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JR Cook, SVP West Region, Intelisys

How Avaya is Inspiring the New Remote Workforce

I recently had the privilege of chatting with Billy Madison, Avaya Channel Chief, and he shared some insight on how we can help our partners and their customers as they transition to remote workforce solutions.

Here are some brief highlights of what we talked about. To gain deeper insight, click the link at the end of this blog to hear the full interview. 

Why don't you tell us a little bit about Avaya and some of the solutions you provide?
Avaya is a really well-known brand and a worldwide leader in contact center, unified communications, and cloud business solutions. It's also a company that's in transition. We're adding more and more cloud-based services—which is what people are generally transitioning to. I think it's accelerating and causing a lot of change today, as we've seen this huge pandemic crushing not only the North America region, but around the world.

What are you doing for your partners to help their customers stay connected while working remotely?

I think we face the question about the new norm very often, and I don't even know if there is a new norm. What's really important is that you know both agents and users. They need to be educated about what they’ve been missing and how it has affected their business.

Companies like ScanSource and Intelisys, a ScanSource company, are doing a great job of educating. We're doing everything that you're doing. We're training, we're preparing, and we're trying to accommodate.

What have you been doing to empower your employees while working remotely?

That's been tough, too. We’re training our people internally for the new norm—to be able to embrace the tools. I'm fortunate to be running the Avaya Cloud Office (ACO)product offering for North America. Clearly, this is a tool that’s just starting to be embraced as our team and the rest of the workforce are beginning to access the collaboration stacks, mobility tools, and more around that.

And, I think our selling processes are getting better. Not only are we talking and collaborating, but we're demonstrating the tools. We're literally saying, “Oh, by the way, let me show you a couple things. Let me walk you through how this could be, and why this is really important.” So again, educating our own folks as well using our own tools—drinking our own sauce—if you will. And it's been very, very productive.

What have you personally learned from dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, and how are you using those insights to help your partners and ultimately their customers or your employees?
I'm a pretty emotional person. I follow my instincts. But, you know, we don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. We don't fully understand how this is going to look, but we do need to prepare and be realistic about expectations.

You need to inspire and be a pilot. You need to understand that even in these strange times, there’s opportunity ahead. If you're a small business owner, there’s a lot of opportunity ahead. It may not be this month—but there are bright lights ahead. The reality is that we keep training, and we do the right things. This will be a cloud-based world in a short period of time.

What’s one device you can’t live without during the COVID-19 pandemic?
I think everybody's absolutely glued to their lovely cell phone, right? I mean, what would we do without it today? It's incredible. To have the clients who can look at Avaya Spaces, to be able to consume the collaboration stacks—all from a simple device like that. We can't live without it.

Anything else you'd like to add?
The one thing about working remotely is we have to be really smart about what we're doing. I asked my team to do this—and I would share this as advice with agents—be smart about using your time wisely. There's a lot of noise out there, a lot of free offers, a lot of training, etc. Keep yourself focused. Keep your eye on the prize and what your business should be looking like in the next 40 to 60 days. Be prepared to reap the benefits of what this will undoubtedly bring, which is great opportunity.

Many thanks to Billy for his time, and we invite you to watch the entire video interview with him. Stay well everyone!