Solutions redefining customer and employee engagement

Solutions redefining customer and employee engagement

Avaya provides contact centre and communications solutions and can trace its history back to the founding of the Bell Telephone Company. Steve Joyner, Vice President, Avaya UK and Ireland, told Intelligent CXO about how the company creates an environment where employees feel valued, productive and have the opportunity to learn and grow.

Tell us a bit more about your business and how it started.

Avaya is shaping the future of customer experiences with innovation and partnerships that help organisations achieve strategic ambitions and desired outcomes. We provide contact centre and communications solutions that are redefining customer and employee engagement. Our solutions power experiences that delight end customers. Avaya can trace its history all the way back to the founding of Bell Telephone Company and the invention of the telephone in the late-nineteenth century as it was originally part of AT&T. A new business, Lucent Technologies, was eventually spun out of AT&T, which in turn spun out various business units some years later. That resulted in the creation of Avaya, which has remained one of the most recognisable brands in the industry ever since.

What’s the business’ approach to management?

Our people are the driving force behind our every success, and we pave the way for them to grow, develop and win. We continue to build and celebrate the richness of ethnicities, perspectives, experiences and skills that make up our global Avaya community.

What is your company’s vision and goal?

We’re committed to delivering immersive, personalised and memorable customer and employee experiences that matter. Our contact centre and communications solutions deliver innovation without disruption, adding best-in-class technologies to existing customer experience workflows. With our solutions, organisations are able to connect with customers how, where and when they want. And provide employees with everything they need to ensure the best possible outcomes.

What kind of clients and market do you serve?

We deliver contact centre and communications solutions that power immersive, personalised and memorable customer and employee experiences. And with more than 90,000 customers in 190 countries, the clients and markets we serve vary massively. The need for strong communications is pretty ubiquitous, regardless of the industry you’re in. That said, we have a high degree in expertise when it comes to serving larger, slightly more complicated organisations. If you look at some of the largest banks, healthcare organisations or even government departments, chances are we’ve had a hand in helping them use communications technologies to deliver better experiences.

What has your career looked like so far?

I’ve been in the communications technology business for over 35 years now, having started as a technical support engineer covering the Middle East with Nortel. Having risen up the ranks there to managing sales for the Gulf region, I joined Avaya when it acquired Nortel in 2009 and have never looked back. Don’t get me wrong; the work we were doing with Nortel was fantastic, but there was a sense that, with Avaya, we had suddenly been promoted to the Premier League. I started off handling strategic accounts, and the ability we had to solve incredibly complex business challenges for incredibly complex organisations was – and still is – just immense. And that’s still largely what I’m all about as VP for the UK and Ireland.

How do you equip your staff with skills and knowledge?

It’s honestly all about the mindset. Anyone can talk through the technologies and tactics they use to upskill staff at scale, and any number of them will do the job just fine – and we use a few different methods to aid staff enablement. More important is what we’re driving towards with these methods: at Avaya, we encourage everyone to be their unique self – the idea being, that individual ideas and actions can come together to support not just our company and our customers, but the larger society we all live in. We share a mindset here to create an environment where we feel valued, productive and have the opportunity to learn and grow. As a team, we’re all about thriving, both inside and outside the workplace. Once the opportunities for growth have been identified, our people go for it, and the upskilling flows easily from there.

How do you work with other executives within the C-suite to make sure your voice is heard?

I’m quite fortunate in that the Avaya executive team are open and direct with each other. That’s been especially true since Alan came onboard as CEO last year. We’re all accountable for our own regions, ideas and teams, and by the same token, we’re all supportive of each other if things don’t go to plan. You need that breathing space to be able to try new ideas and solve challenges creatively.

How do you ensure different teams in your organisation work together?

We’re a truly global company, and I don’t mean just in the geographical sense. We have core people up and down the organisation spread across continents, and they interact with teams around the world daily. We’ve been really good at managing that geographical spread for a very long time – well before 2020 – and I’m sure that ingrained knowledge helps when it comes to inter-team collaboration, too. Once again, it’s about people taking accountability, ensuring that they’re involved in the projects they need to be early on and continuously communicating throughout.

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