The power of we: insights from Avaya Evolutions 2012
On 1 March, Avaya Evolutions 2012 was held in Kingston, Jamaica. This post offers some insights from some of the talks and product demonstrations featured during that event.
Avaya Evolutions 2012 is one of the premier events of Avaya, a leading enterprise communications provider, which was held yesterday at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica. The event had as its theme “Live the Avaya Experience”, and was expected to draw between 350 and 400 attendees, but registration had to close a few days early as 700 persons had registered!
Evolutions 2012 had a jam-packed progamme that for the most part, sought to showcase Avaya’s products and services. However, interspersed were talks from persons outside the vendor/provider community that provided a different perspective on important trends in the market. The event also included a small expo, with about a dozen booths, from event sponsors and Avaya.
Additionally, to bolster participants’ enthusiasm and continue the buzz about Evolutions 2012, Avaya had a competition running throughout the day: an iPad to the person who tweeted the most about #AvayaEvolutions. Based on the tweets, a few of which have been sprinkled throughout this post, and discussions during held the breaks, attendees were excited by Avaya’s product and service offerings, and the presentations captured people’s attention and interest.
Evolutions 2012 was a high quality and well-executed event, so it was easy to be enthralled by the glitz and stimulus the day had to offer. This post highlights a few of the gems that could be taken away from such an experience.
Impact of mobility while mitigating costs
It is readily evident that mobility in the work place is increasing. Work demands are such that employees can be required spend considerable amounts of time out of the office, but must still remain connected and be in a position to collaborate with their teams. Additionally, for businesses that have a number of branches, or require frequent meetings/discussions with overseas (or long distance) clients, technology can offer cost effective options. Avaya featured a few products, such as IP Office, that might fit the bill:
While the demo and testimonials for IP Office featured during Evolutions was impressive – as to be expected – there were a few, perhaps more subtle points that merit attention. First, Avaya has recognised the needs of small businesses, such as the startup, which are very cost conscious and may not have much upfront capital. Hence the company has solutions that can cater to operations with as few as 5 employees, to large corporations with staff numbering in the hundreds. Hence tools that foster efficiency, productivity, collaboration, etc., are not limited to a few elite organisations that can afford pricey and elaborate solutions.
Second, the majority of the businesses across Jamaica and the wider Caribbean, that have enterprise communications equipment and solutions, have Nortel systems, which may soon be at end of life, are no longer being supported, and will soon need to be replaced. However, to varying degrees, Avaya stated that has been able to maintain compatibility to some Nortel systems, which means that some Nortel appliances can remain in use into the foreseeable future, resulting in significant cost savings when current systems must be upgraded.
Third, when working in the corporate world, and especially in these tough economic times, management can offer grim opposition to any major expenditure. Costs to the business must not only be justified, the value proposition must also be generous. To help clients quickly determine the range of savings that might be realised should a business decide to invest in new solutions, Avaya has an online return on investment (ROI) calculator. Such a tool could be particularly useful to small and medium enterprises that might not have the in-house expertise to quickly undertake such as assessment. Hence calculators such as this can provide invaluable information to businesses that might otherwise not have access to it, thus improving their decision-making.
The power of collaboration
Collaboration was one of the major buzzwords of Evolutions 2012, with many of speakers focussing on it during their discussions. During one of the talks, Avaya had a live demonstrated Avaya Flare® Experience, which supports integration and collaboration across a variety of media:
As interesting and entertaining as the demonstration was, some of the other presentations reinforced the fact that collaboration can only occur when systems to communicate and coordinate are also present, and there tends to be a symbiotic relationship between the three. More importantly, it is usually through collaboration that creation and innovation are fostered.
Finally, the growing importance of collaboration is not limited to intra-organisation interaction, i.e. among employees; it is also gaining traction between clients and vendors/providers across a broad range of industries. Increasingly, clients want suppliers that not only provide solutions for a detailed list of requirements: they are looking for proactive input and solutions that can improve their business. In other words, clients are looking for partners – not just vendors/providers that will do their bidding – but with whom they can work together (collaborate) to achieve mutually beneficial goals.