a little bit about what you want to achieve here. WHY should Avaya tell stories?

CB - Avaya is great at defining what the future could be, defining what CAN be done – but the truth is we are already doing some amazing things today.  We have a perfect opportunity to complement the vision of the future with the present, what IS being done, and the impact our technologies ARE having on customers now.

This will be great for customers’ brands too. It means we’ll be using the significant reach and breadth of Avaya’s Marketing machine to show how our customers are leading from the front, and how they’re creating great experiences for their customers. We’ll effectively be promoting our customers’ CX and EX achievements and their innovation stories to the world.

Avaya technology creates experiences that matter - we're going to demonstrate those experiences.

We also want to highlight the value of the ecosystem partnerships we have with our channels and alliance partners. Together we’re doing great things around the world every day for customers of every size in every industry – we want to shout about these achievements and partnerships.

Stories make reality relatable and add a context to function. Our stories will be a testimony to the innovation promised by the whole industry, they will bring humanity to high-tech, and will demonstrate the real-world benefits of the features and integrations we build.

SH - Who are these stories for?

CB - I’m keen that our stories are of interest to and benefit the whole Avaya community – prospective and existing customers, IAUG members, channels, alliance partners, analysts, consultants, and colleagues. We’ve done a good job in the past of sharing success stories with the community that has been used for validation and example, now we’re going to expand our storytelling  to encourage audiences out of other interests too - innovation, camaraderie, learning, insight, empathy, community and even entertainment. Telling stories effectively will connect people through shared situations and will bring new opportunities and ideas to all parties.

SH - Where will these stories come from?

CB - Sources can be anywhere. We love real-world examples of great wins and successes, and customers creating experiences that matter using Avaya technology, but we also want to understand how people are using our products and services to make a difference in their own lives. In the multi-experience world that you spoke about it’s important to share insights and innovation.

Stories don’t have to be classic sales-wins. For example, the tale of an agent reaching out to a vulnerable caller and helping them through a difficult situation, or a deadline being met because of collaboration on Avaya technology can both be compelling stories that demonstrate the power of what is achievable.

SH - What can we expect from storytelling?

CB - Our stories will be proof of what we promise and the insight into the impact we have. We know that Avaya enables experiences that matter, so we need to capture experiences that mattered to our customers and partners. We know that Avaya is changing the world, so we need to tell the stories of customers whose world has been changed.

We'll make stories more accessible by introducing themes and geographies to make it easier to find and follow a thread, but we’ll also try to tell stories in different ways – not just as long-form case-studies.

Along the way, we’ll also return to various customer stories to understand the impact their innovation has had, what challenges they had to overcome along the way, how their own customer experience is positively driven, and how plans are being shaped by changing customer habits. Stories tell you about journeys from one place to another, and we want to share our customers’ journeys.

SH - I imagine many customers and partners will want to get involved. How can they do that?

CB - It’s really simple – they can contact us directly, or email

Tell us about the experiences that matter in your world, and we’ll help you get your message to the whole world.

SH - Great, thanks, Chris. I can’t wait to see how things progress, and how our customers and partners interact with you so we all help each other.  We’ve got some amazing stories featured on and I can’t wait to read even more.


Simon Harrison

Simon Harrison is Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, leading the global marketing function to engage new and existing customers and partners, drive adoption of the company’s software solutions and support Avaya as the leading player in a dynamic digital communications market. 

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