Meet Aragon Transform 2020 Sponsor Avaya
by Nga Pham
Avaya is a transformative force in digital communications software, services, and devices, designed for businesses of all sizes. This year, Avaya will be joining Aragon Transform 2020 as our Platinum Sponsor!
Recently, we had a chance to interview Virginia (Ginny) Davis-Lee, Senior Director, Influencer Relations at Avaya. Virginia has had an immense impact on the development of Avaya’s global marketing and corporate strategy. She also won Aragon's 2019 Women In Tech award in the Analyst Relations category.
Read on to discover how Avaya helps reimagine the ways people and businesses engage and experience the world and why they're excited to be a part of Aragon Transform 2020.
1. What are the 3 things about Avaya that you're proud of?
As we are trying to adapt and emerge out of the pandemic into a new normal, I'm incredibly proud of the support that we can provide to our customers. Our customers are some of the largest of the large; many of them are life-saving to people all around the world. Without the ability to transform their communications for all their different types of workers—from knowledge workers to contact center specialists—things could have looked very different for people who depend on our customers for daily support. In the COVID-19 era, remote work has become an inevitable part of our life. The number of users we supported in the early months of the pandemic was staggering– we enabled over 2.5 million workers to work remotely. That’s significant. Avaya is so pleased to help many customers utilize Avaya Spaces for their unplanned work. They can immediately get connected via video, and use that application to do everything from forming teams, sharing documents, posting tasks, to conducting training. We have so many customers of all sizes around the world, especially schools, who began using our 100% cloud-based solution during the pandemic and have continued to use it for their remote and hybrid learning since they returned to schools in August and September. The ability to keep people connected, productive, and engaged with each other is vital.
The second thing I love about Avaya is the focus that we put on women in leadership. We pride ourselves in having women in top positions around the globe in sales, marketing, HR, product management, and channel. Our Global Head of HR, Faye Tylee, has been a groundbreaker and an inspiration when it comes to supporting women at Avaya. She is the brains behind WIN@A (Women Inspired Network at Avaya) which is a community that advocates for women and supports their personal development to maximize their potential. WIN@A brings together the talent of women at Avaya and provides opportunities for them to mentor each other and get to know each other regardless of the roles that they’re in.
The last thing I would say is the resilience of Avaya. People might have known the challenges we've had in years past and as someone who has been at Avaya since the beginning, I’ve heard just about everything competitors said as they took pokes. Yet I stand here today with Avaya in a stronger place than we’ve ever been with customers and partners who not only support us but also look to us for our innovation and leadership as we all venture forward. It takes a lot of work and an amazing strategy to get to where we are today and I credit our leadership team and the way they empower all of us to get the work done.
2. How does Avaya bring value to your customers in times of crisis?
First and foremost, we’ve supported our customers as they were forced to transition their employees and operations to remote or hybrid environments. I also want to mention the work we did in supporting front line workers and hospitals with video devices, free access to Avaya Spaces for remote meetings and telemedicine, free temporary licenses for remote contact center agents, and complimentary Avaya Spaces to all learning institutions. Avaya immediately transitioned our workforce to a remote environment so that we could work with unprecedented speed to care for the safety of our customers’ employees while keeping their business operations going, Avaya service experts also provide support around the clock and handle just about any type of technical or solution questions. Avaya employees also volunteered time, skills, and money to support things like enabling their house of worship to continue services via Spaces, making and distributing masks, and collecting donations for front line workers.
3. What are the most critical changes that we must make to face the COVID-19 era and beyond?
We must acknowledge the future of work is not only unplanned, but it's also here already. We’ve been forced to adapt to a whole new way of collaborating and managing teams, and I don’t see it changing. The pandemic has made people realize that life is really short; you only go around here once, this is not a dress rehearsal. It puts a new emphasis on relationships and experiences. Having workplaces dictated by space in a corporate office will be less important, or will even become a competitive disadvantage to companies. Being able to offer flexible ways to work while providing tools and environments to learn and be even more productive with colleagues, customers, and partners is going to be essential to attracting and retaining top talent. And of course, we need to help managers coach, inspire, motivate, and manage their remote teams. We can’t just assume everyone will just know how to do this right.
4. Why are you excited to sponsor Aragon Transform 2020?
What I’ve always admired about Aragon is how they’ve pushed the boundaries of their research by breaking out of the traditional unified communications (UC) and contact center (CC) molds and looking at new technology and vendors, especially in their Hot Vendor forums. They’ve done the same thing when it comes to exploring many inspirational stories and groundbreaking progress that women in tech are making. Aragon is truly looking across every industry to showcase some of the best and brightest women in the business. With the Transform event, Aragon has created a platform to recognize organizations and individuals who are making a difference in the tech industry. The fact that Avaya gets to share that stage with so many other companies that I admire is a privilege and I want them to know, as well as our customers and partners to see, that Avaya supports the diversity in tech and joins Aragon in celebrating them. Plus, it's always a great opportunity to learn of Aragon’s predictions for the coming year, hear from industry leaders on guest panels, and network (yes we’ll still be able to network virtually). As Transform is going virtual this year, we could open it up to more businesses in the tech industry. Avaya is excited to learn more about the Hot Vendors, Innovators, and Women in Tech that Aragon will recognize this year.
5. In your opinion, what is the most impactful technology trend for the next 5 years?
I consider myself pretty adept at technology and ready to embrace trends as they occur. But recently, I read something interesting about the launch of iPhone 12 and the fact that many users don’t even know about the myriad of the features they already have, let alone the new ones. I found this to be especially true during the pandemic as people around the world, both workers and consumers, started leveraging technology in droves, from my kids leveraging it in new ways for online learning, to my parents wanting to keep in touch with the family. Although they benefit greatly from it, they have only scratched the surface in terms of the capabilities of the solutions they leveraged. It made me wonder about the value of new technology if it’s not being adopted, and how important it is to help drive adoption. For example, at this point, most people have mastered video calls, but how many have leveraged the full capabilities of collaboration? Working in the tech industry, I take for granted that everyone else uses it the same way I do. It's incumbent upon us to educate customers, to help them realize the benefits and outcomes that they can achieve, to provide training, and to showcase what’s possible today. So, to me, I think there’s untapped potential of the technology we currently have to work with, and we should focus on exhausting this potential as new technologies come to life.
Aragon would like to thank Avaya for their continued support and sponsorship of Aragon Transform!
Be sure to sign up for Aragon Transform 2020 to learn more about Avaya as well as network with other attendees! We are going virtual this year and have also decided to split Transform 2020 into 2 days. Register now to get a Virtual Event Essentials Swag Kit delivered to your doorstep!
Stay tuned for our next blog in this series, featuring one of our Gold Sponsors!